Dear, “Less-Than-Generous” Tipper
This is a letter to the world of customers from a voice of the service industry. To the people who were less than pleased, blissfully unaware of their poor skills with a tip calculator, and to the people that just didn’t understand how much these little gratuity offerings mean to us.
I wanted to address this to you all because, well, I am in awe of some of your dining out manners. I am a relatively new server, but no stranger to the world of serving and restaurant life. For I have many friends in this industry, past jobs that worked closely with servers, and parents that liked to take a day off from cooking every once and a while to enjoy a nice meal out. I have heard, seen, and now experienced what it is like to have someone tip you well, but I have now also experienced the unfortunate moments of receiving a tip that is, lets say, not up to par.
And, being the delightful server that I am, I am going to take responsibility for this terrible habit that you all have seemed to adopt. It is not your fault that you left your table leaving only 5% for me, that your eyes were okay with watching you sign such a minuscule amount on your check, or that your hands consciously reached for one dollar out of your wallet when the total amount tempted you to leave five.
In fact, I would like to apologize.
I am sorry that you were not satisfied.
It pains me to see that you were obviously not impressed with my efforts. I am deeply regretful that I was unable to meet your expectations in the midst of my constant laps around the restaurant, catering to the other 6 tables that had depended on my service as well. I am appalled at myself that I disappointed you when I double-checked with a bartender when you asked me a question regarding the inventory of a beer I almost never order, just to make sure I was giving you correct information. I am disappointed in myself for even entertaining the thought of asking you if you were okay before the food arrived at your table, because your facial expressions clearly did not reflect a satisfied customer. And, even though everything that you ordered came out correctly and in a timely fashion, I apologize that you still did not think that my delivery of your food and drink met your expectations.
I am sorry that you had no clue what you left me was almost insulting.
Who am I to get angry at someone who does not know proper tipping form? It pains me that you left your house without extra cash in your pocket, or the sense to transfer an extra couple of bucks into your account, even though you knew you were going out to eat four hours ago. I can’t help but feel sympathy for you in the fact that you felt like anything below 15% is a good donation to my cause, especially after you made such a positive fuss over my service. I am deeply sorry that you thought tipping based off of the total AFTER coupons, discounts, deals, and gift cards wasn’t going to crush my soul into a tiny little ball and make me want to throw your leftover plate of fries at you.
So, I would like to thank you less than generous tipper.
Thank you for teaching me that life is not going to be perfect. That people in this world will not always recognize your efforts with a pat on the back or a gold star on your collar. One of the hardest lessons of life is that sometimes, your hard work will go completely unnoticed. That, even though everyone makes mistakes and the true test of strength is to learn and keep trying, people will only see the faults and treat you like a failure. You have helped me grow as an adult, taught me that people aren’t always very understanding of where you’re coming from or what you’re dealing with in your life, and that sometimes one job just isn’t enough. You have helped me grow such a thick skin that sometimes I don’t even feel your stares of death from across the room. Now, because of you, a tip over 20% feels like I have won the lottery. I have developed an appreciation for the smaller things in life, like the moment you make rent or can pay a bill without the help of your parents. Seeing that electricity still turn on in my apartment is truly a satisfying sight, and I thank you for that deep feeling of gratitude.
So, please, come in and see me again. We appreciate your service, and we value each and every customer’s feedback.
But, ask for the other server on shift, because I just can’t deal with you anymore.
The Server crying in the walk-in fridge