Myself and two servers went out to an independent sports bar/Italian restaurant in town. The place was empty, except for the bar -- which was crowded with guys watching sports and making a lot of noise. Our hostess seated us pretty close to the bar and I was a little unhappy with that, since we obviously weren't here to watch sports and there were no other customers there. But I did't say anything because hey, whatever, no biggie.
Our hostess shows back up ten minutes later to take our drink order. We meet our waitress when she comes out with the drinks. Our orders are taken, yadda yadda. We don't see anyone until the food comes out thirty minutes later; she has the cook help her carry it out. I'm thinking, wtf, I can carry six plates out at one time (we don't have trays at my restaurant), three plates really isn't that difficult. But okay. She says she'll be back to refill our drinks but doesn't show up until another fifteen minutes after that.
It wasn't until another thirty minutes we saw her again, when she came by to drop off our check. Didn't ask us if we needed refills (all our glasses were empty). Didn't ask how the food was. Didn't ask if we needed to-go boxes. We had to ask to split the check up.
It's not that I expected her to show up to our table every other minute, but we went for minutes and minutes on end without beverages while eating hot wings without napkins. When she did appear, we had to ask for these things and she took for-freaking-ever to get them for us. She acted like we were soooooo difficult because we asked for these basic things *sigh* when we were patient and polite the whole time. The place was dead, there was no call for this kind of neglect. The conversation between myself and my two co-workers goes like this.
Friend1: How much should we tip her?
Friend2: Six bucks? That's 20%.
Me: Uhhh...guys...you just complained how bad the service was.
F1: Well, yeah, but she's a server. I know how slow nights like this are, you need tips to survive.
Me: On slow nights like this, you work your butt off to get big tips, not abandon your tables.
F2: F1's right, you know what it's like going home with nothing...we gotta stick up for each other.
F1: Yeah, haven't you ever heard of Tipping Karma?
Me: What?? That has to be made up by Silver Ravenwolf or something. That's just crazy.
F2: Why? No one likes to get stiffed, and if we all tip each other well it works out in the end.
Me: *eyes narrow* No it doesn't. If you tip everybody well, bad waitresses will keep doing their job badly and good waitresses aren't really rewarded. We might as well have a set wage.
F1: So what do YOU think we should do, stiff her?!
Me: Her effort was at about five percent, so I say leave her five percent.
F1: So if you had a bad night at work, you'd want to be treated the same way you're treating her?
Me: You should get what you deserve. You're pity tipping and that's just wrong.
F1: It's better than shafting your own, y'know, fellow servers...I hope you get treated the same way.
I left five percent of my meal, the other two servers left enough money to cover what I didn't leave and more. Great. So the waitress probably went back to the table (with the cook in tow to help her bus, no doubt) and thought she must have done a stellar job. Or maybe she knows what a slacker she is and she just thinks we're suckers. Whatever. Tipping Karma, my ass. -_-