Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

[P]
Bars: A patron's guide.

By sophacles in Op-Ed
Tue May 06, 2003 at 12:06:59 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

As a bartender, I have experienced all sorts of customers.  The good ones and the terrible ones, usually in the same shift.  The terrible customers are uncommon, and the good ones are even less common.  The normal customers unfortunately tend to be closer to bad customers than good customers.  I present to you a guide for making your experience at a bar more pleasant.


Before I begin, I must make a disclaimer, this guide is based mostly on my experience and the experience of other bartenders I have talked to, and is very midwestern (of the US) centric.

A bartender's job is to help create a good experience for customers. This means our first priority is being polite and relating to customers.Our second priority is keeping the peace; that is making sure that customers are not causing trouble for each other.  Finally, we serve drinks. This may seem counter-intuitive, but if the customers wanted to just drink without the bar experience, then they would buy a bottle of thier favorite liquor and drink elsewhere, since it is cheaper.

Bartending is a stressful job.  We often see the worst in people, anger, depression, and alcoholism. We stay at our jobs because we also have a chance to touch people's lives every day. It usually isn't a big event, but cheering someone up, or helping them celebrate, or even just making their day better is a rewarding experience. So the most important rule is to be forgiving of the bartender, especially if the bar is packed and the bartender seems stressed out.

Many customers seem to forget that bartenders are people, not just drink machines. I think this is the main reason why people don't receive the best service a bartender can provide. It is well understood that you as the customer, are there to drink, and that I as the bartender, am there to provide that, but if you treat me well the experience will most likely be better for you. If you follow the basic rules that I post below, hopefully you will have a better time.

Be polite.

It happens quite often that I will say to a patron, "How's it going?" and she replies "Yeah, can I get a bottle of beer."  This is annoying,  a simple "Fine", or "Good, how are you?", or even "Well I'm kind of thirsty" takes almost five seconds, and provides an opening for me to serve you better. My second question is inevitably "What can I get for you?", so if you take the extra time, I will be able to provide better service later.



Another frequent rudeness bartenders seem to encounter is people waving cash in thier face. Bartenders know that if you are standing at the bar without a drink, or a half empty drink and looking at them, you probably need service. Waving cash is rude, there may be other customers that have been waiting longer. We will get to you, hopefully in the order you arrived to the bar. (See the section below on serving order)

The polite way to handle getting a drink, is stand there patiently, perhaps with cash in hand, or on the bar in front of you (closer to your edge of the bar so I don't mistake it for a tip from someone else).  A quick wave at the bartender is also acceptable.  Bartenders take all of these as polite signs that you need a round when I have a chance.

As a bartender, I will try to start a conversation with you, if time permits. I won't interrupt a conversation you are having, unless you need another round, and even then it will be polite, and quick, and at a break in the conversation.  If you do not wish to have a conversation, I understand, just politely let me know. If you give a cold shoulder, or ignore me, the quality of your service will go down.

On tipping.

Bartenders are working, and they get paid less than minimum wage,because patrons are expected to tip.  Simply put, customers who tip get better service. Whether or not you personally agree with tipping, it is our main source of income. Since tipping is a major source of debate, I am only going to offer a couple of quick rules of thumb on this.

Always tip on the first round you buy, it makes a good impression. A common strategy is to tip well the first round, and then just leave a mediocre tip every round afterwards. This is fine.

Some people tip well every other round, this is also fine, because bartenders see this frequently and understand it. Another similar strategy: if it works out that you don't have appropriate cash to tip this round, say "Sorry, I'll tip good next round". I work on the honor system, and  I'll pretend that you tipped me. So if you deliver the next time, bonus points are awarded for honesty.

Otherwise, just tipping every round is the normal policy, and just as good.

How much is an appropriate tip? This depends.  If you are just getting a couple of beers, a dollar or two is just fine, depending on the price of the beers. If you are ordering a round of shots, and each one is different, and requires a lot of work for me to make, tip better.  On a tab, tip around 20% of the bill. Just remember, for the most part, anything less than 50¢ is inappropriate at all times.

Many people, instead of tipping, buy an extra shot for me to take with them. This practice is not as common, but happens enough to mention. Personally I appreciate this, as do most bartenders, however many bars have policies against bartenders drinking while working.  In fact in my town it is illegal, so ask before you do this, unless you don't mind taking an extra shot.  If your bartender turns down the offer, it is not because they are offended or trying to be rude, it is because they can't.

If I am being rude to you, or providing really bad service, please do not tip. This is your way to send a message to the bartender to get his act together, especially if you have tipped on other rounds.  When I don't get a tip, I review the transaction and then decide if the fault is mine or the customer is cheap.

The penalty box

If you are extremely rude, or piss off your bartender in some other way, you may find yourself in the penalty box. That is, you will be ignored, or at least given lowest priority. This is because there are people who are more deserving of my service, those who follow some or all of the guidlines above. After a while you will be given a chance to redeem yourself, when this happens just be polite and all is forgiven.



The penalty box is reserved for the worst offenders. I put someone in the box maybe once per night. It is a drastic measure that is for the most part counter productive to me, and I know this, however sometimes it is deserved.

Serving order

For the most part, bartenders work on a priority queue system. The main factor is the amount of time you have been waiting to be served, however there are a few other factors that are also important. This is a rough (and vastly simplified) description of that order.

Regulars - these are the people that the bartender sees on a daily basis, those people who the bartender pours a drink for as soon as they enter the bar.

People sitting at the bar- people who have been drinking at the bar for a while also have a high priority, mostly because they are right there and who I have been talking to.  This is mostly for convenience, but usually because they also are pretty good at following the guidelines.

Good tippers and polite customers - people who tip and are polite get jumped up in the queue.

Good tippers or polite customers.

Rude people.

Those in the penalty box.

Like I have said this is just a rough description. The actual decision of who to serve next is sometimes just arbitrary, or based on some other factor not explained here, but for the most part the model is correct. Please don't be offended if the bartender serves other customers before you, even though you probably should be next, we are human and make mistakes. After a round or two, you should be able to determine your spot in the queue, and decide if you would like to make it better or not, by following the above guidelines.

Other perks

Following the above guidelines, you will notice other perks to your service besides a higher priority. I try to remember what people have been drinking, so that I don't have to feel like a jerk asking them what they want when they are there for thier 5th pint of Guinness. I also may give you drinks on the house if you have been a good customer. I am also usually much more willing to grant special requests.

Conclusion

I hope that this has been helpful to you. This guide isn't universal or complete, and your results may vary, but for the most part, this is how all of the bars I've been to seem to work, and how most bartenders see the world. If you are looking for another good guide that is very similar, and more relevant to the UK, check out this site. (Thanks to Random Number Generator Troll)

Sponsors

Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure

Login

Poll
My faforite tv bar is:
o Cheers 11%
o The Drunken Clam 13%
o Moe's Tavern 69%
o Other 6%

Votes: 97
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o this site.
o Also by sophacles


Display: Sort:
Bars: A patron's guide. | 525 comments (470 topical, 55 editorial, 0 hidden)
What's "better service"? (2.66 / 6) (#2)
by DesiredUsername on Mon May 05, 2003 at 01:59:38 PM EST

As a person who doesn't believe in tipping, I'd like to know what's the difference between untipped and tipped service. Yes, ha ha, spitting in the beer. Seriously.

On an editorial note, you don't describe what the "penalty box" is. No service at all?

Play 囲碁

Question (4.00 / 1) (#11)
by randinah on Mon May 05, 2003 at 02:24:59 PM EST

Do you not believe in tipping at all (servers, hairdressers, cab drivers, etc) or just in bars?


"Why waste time learning when ignorance is instantaneous?"
[ Parent ]
At all, kind of (3.33 / 6) (#13)
by DesiredUsername on Mon May 05, 2003 at 02:30:18 PM EST

I don't believe in the mandatory tipping we now "enjoy".

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]
well (4.00 / 1) (#15)
by randinah on Mon May 05, 2003 at 02:47:57 PM EST

It's obviously not mandatory, considering you get away with not tipping.

I, as a waitress, even if I know for a fact that you never tip, would have to serve you, and give you the same service I would to a customer that tips very well.


"Why waste time learning when ignorance is instantaneous?"
[ Parent ]
Where do you wait? (2.00 / 2) (#16)
by DesiredUsername on Mon May 05, 2003 at 02:51:26 PM EST

And what exactly is the purpose of tipping?

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]
To Insure Prompt Service (n/t) (1.00 / 1) (#30)
by rantweasel on Mon May 05, 2003 at 03:45:25 PM EST



[ Parent ]
So it is a bribe to get someone to do their job? (5.00 / 1) (#176)
by monkeymind on Tue May 06, 2003 at 04:45:28 AM EST


I believe in Karma. That means I can do bad things to people and assume the deserve it.
[ Parent ]

Yes (none / 0) (#177)
by grouse on Tue May 06, 2003 at 04:48:12 AM EST


You sad bastard!

"Grouse please don't take this the wrong way... To be quite frank, you are throwing my inner Chi out of its harmonious balance with nature." -- Tex Bigballs
[ Parent ]

No (none / 0) (#200)
by transport on Tue May 06, 2003 at 06:54:45 AM EST

It's a bribe to get to do it well.

[ Parent ]
Really? (5.00 / 1) (#386)
by Belgand on Wed May 07, 2003 at 05:03:43 AM EST

Damn... why did I actually have a goddamn work ethic and do the best that I felt I could despite making minimum wage, not getting breaks, tips, or even any common courtesy from the management? I never asked for or demanded a tip and didn't feel I was getting stiffed because I didn't get any. A bribe shouldn't be necessary to get someone to do their job well... not being fired should. As for my old job? Well... it sucked and I quit and got a better one that paid more with slightly more intelligent people working there... and continued to do the best that I could.

[ Parent ]
I don't understand (1.00 / 1) (#491)
by transport on Sat May 10, 2003 at 02:10:36 PM EST

I genuinely believe that society couldn't function without honourable people/"suckers" like you.
 
However, I fail to see the connection between your comment and mine. Is it that the use of the word "bribe" offends you? I was, of course, using the word in a purely pragmatic sense, not a moral one. In this sense, any wage is simply the price for which you sell your labour. If your labour is of high quality, you can sell it for a higher price. I think it makes some sense to call a tip a bribe, since it is a method to reward someone for their service which circumvents the "proper" wage system.

[ Parent ]
Could be... (5.00 / 2) (#219)
by squigly on Tue May 06, 2003 at 08:58:44 AM EST

Isn't that what wages are?

[ Parent ]
How hard will you work (none / 0) (#442)
by mcgrew on Wed May 07, 2003 at 09:31:27 PM EST

for $2.25 an hour? Because that's all they have to apy waits. You get ripped off, they get ripped off, Joe gets fat.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

What Tipping is For (4.66 / 3) (#41)
by randinah on Mon May 05, 2003 at 04:12:46 PM EST

I wait (at present time) at a restaurant called East Side Mario's in Canada.

I get tipped because culturally patrons are expected to do so, knowing that a waitress that serves alcohol only gets 5.95 CDN/hour for some pretty messy and grueling work at times. Minimum wage in Canada by the way is : 6.85 CDN/hour.

To tip or not tip is completely up to the patron, unless you happen to be at one of those restaurants that enforces a 10% tip on tables over 6 or whatever. East Side Marios is not one of those places. But anyway, if a patron decides not to tip, there is nothing the server can do about it because the service has already been given by the time the tip arrives. If the patron comes back, I, as a waitress would be scolded or fired if I were to give the non tipper bad service, spit in his or her drink, or not serve the patron at all.

If you don't believe that tipping should be the patrons job and that restaurants should simply pay the waitress more or give a cut of the food that the waitress sells or whatever, exhibiting that attitude simply by not tipping is doing nothing but saving yourself a few dollars everytime you go to a restaurant, and irritating servers who work very very hard.


"Why waste time learning when ignorance is instantaneous?"
[ Parent ]
Not tipping (4.00 / 4) (#69)
by lakeland on Mon May 05, 2003 at 06:57:34 PM EST

You're not thinking far enough ahead. We live in a capitalist economy. That means that money talks. A few other things, like labour laws, also have an impact but for the purposes of this discussion they can be ignored. (Although I do wonder if you declare your tips as income).

Lets start with a different fundamental belief: "I believe I should be able to eat for the cost of the ingredents". With this belief I cannot go to restaraunts. If I tried, then I would be arrested for failing to pay the bill. Do you see that I am entitled to hold this belief but can't save a few dollars at your expense as a result? Some beliefs can legally be excercised, and others cannot.

Now lets try tipping. I believe it is your employer's job to pay you and my job to pay your employer. My contract with you is indirect and if I have any problem with your service then I will take it up with your employer, just as I would complain about poor food or a dirty toilet. It is all part of the deal. Lets look what happens if I excercise this belief.

Firstly, as you point out, I save a few dollars. Great, I can always do with a few more dollars. Next, your employer gets the same amount of money, so they don't care. This is important because it means the problem isn't with them. Finally, you lose a few dollars. So, you should do something about it. I am not going to change the way I act just because you are essentially begging from me.

One thing you could do is mutter under your breath and go back to work. Certainly your work is moderatly skilled, and you deserve more than minimum wage. Perhaps people with my beliefs are too rare to drive you to an action. This isn't my problem, I can believe whatever hogwash I like and as long as it is legal etc. I can excercise that belief. It is your problem because you've got less cash than you'd like.

Another thing you can do is quit and look for a job that pays honestly. Should enough patrons refuse to tip you, many other staff will obviously take this route. When employers find they can't get good staff for $6/hr they will pay more, perhaps $10/hr and menu prices will go up. A similar alternative is compulsary tipping or table service fees. I dislike this because it makes comparing restaraunt prices more work, much as I dislike being charged for water or vegetables with my meal, and I vote against these by eating at different establishments, unless they are sufficiently better for me to bite my tounge.

You see that the majority cannot get away saving the few dollars long term? The system fairly naturally adjusts to the absence of tips and instead of me having to worry how much I should tip, and you having to worry when your next tip is arriving, we can just get on with it.

Oh, and don't get the idea that I'm some miser not willing to pay for good service. I'm quite happy to pay say $10 more, but I want that to be upfront in the menu charge.

[ Parent ]

Ugh (3.57 / 7) (#74)
by randinah on Mon May 05, 2003 at 07:25:47 PM EST

Although I do wonder if you declare your tips as income.

My tips are declared as income. Not only do I make less than minimum wage, but my tip salary gets garnished as well - out of my paycheck. I get taxed about fifty percent of my working wages. (5.95 CDN/hr)

Lets start with a different fundamental belief: "I believe I should be able to eat for the cost of the ingredents". With this belief I cannot go to restaraunts. If I tried, then I would be arrested for failing to pay the bill. Do you see that I am entitled to hold this belief but can't save a few dollars at your expense as a result? Some beliefs can legally be excercised, and others cannot.

Dude, if you want to eat at cost of ingredients, become a farmer. A pasta dish at the restaurant I work at is 10-15 dollars CDN. For Pasta! And maybe some little shrimpies or chicken. The amount we charge for caeser salad is at a 2000% profit increase of cost. I don't know what you're saying at the end of this paragraph. If you don't go to restaurants because you want to eat for as close to cost as possible, that's your business and not mine. Our paths won't run into eachother because : You won't be going to restaurants in the first place.

One thing you could do is mutter under your breath and go back to work. Certainly your work is moderatly skilled, and you deserve more than minimum wage. Perhaps people with my beliefs are too rare to drive you to an action. This isn't my problem, I can believe whatever hogwash I like and as long as it is legal etc. I can excercise that belief. It is your problem because you've got less cash than you'd like.

One thing you can do is mutter under your breath and tip me for giving you good service. That's the thing about going to a restaurant..you're not just paying for a pile of food..you're paying for the ambiance, the amiable server, the convenience of having ..well..a server for an hour or so. Yes, you can believe whatever "hogwash" you like, just as long as you admit that it is hogwash, and you only believe it to save yourself a couple of bucks everytime you choose to eat out. Just don't blame the waitress for expecting a tip.

Firstly, as you point out, I save a few dollars. Great, I can always do with a few more dollars. Next, your employer gets the same amount of money, so they don't care. This is important because it means the problem isn't with them. Finally, you lose a few dollars. So, you should do something about it. I am not going to change the way I act just because you are essentially begging from me.

Excuse me? Do you see me panhandling at your table when you eat out? I am not begging from you, I'm providing you a service under the unspoken agreement that you will provide me with at least ten percent of the bill because I serve you plenty of smiles and hot food. Your philosophy of begging does not work, and I take offense to it.

Another thing you can do is quit and look for a job that pays honestly. Should enough patrons refuse to tip you, many other staff will obviously take this route. When employers find they can't get good staff for $6/hr they will pay more, perhaps $10/hr and menu prices will go up. A similar alternative is compulsary tipping or table service fees. I dislike this because it makes comparing restaraunt prices more work, much as I dislike being charged for water or vegetables with my meal, and I vote against these by eating at different establishments, unless they are sufficiently better for me to bite my tounge.

To be absolutely honest, the pay at restaurants with the tips is absolutely friggin' brilliant. I make loads of cash. Why? Because 99% of people are decent, and tip well. It's the other 1% that don't tip, and try to justify it in their head with a bunch of - you said it first - "hogwash" about how they want to cut out the middle man, waitresses are beggers, they're paying the restaurant, not the server- whatever convenient theory they subscribe to. So go ahead, save your couple bucks. You won't get fined for shoplifting. But there is no way you can say you aren't tecnically stealing from a server that you don't tip.

Oh, and don't get the idea that I'm some miser not willing to pay for good service. I'm quite happy to pay say $10 more, but I want that to be upfront in the menu charge.

You said earlier you want to eat at cost. You must know that you're eating at 1000% to 2000% percent of cost alone without the tip when you eat at a restaurant?

All I ask of you is that the next time you are at a pub or restaurant, consider the fact that your server is probably a student, running around everynight to pay off her student loan so she has the skills to work at a job in which she doesn't have to essentially, as you say, beg at her tables for tips.


"Why waste time learning when ignorance is instantaneous?"
[ Parent ]
You aren't reading the previous (5.00 / 5) (#96)
by terpy on Mon May 05, 2003 at 09:53:39 PM EST

comment correctly. At least I believe. I think the point that was trying to be made is that there are some things you can do in a restaurant (tip or not tip) and some you cannot do (not pay the bill).

As for me, I fall into the category of people who tip pretty good for good service. And not at all or an insulting amount for lousy service. A tip for mediocre service depends on my mood.

A tip says "Job well done and appreciated". A tip does *not* say, "Here is a little bit of extra money, because you have a low paying job". Tips are compliments. When I do a good job at work, I don't get compliments, because it's my job to do a "good" job. When I do a great job, I may or may not get complimented or noticed. When it happens, I am pleased, when I am not recognized for my work I may be a little bummed for a minute or so - but I don't hold it against someone. And I certainly don't expect the grace of other people.

---
"I need a spotlight with a baseball bat silhouette, so I can summon Armaphine from his Fortress of Clue."-Parent ]

You probably do get tipped at your job... (none / 0) (#162)
by ShadowNode on Tue May 06, 2003 at 04:18:16 AM EST

They just call it a 'bonus'. Same thing, really.

[ Parent ]
"bonus"? LOL! (none / 0) (#446)
by mcgrew on Wed May 07, 2003 at 09:48:31 PM EST

I've saved my employer literally millions. No fucking bonus, I'm lucky to keep my $35k/yr job!

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Tipping vs. not tipping (5.00 / 1) (#147)
by chrisvdp74656 on Tue May 06, 2003 at 02:55:44 AM EST

As an Australian, I feel I should put in my 2c.  The way I see this is that waiters and bartenders are employed by the restaurant, not the patrons, to provide service.  Therefore it is an unreasonable expectation for the patron to pay the waiter for a service that they are already being paid to provide.  It is the responsibility of the restaurant to charge patrons of that restaurant for the services rendered by the employees of that restaurant, and to pass on these charges to the employees.
You wouldn't tip a chef for cooking your meal, would you?

Please note that I am not against tipping for exceptional service; just that as a general rule I think it's unreasonable to expect it.  I also would expect that anyone I was being served by was employed at minimum wage or better. Chris van der Pennen

PS. First ever post on k5!

[ Parent ]

It's a social convention (none / 0) (#230)
by ShadowNode on Tue May 06, 2003 at 09:55:09 AM EST

To allow part of waitstaffs pay to be determined by the clientele, so they have a reason to care about the level of service.

And yes, it's my understanding that the kitchen staff usually get a cut of tips.



[ Parent ]
Social my ass.... (none / 0) (#447)
by mcgrew on Wed May 07, 2003 at 09:52:38 PM EST

It's called exploitation. And we complain about China!

Anybody who legally makes less than the minimum wage should be stealing from the cash drawer. Turnabout is, after all, fair play.

Oh, and register to vote, VOTE, and write your congresscritter. Not that it'll do any good against his "campaign contribution".

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

I agree (none / 0) (#460)
by ShadowNode on Wed May 07, 2003 at 11:38:15 PM EST

Restaraunts shouldn't be able to get away with paying less than minimum wage due to tips. (I don't thnk they do where I live, but I could be wrong.)

They're also essentially banning corporate 'contributions' here in Canada ;)



[ Parent ]
Hrm (none / 0) (#262)
by randinah on Tue May 06, 2003 at 12:43:38 PM EST

You wouldn't tip a chef for cooking your meal, would you?

Actually, 1.5% of my tips everynight that I work goes to the chefs. Another 1.5% of my tips goes to the hosts and hostess. Another 1% of my tips goes to the bartender. I lose four percent of my tips everynight to the other staff of the restaurant, so yes, you are indirectly tipping the chef - if you go to my restaurant, anyway.

To be fair: I've worked at three restaurants, and this is the first one that I've worked at that this sort of policy exists.

To the people who are muttering to themselves: "If you don't like it, than leave!" - I just started at this restaurant about two weeks ago, and I probably will be leaving shortly.


"Why waste time learning when ignorance is instantaneous?"
[ Parent ]
Do you tip in Fast Food Joints? (none / 0) (#175)
by monkeymind on Tue May 06, 2003 at 04:42:16 AM EST


I believe in Karma. That means I can do bad things to people and assume the deserve it.
[ Parent ]

What's your point? (none / 0) (#260)
by randinah on Tue May 06, 2003 at 12:39:34 PM EST

A fast food counter person makes more than minimum wage. (in my experience anyway) Also, there is by far a lot less work that goes into fast food service than restaurant service. (e.g. - when you walk in and order your meal, after you've sat down and started eating, if you want a refill, desert, an appetizer, etc, you can't expect the counter person to come to you - you go to them).


"Why waste time learning when ignorance is instantaneous?"
[ Parent ]
not necessarily commensurate with work (none / 0) (#319)
by Delirium on Tue May 06, 2003 at 04:07:55 PM EST

A fast food person doesn't do much, sure, but a bartender doesn't always do much either. If I order a beer and the bartender simply gets the beer, opens it, and asks if I'd like anything else, I wouldn't say that's any more work than the fast-food worker does in getting my hamburger, putting it on the tray, and asking if I'd like any condiments.

All the fast-food jobs I know of pay minimum wage as well (generally around $5.50/hr or so).

[ Parent ]

waitstaff (none / 0) (#366)
by randinah on Tue May 06, 2003 at 09:19:43 PM EST

I'm going to have to agree with you on that one. I'm kind of arguing from the point of a server at a restaurant.

Except for one thing: A bartender has to have som skill. Beer is one thing, but knowing wines, knowing how to make a wonderful Margarita or martini and such and such is another thing. I'll tip a bartender really well if he or she makes me a good mixable drink, cuz it's worth it.


"Why waste time learning when ignorance is instantaneous?"
[ Parent ]
I agree with that (none / 0) (#369)
by Delirium on Wed May 07, 2003 at 12:34:18 AM EST

I'd fully support tipping a bartender for making anything reasonably complex. I'm just wondering why it's expected that they get $1 for the 10 seconds it takes to open a beer and hand it to me.

[ Parent ]
Bottled Beer? (none / 0) (#424)
by wierdo on Wed May 07, 2003 at 12:25:10 PM EST

You're expected to give the dollar because you're stupid enough to drink bottled beer, instead of draught. :)

-Nathan



[ Parent ]
Dude- (none / 0) (#449)
by mcgrew on Wed May 07, 2003 at 09:58:15 PM EST

They have MILLER on draught- UGH! Secondly, how much harder is it to fill a glass with draught beer than it is for McBurgerguy to fill a glass of pepsi? It ain't rocket science, after all.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

My Point is (none / 0) (#522)
by monkeymind on Thu May 22, 2003 at 05:44:02 AM EST

That as much as you put it down it is still a service industry job. So where exctly is the line drawn, tip a barkeep, no tip maccas.

I have worked both and they require pretty much the same level of service, attention to detail and genreal immunity to the large number of idiots that surround you each day.

I believe in Karma. That means I can do bad things to people and assume the deserve it.
[ Parent ]

Say that again? (none / 0) (#250)
by tzanger on Tue May 06, 2003 at 12:14:26 PM EST

I get taxed about fifty percent of my working wages. (5.95 CDN/hr)

Just how much do you make on tips to be in the highest tax bracket in Canada??! I make $80k between my two jobs and my tax rate is ~33% before I start taking off deductions to get me into the lower brackets.



[ Parent ]
Explanation (none / 0) (#259)
by randinah on Tue May 06, 2003 at 12:36:51 PM EST

Let's try this again:

My tips are not directly taxed. So at the nd of the night, if I made 80 dollars in tips, I go home with 80 dollars cash.

Now, the government is going to want to tax my tip money. Since they cannot ask me to give up twenty five or so percent of my tips every night that I work, they just take extra taxes out of my paycheck every two weeks, and that ends up being about fifty percent.


"Why waste time learning when ignorance is instantaneous?"
[ Parent ]
If they do that (none / 0) (#265)
by tzanger on Tue May 06, 2003 at 12:48:45 PM EST

then you get a nice big refund in April -- they can't tax you for more than you claim, and if you are putting extra money away every week in the form of extra taxes (dumb idea) you just get it back at tax time.



[ Parent ]
my understanding (none / 0) (#341)
by cyclopatra on Tue May 06, 2003 at 05:47:48 PM EST

is that servers generally end up with some percentage of their sales 'declared' for them as tip income, which is then withheld against on their paychecks and stated on their year-end tax documents. So they don't get it back - because the gov't assumes they are making at least that much in tips, and taxes accordingly.

Cyclopatra
All your .sigs are belong to us.
remove mypants to email
[ Parent ]

That's disgusting. (none / 0) (#342)
by tzanger on Tue May 06, 2003 at 06:17:28 PM EST

I am very sorry to hear that this is practised by my government. What is the average percentage of sales taken?



[ Parent ]
Not just your government (none / 0) (#451)
by mcgrew on Wed May 07, 2003 at 10:03:11 PM EST

Down here too. IIRC waits make $2.25 and are taxed at minimum wage per hour ($5.65). Yes, it is disgusting.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Wow, they lie down here (none / 0) (#450)
by mcgrew on Wed May 07, 2003 at 10:01:08 PM EST

Between Federal income tax, state income tax, social security tax, madicare tax, beer tax, cigarette tax, property tax, and sales tax I'm giving half my ficking income to various fed, state and local govs- and I have to pay my own health insurance!

Damn!

If I didn't hate cold weather I'd move to focking Canada! (MMMMM-Moosehead...)

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Theft it is not (none / 0) (#254)
by tzanger on Tue May 06, 2003 at 12:17:52 PM EST

But there is no way you can say you aren't tecnically stealing from a server that you don't tip.

That's bullshit. I'm not taking anything from you, there is no contract (verbal, written or implied) that says I must tip. I tip for good service, but that's just me. If I choose not to tip, that is in no way shape or form technically stealing.



[ Parent ]
Misunderstood (none / 0) (#257)
by randinah on Tue May 06, 2003 at 12:34:04 PM EST

I'm talking about a person that never ever tips a server. I wouldn't tip either if the service was shitty.

Although tipping is not a contract that a person signs to, tipping is a cultural standard and that holds some weight. I sign onto a serving job at a restaurant, the restaurant expects that I will make tips, I expect to make tips, and 99% of the customers expect to give a tip, unless, as I mentioned before, the service is sub-standard.

I'm sorry, but I see no valor in the cultural crusade some people like to go on in the sole interest of saving a couple dollars every time they go out to eat. If they really want to change the service industry, they can open a restaurant and pay the servers nine to twelve dollars an hour.


"Why waste time learning when ignorance is instantaneous?"
[ Parent ]
Why I go... (none / 0) (#383)
by Belgand on Wed May 07, 2003 at 04:34:25 AM EST

Personally as a student I go to restaraunts weekly. Why? Well.. it's sure as hell not because I have the money. Living in the dorms I tend to make it on about $50/mo if I can. I go because I have little to no other option on Sunday evenings when the cafeteria isn't open. Again... look at the base reasons. People go to restaraunts to get food they can't provide for themselves or do not wish to.

As for stealing, it's not stealing since you never had it to begin with. If I took a tip someone else had left for you off a table then I'd be stealing. As it is I'm no more stealing than you are from me. You agreed to work the job based on the theoretical idea that you'd get a lot more money than your salary (or almost any other minimum wage job) because people feel compelled to give you money for whatever convenient reason you come up with: cultural standard, you don't get paid enough, they're just nice people, courtesy (service is not mentioned here... this is only mandatory tipping under discussion). If you want to get the same amount of money all the time then get a job that guarantees it, not one where it comes from convention or pseudo-begging and whining.

[ Parent ]

Students and Stealing (none / 0) (#409)
by randinah on Wed May 07, 2003 at 09:37:48 AM EST

Are you saying you can't tip because you can't afford it? If you answered yes, here's another question: Do you realize that a restaurant will mark up their food (depending on the ingredients) 500 - 2000% of cost?

Why don't you go buy some ramen noodles? Or some microwave dinners if you're literally trying to live off of 50 dollars/month?

As far as stealing goes: I believe I said up in my comment that a person is technically stealing from me. I only say that because when I take on my job, I serve all of my tables as well as I possibly can under the assumption that I will get tipped for it. If I don't, I'm losing quite a lot of money, because by the time you're gone, I've spent about a half hour of my time on you that couldn't been spent given better service to other tables that do tip. Maybe you should try a little empathy here. Most of the servers I've worked with are just trying to pay their way through college just like you.


"Why waste time learning when ignorance is instantaneous?"
[ Parent ]
Technically (5.00 / 1) (#429)
by grouse on Wed May 07, 2003 at 02:47:08 PM EST

No, it may not fit in with the social customs that they tip you (in the US), but technically, they aren't stealing from you. They have not taken or failed to deliver anything that you are legally entitled to (unless you have a mandatory service charge listed on the menu).

Disclaimer: I always tip waitpersons regardless of a legal requirement.

You sad bastard!

"Grouse please don't take this the wrong way... To be quite frank, you are throwing my inner Chi out of its harmonious balance with nature." -- Tex Bigballs
[ Parent ]

Technicalities (none / 0) (#431)
by randinah on Wed May 07, 2003 at 03:32:10 PM EST

Since when did stealing only have legal or illegal implications? Things are not always black and white.

Just because I can't take a customer to court for stealing from me (by not tipping) - does not mean that I don't feel as if they are not withholding something that I believe I am entitled to - for giving the best service I can. I want to make it clear that if I have given a table rotten service - neglecting them, being rude, giving them cold food, etc - I don't feel I deserve a tip. Sometimes bad things happen and I can't give every table that I have the best service they deserve. I usually know when I don't deserve a tip - usually customers are wonderful and tip me something anyway - but if they don't I completely understand.


"Why waste time learning when ignorance is instantaneous?"
[ Parent ]
You used the word "technically" (5.00 / 1) (#432)
by grouse on Wed May 07, 2003 at 04:10:52 PM EST

Which means "based on or marked by a strict or legal interpretation" (Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th Ed.). You may feel they are stealing from you but technically you are incorrect.

You sad bastard!

"Grouse please don't take this the wrong way... To be quite frank, you are throwing my inner Chi out of its harmonious balance with nature." -- Tex Bigballs
[ Parent ]

Oh. My. God! (none / 0) (#435)
by randinah on Wed May 07, 2003 at 05:48:38 PM EST

I cannot believe you are being this anal!

Read defininition four.

Really. I can't believe it's come to this.


"Why waste time learning when ignorance is instantaneous?"
[ Parent ]
This is funny (5.00 / 1) (#437)
by grouse on Wed May 07, 2003 at 07:53:31 PM EST

You complain that I am being anal by citing dictionary definitions, and then you cite them yourself? And doing that by citing a definition that does not support your case? You are welcome to explain how your use of the word is scientific in the least, or how it is a similar use of the word as in "a technical analysis."

Just because your expectations are not met, it does not mean you are being stolen from. Let's call a spade a spade, hm?

You sad bastard!

"Grouse please don't take this the wrong way... To be quite frank, you are throwing my inner Chi out of its harmonious balance with nature." -- Tex Bigballs
[ Parent ]

You are angry at the wrong entity (none / 0) (#452)
by mcgrew on Wed May 07, 2003 at 10:08:11 PM EST

Your employer is USING YOU. He is the one ripping you off, not the guy paying what th emenu says an item should cost.

There is a sign in a bar downtown that says "We only cheat tourists and drunks." They should add "bartenders and wait staff."

It isn't the cheapassed customer, it is your empoyer.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Ummmm (none / 0) (#459)
by randinah on Wed May 07, 2003 at 11:24:08 PM EST

What entry level employer doesn't use its employees?

The way I figure it, at my age and education level (20, haven't started university yet) - I'm going to get kicked around and used by any employer be it Starbucks, PNC Bank, Perkins Restaurant, or Walmart. The only difference is, at a restaurant, I'm getting payed about double to get kicked around and used.


"Why waste time learning when ignorance is instantaneous?"
[ Parent ]
Food... (none / 0) (#445)
by mcgrew on Wed May 07, 2003 at 09:46:06 PM EST

That's the thing about going to a restaurant..you're you good service. That's the thing about going to a restaurant..you're not just paying for a pile of food..

Look, now, I've been defending you here, but FUCK ambiance. You're saying that because a place is a greasy spoon palace that's the only place open at 3:00 AM I should tip for ambioance??? That's insane!

There's a fat chick in the booth behind me rocking back and forth and shaking MT seat, while some rap is playing on th ejulebox... and you want me to pay YOU for ambiance??? Honey, for THAT kind of ambience you should be paying ME!

Look, I'm on your side here, but stop with the bullshit already!

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

What about sales tax? (none / 0) (#164)
by ShadowNode on Tue May 06, 2003 at 04:20:06 AM EST

Menues don't usually include sales tax in the price, how is that any different from omitting the socially expected tip tax?

[ Parent ]
Simple (none / 0) (#170)
by grouse on Tue May 06, 2003 at 04:28:39 AM EST

You're legally required to pay sales tax according to the laws of your locality. You aren't required to pay a tip. Unless it says so in the menu.

You sad bastard!

"Grouse please don't take this the wrong way... To be quite frank, you are throwing my inner Chi out of its harmonious balance with nature." -- Tex Bigballs
[ Parent ]

So? (none / 0) (#227)
by ShadowNode on Tue May 06, 2003 at 09:30:33 AM EST

The posters complaint was that expectation of a tip was somehow not 'upfront', when it's just as apparent as sales taxes.

[ Parent ]
Maybe in the US (none / 0) (#210)
by Gorgonzola on Tue May 06, 2003 at 08:19:06 AM EST

But elsewhere the menus do include sales tax, or value added tax as it is more commonly known.
--
A page a day keeps ignorance of our cultural past away, or you can do your bit for collaborative media even if you haven't anything new or insightful to say.

[ Parent ]
not in Canada /nt (none / 0) (#226)
by ShadowNode on Tue May 06, 2003 at 09:25:38 AM EST



[ Parent ]
I'm not sure you're helping anyone (none / 0) (#356)
by Homburg on Tue May 06, 2003 at 08:17:01 PM EST

You say:
Perhaps people with my beliefs are too rare to drive you to an action. This isn't my problem, I can believe whatever hogwash I like and as long as it is legal etc. I can excercise that belief.
Given that most people do tip, the only value in your non-tipping can be symbollic, representing your dislike of the tipping system. But how does this symbolic action help anyone? Surely you could tip (and thereby help the exploited serving staff, which is surely the point of the operation), while still advocating to anyone who'll listen that you think waitors should be paid a secure wage (and should organise to fight for one, too).

I agree with your dislike of tipping. A system where people who work hard get paid less than minimum wage and are supposed to be thankful for the 'generousity' that tops this up to a fair level. But I don't see how failing to tip helps anyone but yourself.

[ Parent ]

Tips as income (none / 0) (#443)
by mcgrew on Wed May 07, 2003 at 09:34:34 PM EST

In the US, you are taxed as if you were tipped, regardless of whether or not you did.

Waits need a fucking UNION.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

The world ain't like that, son. (none / 0) (#444)
by mcgrew on Wed May 07, 2003 at 09:40:05 PM EST

There are more hungry people than jobs. And not everyone shares your outrage. Apathy exixts- deal with it. If you don't tip you're a cheap bastard, not the SOB who won't pay a living wage.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Irritating the servers (3.20 / 5) (#71)
by DesiredUsername on Mon May 05, 2003 at 06:59:45 PM EST

Hopefully they direct their anger in the correct direction: at their employers and the legal loopholes they are jumping through.

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]
enough (4.71 / 7) (#87)
by tps12 on Mon May 05, 2003 at 08:57:43 PM EST

I can't believe you started this again.

Your argument seems to be that the tipping system is unfair because it's unreliable; a person's wages should be between that person the person's employer. I would counter that the wage and tip combined allow both employers and customers to determine a waitperson's pay, making waitpeople accountable to both. It also allows the customer to separately pay for food and service. This provides greater exchange of information, at the expense of some time and arithmatic. This is why tipping is desirable, even—and especially—in a capitalist economic system.

Further, there seems to be little evidence that there is any real problem with tipping. Waitpeople generally don't mind it; they accept that their take home pay will vary from week to week. In fact, the only thing they dislike about it is when people decide not to tip at all. I imagine were you to explain your one-man crusade to a friendly waitstaffer after stiffing him or her, you'd be treated to smack on the upside region of your head. In short, the only problem with the tip system is your trying to "fix" it.

Finally, I'm highly suspicious of any moral stand that benefits the stander financially. I don't listen when Ford tells me to buy American either. It would be one thing if you were railing against tipping while running a restaurant that paid everyone $8 an hour. AFAIK, this is not the case. In which case I believe that Mr. Occum would call you a cheapskate. Note that I'm also less than enthused by an article by a bartender encouraging people to be generous with their tips. But that's a whole different bottle of fish.

[ Parent ]

I think you don't understand the reason (5.00 / 1) (#203)
by transport on Tue May 06, 2003 at 07:04:29 AM EST

<quote>
In short, the only problem with the tip system is your trying to "fix" it.
</quote>
 
That, and it - judging from this discussion - is making some customers uncomfortable, since they are being forced to pay for something which they don't think is worth it. Do you really want to make (potential) customers uncomfortable?
 
Also, I can't help thinking that this kind of argument would apply to slavery before the American civil war.

[ Parent ]
wtf? (none / 0) (#204)
by tps12 on Tue May 06, 2003 at 07:17:25 AM EST

Tipping makes a small minority of people uncomfortable, but evidently not enough to drive the system to change (is it were).

Good point about slavery. I bet Hitler didn't tip.

[ Parent ]

Effect of a minority (none / 0) (#220)
by transport on Tue May 06, 2003 at 09:00:01 AM EST

This isn't a democratic vote - it's about business. I'm thinking that even a minority is worth serving, especially since you can do it without harming the majority. As has been noted many times in this discussion, waiters and restaurants in other parts of the world do just fine with a more voluntary tipping convention. AND they also get to serve this minority, so my guess is they have more customers, i.e. have better preconditions (all other thing equal) to do business. Why are you afraid of changing the system? What is so great about it? Are you going to argue that it motivates the waiter, even though no-one (as I have read this discussion) is arguing for abolishing tipping entirely?
 
The point I was trying to make about slavery is that it was a well established system of oppressment which was accepted by both oppressors and (many) oppressees. The analogy is probably bad, but I was trying to make the point that I consider it oppressing to systematically pay less than minimum wage, as I have now (in this discussion) learnt is the law in the USA.
 
My bet is that Hitler either tipped like a king and/or had waiters shot if there was dust on his plate.

[ Parent ]
No monetary gain to customers in no-tipping places (5.00 / 1) (#207)
by driptray on Tue May 06, 2003 at 08:05:03 AM EST

Finally, I'm highly suspicious of any moral stand that benefits the stander financially.

The extra wages paid by employers to bar tenders, waiters, etc. in civilised countries such as Australia are passed on to customers in the form of higher prices. The customer makes no financial gain from this type of arrangement. The argument is about maintaining a level of dignity in the relationship between customer and employee. To an average Australian, tipping is an embarrassing, demeaning, and undignified process for both parties.
--
We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating
[ Parent ]

Responses (5.00 / 1) (#212)
by DesiredUsername on Tue May 06, 2003 at 08:26:27 AM EST

...the wage and tip combined allow both employers and customers to determine a waitperson's pay, making waitpeople accountable to both.

I'm not saying we should ban tipping. I'm saying we shouldn't require it.

Waitpeople generally don't mind it; they accept that their take home pay will vary from week to week.

Kidding, right? You've never heard of the waitress who has to force herself to be cheerful and happy around the pigs she serves so that she can support herself and her small child? Because if she doesn't make the tips, she's making below minimum wage? Also, nearly everyone on the other side of the transaction, even if they like tipping for exceptional service, hates being forced to.

I'm not sure that what I'm taking is a "moral" stand. And the dubious claim that the stand benefits me financially isn't enough to invalidate it. Why "dubious"? Because if I had my way and servers were paid by their employers instead of by me directly, I'd end up paying just as much (if not more, considering I don't tip now) for my food and drink as I would under the tip system.

When I was a kid, we didn't eat at restaurants much (and those we did were places that didn't use servers). So I didn't grow up with tipping. When I found out it was expected, naturally I had a cheapskate reaction: "Why do I have to pay extra money?" However, that isn't what's driving my quest--I'm happy to tip well for exceptional service. It's more a desire to streamline an inefficient (and unfair) system to do what it was designed to do.

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]

not kidding (1.00 / 1) (#221)
by tps12 on Tue May 06, 2003 at 09:02:28 AM EST

You've never heard of the waitress who has to force herself to be cheerful and happy around the pigs she serves so that she can support herself and her small child? Because if she doesn't make the tips, she's making below minimum wage?
This has nothing to do with tipping.
Also, nearly everyone on the other side of the transaction, even if they like tipping for exceptional service, hates being forced to.
I think this is just false.
Because if I had my way and servers were paid by their employers instead of by me directly, I'd end up paying just as much (if not more, considering I don't tip now) for my food and drink as I would under the tip system.
OTOH, I think we both know that that's unlikely to happen. Which means you stand to save a tidy 15% on every meal out for the rest of your life.
It's more a desire to streamline an inefficient (and unfair) system to do what it was designed to do.
You have not demonstrated that tipping is either ineffecient or unfair. And social conventions are generally not "designed" "to do" anything.

I stand by my claim that not tipping when it is expected is ethically (though not legally) a breach of the tacit contract you agree to by accepting the service. It's anti-social and destructive, and benefits nobody but yourself.

[ Parent ]

Items (none / 0) (#224)
by DesiredUsername on Tue May 06, 2003 at 09:23:58 AM EST

[My example] has nothing to do with tipping.

You said that waitpeople like the tip system. My claim is that people who, because they would otherwise starve, are forced to kowtow to impolite (or even tyrannical) customers probably don't.

I've been to restaurants with a number of different people and only one of them seemed to genuinely enjoy tipping. He's an 80 year-old rich guy who loves pomp and ceremony (as long as it's focused on him bestowing gifts on the unwashed masses). Everyone else either hates it or "just does it".

...you stand to save a tidy 15% on every meal out for the rest of your life.

Perhaps, but only by accident. I'm not advocating a system where everyone tips but me. I'm advocating a system where everyone tips if they want to. When the occasional referenda come up about raising minimum wage for waitpeople, I vote in favor. There's not a lot else I can do. If it turns out that I fail, then yes, I save money.

If tipping is not "designed" "to do" anything, why am I forced to do it? Even the ever-present "Howyadoin, fine" ritual exchange is "designed" to do something, namely establish an ACK/SYN. If a system has literally zero purpose, it's a waste.

There is no breach of tacit contract. The server is not bringing my food because I will tip, the server is bringing my food because the employer requires it (there is a very real contract on that end). If there's a contract between me and server, what is it that the server is required to do?

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]

As a server (3.00 / 2) (#244)
by hstink on Tue May 06, 2003 at 10:57:50 AM EST

If you told me before ordering that you did not intend on leaving a tip, they following changes would occur in my behaviour:
  • I would not smile
  • I would refuse conversation
  • I would not refill drinks as often
  • I would decline to mention employee favourites (most food for least money, etc.)
  • I would, after taking your order, check with other tables instead of rushing directly to the station to enter your order, lengthening the time you have to wait
  • Deliver food for other tables before delivering yours, should they come up at around the same time
  • Check back rarely, if ever
  • Take a longer time to print and get change for the check
If you don't leave a tip for me, you are costing me money, since I am required to donate some of my tips to kitchen staff.  Therefore, I make a negative amount of money by serving you.  Why on earth should I jeapordise the service to tables that I will actually make money from by giving service which is only optionally good to a cheapskate?

Regardless, if you didn't tell me up front, every worker in the restaurant would soon know that you don't tip, and subsequent visits would meet even less enthusiastic service.  Any consultation with a manager would probably result in your being informed that leaving a tip is expected behaviour by legislation and that you're not welcome in this restaurant anymore.

Just some pointers.

-h

[ Parent ]

At least you answered my original question (none / 0) (#247)
by DesiredUsername on Tue May 06, 2003 at 11:49:19 AM EST

Now I know I'm not missing that much. I don't look for conversation from my waitpeople, for instance, nor do I want them to keep popping up every 10 seconds to ask if "everything is OK" while I have my mouth full.

Also, no offense, but I hope you realize what an Uncle Tom you sound like in your last sentence. Your employer is the one who supports the legislation that forces you to be nice to people you don't like so that they (the people you don't like) will throw some spare change in your direction.

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]

If you don't mind bad service (1.00 / 1) (#267)
by hstink on Tue May 06, 2003 at 01:09:17 PM EST

I wouldn't mind some tables set aside for people who don't want service - it'd sure make my job easier.  They could get a writing pad and write down what they want to eat and drink.  I could walk up and fetch it, enter it in, bring the food and drinks with a check, then forget the person exists.  I know a few people who that would be perfectly suited for, actually.

Having worked in both Australia and the USA (tipping is a rarity in the former), I can say that service levels are about the same, employee morale is about the same, but take-home pay is better in the USA.  Sure you have to deal with sour cheapskates who end up costing you money, because of an inability to grasp the idea of a social convention, but they are a pretty rare breed.  Most people come out looking for a good time and good food, and the harder I work the more money I make.  If a customer is a royal pain, they are put in their place by management.  Managers who kowtow to abusive customers just do the restaurant a disservice.

I think you're just grasping this moral no-tipping stance out of cheapness - you know it's not affecting the situation, all it achieves is pissing off servers and costing them money, while you get to chuckle to yourself about how misguided they are for working below minimum wage and getting to exploit them.  I had a friend like that, he'd order a cheap sandwich roll and get it loaded up with so many extras that it'd end up costing more to make than they charged for it, then he'd have a good old laugh about how it wasn't his fault that he just exploited them.

"Sure I know it's not nice and makes people angry, but I can get away with it, so why not?"  What a great motto to live by.  You know damn well how the restaurant business works with regards to minimum wages and tips, even going so far as to decry it continually in this story, yet you still find yourself exploiting it by ordering food and not tipping.  If you don't like the restaurant business, stay the hell out of restaurants, or inform your servers of your stance beforehand.  It's common courtesy.

-h

[ Parent ]

Yes, that's it. Cheapness. (none / 0) (#276)
by DesiredUsername on Tue May 06, 2003 at 01:29:10 PM EST

If I was trying to save money, why would I even go out to eat in the first place?

...you know it's not affecting the situation, all it achieves is pissing off servers and costing them money

That's an effect. And a good one, once the word gets out that they should be complaining to their employers about low pay, not the customers. It is the employers they have the contract with, after all.

I can say that service levels are about the same, employee morale is about the same, but take-home pay is better in the USA.

How much better? What are the taxes in AU? How do the menu prices compare? How much more money, if any, does the restaurant make?

Really, the arguments have boiled down to this:

1) It's a social convention. Answer: "We've always done it this way" is one of the worst reasons in the world for doing things and I'm not about to give in to it.

2) Employees aren't paid much. Answer: Neither is the child-labor in China, but I don't tip at Footlocker. More to the point, neither are fast-food servers and nobody tips them.

3) You get better service. Answer: You claim that the service is the same in AU, where "tipping is a rarity". Also, the service for other, non-tipping, jobs in the US is pretty good. For instance, the grocery store.

So I reiterate: What's the purpose of tipping?

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]

Let's see (none / 0) (#286)
by hstink on Tue May 06, 2003 at 02:10:23 PM EST

If I was trying to save money, why would I even go out to eat in the first place?

Why not build your own car from scrap?  Same argument, it's just a question of degree.

That's an effect. And a good one, once the word gets out that they should be complaining to their employers about low pay, not the customers. It is the employers they have the contract with, after all.

You have a lot more evangelising to do, old bean.

How much better? What are the taxes in AU? How do the menu prices compare? How much more money, if any, does the restaurant make?

Taxes are higher in AU, take-home pay in the US is about 20% better so far, menu prices are about half of the US (but almost everything costs more in the USA anyway, probably due to government subsidising primary industry), and I would assume that restaurant profits are almost the same given the number of restaurants here and in Australia.

Which brings us to your numbered points.

1) It's a social convention.

So is government.  Everything humans do is a social convention, so the argument is pointless.  Each convention should be weighed individually by its merits, though specific merits are up to the individual to decide.

2) Employees aren't paid much. Answer: Neither is the child-labor in China, but I don't tip at Footlocker. More to the point, neither are fast-food servers and nobody tips them.

Your Footlocker tips wouldn't reach the children.  Fast-food servers are paid more than restaurant servers.  As restaurant servers are more involved in the dining process than fast-food servers, a provision has been made to either reward (tip) or punish (withhold tip - not possible if it's included in the check) the quality of service, giving more leeway to the customer.  This places greater demands on servers, but they end up making more money.

3) You get better service. Answer: You claim that the service is the same in AU, where "tipping is a rarity". Also, the service for other, non-tipping, jobs in the US is pretty good. For instance, the grocery store.

Servers in Australia are paid more, however as a customer you no longer have any way to give a low tip (or none at all) if the service was deserving of it.  If you prefer this method, just leave a blanket 10% tip for every meal you ever eat and you will have experienced the Australian utopia.

The idea behind a tip (To Insure Promptness) is to provide an incentive for good service, above and beyond the robot-like behaviour you prefer, and also to allow customers to punish poor service.  Most people are responsible customers who understand this concept, and tip accordingly.  You are the stark minority when it comes to restauranteurs - you seem to be a rather quiet, reserved, unsociable person who is most definitely not the target demographic of my particular workplace.

But anyway, to wrap things up, if you don't tip a server they will be angry about it and vent to some collegues.  They will remember you and give you the level of service you deserve - the bare minimum - lengthy waits, no drink refills, cold looks.  You seem happy with this, so carry on.

-h

[ Parent ]

Reply (none / 0) (#293)
by DesiredUsername on Tue May 06, 2003 at 02:32:39 PM EST

Why not build your own car from scrap? Same argument, it's just a question of degree.

Pretty large degree. Kind of how the ocean is just a like a cup of water, only bigger and not quite as tasty.

Taxes are higher in AU, take-home pay in the US is about 20% better so far...

From the AUians who've posted here, they are a lot happier with their system than USians are with theirs. Since we don't have the taxes problem, it sounds like I am indeed right that raising the minimum wage and removing the mandatory/optional tip situation would make everyone, servers and servees, a lot happier.

Servers in Australia are paid more, however as a customer you no longer have any way to give a low tip (or none at all) if the service was deserving of it.

I'm not sure what you are saying in the first clause. That the service is the same in AU as in US because they are paid more there? Doesn't that prove MY point, that increases wages is the solution? As for the second half, what's wrong with the "how was your meal" cards or talking to the manager?

Also, if servers are as hawk-eyed as you claim (and I have no reason to doubt it) and will spot me again if I don't leave a tip, that in itself provides a method for punishing bad service. If I normally give a good tip and give a less good one next time, they will remember that as well.

Nothing you've said has convinced me that we should keep the system we have, which almost nobody likes, and neither has anyone come up with any firm objections to just raising minimum wage other than "it won't happen".

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]

Pointless (none / 0) (#314)
by hstink on Tue May 06, 2003 at 03:46:02 PM EST

Pretty large degree. Kind of how the ocean is just a like a cup of water, only bigger and not quite as tasty.

I suppose you could cook a comparable meal at home (what with your deep fryer lying around), but people pay for convenience, atmosphere and the importance of being waited on (yes this matters).  I don't think you know too many people who can be described as "average" restaurant-going families or regulars - they are our targeted customers after all.

From the AUians who've posted here, they are a lot happier with their system than USians are with theirs.

I'm happier in the USA - I make more money because of the tip culture.  I also like having the ability to give a lower tip when I receive bad service, which happens more often than I like downtown (probably because summer just started).

Since we don't have the taxes problem, it sounds like I am indeed right that raising the minimum wage and removing the mandatory/optional tip situation would make everyone, servers and servees, a lot happier.

Indeed?  Right now I rely on the generosity of customers.  In your perfect world I would rely on the generosity of my employer, which can change contracts on a whim.  I prefer having more control over my pay.  I don't know who you hang around, but I don't know anyone who is averse to tipping, nor anyone who makes a big deal out of it.  At the end of the meal, people put in what they think was deserved and that's that, it's rarely even discussed.  Sometimes a bigger tip than usual will go in if some flirting was going on, but apart from that it's a pedestrian non-event.

Doesn't that prove MY point, that increases wages is the solution? As for the second half, what's wrong with the "how was your meal" cards or talking to the manager?

If we mirror the Australian situation, I'll most likely (definitely) make less money.  Only a small subset of very odd people I know ever fill out opinion cards, and just as few would ask to see the manager about sub-par performance.  If the performance is bad enough to warrant no tip, then the manager would be seen whether tips were included in the check or not - something unacceptable would have happened.  Most people don't like making a scene, nor drawing negative attention to themselves.

Also, if servers are as hawk-eyed as you claim (and I have no reason to doubt it) and will spot me again if I don't leave a tip, that in itself provides a method for punishing bad service.

That I don't understand.  You're already punishing good servers by costing them money for the privilege of serving you, what do you intend to do to sub-par servers?  Get them fired?  Pay less than the full check value?

Nothing you've said has convinced me that we should keep the system we have, which almost nobody likes, and neither has anyone come up with any firm objections to just raising minimum wage other than "it won't happen".

Who is this "nobody" you speak of?  What kind of people do you hang around?  I've lived in two countries, have met a large number of people through relatives in government and throughout the USA, and I have never noticed this opinion towards tipping.

If customers favoured bars and restaurants that operated on a no-tip basis, they would flourish and current tip-based operations would be forced to follow suit.  It hasn't happened yet.  The market, up until now, has made its decision.

-h

[ Parent ]

Stuff (none / 0) (#355)
by DesiredUsername on Tue May 06, 2003 at 08:07:50 PM EST

I'm happier in the USA - I make more money because of the tip culture.

When I don't tip, I'm a cheapskate. When you prefer tipping because you make more money, you are protecting the underclass. It's all so clear now.

You're already punishing good servers by costing them money for the privilege of serving you, what do you intend to do to sub-par servers?

I'm saying if we had a system where I wasn't required to give a tip as the default, where "no tip" was not "punishing good servers" (and I'm not conceding that that is the situation now). Your point was that there'd be no message attached to the "no tip" situation and you'd be right. Unless I personally usually DID tip, then "no tip" would be a message.

As I said in the thread elsewhere, the only person I've met who actively enjoyed tipping is a guy who just loves getting attention by throwing money around. Everyone else I know has an opinion ranging from "it's something we have to do" to "I refuse to do it". Think how much fun tipping could be if it meant what it was supposed to mean. When I left behind $10 after a $50 meal, I'd be making a huge statement about quality of service, instead of behind "kind of on the stingy side".

If customers favoured bars and restaurants that operated on a no-tip basis...

Are there any restaurants that operate on a voluntary tip basis? I'm not talking about the ones that forbid tipping--I'm against that as well. I'm talking about a restaurant that tells the customers that they pay a fair wage and that the normally socially-required tipping is not necessary but that they may if they wish? I'd eat there all the time.

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]

Er (none / 0) (#362)
by hstink on Tue May 06, 2003 at 08:57:45 PM EST

When I don't tip, I'm a cheapskate. When you prefer tipping because you make more money, you are protecting the underclass. It's all so clear now.

You're a cheapskate because you know damn well that you're costing the server money that they have to tip-share out to the kitchen staff.  You know this, but dance around it by claiming that the system is unfair and you refuse to participate in the exploitation.  Apart from the whole eating at restaurants on the cheap thing.

I started debating with you because you sound like an asshole that's gone from restaurant to restaurant costing servers money, knowing the whole time how much of an asshole you were being.  I personally don't care whether tips are managed they way they are here or the way they are in Australia - I know I'm good enough at my job to make enough either way.  You just strike me as the kind of guy who, knowing that some of his meal ticket was going to the server, would push the server to the absolute limits of acceptable customer behaviour to "get your money's worth."

I'm saying if we had a system where I wasn't required to give a tip as the default, where "no tip" was not "punishing good servers" (and I'm not conceding that that is the situation now).

Oh I thought you were talking about the USA situation, where no tip is an insult to the server's abilities.  Since you never leave a tip anyway, I was curious as to how you go about punishing sub-par performance since there's nothing more to take away than perhaps the server's dignity.

Are there any restaurants that operate on a voluntary tip basis?

Fast-food restaurants perhaps?  Cafeteria-style lines?  Look, I'm really sorry that you despise tipping so much, but do you really have to take out your anger on servers?  It's like convincing a slave to rebel by asking their master to whip them extra hard and extra long.  It seems a cruel way to enact change.

-h

[ Parent ]

Impressions (none / 0) (#365)
by DesiredUsername on Tue May 06, 2003 at 09:16:04 PM EST

You just strike me as the kind of guy who, knowing that some of his meal ticket was going to the server, would push the server to the absolute limits of acceptable customer behaviour to "get your money's worth."

Well, I'm not. I eat out at a real restaurant maybe once every 3 months and always with my wife, who does tip. The most I ask for is some mustard when eating a hamburger. I don't ask for flirtation or conversation--just the opposite. Yet I'm expected to lay out $5 after spending $20 on a meal that costs maybe $7. (Of course now I've played right into your cheapskate conception, but who cares?)

It's like convincing a slave to rebel by asking their master to whip them extra hard and extra long.

Nothing of the kind. You have the slave/master part right, but how is refusing to tip anything like asking them to whip extra hard and long? How about this analogy: You see a master and slave on the street corner and the slave is being forced to beg for quarters that he uses to buy food from the master. You refuse to give a quarter and instead advise him to revolt.

Look, I'm really sorry that you despise tipping so much, but do you really have to take out your anger on servers?

Look, I'm really sorry that you took a job that doesn't pay enough, but do you really have to make the customers feel guilty when they don't play your prostitution/extortion game?

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]

Sure (none / 0) (#367)
by hstink on Tue May 06, 2003 at 10:20:48 PM EST

Yet I'm expected to lay out $5 after spending $20 on a meal that costs maybe $7.

For a quiet table, I'd be happy with $2 from a $20 check.  If they took a fair amount of effort to keep satisfied I might want a bit more, but if a table doesn't require much work from a server they won't mind if the tip is less than usual.  If you leave no tip, you will become unwelcome, and I don't think your wife will enjoy the experience of a snobby aloof server.  Or not?

How about this analogy: You see a master and slave on the street corner and the slave is being forced to beg for quarters that he uses to buy food from the master. You refuse to give a quarter and instead advise him to revolt.

Close.  How about the slave is being made to weave baskets for his master and begs for a couple quarters in addition to buy his family some food.  You happily buy the cheap baskets but decline giving any extra quarters, hinting that the slave should rebel, and point out that his begging for quarters offends you while you're at it.  I think that's a bit closer =)

Look, I'm really sorry that you took a job that doesn't pay enough, but do you really have to make the customers feel guilty when they don't play your prostitution/extortion game?

Sigh.  Everyone knows how tips work.  If it makes you so uncomfortable, don't go to restaurants.  The servers will not miss you, I promise.  We get along quite well with the roughly 80% of our customers who are weekly or bi-weekly regulars that enjoy the experience.  You are a prime candidate to stay home and cook for yourself - you would enjoy it far more, that much has been made obvious, and save money while you're at it.

-h

[ Parent ]

Analogy (none / 0) (#394)
by DesiredUsername on Wed May 07, 2003 at 06:14:48 AM EST

How about the slave is being made to weave baskets for his master and begs for a couple quarters in addition to buy his family some food. You happily buy the cheap baskets but decline giving any extra quarters, hinting that the slave should rebel, and point out that his begging for quarters offends you while you're at it.

OK, let's use that one. The slave makes the hawks the baskets for $5 but after you buy one he says that I have to hand over an extra $1. I'd refuse, saying that he can either make do with $5 or raise the price to $6.

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]

Still off (none / 0) (#413)
by hstink on Wed May 07, 2003 at 10:32:35 AM EST

But whatever.  We've established that in the analogy you're happy to knowingly exploit slave labour.

Not much of an abolitionist are we =)

-h

[ Parent ]

Not an abolitionist? (none / 0) (#416)
by DesiredUsername on Wed May 07, 2003 at 10:51:53 AM EST

Advocating revolt? Check
Refusing to support the system beyond the minimum required? Check
Advocating change based on actual facts? Check.

I spent some time yesterday checking out the NRA (National Restaurant Association) site. They didn't have any information on what they thought tips were for, but they did have some sample letters I could send to Congress that listed all the economic and social ills that a minimum wage increase would bring.

And yet here we are, pretending that mandatory tips are the pinnacle of customer/server relations, the best of all possible worlds. It boggles the mind how much a slave will fight to keep the status quo. And it looks like you have the majority on your side, so better learn some spirituals, Uncle.

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]

Great (none / 0) (#454)
by hstink on Wed May 07, 2003 at 10:20:15 PM EST

Advocating revolt? Check
Refusing to support the system beyond the minimum required? Check
Advocating change based on actual facts? Check.

Abusing the situation anyway?  Check.  Unless you are telling me that you're required to go to restaurants.  An abolitionist wouldn't buy a basket weaved by a slave and sold by their master.  You would.  Deal with it.

Look, I personally don't care about the tipping situation.  I wouldn't really care if the Australian system appeared in the USA, and am completely apathetic towards any movement towards change.  I just care that you're an asshole who pisses off fellow servers.  You know there are far more effective ways to enact change, but they require more effort, so you just stiff servers when the check comes.  Bravo.

-h

[ Parent ]

Who says waiters are suffering now? (none / 0) (#426)
by Dephex Twin on Wed May 07, 2003 at 01:48:38 PM EST

You see a master and slave on the street corner and the slave is being forced to beg for quarters that he uses to buy food from the master. You refuse to give a quarter and instead advise him to revolt.
The thing is, with waiters, they often do the waiting tables because it is decent money. They don't hate the system. It works when everyone does their part. You're the one who hates the system. And I seriously doubt you have a chat with the server where you advise them to revolt or explain your reasoning.

You stiff a server, they think to themselves "what a cheapskate/what did I do wrong?" So your message is not being communicated.

Yet I'm expected to lay out $5 after spending $20 on a meal that costs maybe $7. (Of course now I've played right into your cheapskate conception, but who cares?)
Anyone who had the feeling it all really just comes down to money with you, but weren't entirely certain.


Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
[ Parent ]
Where do you get that? (none / 0) (#335)
by rantweasel on Tue May 06, 2003 at 05:01:22 PM EST

You keep mentioning how servers are unhappy with getting tips, but I've never felt unhappy with the idea of tips, and I never worked with anyone who felt unhappy with the idea of tips.  Where are you getting that idea?  Do you have anything to back it up one way or another?

mathias

[ Parent ]

That's fairly generous (none / 0) (#294)
by rantweasel on Tue May 06, 2003 at 02:35:55 PM EST

If I knew I wasn't getting tipped, I'd take the order eventually, and then forget about the asshole table and take care of tables where I'd make money.  Someone else would eventually get them their food, although it'd likely be cold by the time anyone did, especially if the rest of the waitstaff heard about the party of cheapskates at the four top over there.

mathias

[ Parent ]

One at a time. (5.00 / 1) (#297)
by pyra on Tue May 06, 2003 at 02:50:53 PM EST

I would not smile

Who cares? People don't go to restaurants to look at your teeth.

I would refuse conversation

Newsflash: People generally go to restaurants to talk to their acquaintances...not you. I'm sure that you are a fascinating person and all, but I see no reason why I should have to pay for the privilege of talking to you.

I would not refill drinks as often

Refilling drinks when the glass is empty is part of your job. If you are unwilling to do your job, you should not be paid anything (not minimum wage, not US$2.13)

I would decline to mention employee favourites (most food for least money, etc.)

This rarely happens even when I do tip. To me it is the only item that you listed that I could consider to be "exceptional" service, deserving of a tip. I don't see anything wrong with you not providing this service to people who have told you they won't tip.

I would, after taking your order, check with other tables instead of rushing directly to the station to enter your order, lengthening the time you have to wait

Placing my order is part of your job. If you are unwilling to do your job, you should not be paid anything (not minimum wage, not US$2.13). In fact, if I haven't received my food in a reasonable amount of time, I see no problem in leaving (having paid for any food/beverages that I _did_ receive)...and I can only hope and pray that the management's policy is to take the cost of the meal out of your (the negligent employee's) wages.

Deliver food for other tables before delivering yours, should they come up at around the same time

This is fine, but as above, delivering my food is part of your job. I won't pay for cold food.

Check back rarely, if ever

Good, I'll just call for you when I need you. If you won't serve me, then I will ask other employees until I get what I need in order to eat the meal that I will be paying for.

Take a longer time to print and get change for the check

Almost every restaurant I've been to has a cash register somewhere (be it at the bar, or near the front). When I don't receive my check within a reasonable amount of time, I take it to the register and settle the bill there.


--
"It was half way to Rivendell when the drugs began to take hold" - Hunter S. Tolkien "Fear and Loathing in Barad Dur"
[ Parent ]

Newsflash (1.00 / 1) (#305)
by hstink on Tue May 06, 2003 at 03:25:22 PM EST

T.I.P. - To Insure Promptness.  No I will not neglect my duties as a server.  Yes I will take a (sometimes significantly) longer time to address you, the one costing me money for holding such a noble stance.

You get what you pay for.  Does that surprise you?

That's what gets me.  You don't even claim ignorance of the system, you just knowingly screw servers over for shits and giggles.  "It's for your own good!" I hear you crow.  You might want to tell a server that out loud the next time you leave without tipping, their gratitude for being enlightened should be obvious.

-h

[ Parent ]

I'm paying for the meal (none / 0) (#327)
by pyra on Tue May 06, 2003 at 04:18:29 PM EST

And it's the server's job to bring it to me Fact: So long as you're doing your job, I have no right to complain.

Fact: If I expect to be served ahead of other patrons (all other variables being the same) then I should tip. In fact, in a perfect free market, the people that tip the most should get the first service.

Fact: If I don't expect to be served ahead of other customers or get any other exceptional service (I just want my food when it's ready) then I shouldn't have to tip.

Fact: I almost always tip, because I almost never get truely negligent service. However, "OK" service gets and "OK" tip ("OK" generally being somewhere between 5-15%). Exceptional service, can get an exceptional tip ("exceptional" being significantly over 15%).

Question: What do you consider to be the minimum tip amount that should be given to not constitute "screwing over" my server if all they did was the bare minimum to do the job?


--
"It was half way to Rivendell when the drugs began to take hold" - Hunter S. Tolkien "Fear and Loathing in Barad Dur"
[ Parent ]

Well (none / 0) (#334)
by hstink on Tue May 06, 2003 at 04:54:50 PM EST

How much a server needs to avoid paying for someone's meal differs depending on the restaurant.

I am forced to pay a tip-share out to the kitchen staff, which usually totals about 2% to 3% of the check.  I'm usually tipped between 15% and 20% so it's not noticeable.  However if someone tips 0%, I still have to pay 2% of the check to the kitchen people which can add up to quite a bit when alcohol is being served.  Note that I don't pay the kitchen out of my declared tips, but as a percentage of my total sales for the night.  Some restaurants don't mandate tip-sharing, others force people to share as much as 5% or even 10%.  Tips at such establishments are often obscene though, and food prices reflect that.

The minimum I would leave a server is between 2% and 5%, depending on how bad they were and how expensive the restaurant is (the more expensive, the more they must share out - but then they should be providing better service anyway).  If you leave no tip, you are pretty much guaranteed to be costing them money as tip-sharing is quite common these days.  The only times I've left no tip have been to bartenders who left me waiting for over 15 minutes, spending their time flirting with obviously under-21 girls instead of pouring two beers.

If the server is offensive or incompetent I ask for the manager - leaving no tip won't change anything in that case, it'll just make the server even worse to the next table they have.

-h

[ Parent ]

Sorry to take up your time. (none / 0) (#385)
by Belgand on Wed May 07, 2003 at 04:49:41 AM EST

I don't really plan on tipping you tonight, so if you don't mind please hand me a sheet off your pad and I'll fill it out, walk back and hand it off to the kitchen, wait around a bit there or come back later and check (if it's a little cold I'm not too picky) and go get drinks refilled as I feel the need. Wow! I get much better service exactly when I want it, don't have to pay anyone for the privilege, and you get more time to spend on people who want to pay you for the dubious value you add.

No. I don't want to go to McDonald's... I want the food and it's the only reason I'm coming here.

Incidentally I know of at least a few places where you order at the counter and they then bring the food out to you when it's done and everything else is up to you. People I'm with are often confused as to whether they need to tip. I mean, they did bring you food and clear away old plates and such, but you did almost all the work.



[ Parent ]
Look (5.00 / 1) (#456)
by hstink on Wed May 07, 2003 at 10:26:42 PM EST

No one's going to stop you from leaving no tip.  It's not like you'll be chased down or taken to court.  People will just think you're an asshole.

Many people don't mind this, so they leave no tip.  Cheapskates are happy, and servers are happy (so long as socially conscious customers still frequent the place).

-h

[ Parent ]

Bullet points (none / 0) (#455)
by mcgrew on Wed May 07, 2003 at 10:23:47 PM EST

You would act like that if you thought I were a tourist, a foreigner, black, or if you just didn't like my looks.

Considering your arguments, I'm starting to think wait people get less than minimum wage because they're STUPID. I tip- but judging from your incredibly stupid defense of the status quo, I am reconsidering that.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

What the (none / 0) (#458)
by hstink on Wed May 07, 2003 at 11:14:42 PM EST

Why on earth do you think I would act like that to tourists, foreigners, blacks, or anyone for that matter?!  I can't figure out how you leapt to that, unless it reflects your own inner biases and you assume everyone else thinks alike.  Do you actually think that I'd only be nice because I'm paid to do so?  I'm uniformly nice unless I'm abused or repeatedly under-tipped.  It's one of the reasons my manager is pleased with my performance.

The more someone tips me, the harder I push myself.  Don't claim that you push yourself as hard as you can possibly go 8 hours a day every day at work, never taking breaks or going to the bathroom.  We both know you don't.  If I have a customer who I know won't tip, I don't push myself.  It's pretty simple.

It doesn't matter in the end anyway.  The restaurant business (apart from select locations) revolves around regular customers.  If a customer doesn't like the service, they won't become a regular, and we won't have to bother with them again.  The fact that there are enough regular customers to keep the industry going seems to affirm that most people either like the current levels of service, or the idea of giving a damn about it hasn't occurred to them.

Anally retentive fastidious customers are a drain on a restaurant, and the fact that they're turned off and attend less is more a benefit than a harm.

-h

[ Parent ]

you misunderstand (none / 0) (#488)
by mcgrew on Fri May 09, 2003 at 10:29:55 PM EST

I tip. But the system sux.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

it's called a job description (2.00 / 2) (#255)
by tzanger on Tue May 06, 2003 at 12:23:15 PM EST

You said that waitpeople like the tip system. My claim is that people who, because they would otherwise starve, are forced to kowtow to impolite (or even tyrannical) customers probably don't.

That's part of the goddamned job description -- anyone in a service role is to be polite and helpful to the patrons. If you don't like it, you either don't work in the service industry, or put up and shut up until you can find a job more to your liking.



[ Parent ]
Pay $8? (none / 0) (#384)
by Belgand on Wed May 07, 2003 at 04:42:55 AM EST

Why pay them $8 when they'll work for $3 and the promise that the nice people will make up the difference? It's all a matter of making money and as much as I feel it's a shitty situation they got themselves into it. I could probably make more money waiting tables, but I personally refuse to work a job where my salary is dependent on begging money from strangers and not having a guarantee that I'll make more than $24 for 8 hours of work.

[ Parent ]
Lady, he said he TIPS (5.00 / 1) (#453)
by mcgrew on Wed May 07, 2003 at 10:17:34 PM EST

Now- a long time ago, when I had hair down my back, reeked of reefer, and my wife and I drove our muscle car down to florida, we stopped for coffee at a little restraunt.

We couldn't fucking get served. We got the first cupo all right, but no refills. My wife (ex now) was REALLY pissed, because guess what- she was a waitresss.

She got up and poured our coffee herself!

Shitty, shity service. I guess we were being judged on our appearance, and on our out of state license plates.

I left two pennies as a tip.

The waitress was PISSED! Yes, the insult was intended- my literal two cents worth.

She tried to give it back. "You need this more than I do!"

I replied that need had nothing to do with it, and told her she missed out on a ten dollar tip. Told her to get fucked, and left.

I was serious. Now what, again, is the value of tipping? Besides a means for management to legally fuck over waitstaff?

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Minimum wage is a provincial thing... (none / 0) (#158)
by ShadowNode on Tue May 06, 2003 at 04:03:16 AM EST

Here in BC, for example, it's $8 something.

[ Parent ]
Minimum Wage (none / 0) (#292)
by randinah on Tue May 06, 2003 at 02:31:09 PM EST

General minimum wage in BC is 8 dollars, but Entry level minimum wage for somebody who has no work experience is only six dollars per hour.

I can't find any info about server minimum wage.


"Why waste time learning when ignorance is instantaneous?"
[ Parent ]
Christ. (none / 0) (#476)
by Legato Bluesummers on Thu May 08, 2003 at 09:30:09 PM EST

That's damn low. The national US minumum wage is $5.15 American, or about 8.50 or so CAian. Where I live, in WA state, the minimum wage is about $7.02 or so, I believe. That's over ten bucks CAian.

And servers are still paid the full amount.

I can't believe a more liberal-leaning country such as Canada would have such scandalously low minimum wages.
--And many people have ended up looking very stupid, or dead, or both.
[ Parent ]

Wow... (none / 0) (#380)
by Belgand on Wed May 07, 2003 at 04:15:43 AM EST

I'm amazed. Most people wouldn't bother to give the same level of service to someone who they don't expect a large tip from, let alone someone who doesn't tip at all. I've dealt with waitstaff before and while not always the case, tends to happen more often than not. If this is any indication I don't think you should have to worry about getting tips. :)

[ Parent ]
You know, THAT SUX (none / 0) (#441)
by mcgrew on Wed May 07, 2003 at 09:25:46 PM EST

Minimum wage doesn't apply to waitresses- and they have to pay tax like they got minimum...wtf????

The law sux. You shouldn't have to tip, and waits/barkeeps should get at LEAST minimum! WTF?

What kind of people do we have passing laws????

Oh yeah, that's right, adultery is legal but prostitution isn't. Never mind.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

I agree (4.80 / 5) (#18)
by sophacles on Mon May 05, 2003 at 02:51:50 PM EST

I find that the laws in this respect are stupid.  I think that tipping should be an extra reward for a job well done.  However, since i make $3.10/hour (just over half of minimum wage) I also feel that customers should tip. Most of the people I know who are servers or bartenders agree.

If bartenders and servers were paid over minimum wage, but not a lot of money, service everywhere would go up, since only the people who deserved tips would get tipped.  This also would help weed out the bad servers, since they would be making very little money for the amount of work they do, especially compared to the good servers.

[ Parent ]

Bluntly (none / 0) (#136)
by cooldev on Tue May 06, 2003 at 02:05:04 AM EST

So, how much do you make per hour on an average weekday and weekend night with tips?

I hear the whine all the time, and I can understand it for low-end bars and restaurants in the boondocks, but my rough estimate for the regular places I visit (both in college and now) goes something like:

Wait 4 tables / hour food, maybe $5 tip from each = $20.
Serve 10 people / hr drinks at bar.  Assuming 1 drink per person, per hr = $10.

Total = 20 + 10 + 3.10 = 33.10 = ~60k a year.  Not bad for a job that requires no real skills.  And 4 tables + 10 drinks / hr doesn't seem like a heavy load, either.

I realize my estimates could be waaaay off, I've never worked as a waiter or bartender, but for all the people I hear complaining about tips I've never heard them cough up how much they actually make including tips.

[ Parent ]

no real skills? (5.00 / 1) (#140)
by janra on Tue May 06, 2003 at 02:28:26 AM EST

If you've ever been served by a waiter with "no real skills" you'd realise that you're not correct. Fortunately, waiters with no real skills tend to get fired pretty quickly, so you don't see them often.


--
Discuss the art and craft of writing
That's the problem with world domination... Nobody is willing to wait for it anymore, work slowly towards it, drink more and enjoy the ride more.
[ Parent ]
I'm not so sure about that (none / 0) (#154)
by Delirium on Tue May 06, 2003 at 03:30:43 AM EST

Maybe I'm in the wrong area, but there's a lot of waiters at restaurants I go to who don't know what's going on. Happens more often during the summer with lots of college kids having summer jobs. I'd say about 20-30% of the times I go out to eat I end up with bad service of one sort or another. Maybe it's because of my expectations, but this is actually most often at decent restaurants (not $30 an entree, but not Dennys either). The cheap places (the local Mexican restaurant, for example) are actually much better.

[ Parent ]
60k a year? maybe 60k pesos (5.00 / 2) (#144)
by DrSbaitso on Tue May 06, 2003 at 02:44:11 AM EST

Hey, I realize you added the proviso that you've never waited before, so that's fair enough. I've worked at one of the 14 best restaurants in the US as a back waiter. I saw people order magnums of 1991 Crystal, our cheapest dinner was over $60 a plate, etc. I made about 15 bucks an hour, averaged out over my whole workday, because of the extensive amount of time before and after serving I was actually at work. Dinner started at 6, so i had to be at the restaurant at 3, and stayed till 1. Not bad, but not nearly 60 grand, especially considering I worked every night of the weekend and was at work when my friends got to go home. Some waiters with more experience made up to 50% more than me, but these are the best waiters in the country you're talking about, and they're still making less than some moron who installs Wintel home networks.

Now, consider that Seegers is at the higher end of the pay spectrum and you start to feel a little more sympathy for your friend the waiter. Tip him well, he deserves it :)

Aeroflot Airlines: You Have Made the Right Choice!
---Advertising slogan for the only airline in the USSR
[ Parent ]

Don't get me wrong (none / 0) (#155)
by cooldev on Tue May 06, 2003 at 03:31:44 AM EST

I tip well because it's proper etiquette and I genuinely want to help out people, but quite frankly I often don't feel they deserve it.  Tipping has received so much attention lately I feel like I'm obligated to pay 20% of my meal cost for the precious five minutes of ordinary service I got.  Franky, I'd much rather tip the cook that is working away in the back and probably working twice as hard and getting 1/3 the pay of the wait staff.

I've had my share of low-end jobs, such as working in the back of a meat store cutting, glazing, and preparing ham for 12 hours a day for $6/hr and working in fast food.  In comparison, taking orders and bringing people their food and drinks doesn't seem bad.  And when it's not busy you can hang around and chat with coworkers, or at least that's what it looks like from the outside.  But that shouldn't happen too often, because the restaurant manager wouldn't want to waste money, so s/he will try to adjust the # of people working to match the expected # of customers, thus ensuring relatively steady tips during the entire shift.

Nothing I've seen in this thread justifies the whining I hear from waiters, waitresses, and bartenders and wanting higher and higher tips.  The job seems to be in line with the money you make w/ standard tipping.  Want more?  Get a job that can't be filled by a pretty 17 year old high school dropout.

I'm still curious about more stats.  Maybe I'm totally off base.  Maybe the average tip is $0.10 and the average person can only handle one table every two hours and serve drinks to three people in an hour.


[ Parent ]

Stats (5.00 / 1) (#193)
by Verminator on Tue May 06, 2003 at 06:35:39 AM EST

Since I just got home from work and finished counting my money I can give you some good figures. I work as a bartender at a high-end dive in a pretty wealthy area. By high-end dive I mean that even though the place has got some holes in the floor, old paint, and a pretty grimy divy feel to it, tap beer is $4, domestic bottles are $3 and well liquor is $3.50 (I can't stand the fifty cents either, it used to be three even but they raised it). On music nights, like tonight, we raise things a bit to pay the entertainment (in this case my regular Monday night DJs) instead of charging a cover, tap is $4.50, domestics are a gouging $4, and well liquor is $4.50.

Tonight, between six and two, I sold $1100 and walked with $190. A bit below 20% and not a good night percentage wise, but nice as far as total cash is concerned (generally I'd only sell $300-400 on a Monday night).

Now, we were selling Mexican beers for $3 bucks and margaritas were down to $5 from $7 because of Cinco de Mayo, and that's pretty much all I sold tonight. A good portion of the crowd were migrant workers who generally don't tip, bringing the average down. However, an equal portion was made up of local restaraunt workers (my usual crowd) who alway tip well.

I also skipped out between nine and nine thirty to go sell my car and thus missed out on a bit of possible earnings that were made instead by my lovely co-bartender who was there hanging out and came back to help a couple times later when I was in the weeds.

Now $120 in eight hours, plus my $6 an hour wage comes to $21 an hour. Not bad coin. But consider that I had to deal with 50 or 60 people yelling constantly at me over the music for drinks for five hours (it was pretty mellow until nine) while mixing roughly 100 mixed drinks (mostly margaritas) and opening probably 250 bottles of beer while washing glasses franticly whenever I had a spare second so I wouldn't run out and keeping an eye on both the front and back doors to make sure no one took any drinks outside. At least there weren't any fights or real assholes tonight.

Bartenders are basically babysitters for adults. Drunk adults that don't always do what they're told. I actually had to throw a guy out on Saturday after we'd already made him leave twice for bothering the women, literally throw. As least he got the hint once he was outside and didn't try and fight with me. All he did was break a window down the street and get arrested.


If the whole country is gonna play 'Behind The Iron Curtain,' there better be some fine fucking state s
[ Parent ]

Have you ever worked in fast food at night? (none / 0) (#229)
by melia on Tue May 06, 2003 at 09:42:16 AM EST

If you have, don't complain. Paid a lot less than $160 a night, and we still have to deal with the work and the drunks.
Disclaimer: All of the above is probably wrong
[ Parent ]
$n.50 drinks aren't so bad when (none / 0) (#237)
by sophacles on Tue May 06, 2003 at 10:19:39 AM EST

The mixed drink specials are always $3.75.  The bossman seems confused as to why this is a bad idea, especially in college land.  So on Long Island night I get a quarter per Long Island iced tea that I make from scratch. Ugh.

[ Parent ]
Thanks (none / 0) (#266)
by cooldev on Tue May 06, 2003 at 01:05:21 PM EST

It's good to see some numbers.  To me it looks like the wage is in line with the work.

[ Parent ]
Georgia? (3.00 / 1) (#507)
by benzapp on Tue May 13, 2003 at 04:41:13 PM EST

I understand it is now fashionable for minor US cities to get into the world of culinary excellence, especially since Atlanta had such a yuppie culture there before the crash....  But one of the 14 best?  Seriously, there are probably 14 better restaurants in NYC alone which has ALWAYS had fine restaurants since before Atlanta was burned to the ground by General Sherman (RIP).  I am sure it is a great restaurant, I am thrilled with the the cultural improvement in many of our cities...  but I have had bad experiences at many of the "top" restaurants in other cities and they usually are pretty mediocre.  You can tell they have the lead chef in the back with an army of minimum wage mexican cooks who don't give a shit about the food they are making.  Ahh, it makes me sick.  

[ Parent ]
With tip pay: (none / 0) (#308)
by sophacles on Tue May 06, 2003 at 03:33:07 PM EST

Well I get $3.10 an hour, and I work roughly 2-3 5p-2a shifts a week.  So thats $27.90 a shift in wages.  On those nights I will make roughly $115 in tips (varries between $80-$130 depending on the day, more bartenders on busy shifts and all). College bars have a tendancy to be fairly dead before 10-11, so I make all of my money between 11:00p and 1:00a (closing time the rest of the time is cleanup). If it was consistantly that busy I would obviously make much more.

That averages out to about $12.50 an hour in tips.  The total then is $15.60 an hour.  Then I have to pay tax. Granted during football season this goes up to $20/hr for weekend work on home football games.

Either way Im not being paid $19.5k, let alone 60k. That isn't counting the dead times, like 3 months of summer break, or a month of winter break. so it's usually like $10k/yr from bartending, before taxes.

And just to let you know about how heavy a bartending load is: I used to work 10-12 hr days with a moving company before I went to college. I am more tired at the end of an 8 hour bartending shift than one of those days, its less physical labor but much higher stress.

[ Parent ]

Ok (none / 0) (#332)
by cooldev on Tue May 06, 2003 at 04:33:57 PM EST

Assuming $15/hr (with peaks and valleys), full time with no overtime means about $30k per year.  That's a more than a lot of teachers that went to college for six years and has to be responsible for 30 kids (if you think drunks are annoying...).  That's more than most non-professional occupations.

Everybody pays taxes, and not everybody gets 4 mo/year of voluntary vacation, so I'm not going to take that into consideration. (In fact, that flexibility is a perk.)

All and all, seems reasonable to me and not worth this story's lecture about how we should behave as customers, or worth the whine I hear about not getting paid fairly.


[ Parent ]

Holy shit (none / 0) (#457)
by mcgrew on Wed May 07, 2003 at 10:37:13 PM EST

Thanks guys, I thought you wre POOR. I'm going to start tipping a LOT less. FUCK! My ex never made that kind of cash- but she worked at places like Pizza Hut, Dennys, etc.

So... why are you worth more thanm she was? I think the system STINKS and you're making out like fucking BANDITS. I can see why you like th estatus quo. SHIT!

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

So you know (4.00 / 1) (#73)
by gazbo on Mon May 05, 2003 at 07:17:23 PM EST

I don't tip in restaurants if the service is bad, an don't leave a particularly large tip unless it is particularly good.

In bars, I never leave a tip unless either a) I know the barman and am feeling generous, b) the barman has done something exceptional, c) I am really, really drunk. In which case I'll probably buy everyone at the bar a drink as they're my new best mates.

Just so you know that it's still sane in England. Of course, the workers get a significantly higher wage to offset it.

-----
Topless, revealing, nude pics and vids of Zora Suleman! Upskirt and down blouse! Cleavage!
Hardcore ZORA SULEMAN pics!

[ Parent ]

Why I dislike tipping. (none / 0) (#82)
by /dev/trash on Mon May 05, 2003 at 08:39:28 PM EST

Tipping is just a way to make ME feel bad that the minimum wage laws are different for people who work in restaurants etc.

Pay them what other people are paid as a minimum and let the tipping be what it was meant for: a reward for great service, NOT as a way to get a waitress's  salary to minimum wage.

I do tip though, but I hate the system.

---
ESD is a fucking piece of shit. -fluffy grue (although I think it sucks too)
[ Parent ]

Yes, he does. Read this: (none / 0) (#24)
by ti dave on Mon May 05, 2003 at 03:25:06 PM EST

If you are extremely rude, or piss off your bartender in some other way, you may find yourself in the penalty box. That is, you will be ignored, or at least given lowest priority.

I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm
[ Parent ]

Don't belive in tipping? (3.33 / 3) (#28)
by rantweasel on Mon May 05, 2003 at 03:42:58 PM EST

Then don't go to restraunts and bars, and don't get your hair cut.  Really.  $2.35 an hour means one must get tips for the job to be worth it, and if you don't belive in tips, don't make hardworking waitstaff suffer.  Eat it and get a friend to cut your hair.  There's nothing more frustrating than busting your ass for a table that leaves the coin change from their bill and nothing more.

mathias

[ Parent ]

you've got it the wrong way around (3.28 / 7) (#61)
by lakeland on Mon May 05, 2003 at 06:27:00 PM EST

I expect staff to be paid. That's why I pay good money for goods and services. If you choose to work for below minimum wage in the hopes of getting tips, that isn't my problem.

Oh, and I refuse to stay at home because I won't play your cute little money-making scheme. I never tip, and If I ever receive poor service then I inform the management that bad service means I will not be returning.

[ Parent ]

Fine (3.00 / 2) (#105)
by rantweasel on Mon May 05, 2003 at 10:29:03 PM EST

Tell the manager and the waitstaff how you feel before you order.  Be fair to them, okay?  Let them know why they aren't receiving a tip, and they'll let you know how they feel about your attitude.  That, or find a restraunt that expects poor behavior from customers and charges higher prices in order to pay their staff better.  But don't pretend that what you are doing is okay.  The implied contract of using the services of waitstaff is that you will tip them based on the quality of service that they provide.  If you wont live up to your end, don't ask them to live up to theirs.

mathias

[ Parent ]

Implied Contract? WTF? (3.37 / 8) (#111)
by Maclir on Mon May 05, 2003 at 10:57:52 PM EST

The implied contract of using the services of waitstaff is that you will tip them based on the quality of service that they provide.
I don't give a flying fuck about any so called "implied contract". When I go to a service establishment, any contract is between the management and myself. They provide the service to me, I pay the advertised price for that service. You are employed by the management. The contract is between you and the management. There is NO CONTRACT between you and I. If your management won't pay you a proper wage for the work you provide, then that is your problem. In more civilized countries, there are labo(u)r laws that are properly enforced to ensure all workers receive the correct wages.

[ Parent ]
When did you sign your restraunt contract? (none / 0) (#117)
by rantweasel on Mon May 05, 2003 at 11:38:10 PM EST

Where's the paper?  Did the server sign on behalf of the restraunt, or the chef, or busboy?  Or is it an implied contract?  Sort of like the one between you and the server, where they bring you food and fetch things that you ask for in exchange for a tip?  When you get the bill, it's for food.  The tip is your payment for service.  If you don't want to pay for service, get your food at the grocery store, or wait & bus your own table.

If you don't want to tip, don't.  Just don't ask for service in an establishment where tipping is customary if you don't feel that you should tip.  

mathias

[ Parent ]

tipping for food (none / 0) (#119)
by Delirium on Tue May 06, 2003 at 12:48:58 AM EST

I always thought there should be some component of the food that's "voluntarily" but customarily paid for in the form of a tip as well. I can't count how many times I've gotten some absolutely terrible food that was not what was advertised on the menu. It's not the waiter's fault, so there's no reason to take it out of the tip, which is unfortunately the only portion of the bill under my control.

[ Parent ]
food problem (none / 0) (#141)
by janra on Tue May 06, 2003 at 02:31:57 AM EST

Well, you could tell the waiter about the problem. I've had few problems, but when I do they either get fixed promptly or I get a discount on my food bill to reflect the problem.


--
Discuss the art and craft of writing
That's the problem with world domination... Nobody is willing to wait for it anymore, work slowly towards it, drink more and enjoy the ride more.
[ Parent ]
ah, good idea (none / 0) (#153)
by Delirium on Tue May 06, 2003 at 03:27:23 AM EST

Yeah, I have done that twice actually. Once they were helpful about it and I got some free appetizers or something while I was waiting, and actually ended up tipping extra for the helpfulness. Sometimes they're really grudging about it though.

[ Parent ]
They're usually very good about this (none / 0) (#217)
by squigly on Tue May 06, 2003 at 08:52:12 AM EST

The cost of preparing a second meal isn't really that high (typically about a third of the menu price, I've heard).   Most good restaurants will realise that this is less than the cost of losing a customer.  In fact, dealing with a customer complaint well is actually better for customer relations than having nothing go wrong in the first place.

[ Parent ]
I'll definitely agree with that (none / 0) (#320)
by Delirium on Tue May 06, 2003 at 04:09:21 PM EST

If nothing goes wrong, it usually doesn't make much of an impression. If something goes wrong and they're very helpful about it and willing to make even some sort of a token gesture to make up for it, like free dessert or something (rather than making you feel like an ass for pointing it out), it makes a good impression.

[ Parent ]
The menu is a contractual offer (5.00 / 1) (#129)
by grouse on Tue May 06, 2003 at 01:34:49 AM EST

The menu lists what you will receive and the price you are expected to pay for it. There's nothing implied about it. You need not sign a sheet of paper to create a contractual obligation. And unless the menu says that I am required to pay a service charge or gratuity, I am not required to do so.

I always leave tips but there is clearly no legal obligation to do so. Otherwise people who never leave tips would end up in court.

You sad bastard!

"Grouse please don't take this the wrong way... To be quite frank, you are throwing my inner Chi out of its harmonious balance with nature." -- Tex Bigballs
[ Parent ]

beware what you eat! (none / 0) (#150)
by jnana on Tue May 06, 2003 at 03:22:43 AM EST

It's also true that waitpeople never explicity sign a contract saying they won't spit on your food, that if they drop it in a pile of grease on the floor, they won't just wash it off and cover it with more sauce (which works very well, by the way). It works both ways. If you want to pretend that the commonly accepted customs that are implied are not just as binding as what is explicit, then be prepared for waitpeople to use your reasoning against you (and they will!). I've seen nasty things happen in kitchens. I don't agree with it, but I also don't feel too bad for you, since there is, as you say, no explicit contract between you and the waiter, and the explicit contract between the waiter and proprietor is also pretty flimsy.

[ Parent ]
Yeah (none / 0) (#157)
by grouse on Tue May 06, 2003 at 03:41:07 AM EST

And I've never signed a contract saying I as a customer wouldn't spit in your salad bar, but it would be just as illegal.

The customer has a legal right to the food advertised at the price advertised on the menu. The customer has a legal right to clean food. The waiter has a legal right to be paid by the restaurant, despite your claims of a "flimsy" contract. But the custom of tipping in America is simply a custom.

You sad bastard!

"Grouse please don't take this the wrong way... To be quite frank, you are throwing my inner Chi out of its harmonious balance with nature." -- Tex Bigballs
[ Parent ]

You're wrong (none / 0) (#228)
by melia on Tue May 06, 2003 at 09:37:06 AM EST

It's also true that waitpeople never explicity sign a contract saying they won't spit on your food, that if they drop it in a pile of grease on the floor, they won't just wash it off and cover it with more sauce (which works very well, by the way).

There should (there certainly is in the UK) be a contract you explicitly signed called your CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT which explicitly states your health and safety obligations. If you don't have anything like this in the US, that makes it illegal to indulge in this sort of behaviour, then to be honest, I don't care about the tipping and whatnot, i'll be bringing my OWN food!
Disclaimer: All of the above is probably wrong
[ Parent ]

It's not the financial side that matters (none / 0) (#104)
by tftp on Mon May 05, 2003 at 10:28:50 PM EST

I don't tip anyone. But that's not because I want to save some money. Quite opposite, I prefer to buy good, expensive {products,services,food,*} and pay appropriately. Good things matter in this life, and they usually are well worth of their price.

I don't tip because it is uncomfortable to me. It reminds me of those feudal lords from middle ages who threw few coins on the ground for their faithful servants. It is shameful to both sides, and I refuse to play such a rich lord who decides on rewarding a servant.

I insist on up front contracts. In such contracts we are equals, there are no lords or servants. You sell X for $Y, and I buy - or don't buy. I hate to enter an open-ended contract, where I pay some money now, and then some other money, separately, to someone else, later. I want it all lined up when I decide to buy or not to buy. If the tip is required (as it seems to be), include it into the price, and charge as such. If the tip is not required, you won't be getting one - simply because that's not what was agreed upon.

Since I do not tip, I avoid restaurants - it would be too unpleasant an experience; and I don't want (or even like) anyone serving me; I am quite capable to take care of myself. And since I don't drink alcohol, I have no use for bars either.

To reiterate, all I need is a firm price before I buy, and that price is exactly what I will pay.

[ Parent ]

That's fair (none / 0) (#110)
by rantweasel on Mon May 05, 2003 at 10:57:35 PM EST

If tipping bothers you, then don't get into situations where the implied social contract is to tip proportional to the service.  It sounds like you do avoid them, so what's the issue?  Frankly, I see it differently than you do - it's one of the few chances that you get to really vote with your wallet and reward excellent service, and it feels good to get a nice tip in acknowledgement of how hard you worked.  

mathias

[ Parent ]

the problem (4.00 / 3) (#112)
by tps12 on Mon May 05, 2003 at 11:04:32 PM EST

The flaw in your reasoning is that X is indeed being sold for $Y, where Y = W (the price on the menu) + 0.15 (or whatever it is where you eat) * W. Sure, it's not in black and white, and you're allowed a little variation based on the service you actually receive (still to your advantage, since you wait until after the service to decide on a tip), but it's still a contract. You claim to believe in contracts, but by not leaving a tip you are violating the contract that you tacitly agree with by eating at a non–fast food restaurant.

Look at the alternative: no tipping, full costs are listed on the menu. You agree to the price, and the waitperson can treat you however he or she wants. If you don't like the service then you can go elsewhere, but you can already do that. The tip system gives you more control over your own service.

I do agree with your conclusion, however. If you are not comfortable with the way service industries (not just restaurant waitpeople, but also taxicab drivers, hairdressers, sky caps, bellboys &c.) work, then you should avoid them. If you do find yourself in a situation in which a tip is expected, then you should consider it as though you have entered a contract. In these cases, not leaving a tip is a violation of this contract. Sure, it is socially imposed, but you knew that when you accepted the service in question.

The only argument against tipping that can be made based on capitalist principles is: "I will take advantage of any opportunity to benefit my personal wealth, therefore I do not tip." It's coersive, but anyone who places personal comfort above moral integrity should have no problem with that.

[ Parent ]

Nuh-uh (none / 0) (#198)
by transport on Tue May 06, 2003 at 06:51:13 AM EST

You people sound like you have the one true answer to how to reward good service.
 
<quote>
Look at the alternative: no tipping, full costs are listed on the menu. You agree to the price, and the waitperson can treat you however he or she wants. If you don't like the service then you can go elsewhere, but you can already do that. The tip system gives you more control over your own service.
</quote>
 
This is not the alternative. The alternative is that zero tipping is socially acceptable, which it would be if managers were made to pay minimum wage. In my part of the world, all hell would break loose if someone were paid less than minimum wage. Even foreigners ;) . Here, tips are still given if the service is good, but not if service is ordinary (or even bad). Seems to me to work just fine.
 
<quote>
The only argument against tipping that can be made based on capitalist principles is: "I will take advantage of any opportunity to benefit my personal wealth, therefore I do not tip." It's coersive, but anyone who places personal comfort above moral integrity should have no problem with that.
</quote>
 
As I tried to imply above, it is not black or white. There are alternatives in between the "Always tip" and the "Never tip". In particular, there is "Sometimes tip". I agree with the arguments presented against tipping in this thread, but I still think that it's part of a good night out to give a tip to a waiter, bartender, etc. IFF I feel their service is especially good.

[ Parent ]
ah (4.00 / 1) (#205)
by tps12 on Tue May 06, 2003 at 07:26:53 AM EST

You are right, other systems do work.

My second statement that you quoted was in re: not tipping in a place where tips are expected.

[ Parent ]

nosebleed. (n/t) (none / 0) (#125)
by vyesue on Tue May 06, 2003 at 01:13:26 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Do the math (3.50 / 4) (#121)
by SleepDirt on Tue May 06, 2003 at 12:58:52 AM EST

I hate this excuse, I really do. If you get 2 or 3 good tips in an hour, you're making pretty good money. I hate this "but I'm so poor, you should pay me $1 to walk 4ft and refill your glass" stuff. Tipping at bars is just stupid. The inflated drink prices alone are enough of a joke.

Other places, I have no problem tipping.

"In a closed society where everybody's guilty, the only crime is getting caught. In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity." - Hunter S. Thompson
[ Parent ]

Work the job (none / 0) (#317)
by rantweasel on Tue May 06, 2003 at 03:53:01 PM EST

I've done the math, and getting 2-3 good tips in an hour means a slow night.  Over an 8-10 hour shift, only about half of it is going to have steady customers - you need to make all of your money for the night in half of the shift.  It's not a question of "I'm so poor", it's a question of "Social custom expects that my wages are jointly paid by the individual customer and the restraunteur, and I've worked really hard to get you your food exactly as you want it as fast as possible without you noticing that I'm also carrying 3 or 4 other tables".  If you don't feel that social custom is right, don't enter into that relationship - drink and or eat at home instead.

mathias

[ Parent ]

"Busting your ass" (none / 0) (#199)
by drsmithy on Tue May 06, 2003 at 06:52:20 AM EST

There's nothing more frustrating than busting your ass for a table that leaves the coin change from their bill and nothing more.

Do this and nearly everyone *will* tip. However, "just doing your job" != "busting your ass". Certainly, I can think of no reason whatsoever to tip a bartender who has done nothing more than pour me a beer (a complicated set of cocktails delivered with a flourish, OTOH, might be a different story). Smiling at the customers, being polite and doing things like refilling their wine glasses is not "busting your ass", it's "doing your job".

[ Parent ]

The Definition of Busting Your Ass (none / 0) (#291)
by randinah on Tue May 06, 2003 at 02:24:49 PM EST

If you are a server in a busy restaurant, "just doing your job" does = "busting your ass". Smiling at the customers, being polite, and refilling wine glasses sounds easy until you realize you have to do all of this in a timely and efficient manner for six or seven tables at once. And if the kitchen gets backed up, the server becomes the first line of communication, and usually gets the blame for food that takes twenty minutes.


"Why waste time learning when ignorance is instantaneous?"
[ Parent ]
My job is hard == tip me? (none / 0) (#389)
by Belgand on Wed May 07, 2003 at 05:15:21 AM EST

If that's busting your ass then you might want to work an easier job. Really. I don't care how hard it is if you're only capable of doing an average or minimal level of service expect it to show in the tip. I've had servers who do an excellent job on busy, crowded nights. Don't bitch because quantity != quality.

[ Parent ]
Did I say that? (none / 0) (#407)
by randinah on Wed May 07, 2003 at 09:31:29 AM EST

No, I did not say that I wasn't able to do my job. I'm just defending the fact that being a server does equal "busting your ass" - it's hard work - as simple as that.

And I like to work hard. That's why I don't try to find another job - Really.

I'm sure you work very hard at your job too. But are tips considered a major part of your salary by the government, your clients, and the business that hires you? I didn't think so. Also, I'm sure you at least make minimum wage on just your salary.


"Why waste time learning when ignorance is instantaneous?"
[ Parent ]
Tip for hair cuts?! (none / 0) (#256)
by tzanger on Tue May 06, 2003 at 12:31:34 PM EST

Maybe it's because I just go to one of those regular "two old guys cutting men's hair for $8" barbershops, but I have never tipped a barber, nor have I been aware that this was common practise (Southwestern Ontario).

I've been using my own Wahl and shaving my head now for the past year or so so I dunno, maybe times have changed. :-)



[ Parent ]
Could be local (none / 0) (#313)
by rantweasel on Tue May 06, 2003 at 03:44:05 PM EST

I know that in some parts of the US, it's customary to tip the bagboy at the grocery store.  Maybe the barber thing is local to the mid-atlantic region.

mathias

[ Parent ]

Me either :) (none / 0) (#391)
by Belgand on Wed May 07, 2003 at 05:17:27 AM EST

I don't tip for haircuts either. I've found it looks better, takes less time, and costs a lot less if I just sidestep the whole deal. Been growing strong for 4 years now and aside from the occasional "Miss?" when someone comes up behind me I'm much happier with it.

[ Parent ]
Busting your ass? (none / 0) (#388)
by Belgand on Wed May 07, 2003 at 05:06:29 AM EST

As far as I see it most of the anti-tipping advocates agree to tip in exchange for good service. If you're really busting your ass then they'll likely tip. If they aren't tipping then why not see what you can do to make it so that everyone, even those who only tip for exceptional service, will give you a tip. Probably you'll see a lot more benefit from this than whining about it.

[ Parent ]
He's got a point. (5.00 / 2) (#72)
by lb008d on Mon May 05, 2003 at 07:08:35 PM EST

It was nice going out to eat in Paris - you got the bill and you paid it. Any "tip" was a sign of exceptional service.

That's how it should be in the US. It's also why I always tip - people should be making at least minimum wage at what they're doing.

[ Parent ]

slightly ot - smoking (4.25 / 4) (#17)
by misfit13b on Mon May 05, 2003 at 02:51:38 PM EST

Since you're a bartender, what do you think of the smoking bans in major cities like NYC and most recently Boston?

I'm mostly against them. (4.33 / 3) (#21)
by sophacles on Mon May 05, 2003 at 03:02:53 PM EST

The bar I work at has some pool tables in a downstairs room.  This room has a low ceiling, and on a busy night the smoke is so thick that the room looks foggy.  It's rough on the lungs and eyes of smokers, let alone non-smokers.  Situations like this tend to make me agree somewhat with the policy.

For the most port though, I tend to dissagree with a broad ban like that. I think bars should have the choice to allow smoking or not.  Most of the customers I see are either smokers, or are non-smokers who occasionally enjoy a smoke or two when they are out drinking.  In this context it is often a social thing, get all the bad stuff done in a limited setting.  People frequently ask me if there is a no smoking section of my bar, and at least in our case that just wouldn't work, because of the way it is set up, but is at least a good alternative.

Finally I disagree with it on grounds of governmental paternalism.  As a student there are all sorts of laws that apply to me that makes me feel like the government is trying to be my parents. I don't like it, and the smoking bans seem like just another example of it.


[ Parent ]

makes sense (5.00 / 1) (#29)
by misfit13b on Mon May 05, 2003 at 03:44:53 PM EST

Damn meddling government. ;^)

I don't go to bars that often myself, one of the many reasons being the smoke. Was just curious as if I do go, it's once in a blue moon, and only for a few hours. You however, work there day in and day out so I was curious as to if that changed your perception.

Thanks for responding, good article. +1 FP from me if I'm around when it goes to voting.

[ Parent ]
Smoke-eaters (none / 0) (#63)
by epepke on Mon May 05, 2003 at 06:34:30 PM EST

The management should consider getting electrostatic dust precipitors, otherwise known as smoke-eaters. A local watering hole with pool tables has a number of industrial-strength ones about the size of a large window air-conditioner, and they work great.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Employees? (none / 0) (#148)
by kreyg on Tue May 06, 2003 at 02:58:14 AM EST

As far as I know, the main reason given for banning smoking in, well, just about everywhere in British Columbia was that employees didn't have a choice about exposure to smoke. Customers have a choice, but if it's your job...

There was a point to this story, but it has temporarily escaped the chronicler's mind. - Douglas Adams
[ Parent ]
This is bullshit (none / 0) (#178)
by CaptainZapp on Tue May 06, 2003 at 04:56:20 AM EST

Mind you, I don't mean to attack you and I believe that this is really provided by the ah so caring gubynmint.

However, their reasoning iis bullshit, for the following reason:

Nobody is forced to work in bars as nobody is forced to work as an industrial diver (which is most certainly more dangerous and unhealthy to you then second hand smoke). If somebody choses to work in such a job there are reasons, like good pay or other perks.

BTW: I say that as a non smoker (ok, occasional smoker of fine commie cigars, which are allowed in bars in our parts of the world).

[ Parent ]

Well, (5.00 / 1) (#197)
by Verminator on Tue May 06, 2003 at 06:47:43 AM EST

even if it weren't illegal (I'm in CA), if someone were to come into a bar when I was working and started to smoke I'd tell them to take it outside. I don't care if you think you have a right to smoke inside or not, but when I'm behind the bar, it's my fucking bar and I don't enjoy the smell of cigarette smoke. If anyone had a problem with that, they could go find another place to drink. I may not be forced to work in a bar, but I do and I'll be damned if I let someone make my work environment more unpleasant than it has to be.


If the whole country is gonna play 'Behind The Iron Curtain,' there better be some fine fucking state s
[ Parent ]

No argument (5.00 / 3) (#206)
by CaptainZapp on Tue May 06, 2003 at 07:44:33 AM EST

Yep; your bar your rules and if I don't like them I drink in another bar.

But it should not be up to the government to set the rules in your bar unless it constitutes a clear and present danger to the public.

[ Parent ]

And restaurants (none / 0) (#364)
by kreyg on Tue May 06, 2003 at 09:13:30 PM EST

Actually, this was mostly related to restaurants, not just bars. That's a rather broader category of employment.

And I don't necessarily agree with the law from the perspective of the government trying to babysit me, but I have nothing but blind hatred for anyone polluting the air I'm trying to breathe with cigarette smoke.

There was a point to this story, but it has temporarily escaped the chronicler's mind. - Douglas Adams
[ Parent ]
Brings in another crowd (none / 0) (#377)
by Belgand on Wed May 07, 2003 at 03:38:06 AM EST

I don't drink nor do I smoke. That said I'm much, much more likely to go to a bar if it's non-smoking. I often hang out at a bar with a number of my friends on at least a weekly basis due to their non-smoking policy. Without smoking it becomes more of a place to hang out with friends. Not a loud, smoky, unpleasant place to get drunk. I think that if more bars went smoke-free they'd attract a large number of current clientele (i.e. people who want to drink) as well as people who just don't want to put up with the smoke. Now smoke-free concert venues? I'm amazed that isn't standard by now.

[ Parent ]
I agree with the idea... (none / 0) (#462)
by RevLoveJoy on Thu May 08, 2003 at 12:00:00 AM EST

but not the execution. It should be owner's call on smoking / non-smoking policy, not some bureaucrat's.

I do not drink nor do I smoke, but the idea that we should legislate what I choose to be my personal lifestyle as the status quo on other people's private property distrubes me.

Okay, so your post had very little to do with my rant. I appologize for being off topic.

Cheers,
-- RLJ

Every political force in the U.S. that seeks to get past the Constitution by sophistry or technicality is little more than a wannabe king. -- pyro9
[ Parent ]

Soo... (3.60 / 5) (#19)
by alfadir on Mon May 05, 2003 at 02:54:10 PM EST

In every group you mention, Regulars, Tippers, Rude people etc. Do you serve good looking girls before any other ? :)

Oh, and don't be too angry on the people from Europe. If they are newcommers it takes some time getting used to tipping. Here tip is included. Of course we still tip, but the amount is not as high as in the US.

Nice to hear your side (4.33 / 6) (#20)
by Random Number Generator Troll on Mon May 05, 2003 at 03:02:46 PM EST

Reminded me of this website, which is almost legendary in it's accuracy and detail. I was too young to drink when I spent time in the US so I'm not sure how much it applies over there.

I worked as a barman in a hotel for a year, we had our regular alcoholics, depressives, the occasional younger guests who could be taken on a tour round town, but mainly old Dutch people. We had some American Girl Guides once though, that was a lot of fun. Doubt it compares to proper bar work though.

Cool (none / 0) (#50)
by nosilA on Mon May 05, 2003 at 04:45:07 PM EST

That is an incredible read... almost worth an MLP.  I wish there were more things like that for all kinds of subjects - a general "tourists guide for those who don't want to be rude tourists."  I don't want to do the polished guided tour of England, but I want to know how to get the most out of my visit.

-Alison
Vote to Abstain!
[ Parent ]

drinking alcohol is insipid (1.41 / 29) (#25)
by circletimessquare on Mon May 05, 2003 at 03:29:58 PM EST

drinking alcohol is for insipid folk with no direction in life.

if you have nothing better to do with your time except sit around a bar, that speaks volumes about the content of your person.

live your life, lose the ethanol.


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

oh yeah (3.00 / 3) (#27)
by llimllib on Mon May 05, 2003 at 03:42:55 PM EST

There's never been any famous/successful people that drank alcohol. All the really cool people in history never drank a... oh wait, who is that again? Are you trolling or serious?


Peace.
[ Parent ]
i'm serious (2.00 / 5) (#34)
by circletimessquare on Mon May 05, 2003 at 03:56:11 PM EST

great irish writers sitting around the pub notwithstanding, in my experience in life, the usual drek that regularly inhabit pubs are emptyheaded chatterboxes with nothing to say and no one to say it to.

they have to drink alcohol to kill the pain of their meaningless pointless lack of direction and to lower their iq to the point where their lowest common denominator thoughts actually sound interesting to one another.

when they finally figure out they have something better to do with their lives, they usually find they have no time to inhabit soft drug dens.

regular alcohol use is insipid. there is no magic. there is no comraderie. there is no joy.

there is only liver damage.

do you want to find someone who has no idea what they are doing with their lives and has nothing to say of any interest?

go to a bar.

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

real people (4.16 / 6) (#42)
by llimllib on Mon May 05, 2003 at 04:13:10 PM EST

Life is not a game. There are no winners and no losers, only people. If you are driven enough to spend all of your time in tangibly productive pursuits, then I salute you. You are better than I. many people, including some of the finest specimens of our very imperfect species, find joy in meeting other people, often over an alcoholic beverage with a tendency to reduce inhibition. If you don't enjoy it, so be it. However, leave the rest of us to our beers.


Peace.
[ Parent ]
no problem (3.00 / 3) (#45)
by circletimessquare on Mon May 05, 2003 at 04:17:48 PM EST

enjoy your insipid pursuits ;-P

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
as I am sure you enjoy yours nt (2.00 / 1) (#172)
by monkeymind on Tue May 06, 2003 at 04:31:38 AM EST


I believe in Karma. That means I can do bad things to people and assume the deserve it.
[ Parent ]

yes i will hypocrit (nt) (none / 0) (#351)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 06, 2003 at 06:50:44 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
yeah... (4.50 / 2) (#84)
by Fuzzwah on Mon May 05, 2003 at 08:42:15 PM EST

"in my experience in life"

I can certainly see, from your comments, exactly how you wouldn't enjoy the social interaction found at bars and pubs which others enjoy.

But of course, your opinions are oh so lofty and important.

--
The best a human can do is to pick a delusion that helps him get through the day. - God's Debris
[ Parent ]

a note you should make to yourself (2.33 / 3) (#85)
by circletimessquare on Mon May 05, 2003 at 08:47:48 PM EST

note to self:

assuming a tone of self-important disgust is not useful when criticising someone for having a tone of self-important disgust

;-P

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

the difference (2.00 / 1) (#106)
by Fuzzwah on Mon May 05, 2003 at 10:31:34 PM EST

I'm sighting something from my perspective, not attempting to sound like I'm stating facts.

Anyway, thanks for the tip. I have a lot to learn about trolling.

--
The best a human can do is to pick a delusion that helps him get through the day. - God's Debris
[ Parent ]

sarcasm. powerful troll tool ;-P (nt) (1.00 / 1) (#113)
by circletimessquare on Mon May 05, 2003 at 11:13:55 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
find me a pool hall (4.50 / 2) (#94)
by cyclopatra on Mon May 05, 2003 at 09:28:53 PM EST

...that charges $1/game (the ones where I live are around $6-10/hr, which works out to $3-$5/game, considering how bad I am at pool) and offers a ready selection of new opponents to meet and match off against...

...or a place that I can gather noisily with 25-50 friends and acquaintances and listen to music without police intervention or angry neighbors...

...or a place that offers dancing to music I enjoy...

...and maybe I'll stop frequenting bars. After all, the beer's cheaper if I stay home, anyway.

Cyclopatra
All your .sigs are belong to us.
remove mypants to email
[ Parent ]

phrased that way (2.66 / 3) (#114)
by circletimessquare on Mon May 05, 2003 at 11:19:01 PM EST

you have taken my assertion a little too far

i don't consider any of those pursuits insipid if that is the way you define a "bar"

because your definition of a bar does not revolve around alcohol

i am merely criticizing the empty insipid mediocrity of making alcohol the center of your social pursuits

which is how i defined bar, but not how you did

so really, we are both correct, we agree with each other, we both emphasize pursuits that do not revolve around ethanol.

enjoy the foosball ;-)

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

excessive amounts (none / 0) (#32)
by misfit13b on Mon May 05, 2003 at 03:53:59 PM EST

I think the problem would be more along the lines of "too much of a good thing", whether it be alcohol, sex, drugs, TV, K5...

To me, there's nothing wrong with alcohol in moderation, and since very few of us have been on the other side of a bar, that makes this article quite interesting.

[ Parent ]
you are right (1.57 / 7) (#35)
by circletimessquare on Mon May 05, 2003 at 03:58:17 PM EST

one drink a month at a bar? sure, you are right, dead on.

anything more than that is the beginning of the slide of your life into mediocrity.

everything in moderation: i couldn't agree more.

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Yes, posting to K5 is much superior. nt (5.00 / 3) (#40)
by Edgy Loner on Mon May 05, 2003 at 04:12:29 PM EST



This is not my beautiful house.
This is not my beautiful knife.
[ Parent ]
ok, hypocrit (nt) (1.50 / 2) (#46)
by circletimessquare on Mon May 05, 2003 at 04:18:20 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Puritan Scum (none / 0) (#139)
by whanau on Tue May 06, 2003 at 02:18:30 AM EST




[ Parent ]
hilarious hypocrisy (none / 0) (#350)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 06, 2003 at 06:50:03 PM EST

you object to my tone of judgmental disgust in a post that displays a monumental tone of... judgmental disgust

hypocrisy is a stupefying phenomenon

;-P


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Thank $deity... (none / 0) (#166)
by Josh A on Tue May 06, 2003 at 04:22:45 AM EST

...that none of the rest of us have to own your judgments. No, they're all yours. Enjoy them.

---
Thank God for Canada, if only because they annoy the Republicans so much. – Blarney


[ Parent ]
hilarious hypocrisy (none / 0) (#349)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 06, 2003 at 06:49:47 PM EST

you object to my tone of judgmental disgust in a post that displays a monumental tone of... judgmental disgust

hypocrisy is a stupefying phenomenon

;-P


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Not quite (none / 0) (#525)
by Josh A on Thu May 29, 2003 at 06:41:34 AM EST

You must be projecting your tendency toward judgment onto me...

I did not object to the tone of your post. I did not object to anything, in fact. I did not judge you. I did not think you were, or try to make you, "wrong" for what you wrote.

I simply publically rejoiced in the fact that no one else has to own what you wrote. Your opinion is on you. That fact is so delicious to me. Freedom is a wonderful two-way street.

We could sum up my original post thusly: Don't expect anyone else to agree.

We could extend it by mentioning the phrase "bald assertions"...

---
Thank God for Canada, if only because they annoy the Republicans so much. – Blarney


[ Parent ]
Wow you sound exciting (none / 0) (#215)
by melia on Tue May 06, 2003 at 08:45:21 AM EST

If you ask me, not drinking is for insipid people who don't do anything exciting enough to warrant celebrating/steam letting. If you have nothing to do except whine about people who enjoy a drink every now and again, then it speaks volumes that few people I know would want to hear. I think we'd all prefer it that you stay in and watch telly - unless you'd like to tell us the exciting things that you do instead?
Disclaimer: All of the above is probably wrong
[ Parent ]
hilarious hypocrisy (none / 0) (#348)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 06, 2003 at 06:49:24 PM EST

you object to my tone of judgmental disgust in a post that displays a monumental tone of... judgmental disgust

hypocrisy is a stupefying phenomenon

;-P


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Sheesh (none / 0) (#352)
by melia on Tue May 06, 2003 at 07:34:40 PM EST

Look, you've just done it too. We could go round in circles all day. Or we could argue the point - maybe over a pint. Or not.
Disclaimer: All of the above is probably wrong
[ Parent ]
i am filled with... (none / 0) (#360)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 06, 2003 at 08:33:21 PM EST

i am filled with judgmental disgust over the use of alcohol

in the name of intellectual honesty and the avoidance of hypocrisy, admit your judgmental disgust of me and my puritanical ways and we can avoid the nasty pint ;-)


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

God yes. (5.00 / 1) (#400)
by melia on Wed May 07, 2003 at 08:26:33 AM EST

I admit it. I feel so much better now! Come on, just a quick one. I'm buying.
Disclaimer: All of the above is probably wrong
[ Parent ]
I need to get severly drunk from time to time (none / 0) (#309)
by LaundroMat on Tue May 06, 2003 at 03:33:42 PM EST

"Live your life" is exactly why. Alcohol is an integral part of many lives, and it's a perfect means of letting off steam and stepping out of the daily tredmill.
Were I unable to succumb to the attractions of alcohol, my head would explode. And I mean that. Not being able to drink would mean I'd become stark raving mad in a few years. There's just too much going on, and slight/exaggerated/extreme alcohol imbibement is a welcome pause once in a while.

And bars are one of the few places people meet, without too many of society's self-imposed barriers among them. Bars constitute a large part of society's social fabric.
---

"These innocent fun-games of the hallucination generation"
[ Parent ]

you sir are honest (5.00 / 1) (#347)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 06, 2003 at 06:47:37 PM EST

unlike the other posters here who object to my tone of judgmental disgust while at the time displaying a tone of... judgmental disgust ;-P

being an honest person, i will say nothing to you except that admire you. you need your alcohol, and you make no bones about it. i salute you, and would my proclivities allow me, i would toast you too. ;-)


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Thank you. (5.00 / 1) (#390)
by LaundroMat on Wed May 07, 2003 at 05:16:12 AM EST

I'll try and remain as honest in the future as well.

I'll have a smoke now.
---

"These innocent fun-games of the hallucination generation"
[ Parent ]

3*10^9 drunkards say otherwise (none / 0) (#520)
by dtothek on Mon May 19, 2003 at 02:28:47 PM EST

if sobriety is so great, why didn't prohibition work? fuckin troll.
-d
[ Parent ]
Question (since you're not working at the moment) (4.66 / 3) (#36)
by davidduncanscott on Mon May 05, 2003 at 04:02:10 PM EST

I've always meant to ask a bartender about this, but they always seem like they have better things to do than answer my random questions. Since you don't, at the moment...

Those rails down where the table drinks are served to the wait staff -- why are they there, exactly? I see how they sort of mark that point, so that nobody tries to sit there, but they look kind of big and shiny and expensive to serve only that function. Were dirigibles once tethered there, or what?

I dont know, (none / 0) (#80)
by sophacles on Mon May 05, 2003 at 08:35:42 PM EST

but it is an interesting observation.  Perhaps it goes back to when bars all seemed to have the brass rail around them (think cowboy movies). It went with the decor, then became sort of standard.  Thats the best reason I can think of.

[ Parent ]
Upon further investigation... (5.00 / 2) (#184)
by sophacles on Tue May 06, 2003 at 05:27:05 AM EST

It turns out that those are just the right size to set a tray on so that it is stable.  They are also tall enough that the server can put her hand underneath the tray to pick it up and do the one-handed carrying trick that is so amusing.  I assume they are just thick because, like everything at a bar, they need to withstand some rather unusual stresses.

[ Parent ]
Great question (none / 0) (#405)
by SauceyMan on Wed May 07, 2003 at 09:14:30 AM EST

I always wondered the same thing!

SauceyMan
---------
"Son, you got a pantie on your head." -excerpt from 'Raising Arizona'
[ Parent ]
I've been a waiter. (5.00 / 2) (#44)
by kitten on Mon May 05, 2003 at 04:16:05 PM EST

This is where I'd belt out a lengthy and long-winded rant about the ills of waiting tables and tending bar (I've done that as well), but as it happens, I've written a Customer Howto which goes over many of the grievances you mention, and then some. Hope you find it helpful or at least amusing.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
Commentary on your old article... (5.00 / 3) (#57)
by Kasreyn on Mon May 05, 2003 at 05:41:35 PM EST

...as back in 2001 I was only lurking k5 and not reading or posting very regularly.

And FYI I have been a cook, waiter, and busboy, and I've been there before. You have my sympathy. ^_^

"The menu - along with this booklet - will provide you with the information you seek, so it is not necessary to interrogate me."

Well, sometimes the menu is put together by idiots and does not clearly state what comes with the various entrees, how the meat will be cooked, or what options there are for drink refills, etc. As a waiter, I was always glad when a customer asked, as I knew the alternative was that they would instead get the wrong thing and then bitch and think it was my fault!

"It is now time to place your order. It seems that this is quite a monumental task for some of you,"

I'm one of those. ^_^;; I can never make up my mind. I hereby apologize on behalf of all my kind. ^_^;

"3. Use words, not gestures. Humans are gifted with a wonderful device known as "language"; please take full advantage of it and refrain from grunting and pointing at the menu like a Cro-Magnon. I do not require a visual aid."

Heh, at some restaurants the names of the entrees are so silly I'm embarassed to say them aloud. I hate asking some bored college student for a meal the name of which makes my IQ seem halved. Ugh. I'd rather point when they don't have the decency to give a meal a simple, no-frills name. Death to all restaurant marketing managers with ideas for cutesy meal names.

"(This means that you cannot substitute a steak instead of french fries, so don't ask.)"

LOL, someone tried that one on me, but as a deliberate joke. You mean someone used that seriously? O_O

"Please ask for all additional condiments or utensils at this time, so that I do not have to come back to your table seventeen times."

Urgh, I know the feeling. I waited tables in a restaurant that was mostly frequented by the elderly, and while they made great conversation when I wasn't rushing - lots of them would talk to me, a waiter, as if I were a close friend, which I appreciated - they had horrible short-term memories! They could never remember they wanted one thing until I was gone. Oh well, at least they tipped like drunken sailors. ;-) Good grief, one lady would give me $20 just for saying hello, it seemed. Maybe she was in the mafia. =P

"GOOD TIMES TO REQUEST SOMETHING:
When I ask if I can get anything for you.
When I'm within earshot, but not busy."


Two problems, from a customer perspective. First off, the waiter MUST learn the right interval to make this inquiry. I know some restaurants that have a (braindead IMO) policy to set how often a waiter must ask to be of service, but this is foolish in the extreme. When I dine out with my father, a very polite and reserved sort of guy, he finds NOTHING more annoying and non-tip-worthy than being constantly interrupted by a waiter ducking in every 2 minutes (he prefers about a 15 minute interval). However, I've also dined with people who are the exact opposite: they want to be coddled and paid attention to every minute of their meal. I'm somewhere in the middle, and I think most people are, but waiters need to learn to recognize people like my dad and tone down their inquisitiveness accordingly, if they want to be tipped well. ;-)

And a note to customers, on the "earshot" thing: speak up! Restaurants have a lot of background noise, and IMO there is nothing wrong with raising your voice beyond the conversational level to attract the server's attention. Better than mumbling, "uh, miss?", getting no service, and feeling like a dork at the same time.

"PROBLEM:
You didn't want tomatoes on your sandwich, but it came with them anyway.
SOLUTION:
Take the tomatoes off."


Tomatoes aren't the problems, pickles are! Now I like a nice crisp kosher dill every once in a while, but the soggy, nasty hamburger chips they use in restaurants are just disgusting. Besides, pickles on sandwiches are nasty unless the sandwich is consumed immediately, because they make the bun all soggy with pickle juice. They are the one item that, if I asked them not to be served and they are, I will send it back to the kitchen. =\

"As you are out in public, it does not become you to spread your mess across the hemispheres of creation, smear mustard on the table, empty sugar packets onto the floor for no reason, etc."

Unfortunately, this situation will not end until restaurants start banning larva from admittance. Err, I mean children, sorry. ^_^

It's also the overgrown children. I once refused to clean a restroom in a restaurant I was working in, and the manager did NOT fire me. Why? (don't read this if you're eating! You have been warned!) Because someone had managed to get diarrhea shit up to CHEST HEIGHT on the walls. Yet no one had informed management they had an accident. They just came in, covered the walls and floor with excrement, then apparently walked out whistling a merry tune. It's amazing how slovenly and disrespectful people can be when they know they don't have to clean up the mess.

As to tipping, another reason I like to be left alone sometimes by the server is so I can have a minute to think on their service and leave the tip on the table without them hovering over me. Recently I took some friends out, and got some poor service (IMO - very slow, unsmiling, got an order wrong and didn't seem sorry or apologetic at all, etc., etc.). The waitress would never seem to go away, and when I left a tip below 15%, my friends (who disagreed with me on the service), made a scene over and embarassed me publically, such that I wound up leaving 15% just to shut them up. Eesh. I'd much rather stick the tip under the edge of my plate than have a big scene over it.

Cheers (and good luck! It's a warzone out there!),


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
Tomatoes (5.00 / 4) (#75)
by R343L on Mon May 05, 2003 at 07:40:28 PM EST

"PROBLEM:
You didn't want tomatoes on your sandwich, but it came with them anyway.
SOLUTION:
Take the tomatoes off."

I don't like this answer. People ask to not have something with/on their food for more reasons than just not liking that food. A person with a food allergy probably can't eat that sandwich with tomato residue. And they shouldn't have to explain why they would prefer their food the way they ordered it (most people don't like to have to explain health problems in public or to strangers).

Rachael
"Like cheese spread over too much cantelope, the people I spoke with liked their shoes." Ctrl-Alt-Del
[ Parent ]

Mayonnaise (5.00 / 3) (#130)
by cooldev on Tue May 06, 2003 at 01:38:39 AM EST

Not to mention when it's some vile, putrid substance such as mayonnaise, which can ruin an entire sandwich with a microscopic level of contamination.

[ Parent ]
Well, look. (5.00 / 1) (#185)
by kitten on Tue May 06, 2003 at 05:34:57 AM EST

When it's something like mustard or mayonnaise, you can't really get that off yourself. Personally, my philosophy is "deal with it", and just eat the damn thing anyway, but I do understand that lots of people have to have everything Just So, and therefore yes, I will have the cook make you a new one in that case.

However, for things like tomatoes - what exactly do you think the waiter does when you bitch about that? He takes your plate, goes into the back, takes the tomatoes off himself, and then gives it back to you - and you probably never know the difference or care. It's something you could easily do yourself without dragging the waiter into it, because the end result is exactly the same, except hassling the waiter takes longer.


mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Well, you look (5.00 / 3) (#216)
by pmc on Tue May 06, 2003 at 08:48:03 AM EST

Personally, my philosophy is "deal with it",

Well, my philosophy is that if I ask for a sandwich with no tomatoes, or a pizza with no anchovies, then I expect the aforementioned to be served. If you want me to "just deal with it" then I expect you to "just deal with" the zero tip you'd be getting - turn about being fair play and all.

As for not taking the tomatoes of a sandwich - that is not what I'd be asking. I'd be asking for a sandwich with no tomatoes, which is a different thing. The reason that I'd be asking for this is that it'd be for my wife, and raw tomatoes (yes, even a residue) is liable to have her sick for a few days. So, unless you are intimately aware of the health and nutrition requirements of your customers, please don't even presume to guess why they are ordering what they are ordering. (And yes, I have had a friend who needed to use the "adreneline pen" because some clueless server (it wasn't you, was it?) said "Definitely no mushrooms in this dish" when the converse was the case, which doesn't work well with a mushroom allergy.)

You seem also to have a bizarre view of the interactions of customers and staff. Unacceptable is the customer if he asks for a coke and a napkin at different times, but it's fine for you to serve only a rough approximation of what he actually asked for.

And you're moaning about how badly treated you are. Can't say I'm surprised.

[ Parent ]

I think it's more constomer-oriented (none / 0) (#245)
by hstink on Tue May 06, 2003 at 11:10:19 AM EST

I can't tell you how many times I've had tables pore over a menu choice (our menus are very explicit in mentioning all ingredients), only to be presented with food which contains something they didn't want.

This gets extremely frustrating.  "Oh I didn't know it was on there."  Oh if only I could say "Really?  It's listed second in the description in the menu.  Say are you looking to buy a used car?"

I have no issue with promptly replacing food which I entered incorrectly (missed a substitution or omission) or was incorrectly prepared (meat not cooked properly, or plates garnished incorrectly).  But if you order something from the menu then change your mind about an ingredient when it gets to the table, boy will I be fuming.  What's the alternative?  Say aloud everything in the dish when they order it?  It's not like that will deter the hardcore band of customers who just enjoy the attention of having a manager come over with a "corrected" plate of food.

-h

[ Parent ]

Your menu's aren't comprehensive (none / 0) (#253)
by pmc on Tue May 06, 2003 at 12:17:49 PM EST

Seriously, your menus only contain what you explicitly put in the dishes - most have nothing like that level of detail (and do you specify what type of oil? Groundnut oil is not good for people with nut allergies). Lots, if not all, of your dishes will have other things in there. It's practically inevitable - use of cutting surfaces, re-use of cooking oil, contaminated ingredients.

While it is not usually a problem for most people, people with severe food allergies usually ask explicitly for their food to be cooked in fresh oil (for example) so that there is no chance of contamination. (Most restuarants are more than happy to oblige once they know the reason, and if not there is usually a salad to fall back on).

What is not acceptable is when you've explictly requested something (or the absence of something), the server has agreed to meet your request, and then they don't deliver and expect you to "deal with it". Arrogant, but accompanying a whinge about how inconsiderate customers are it is really staggering.

[ Parent ]

Well (none / 0) (#271)
by hstink on Tue May 06, 2003 at 01:21:46 PM EST

There are disclaimers mentioning traces of nuts in all dishes, that is unavoidable in the kitchen environment.  We also honour as many special requests as possible, that's our job as a restaurant.

What I get annoyed at is a mistake on the customer's behalf ("Oh I didn't want the Alfredo sauce on that Chicken Fettucine Alfredo") when it was clearly stated on the menu how the dish is served, that they soon after become annoyed at how long it's taking to prepare a new meal from scratch for them, and then leave a lower tip to top it off.

A mistake on my behalf is a display of bad service - I apologise, get a replacement meal and refuse a tip.  A mistake by the customer is a waste of my time and a disturbance to the other people on the table, who often wait with their food in front of them for the person's replacement to come out!  I'm not sure what kitten is complaining about specifically, but I would hope that he doesn't mean that a mistake on his behalf should just be "dealt with."

-h

[ Parent ]

Jesus Christ, everyone! (5.00 / 1) (#321)
by kitten on Tue May 06, 2003 at 04:10:34 PM EST

Why is everyone harping over this "deal with it" thing?

Here is what I actually said:
Personally, my philosophy is "deal with it", and just eat the damn thing anyway, but I do understand that lots of people have to have everything Just So, and therefore yes, I will have the cook make you a new one in that case.
Here's what I meant (it's pretty much what I actually said but nobody seems to get this):

I personally am not a picky customer. If I ask for no onions or whatever, I deal with it and get on with my life. However I do realize that not everyone shares this view, and so I will get you a new one.

Why is this a bad thing? I didn't say the customer should "deal with it", I said that I can "deal with it" when I am the customer. And I explicity stated that I will remedy the situation - which is the exact opposite of telling a customer to "deal with it".

Everyone chill the fuck out.

And I agree with hstink, and it's what I said in my original speech. The menu is explicit and states everything that comes with an item. "Our famous burger with cheese, onions, tomatoes, blah blah blah" or whatever.

If you have special dietary needs, that's something else entirely. No, the menu will not say what kind of oil things are cooked in (well, actually, many menus DO, if you look), but in any case, all you have to do is ask, and it will be done. I once had the cook use a new cooking surface to prepare all the meals for an Orthodox Muslim family that came in, because they cannot eat anything that has been prepared on the same surface that a pork product has been prepared on and I didn't want to take chances - even though they would never have known the difference.

The bottom line is this. As long as there's some communication on your part, things will go smoothly, and if something does get fucked up along the chain, I (the waiter) will fix it as quickly as I can. But bitching about whose fault it is, and generally carrying on, gets you (the customer) absolutely nothing that being polite wouldn't.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Hey, clown? (3.50 / 2) (#316)
by kitten on Tue May 06, 2003 at 03:49:27 PM EST

Well, my philosophy is that if I ask for a sandwich with no tomatoes, or a pizza with no anchovies, then I expect the aforementioned to be served. If you want me to "just deal with it" then

I said that was my personal philosphy. As a customer, I just don't make that big a deal about stuff - if I asked for no onions and the thing comes with onions, I get over it and get on with my life.

I did not say that everyone else should deal with it, and in fact, I explicity stated that "I realize not everyone shares this notion" or something along those lines.

The reason that I'd be asking for this is that it'd be for my wife, and raw tomatoes (yes, even a residue) is liable to have her sick for a few days.

Well, guess what? I'm not telling you that this is "right" - I'm telling you that it's what's actually done. So now you know, and you can explicity tell the waiter that you are allergic. Most waiters are very good about this sort of thing.

Don't always assume it's the waiter's fault, either. Over half the time, the error is with the cook who misread the ticket or just put tomatoes on out of sheer habit since every other burger he's made has tomatoes on it. Or, the customer doesn't bother mentioning it, and remembers as soon as the food comes out and he sees the tomatoes. It is very rare that the waiter is at fault.

And who cares anyway? The idea is to get the situation resolved ASAP, not conduct an insurace claim to find out who is at fault. The simple fact is that 99 out of 100 customers will be just fine when the waiter returns with a tomato-less sandwich. That's why the waiter does it that way - because it's the fastest, most efficient way to deal with the problem. He's not doing it to be a jackass.

You seem also to have a bizarre view of the interactions of customers and staff. Unacceptable is the customer if he asks for a coke and a napkin at different times,

Actually, what I said was that it'd be better to consolodate those sorts of requests. It isn't just for my benefit - it's for the customer's benefit as well. Unless you like interrupting your meal every thirty seconds to flag my ass down and ask me for something else, you should ask for all your stuff at once if possible.

but it's fine for you to serve only a rough approximation of what he actually asked for.

Did I say it was fine? No. I said it's what's done and I explained why.

People like you are the reason that I think it'd be a great idea for everyone, upon high school graduation, to have to serve two weeks as a waiter in a restaurant. Your holier-than-thou attitude is not going to get you any more service than being polite. In fact, if you become too much of a problem, the waiter will just bump you to the bottom of his priority list, and spend the extra time he's saved paying attention to his other customers and getting more tips from them to compensate for the lousy one you're likely to leave because of your attitude.

The waiter is there to wait your table and provide you with service. He is not your slave. It won't kill you to have some consideration for what is one of the top five most stressful occupations in the US, and be polite.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Hey, non top 5 stessful job person (5.00 / 1) (#346)
by pmc on Tue May 06, 2003 at 06:41:32 PM EST

I said that was my personal philosphy. As a customer, I just don't make that big a deal about stuff - if I asked for no onions and the thing comes with onions, I get over it and get on with my life.

Really? Let's have a recap on what you did say:

"Personally, my philosophy is "deal with it", and just eat the damn thing anyway, but I do understand that lots of people have to have everything Just So, and therefore yes, I will have the cook make you a new one in that case."
It's ambiguous up to a point, but stating that lots of people wanting things "Just So" does imply that wanting what you order is somehow unreasonable (perish the thought!) thus you expect a reasonable customer to "just deal with it" (unless the captialisation of "Just So" was accidental, of course).

I'm not telling you that this is "right" - I'm telling you that it's what's actually done. So now you know, and you can explicity tell the waiter that you are allergic.

Any other medical details that the waiter should know? And she (my wife) isn't allergic, but intolerant, and gets stomach upsets for a few days afterwards. Interesting, that titbit. If I tell the waiter I don't want tomatoes on a sandwich then it may or may not come with tomatoes. But if I tell the waiter that, for health reasons, I cannot have tomatoes on a sandwich, "He will be very good about this sort of thing." This means that he will make sure that my sandwich will not have tomato on it. So why on earth can he not do it when I simply ask for no tomatoes and don't bother giving him a medical history? But it is particularly amusing when juxtaposed with this comment from your original article:

It serves no purpose to provide me with lengthy explanations on why you are ordering a particular item, or what you had last time you were here, or who else you know that has also had this item. Just tell me what you want.
Tricky - risk being thought a "poor" customer by telling you about food allergies, or risk you serving something bad for us by not telling you. It's very stressful being a customer - probably one of the top 5 stressful leisure activities is eating in a restaurant.

People like you are the reason that I think it'd be a great idea for everyone, upon high school graduation, to have to serve two weeks as a waiter in a restaurant.

Two misconceptions - 1) that I ever attended "High School" (I haven't), and 2) that I haven't worked in the service industry (I have - shops, bars, restaurants, and telephone helpdesks).

to compensate for the lousy one you're likely to leave because of your attitude

Actually, I almost always tip 15% for good service, and that is exceptional in the UK. In the US it is usually nearer 20% (although I find the service at restaurants in the US a bit on the obsequious side, but cultural differences: they mean well, and serve well and that's what counts). I think the only places I recall not tipping was a terrible restaurant in the North East of England, where there was a hyper-aggressive waiter, a restaurant in Amsterdam where they took an hour to serve me a raw steak, and a restaurant in Beijing, where they chased me down the street to return the tip (cultural norms again). So presumption, on such scant evidence, is ill-advised.

I can even tell you that in the UK if you add the tip the a credit card then the management is under no obligation to give the tip to the staff, whereas if you leave cash they are. So I always make sure I have enough cash to tip, and I always ask the serving staff if it is safe to put it on the credit card bill.

The waiter is there to wait your table and provide you with service.

Which includes courteous and accurate service. That's all I ask for. And not being a fussy eater I can't recall many exceptions I've asked for (except anchovies, which I hate), and I've never had a problem. But if I did have a problem with the wrong thing being served then I would send it back - that's part of the deal: it is up to you to decide if you will agree to meet my request (and it is always phrased as a request), but if you agree to do so then I expect you to meet it.

It won't kill you to have some consideration for what is one of the top five most stressful occupations in the US, and be polite.

Where, exactly, did this little gem of a "fact" come from? According to "Jobs Almanac" the top five are: Air Traffic Control, CEO, Firefighter, Police Officer, Taxi Driver. According to a "Wall Street Journal" article serving staff does not appear in the top 25.

[ Parent ]

Pfft. (none / 0) (#392)
by kitten on Wed May 07, 2003 at 05:36:43 AM EST

It's ambiguous up to a point, but stating that lots of people wanting things "Just So" does imply that wanting what you order is somehow unreasonable (perish the thought!) thus you expect a reasonable customer to "just deal with it"

I think the fact that you interpreted it that way says a lot more about your mindset than mine.

But if I tell the waiter that, for health reasons, I cannot have tomatoes on a sandwich, "He will be very good about this sort of thing." This means that he will make sure that my sandwich will not have tomato on it. So why on earth can he not do it when I simply ask for no tomatoes and don't bother giving him a medical history?

Simple. Because, as stated before, if - on the off-chance something goes wrong - there's tomatoes on a customer's sandwich, 99 times of 100, all he really wanted was to assert himself, and when the waiter returns with a tomato-less sandwich, that makes the customer just pleased as punch. There's a reason the waiter does it that way - because it works and hardly anyone ever complains about it.

So, now that you know, you can mention an allergy or something, which will alter the waiter's usual way of dealing with things.

I'm sorry you don't like it, but that really is the way it is. Frankly I don't understand your hostility - I'm providing you with a potentially useful bit of information here. Getting all cheesed off at me isn't going to help you, and being pissy at your waiter isn't likely to help either.

For what it's worth the waiter is acting in what he believes are your best interests as well. The odds of someone being allergic are next to nil, and the waiter is acting under the very reasonable assumptions that:

  • You are unhappy because the order was wrong, and
  • You want it fixed as quickly as possible, and
  • Every second of delay is going to annoy you more, and so
  • Removing the tomatoes is probably the fastest way to salvage the situation and get your dining experience back on track.

    He's doing it out of consideration for you as well as constraints on his own time and resources, and as noted, it works, which is why he does it at all. Just say you're allergic - even if you're not - and he will alter his normal course of action to accomodate you.

    Two misconceptions - 1) that I ever attended "High School" (I haven't), and 2) that I haven't worked in the service industry (I have - shops, bars, restaurants, and telephone helpdesks).

    I don't know about all the other jobs. About the restaurant thing though - if you're saying you've been a waiter, I'm calling bullshit. There is a very remote chance I'm wrong, but in general, a waiter can always tell another waiter by the attitude. And you are clearly showing that you know very little about the daily ins-and-outs of the waitstaff's work.

    So presumption, on such scant evidence, is ill-advised.

    You missed the point. I'm saying that if you get to be too much of a problem, the waiter is going to basically ignore you and only do the bare, most minimal he can get away with. You're likely to leave less of a tip because of that, and he knows it, but he's now got extra time to devote to his other customers, so he doesn't care - and from his point of view, his attitude is being dictated by yours.

    Which includes courteous and accurate service. That's all I ask for.

    For the last time, if there is a problem with your order, the waiter will correct it as quickly and efficiently as possible. If you bother thinking about it, there is very rarely any kind of problem with your order, and when there is, the odds are it is not the waiter's fault.

    I'm sorry your meat was undercooked. I try to eyeball it before I bring it to you, but short of cutting into it, there isn't any real way for me to tell if the cook did the job right. That isn't my fault.
    I'm sorry there's onions on your sandwich, but short of taking it apart before I bring it to you, that's difficult to determine, and so it isn't my fault.

    As I said, whatever the problem, I (the waiter) will fix it. I as a customer don't care much about stuff like this, hence the "my philosophy is 'deal with it'" comment.

    Where, exactly, did this little gem of a "fact" come from? According to "Jobs Almanac" the top five are: Air Traffic Control, CEO, Firefighter, Police Officer, Taxi Driver.

    The way I read it, it was Firefighter, Paramedic, Police Officer, Air Traffic Controller, Waiter. Apparently the list varies by source - I've seen some that mention President of the US as the number one most stressful job, or "Corporate Executive", or "Racecar driver".
    mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
    [ Parent ]
  • Sheesh (none / 0) (#415)
    by pmc on Wed May 07, 2003 at 10:47:23 AM EST

    So, now that you know, you can mention an allergy or something, which will alter the waiter's usual way of dealing with things.

    That's what I'm getting at. You said you didn't want any extra facts. Now your saying you do. Which is it?

    And miss my point: you are saying that there is a difference in actions between "a customer preference" and "a customer need". Why? If it is possible for you to serve this archetypal sandwich without a tomato then why don't you. Or, in otherwords, why is one customer request treated differently from others?

    Your wrong about waitering - it was 18 years ago; a summer job at University. The bar job was helping serve behind the University Bar when I was a member of the Board of management as well as running bars at real ale events since then, and the shop jobs were pre-university (twice; one a local greengrocer, and shelf stacking and floor wandering in the local supermarket). IT helpdesk was just after I moved out of research into IT. I've also worked in housebuilding (mainly carpentry, but lots of digging holes and refilling them with aggregate), scientific research, IT support, programming, and IT architecture, and assorted others.

    Helpdesk was the worst - there is something remarkably difficult about dealing with people when you cannot see them. Probably lack of body language, but not nice at all. Followed by digging holes. Serving seemed more like a giggle. My wife, who has similar attitudes to mine by the way, was brought up in a restaurant family, and served silver service for years. I think she'd be a little surprised at the tomato example. But why else do you think both of us go out of our way to tip, and tip well? We do have empathy - because we know it's poorly paid and we've both done it - not because it is so stressful (it's not even the most stressful job I've done).

    Possibly there is a fairly significant cultural difference at play: in the UK (which is where I usually eat out, obviously) eating out is Occasion Dining (birthday's, anniversaries, special events) whereas in the States (and other places such as France) it is more Habitual Dining, where you eat out maybe once or twice a week: with friends, work mates, family and so on. In the habitual situation you are probably a lot more tolerant of mishaps (and "just deal with it") than if it is an Occasion.

    It also depends a lot on what the mistake is: if I ask for a pizza with no anchovies, and I get a pizza with anchovies it is simply not enough to just remove the anchovies - I can still taste the them.

    Oh - and the reason that there is no definite list of "stressful jobs" is that there is no real agreed definition of stress, a quantification of stress, or an agreement of what consistutes stress in a job (working conditions definitely, but is low pay a stress factor?). So a list is probably loaded: Farmers' Weekly will claim that farming is one of the top stress jobs, for example.

    [ Parent ]

    What are you missing? (none / 0) (#439)
    by kitten on Wed May 07, 2003 at 08:34:16 PM EST

    And miss my point: you are saying that there is a difference in actions between "a customer preference" and "a customer need". Why? If it is possible for you to serve this archetypal sandwich without a tomato then why don't you. Or, in otherwords, why is one customer request treated differently from others?

    I do. If I say, "What can I get for you?" and you say, "I want this turkey sandwich without tomatoes," that is what you're going to get: A turkey sandwich without tomatoes - and you're going to get that because I listened and did my job correctly.

    From time to time, on rare occasions, something will go wrong. Perhaps I didn't hear you, or forgot to make the proper note on the ticket? Perhaps you meant to say "no tomatoes" like you always do, but forgot this time? Perhaps the cook just didn't see the note, or put the tomatoes on out of sheer habit? These things are rare but do occur.

    And when that happens, you - the customer - will complain. And I will want to take care of the situation as quickly as possible, and this means simply removing the tomatoes.

    The reason I'm going to do this is because it's the fastest way possible to deal with the situation and works 99% of the time when this situation occurs (which, I remind you, is a rare situation to begin with).

    So, if you really can't stand that thought, just say you're allergic. This will tell me that this situation is in the 1% where my usual course of action will not work, and so I will try something else.

    It isn't a matter of treating customers differently. It's a matter of doing things the quickest way possible unless the situtation dictates otherwise.
    mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
    [ Parent ]
    I'd be less irritable about it (none / 0) (#326)
    by Delirium on Tue May 06, 2003 at 04:16:36 PM EST

    If it's just something that I personally prefer (no onions or something) and that I can take care of myself, I'll do so, because it's easier for all involved. I don't really gain anything by pointing out the mistake (even if it was indeed a mistake on the point of the waitperson), and I end up having to wait longer and go through some unnecessary "dealing with people."

    If it's something you're allergic to, generally simply mentioning this will get good results. I'm allergic to soy protein, and I've never had a problem asking if ground beef or anything like that has soy protein in it; generally they'll say "I don't know, let me check" and go ask the cook.

    [ Parent ]

    though I may reduce the tip (none / 0) (#329)
    by Delirium on Tue May 06, 2003 at 04:18:53 PM EST

    An addendum to this: I may, despite not complaining, tip less if the service isn't really what I expect. It's just not worth my effort to complain about it. I suppose this may make me look like I'm simply being cheap, as the waitperson may not realize anything was subpar about their service since I didn't mention anything, but oh well. I'll generally still tip in the 10-15% range; if the service is bad enough to deserve less fo a tip than that, I will normally actually mention it.

    [ Parent ]
    Translation: (5.00 / 1) (#223)
    by Rocky on Tue May 06, 2003 at 09:21:39 AM EST

    "I wasn't listening when I took your order, and I screwed it up, but it's your fault anyway for wanting something out of the ordinary.  Please fuck me when it comes to the tip."

    If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?
    - Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
    [ Parent ]
    Excuse me? (none / 0) (#304)
    by kitten on Tue May 06, 2003 at 03:25:05 PM EST

    "I wasn't listening when I took your order, and I screwed it up, but it's your fault anyway for wanting something out of the ordinary. Please fuck me when it comes to the tip."

    Consider some alternatives, jackass:

  • I did listen, and conveyed the order properly to the kitchen, but the cook fucked up.
  • You didn't bother mentioning it, but remembered when I brought the food out.

    Errors are not always the fault of the waiter. In fact, despite what you think, the error is very rarely the fault of the waiter. And if the waiter is truly being inattentive, then he's not doing his job.

    And I didn't say it was the customer's fault. I said that fault doesn't matter - the idea is to rectify the situation as quickly as possible, and taking the tomatoes off yourself is the fastest way to do it, especially since that's all the waiter is going to do.
    mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
    [ Parent ]
  • And I am saying... (none / 0) (#315)
    by Rocky on Tue May 06, 2003 at 03:47:32 PM EST

    ...taking the tomato off the way you propose is lazy and dangerous (esp. if the person is allergic to the food item).

    > I did listen, and conveyed the order properly to the kitchen, but the cook fucked up.

    It's your job to not only make sure that the correct order is conveyed to the cook, but that the correct order is received from the cook.  I can't yell at the cook; I usually never see him.  Therefore, the job falls to you to deal with that interface.  

    > You didn't bother mentioning it, but remembered when I brought the food out.

    Tough crap.  That's why it's called full service.  However, I do cede the point that if I do something like this, I have no right to be pissed if I have to wait for the cook to make another dish.

    Do you have this deep-seated resentment towards customers or something?  It's bleeding through in your writing.  

    If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?
    - Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
    [ Parent ]

    Oh, chill. (3.00 / 2) (#318)
    by kitten on Tue May 06, 2003 at 03:55:30 PM EST

    ...taking the tomato off the way you propose is lazy and dangerous (esp. if the person is allergic to the food item).

    Wait tables for two weeks and you'll do the same thing. You think you won't, but you would.

    The reason waiters do this is becausee 99 out of 100 customers are just fine with it. If everyone examined the sandwich for minute traces of tomato residue, the waiters would stop doing it this way - but because the customer is usually satisfied to just see a tomato-less sandwich, it's faster and more efficent for everyone to handle it like this.

    It's your job to not only make sure that the correct order is conveyed to the cook, but that the correct order is received from the cook. I can't yell at the cook; I usually never see him.

    We do check. But a tomato on a sandwich is often hard to see unless you take the sandwich apart, and we don't do that, nor would you want us to, now would you.

    Tough crap. That's why it's called full service.

    Yup. And that's why we take care of the problem in the quickest, most efficent way we can. My example was merely to illustrate that everyone is quick to assume that any problem is the waiter's fault, and there are numerous other things along the chain of communication that can go wrong. It was a counter to your inane accusation that the waiter "fucked up".
    mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
    [ Parent ]
    How I would react... (none / 0) (#427)
    by arcade on Wed May 07, 2003 at 01:53:23 PM EST

    The reason waiters do this is becausee 99 out of 100 customers are just fine with it.

    Personally, if I were eating at such a restaurant - and discovered that something like that had happened, I would simply stand up, say something similiar to "I asked for no tomatos, you went out and just removed the tomatos and returned the same dish - bye." - and leave the restaurant. You could forget about _attempting_ to extract payment from me.

    What you're doing is so _far_ into No-No land in my book that your restaurant would be permanently on my "do not visit, and recomend against" list of places to go.

    Your "it's okay for 99 out of 100 customers" argument quite simply doesn't cary _any_ weight in my book. It's in the same league as "90% uses Internet Explorer, so my webpages are for them only".



    --
    arcade
    [ Parent ]
    haha. (5.00 / 1) (#463)
    by kitten on Thu May 08, 2003 at 01:08:23 AM EST

    Personally, if I were eating at such a restaurant - and discovered that something like that had happened, I would simply stand up, say something similiar to "I asked for no tomatos, you went out and just removed the tomatos and returned the same dish - bye." - and leave the restaurant.

    You're only fooling yourself if you think anyone, including the restaurant manager, gives a fuck. At that point you've demonstrated that as a customer you're more trouble than you're worth, and it's not like we have a shortage of customers that your business is going to make a jot of difference. Meanwhile, we can use the time we've saved now that you've left, to pay attention to the customers who aren't being holier-than-thou jackasses, and get more money from them.

    You aren't impressing the other customers, either. Their meal is going just fine and to them you just look like a lunatic, so you haven't won any points there.

    What you're doing is so _far_ into No-No land in my book that your restaurant would be permanently on my "do not visit, and recomend against" list of places to go.

    Buddy, all waiters and restaurant staff have heard this at some time or another: "I'm never coming back here again!"

    Do you know what we all say? "Good." or "Is that a promise?"

    Bottom line? We don't care. If you're a jackass, or you're a problem, we'd rather not have you there at all.

    By the way, if I were to go to the back and tell the cook, "Hey, this customer didn't want tomatoes on his sandwich!" do you know what the cook would do?

    Answer: He ain't gonna make you a new one, that's for damn sure. He's got eight other tickets to deal with and more on the way.

    He's going to say, "Here, give me that," and when I do, he's going to remove the tomatoes himself.

    Unless I have reason to believe that you're allergic to the tomatoes, that's what's going to happen. And it's happened at every restaurant you've ever been to, I guarantee it. And you probably didn't even know, which means that you're actually just making a big deal for the sake of asserting yourself to someone who you think you have power over (e.g., the waiter).

    And one more thing: If you think it's sooooo terrible that you should have to say "I'm allergic" before we do it the way you want, think again. If you're really allergic, you'd better tell us, because god forbid there's tomato residue on the cooking surface or something. If you say so, we'll clean the surface before we cook your stuff, but otherwise, you're out of luck, and through no fault of our own.

    Work two weeks in a restaurant - that's really all I can suggest to you. Your attitude will change - and until then, you're just another Problem Customer who most waiters would be better off without. There's plenty of other customers out there who we can devote our time to - customers who aren't reactive lunatics.
    mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
    [ Parent ]
    Bwahah. (none / 0) (#467)
    by arcade on Thu May 08, 2003 at 06:05:13 AM EST

    From my perspective, it's you that have a problem. First of all, I'm one of those customers that do not demand a lot. I tend to be quite content, and I don't have a problem with neither tomatos, dressings nor almost anything else.

    However, in those few instances where I actually complain about something, I expect to be listened to, and not mocked. Just removing something I could've done myself is nothing sort of mocking me. The reason something is returned to the kitchen, is that one demands a it remade.

    I've never actually had to return anything at any restaurant I've been to. But when I actually return something, I _will_ expect it remade.

    Except for this idiocy on your behalf, your guide was quite reasonable. I'm one of those customers that tend to give a minimum of fuzz, who are quite friendly, order all at once, and never occupy more of the waiters time than absolutely necessary.



    --
    arcade
    [ Parent ]
    Oh really? (5.00 / 1) (#473)
    by kitten on Thu May 08, 2003 at 02:27:28 PM EST

    . First of all, I'm one of those customers that do not demand a lot. I tend to be quite content, and I don't have a problem with neither tomatos, dressings nor almost anything else.

    This, from the person who one post ago declared that his immediate reaction would be to stand up and announce loudly to the restaurant at large how terrible it was that someone took the tomatoes off instead of putting you back in the queue for an entirely new sandwich and then exit in a big huff? You are such a drama queen, if your declaration is to be believed - so don't suddenly try to play the easy-going person.

    However, in those few instances where I actually complain about something, I expect to be listened to, and not mocked.

    Who said anything about mocking you? I've repeated several times that I'd say "Yes, sir/madam" and go deal with the problem.

    You only get mocked if you pull stunts like you outlined before.

    The reason something is returned to the kitchen, is that one demands a it remade.

    I'm sorry, but you're just wrong about this. Maybe you do, but you're a rare, rare exception. Most of the time, the customer is simply displeased that his order came out wrong, and doesn't give a damn how it gets fixed, just so long as it gets fixed, and fast. He's just happy as a clam when the waiter returns a moment later with a tomato-less sandwich, and gets on with his life.

    I cannot speak for any other waiter's experience, but I personally have never had anyone return something a second time with the accusation that all I (or the cook) did was remove the tomato / onion / other easily-removed item. All they care about is that the sandwich now in front of them does not have the offending ingrediant.

    But when I actually return something, I _will_ expect it remade.

    I've said this several times before, but I'll say it one last time before dropping this issue:
    I'm sorry you don't like it, but this is the way it is. I'm being upfront and telling you now - this goes on in every single restaurant across the nation, with the possible exception of five-star and some four-star restaurants. If you've ever sent something back because of an easily-removed item, I guarantee it's happened to you, and you probably never knew the difference. Ignorance, as they say, is bliss - and what you don't know in this case doesn't matter.

    But now you do know, so all it takes is saying something about allergies, and it'll be done the Way You Want, instead. Getting all self-righteous about it isn't going to help.
    mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
    [ Parent ]
    Doesn't work. (none / 0) (#231)
    by kesuari on Tue May 06, 2003 at 09:56:05 AM EST

    However, for things like tomatoes - what exactly do you think the waiter does when you bitch about that? He takes your plate, goes into the back, takes the tomatoes off himself, and then gives it back to you - and you probably never know the difference or care.

    You did that to me? I cannot eat raw tomatoes or their juice, or tomato sauce. I know that it's there. Don't think I don't. I will be extremely pissed off with you if you did that. I complained because I didn't just want to get rid of the tomato—I wanted my lettuce and bread replaced as well. If I just wanted to get rid of the tomato, I'm not an idiot. I know how to open it up—in fact, I've already done that. I know how to pick the tomato off. But I don't know how to get rid of the tomato juice, and I don't know how to magick up lettuce. (In the case of something like tomato-juice-on-lettuce, I'd obviously be more than happy if you just washed the stuff, but I don't have the equipment necessary to do that at a table.)

    [ Parent ]

    Calm down. (5.00 / 1) (#311)
    by kitten on Tue May 06, 2003 at 03:36:23 PM EST

    You did that to me? I cannot eat raw tomatoes or their juice, or tomato sauce. I know that it's there. Don't think I don't.

    Hey, I'm honest enough to tell you like it is, at least. Here's how it works:

    CUSTOMER: Ah, there's tomatoes. I didn't want tomatoes on this.
    WAITER: I'm sorry, sir. Let me get that for you, I'll take care of it.
    WAITER goes into the back, takes the tomatoes off, and returns.
    WAITER: Here you go, sir.
    CUSTOMER: Thank you.

    Ninety nine times out of a hundred, this is enough to please the customer, which is why waiters do it. If everyone picked apart their sandwich to examine for minute traces of tomato residue, the waiters would stop doing this - but since nobody does, it's faster and more efficient.

    If you're really that anal about it, try this:

    CUSTOMER: Ah, tomatoes. I'm sorry, I'm allergic to these, I can't have anything with tomatoes on it.. can you have them make me a new one?
    WAITER: Certainly, sir. My apologies. I'll get another one and be back in a few minutes.
    WAITER goes into the back and jabbers at the cook, who makes a new one.
    WAITER returns and gives CUSTOMER the food.
    WAITER: Here you go.
    CUSTOMER: Thanks.

    There, was that so hard?

    If you're just saying you don't want tomatoes, all the waiter is going to do is take them off. Period. He's not going to waste his time, your time, or the cook's time making a whole new sandwich, and if you don't like it, I'm sorry - but that's just how it happens, and at least I'm telling you. If you ever waited tables, you'd do the exact same thing. Oh, you think you wouldn't, but that's because you haven't been there.

    If on the other hand you say you're allergic, the waiter will actually have them make you a new one if he's worth anything at all. Most waiters are very good about this sort of thing. So keep it in mind.

    And by the way, getting into hysterics as you just did is exactly the sort of thing I wrote about in my little essay. Your high-and-mighty attitude isn't going to get you any more service than just calmly stating the problem and politely asking for a remedy. You don't own the place just because you're paying five bucks for a burger and frankly, if a customer becomes too much trouble, they are more hassle than they are worth and we can and will refuse service or bump you to the bottom of their priority list. They can use that extra time to pay attention to their other customers who aren't being jackasses, and get bigger tips from them to make up for the lousy one you're likely to leave as an effect of your hostile attitude.
    mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
    [ Parent ]
    My apologies... (none / 0) (#387)
    by kesuari on Wed May 07, 2003 at 05:03:51 AM EST

    Yeah, sorry about the attitude there. That was my attitude to the poster. I'm much better behaved when eating out. And when not on a computer.

    /hits self.

    [ Parent ]

    Menus (5.00 / 5) (#81)
    by ZorbaTHut on Mon May 05, 2003 at 08:38:07 PM EST

    Well, sometimes the menu is put together by idiots

    At my old college there was a pizza place named Lorenzo's that had apparently not bothered to proofread their menus before printing them. End result:

    "And what would you like to drink?"
    "I'll have a root beer."
    "I'll have an orange soda."
    "I'll have a glass of spite."

    We never did get around to ordering a pitcher of spite.

    [ Parent ]

    Spite? (none / 0) (#108)
    by rantweasel on Mon May 05, 2003 at 10:41:17 PM EST

    Oberlin?  Or are there multiple Lorenzo's out there serving spite?


    [ Parent ]
    Oberlin (none / 0) (#354)
    by ZorbaTHut on Tue May 06, 2003 at 07:55:00 PM EST

    Brings up the interesting idea of chain of restaurants that made a bad typo . . . but yeah, Oberlin. Though I'm not going there anymore, in fact I'm going to get my stuff out of long-term storage into longer-term storage (i.e. paid for by myself) this weekend, and looking for a new college to go to.

    Too much politics >_<

    [ Parent ]

    I would LOVE a glass of spite. =P -nt (none / 0) (#115)
    by Kasreyn on Mon May 05, 2003 at 11:24:45 PM EST

    nt means NO TEXT
    "Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
    We never asked to be born in the first place."

    R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
    [ Parent ]
    Bathrooms (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by cyclopatra on Mon May 05, 2003 at 09:05:28 PM EST

    I once had a little boy come up to me and ask for help wiping his butt :P I told him that was something he needed to get his Mommy to do for him. Assuming, of course, that Mommy was there - it was unbelievable how many people seemed to think that because we had a 'play area', it was OK to drop their (young!) kids off there for hours on end. My manager called the cops on a couple of them.

    As for pickles, it's onions for me. If an onion has been anywhere NEAR something I'm eating, I can taste it, and it makes the whole item inedible. Just about anything else, I can pick (or scrape) off (up to and including the astonishing mountain of bleu cheese I once got when ordering a 'blue' hamburger - *shudder*) but onions are a deal breaker.

    Cyclopatra
    All your .sigs are belong to us.
    remove mypants to email
    [ Parent ]

    Amusing. (none / 0) (#79)
    by sophacles on Mon May 05, 2003 at 08:31:11 PM EST

    I enjoyed it. Thanks.

    [ Parent ]
    About your rant, or howto (none / 0) (#373)
    by splitpeasoup on Wed May 07, 2003 at 02:28:58 AM EST

    About your rant, or howto: it comes across as being condescending and antagonistic. Maybe it wasn't meant to, but that is the end result.

    It doesn't tell one anything one doesn't know already. It gives one a whole lot of instructions about things that don't really matter. (I mean, would it really kill you to explain what an entree comes with, even if that information is already contained in the menu?) Overall it sounds like a whole lot of irritability and not much else.

    If you expect people to be nicer to wait staff after reading it, you might be disappointed.

    -SPS

    "Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi
    [ Parent ]

    Some opinions on your diary (5.00 / 2) (#420)
    by lorcha on Wed May 07, 2003 at 11:53:27 AM EST

    Diary is in archive, so I'll post some opinions here. Note: I waited tables for about 4 years, so I'm not totally full of shit here. :-)
    A comphrensive list of every beverage we serve is listed on each menu, [...] When I ask you what you wish to drink, tell me what you wish to drink; do not question me about appetizers or entrees. I assure you that you will have the opportunity to address these issues in a moment, but now is not the time.
    Why would you want to play RTFM with the customer? Your job is to make his/her experience pleasurable. Why can't you take appetizer orders and drink orders at the same time? Maybe the customer is in a hurry, a regular, or just knows what he wants. Don't think you're being a little inflexible here?
    7. Refer to the item by the name on the menu; do not invent your own terminology.
    If you attempt to make up your own names for things, I will have no idea what you're talking about.
    How well do you know the menu? Probably not well enough. If the customer says, "I'd like a steak," it's your job to reply, "Did you mean the Top Sirloin, New York Strip, or the Ribeye?"
    4. Do not ask me what comes with an entree. The menu which you hold in your hands contains this infromation.
    You and I both know the menu is not going to describe in detail everything that comes with an item. For instance, the menu might say "sauteed veggies", but what are they sauteed in? For me, it matters if it's butter, margarine, or oil, so you're gonna have to deal with me asking.

    Also, with regard to your diatribe of "just removing the tomatoes if you didn't want them... don't bother me if I or the kitchen messed your order up", you are dead wrong here. If the customer asks for his food delivered in a certain way, you agree to his request, and then don't honor it in the end, that is always grounds for him to send it back to the kitchen. What if he is allergic to tomatoes? What if he doesn't eat milk products and meat together and you brought mashed potatoes (contains butter) with his steak when he clearly told you not to bring 'em? That shit is getting sent back to the kitchen every time, and there is nothing you can do about it other than apologize profusely and get it right this time.

    Most unfortunately, there will be times when we run out of a certain item. If you request an item and I tell you that we do not have it at this time, you have my full apologies, but my statement is final.
    Give the poor customer a break. If you're out of something, don't even give the customer a chance to bitch about it being gone. You should have already suggested some reasonable substitutes.
    When I bring your food to you, you may require additional condiments. It would be nice if you had let me know in advance, but I understand that this is asking too much of some of you, so feel free to dispel this information to me now. Please ask for all additional condiments or utensils at this time, so that I do not have to come back to your table seventeen times. This is for your benefit as well as mine.
    C'mon, man. How long have you been doing this? If you serve someone a burger and fries and don't bother to bring ketchup and mustard to the table with you, then you deserve what you get. After a few weeks, you'll know what people ask for with certain dishes way before they do.
    1. Do not argue with me over the cost of items you have ordered. You knew the cost in advance (or should have, anyway), and furthermore, I do not set the prices.
    I never dealt with people like that. They wasted my time and irritated the shit outta me. My stock response was always, "There is nothing that I can do about this personally, but I will send the manager over to address this issue immediately." There just isn't time to deal with assholes like this.

    Oh well, I had a few other points to quibble with but these were the big ones. Don't forget that you should always be cordial and pleasant even when (and I do say "when" rather than "if") you get an asshole customer. Oh, and don't bitch about not getting paid well as a waiter. Even when I worked in a shitty diner, I still made between $15-$30/hr. This is more than most people get without a college education.

    --
    צדק--אין ערבים, אין פיגועים
    [ Parent ]

    Some clarification. (5.00 / 1) (#486)
    by kitten on Fri May 09, 2003 at 05:49:23 PM EST

    Why would you want to play RTFM with the customer? Your job is to make his/her experience pleasurable. Why can't you take appetizer orders and drink orders at the same time? Maybe the customer is in a hurry, a regular, or just knows what he wants. Don't think you're being a little inflexible here?

    What I meant was, I don't want any of the following:
    "Can I start you off with something to drink?"
    "Yeah, does the turkey sandwich come on rye, or what?"
    I've been in situations where it was next to impossible just to take a table's drink order because every time I tried to gently steer them back on course, another round-robin of questions was volleyed at me. I'm more than happy to answer the questions, but is it really so hard to say "Coke" or "Amstel Lite" and then ask questions? It makes my job a lot easier, and it's faster for the customer as well.

    How well do you know the menu? Probably not well enough. If the customer says, "I'd like a steak," it's your job to reply, "Did you mean the Top Sirloin, New York Strip, or the Ribeye?"

    I agree. But that isn't what I meant. I simply ask that customers don't make up their own names for stuff. They're holding a menu, for chrissake - if they don't know what it's called they can look. Instead they typically just announce something that tangentially involves the item in question.

    I'm almost ashamed to admit this, but my first job as a waiter was at IHOP. Actually, at the time I was 17, so it wasn't that bad a gig for an after-school job, and I had a lot of fun there, but that's another story. Anyway, when a customer says "Yeah, I want that thing that comes with, you know, eggs and sausage.." Fuck, that could be just about anything at that restaurant. I'm not going to stand there and run down every single menu item from memory just to use process of elimination and figure out what this dope wants. When it gets to that point I usually just say "I'll give you a couple more minutes to decide," and gracefully exit.

    4. Do not ask me what comes with an entree. The menu which you hold in your hands contains this infromation.
    You and I both know the menu is not going to describe in detail everything that comes with an item. For instance, the menu might say "sauteed veggies", but what are they sauteed in?


    I think you know better than that, if you've really waited tables. Clearly I wasn't referring to situations like that. That is a perfectly valid question, and if I don't know offhand I will definitely find out and come right back to you.
    No, I'm speaking more of "Does the steak come with potatoes?" Gee sir, I don't know - you're holding the menu, why don't you tell me?
    "I want the rueben, what's that come with?" Again, you're holding the menu. RTFM. :)

    Also, with regard to your diatribe of "just removing the tomatoes if you didn't want them... don't bother me if I or the kitchen messed your order up", you are dead wrong here.

    I don't even want to go into this again. My reasoning is found here and here as well as in other comments along this thread; take a look.

    The practical summary of it is that it's the quickest, most efficient way to deal with the situation. And the cook sure as hell isn't going to make an entirely new sandwich for something like that either. He's going to say "Here, give me that," take the tomatoes off, and hand it back to me, whereupon I'll take it back to the customer. And 99% of the time the customer doesn't notice or care either. As for allergies or other special cases, I mention those in the above-referenced comments and address the issue.

    Give the poor customer a break. If you're out of something, don't even give the customer a chance to bitch about it being gone. You should have already suggested some reasonable substitutes.

    Who's to say I don't? Here's what I'm talking about:

    CUSTOMER: I'd like the top sirloin, please.
    WAITER: Ah, I'm very sorry, sir, but tonight we are out of that. If you like, I can --
    CUSTOMER: What do you mean you're "out"?
    WAITER: Again, I apologize. However, we do have an excellent New York Strip, and I can have the manager take the price down to the sirloin price, if you'd like to--
    CUSTOMER: I really wanted the sirloin, you know. It's the best. I came here just for that.
    WAITER: I do sympathize, and I know it's annoying. Perhaps you'd like the New York Strip, or we also have a number of other steaks.
    CUSTOMER: Are you sure you're out? Can you check?
    WAITER: Oh for fuck's sake, YES, I'm sure we're out! Do you think I'm making this shit up? Jesus Christ, I said we don't have it, and that means we don't fuckin' have it! I'm sorry this isn't Star Trek and I can't magically replicate one for you, or perhaps you'd like me to personally go out and kill a cow? Fuck me, if you can't deal with this sort of minor thing, I wonder how you made it this far in life!
    CUSTOMER: ...

    Yeah.

    C'mon, man. How long have you been doing this? If you serve someone a burger and fries and don't bother to bring ketchup and mustard to the table with you, then you deserve what you get. After a few weeks, you'll know what people ask for with certain dishes way before they do.

    Yeah. I do. Sometimes customers want different things though. If they order a steak, I bring out the steak sauce before the food even comes out, cause I know they're likely to want it. A burger? Here comes the mustard and ketchup. I'm on top of this stuff, trust me.
    But sometimes they want ranch dressing for their fries. Or maybe even honey mustard or barbeque sauce - I've seen that plenty of times. I can't predict it all and I'm not going to stand there and say "Do you want ranch? Do you want honey mustard? Barbeque sauce? Any condiment at all? Huh, do you?" If they want something extra, they know what to do: Ask!

    But it is to their benefit to consodate the requests. Do they like interupting their dining experience every thirty seconds to flag my sorry ass down? I don't think so. If they'd asked for all their shit up front, I'd make one trip, they'd have everything they'd need, and I'd check back in a few minutes just to be sure. All I'm saying is that it's obnoxious to have them waving at me every half minute for something else that they forgot the last three times I was there.

    I never dealt with people like that [who whine about the price]. They wasted my time and irritated the shit outta me. My stock response was always, "There is nothing that I can do about this personally, but I will send the manager over to address this issue immediately."

    A wise decision, and it's what I do as well. But it shouldn't even occur. Hence my helpful suggestion in my equally helpful guide.

    . Oh, and don't bitch about not getting paid well as a waiter. Even when I worked in a shitty diner, I still made between $15-$30/hr.

    I'm not bitching about the pay. If you do a good job you can make out like a bandit. I'm terrible about keeping track of my finances but I'd guess I made more as a waiter, per hour, than I make now in my semi-cushy office. But there are few things as frustrating as waiting hand and foot on a customer, establishing a rapport, doing an excellent job overall, and finding one measly dollar on the table when they've left. It isn't fair to me - and I will remember you if you ever come back. You can forget about me doing anything but the bare minimum for you next time, and if you're not in my section, I'll tell your waiter about it and he'll ignore you too.

    As an aside, although I'm speaking as though I'm currently a waiter, I'm not. It's more a mental state than an occupation, I've found. To this day I carry all plates and glasses in that way that only waiters can, clearing off the table in one trip where lesser mortals would need three. Once a waiter, always a waiter.
    mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
    [ Parent ]
    Splitting the check... (5.00 / 1) (#494)
    by weave on Sat May 10, 2003 at 07:33:23 PM EST

    When I am traveling on business with a colleague, we have separate company charge cards and are required to charge and keep track of our own expenses. So we have to ask for separate checks. I always state this at the beginning before we even order. If it's a problem, just tell me then and we'll go elsewhere. Don't say yes, then at the end bring out one check, then get all rude when I remind you I need separate checks.

    I don't understand what is so difficult about separate checks. If we ate alone at separate tables, there wouldn't be a problem, right? And the tip is usually better because you have two sets of people rounding up.

    [ Parent ]

    An adjustment to your order of service (4.40 / 10) (#54)
    by rusty on Mon May 05, 2003 at 05:28:38 PM EST

    People in the penalty box...

    Then, and only then, comes me.

    For some reason I'm all-but-invisible to service staff of all kinds. Waitrons routinely ignore me, sometimes outrageously so, like taking the orders of everyone else at the table and walking away (I'm not joking -- this has happened). Bartenders ditto. I have had the experience of standing at a bar and watching the bartender serve the guy who walked up next to me after I'd been there already, then the guy who replaced that guy, then the girl who replaced that guy. I finally got someone else to order the drinks. This isn't after some kind of horrible rudeness either -- I had just gotten there and hadn't had a single drink yet.

    So, if anyone can enlighten me, please do. I'm polite, cheerful, and I tip well and regularly. Of course none of that matters because most waitstaff never even interact with me. So are there some people that you just hate on principle? Do some people get bad service no matter what? What gives?

    Of course, I expect that this comment will be responded to last, if it's seen at all. :-)

    ____
    Not the real rusty

    Because... (5.00 / 10) (#58)
    by Il Maestro on Mon May 05, 2003 at 06:01:55 PM EST

    it is illegal to sell alcohol to 14-year olds.

    [ Parent ]
    he looks (none / 0) (#124)
    by auraslip on Tue May 06, 2003 at 01:11:13 AM EST

    like howie day.
    http://www.howieday.com/
    124
    [ Parent ]
    Whoah (5.00 / 1) (#225)
    by rusty on Tue May 06, 2003 at 09:25:12 AM EST

    Separated at birth? Eerie.

    ____
    Not the real rusty
    [ Parent ]
    Perhaps... (5.00 / 4) (#67)
    by sophacles on Mon May 05, 2003 at 06:49:54 PM EST

    you are wearing a personal somebody else's problem field generator? ;)

    Seriously though, I sometimes find myself doing this.  I'm not sure why, I see a person standing there, that should be next and even think, "ok that guy is next" then completely forget.  Sometimes I will do it to the same person multiple times, and other bartenders will do the same to the same person.

    Pherhaps it's a body language/posture thing.  I honestly dont know, but if I were a betting man (I am) I would say it must be pheremones ;)

    [ Parent ]

    This tends to happen to me (none / 0) (#88)
    by HidingMyName on Mon May 05, 2003 at 09:01:59 PM EST

    But it is especially bad in dance bars (however I'm too old to go there any more :-)). Perhaps I'm just not as sociable, loud music tends to make me withdraw and makes it hard for me to mingle with people. I've got friends that seem to get energized by loud music, and I'll go with them, but I just find it draining (and I always did, even back when I was young and dinosaurs ruled the earth).

    [ Parent ]
    My father has the same problem. (5.00 / 5) (#77)
    by Kasreyn on Mon May 05, 2003 at 08:26:03 PM EST

    Maybe it's not for the same reasons as it happens to you, but I can describe why it happens to him.

    He's a very laid-back, peacable person, very soft-spoken, and he is too shy to scream and shout to get proper service. People cut in front of him in lines because they know he won't say anything. People being harassed for their time and attention, like waiters are, don't notice him precisely because he's the only person NOT screaming for attention.

    The squeaky wheel gets the rust-protection warranty. Whoever screams and bitches the loudest gets taken care of first, because waiters can only afford so much Advil. Shy people who don't cause trouble get shoved to the back of the line.

    Do you think this describes you, Rusty, or is it something other? I'm assuming it's not obvious, such as being freakishly ugly or revoltingly stinky. So, is it shyness? Because I sure don't notice you post very much...


    -Kasreyn


    "Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
    We never asked to be born in the first place."

    R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
    [ Parent ]
    I have that problem (none / 0) (#91)
    by Big Sexxy Joe on Mon May 05, 2003 at 09:16:33 PM EST

    I wouldn't let anyone cut me in line though.

    I'm like Jesus, only better.
    Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
    [ Parent ]
    Lurking (5.00 / 2) (#101)
    by rusty on Mon May 05, 2003 at 10:13:09 PM EST

    I think you've pretty much got it. Among my friends I am famous for lurking. I have a tendency to sort of find the edges of any space and disappear into them. Actually, in a lot of ways this is very handy -- like in elementary school, I never got in trouble, because when trouble was coming, I'd just sort of take one step back and become invisible. Playing lacrosse, I could always lurk to within ten feet of the goal, which was quite a surprise to the keeper when I'd finally get the ball. It's a sort of shyness as performance art.

    Now, if only I could turn it off when it comes to getting service...

    ____
    Not the real rusty
    [ Parent ]

    hold a 100 dollar bill prominently (none / 0) (#128)
    by m0nkyman on Tue May 06, 2003 at 01:32:44 AM EST

    You may be invisible, but trust me, large denomination bills aren't.
    If I can't dance, then I won't join your revolution-- Emma Goldman
    [ Parent ]
    and when they serve you (4.50 / 2) (#151)
    by Delirium on Tue May 06, 2003 at 03:23:55 AM EST

    Ask for $97 in change.

    [ Parent ]
    The power to blend in and disappear (none / 0) (#261)
    by The Terrorists on Tue May 06, 2003 at 12:41:21 PM EST

    You would make an excellent terrorist.

    Watch your mouth, pigfucker. -- Rusty Foster
    [ Parent ]

    Ninja (5.00 / 1) (#264)
    by rusty on Tue May 06, 2003 at 12:45:11 PM EST

    The Brits at etech claimed I was a ninja. This is all according to some bizarre worldview which claims that all people are essentially either pirates or ninjas.  I'm not convinced, but it looks like these guys are.

    ____
    Not the real rusty
    [ Parent ]
    Cool. (none / 0) (#402)
    by The Terrorists on Wed May 07, 2003 at 08:36:35 AM EST

    We're definitely the pirate type..loud, brash, abrasive, and swashbuckling at all that threatening shrubbery.

    Watch your mouth, pigfucker. -- Rusty Foster
    [ Parent ]

    Your sig (none / 0) (#368)
    by Kasreyn on Wed May 07, 2003 at 12:19:20 AM EST

    Is probably my favorite line from "Cat's Cradle". You a Vonnegut fan too? =)


    -Kasreyn


    "Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
    We never asked to be born in the first place."

    R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
    [ Parent ]
    Yes. (5.00 / 1) (#401)
    by The Terrorists on Wed May 07, 2003 at 08:34:45 AM EST

    Huge, huge fan. He's a major stylistic influence on our writing. His is speculative fiction without a trace of snobbery or any stick up it's ass.

    Watch your mouth, pigfucker. -- Rusty Foster
    [ Parent ]

    Very cool (none / 0) (#353)
    by mayo on Tue May 06, 2003 at 07:46:38 PM EST

    Invisibility rocks, you should be playing laCrosse at a professional level! The same thing happens to me on the basketball court, when I have the ball defenders mysteriously ignore me leaving an easy drive to the basket, it's hilarious! My teammates have even nicknamed me Invisible Man. Fortunately unlike you they usually serve me promptly in bars, the thirsty gleam in the eye must catch their attention...

    And although I don't resemble you there are a silly number of people out there I do resemble. Do you think we could be part of some sort of international invisibility / cloning conspiracy experiment?

    [ Parent ]
    invisibility is overrated (none / 0) (#483)
    by budcub on Fri May 09, 2003 at 05:14:10 PM EST

    I seem to have the same ability/curse as Rusty. I'll stand at the bar, take out a $20 and hold it so its prominant (but I don't wave it around) and the bar staff will do everything in their power to not see me. Its not like I don't tip or anything.

    I can be shopping at the grocery store at 11:00pm, and if there's three other people in the store, those three people will be bumping into me and getting in my way half the night. Being invisible isn't all its cracked up to be.

    [ Parent ]

    It's the niceness thing (5.00 / 4) (#109)
    by localroger on Mon May 05, 2003 at 10:44:10 PM EST

    I have a touch of this, but I have trained myself to project my presence when I catch myself doing it. The most important thing is eye contact. If you are in the habit of avoiding eye contact you can stand there all night and not be noticed.

    Still, sometimes your posture or appearance or metaphysical energy or whatever just causes the waitperson not to even look at your eyes. In that case you have to make yourself conspicuous by waving whenever they are looking anywhere near your direction. If a truly long time has gone without service I will even raise my voice and try to get their attention. That usually does the trick. :-)

    It can be incredibly hard to do this -- raise your hand and say "excuse me" in a moderately loud voice in a restaurant. But it's also quite liberating once it works. You don't want to overdo it, but you will find that once you get used to the idea of doing it that you don't actually have to do it as often because you will carry yourself more in a way that announces your presence.

    I can haz blog!
    [ Parent ]

    Then don't tip (4.00 / 1) (#127)
    by ogenstein on Tue May 06, 2003 at 01:26:27 AM EST

    I've had those problems many times myself.

    I'm bored with putting up with this crap. I find that I save money on such occasions by giving really small tips.

    A couple of weeks ago, I was watching a hockey game in a bar in Toronto (the bar wasn't full) and I almost died of thirst.

    Neither of the waitresses would make an appearance. After fifteen minutes, I gave up and went up to the bar where I waited for another five minutes. They didn't have either of my first two choices (I'm talking about being out of a draught that they normally carried). My third choice had a really high price (~$7 for a Heineken) so I compensated by leaving a quarter tip.

    The game went into overtime so we were there for another round and I waited for a long time before flailing my arms wildly when a waitress foolishly looked my way -- a first. She took my order but wouldn't bring my beer. Eventually the other waitress brought it. That earned her 25 cents.

    The game went into another overtime so I went up to the bar and ordered a pitcher directly from the waitress while she was picking up a tray. She couldn't avoid me there. She was actually friendly and helpful and it made me wonder why I'd been getting such dismal service. I gave her a deuce for that even though I had to deliver my order in person. Fortunately, the beer lasted until the third overtime and since the Leafs lost, I didn't feel like celebrating.

    In addition to the meagre tips, they lost two rounds of beer bought and drank and the corresponding tips.

    In real terms however, I'd suggest that you work on your timing and be more intrusive. That means spreading out your arms when standing at the bar and interrupting the server before they get a chance to ignore you. It sucks but it works.

    [ Parent ]

    these days (2.66 / 3) (#142)
    by fhotg on Tue May 06, 2003 at 02:34:02 AM EST

    I know too. It's then time to get out the ultimative "flag - down - the - waitress - device": The tiny LED flashlight attached to my keychain pointed towards the face of the unresponsive staff member usually does the trick. This works from angles where even wild waving goes unnoticed.

    [ Parent ]
    do _not_ do this (5.00 / 1) (#165)
    by aderusha on Tue May 06, 2003 at 04:21:45 AM EST

    i can personally assure you that this is a sure fire way to piss off and annoy the waitstaff - nothing else.

    i know from personal experience that they will go home that night and vent for at least 30 minutes about the asshole customer with a flashlight.

    [ Parent ]

    not in my experience (none / 0) (#190)
    by fhotg on Tue May 06, 2003 at 06:05:15 AM EST

    Usually they find it funny and much better than shouting. Maybe our pub - preferences are a bit different.

    [ Parent ]
    two words: eye contact (4.00 / 1) (#159)
    by aderusha on Tue May 06, 2003 at 04:12:10 AM EST

    the only sure fire way to politely get yourself served at any bar is eye contact. get it, hold it, and put on your best thirsty face. bartenders know why you're there, but if you make yourself invisible they'll look right through you.

    step up to the bar, know what you want to order ahead of time, look the bartender straight in the eyes (even if they aren't looking at you), and the moment they give you the look back, tell them what you want. works every time.

    of course, i'm not a bartender, just an experienced drunk. for a great list of how to comport yourself in the land of the drink, check the authorities on the subject, modern drunkard magazine: the 86 rules of boozing (so you won't get 86'd)

    [ Parent ]

    I don't go to bars (none / 0) (#433)
    by Cro Magnon on Wed May 07, 2003 at 04:18:24 PM EST

    But it works just the opposite when I'm in any other store/business. When I try to make eye contact with the salesman/waiter/whatever he/she/it ignores me. When I don't want him/her/it pestering me it's "can I help you sir".
    Information wants to be beer.
    [ Parent ]
    rusty, in your photo you look too young (none / 0) (#338)
    by massivefubar on Tue May 06, 2003 at 05:29:09 PM EST

    There was a photo floating around, supposedly of you, which made you appear to be very youthful. If you look like you may be underage, I might have waited until I had time to check your ID before getting your drink, so I might wait on someone else ahead of you out of order. Are you often asked to show proof of age? I will admit that I was not a very good server at all, but I can see where even a more professional server, if hurried by the crush of people, might just hope the possibly underage guy slinks away without being confronted....

    [ Parent ]
    Correct order (4.50 / 14) (#59)
    by CaptainSuperBoy on Mon May 05, 2003 at 06:15:37 PM EST

    I'm sure you're a good bartender but too often the order is something like this:
    1. Chick in tight black pants
    2. Loudmouthed guy in tight black t-shirt
    3. Everyone else


    --
    jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
    yeah but.. (5.00 / 1) (#298)
    by geek foot on Tue May 06, 2003 at 02:54:06 PM EST

    a) the chick in the tight pants is hot and the bartender's been flirting with her for a few days.
    and
    b) the loud-mouthed guy in the tight black t-shirt is me, and i've been at the bar since happy hour started at 4pm.


    ----
    your bacon, my stomach.
    [ Parent ]
    wow (none / 0) (#89)
    by VoxLobster on Mon May 05, 2003 at 09:02:18 PM EST

    this is the first article in about 4 weeks that I acutally read through before voting.  Well written, great information.  +1 FP.

    VoxLobster
    I was raised by a cup of coffee! -- Homsar

    "how are you" vs rudeness (4.75 / 8) (#97)
    by treat on Mon May 05, 2003 at 09:53:47 PM EST

    It happens quite often that I will say to a patron, "How's it going?" and she replies "Yeah, can I get a bottle of beer." This is annoying,

    I used to treat "how are you" as a genuine question, at least deserving of a "fine" in response. However people really do mean it to say "hello" and nothing more. I expect that a bartender who has other customers waiting will be more annoyed with me wasting his time than with rudeness.

    I guess I can't win either way.

    a regional thing (none / 0) (#438)
    by yami on Wed May 07, 2003 at 08:21:33 PM EST

    In the Midwest, "How are you?" is not just a way to say hello - it's an extended greeting ritual that you ignore at your own peril. If the bartender opens with that question, it's because he has enough time to hear your answer.

    I grew up in the Midwest and moved to California, and I've noticed that people here really don't expect a full response. Checkout clerks for some reason tend to be particularly surprised when I give one. So it may just be a regional thing on both sides.

    ___
    Like an inside-out space zebra.
    [ Parent ]

    Some of this doesn't apply at clubs. (4.20 / 5) (#116)
    by mattmcp on Mon May 05, 2003 at 11:33:50 PM EST

    You mention that your article has a bias towards bars in the Midwest. There are a few rules geared more towards 'clubs' (for lack of a better description) at this link.

    Basically it says that sometimes waving money isn't a bad idea and sometimes you are expected to tip more. Also, it's rarely possible to have a conversation with a bartender at a club, and bartenders will even more rarely attempt to start one. More often than not, these bartenders aren't there for the rewarding experience of brightenting someone's day -- they're just there to serve drinks and make tips (read: be drink machines).

    True (none / 0) (#118)
    by sophacles on Tue May 06, 2003 at 12:20:59 AM EST

    When I wrote that part I forgot to mention that there are many nightclub type places where this doesn't work. (Dance clubs and "meat-market" type bars most noticably).  I often times forget these places even exist, since being a member of the bar staff implies that I drink there at least one of the nights I go out every week, and at least stop by for a drink if I plan on patronizing some other bar.

    [ Parent ]
    Strangely enough.. (none / 0) (#289)
    by Disconnect on Tue May 06, 2003 at 02:16:38 PM EST

    At nightclubs out here in DC those (almost) exact rules, with slightly different weighting, work like a champ. (I'm not a bartender, but I play one at home.  And club a lot. ;) ..)

    Slightly different weighting, as in cash in hand is likely to be higher priority than no cash (faster transaction).  Repeatably simple drink orders go before "gimme one with everything".  Even faster if they are simple and predictable. (EG "Screwdrivers during open bar, beer after"..)

    Conversations (as mentioned earlier) never happen during the crush times, and even during slow moments are 30-45 seconds at best.  Tipping jumps the queue pretty much as described.  (Although the queue jump can be rather dramatic, depending on longevity and tipping history.)

    This doesn't go for all clubs out here; several  of them have one "bartender" and several "drink machines" (people that are just in to make a buck and go home.)  Regardless of the lack of several 'standard' bartender features (conversations, memory of customers, etc) at many clubs, people tend to avoid the drink machines for anything more complex than "take that bottle and open it, then hand it to me".

    [ Parent ]

    What's the problem? (4.04 / 22) (#120)
    by RobotSlave on Tue May 06, 2003 at 12:57:03 AM EST

    You know, it almost sounds as if you don't like dealing with drunks. Maybe it might be time to move on, and find another line of work?

    Oh, I know. Once you've got a regular bartending gig, it's hard to give up.

    Despite your hand-wringing over your dependence on tips, you and I both know that bartenders are at the top of the food-service totem-pole. Dishwashers earn minimum wage, and know that the cooks have an appreciably higher hourly. Cooks in turn resent waitstaff, who earn a hell of a lot more than anyone in the kitchen. And waitstaff don't take home nearly as much as the bartenders.

    You've got an easy job. Pouring a drink just isn't that hard. Pouring a lot of them in a good weekend rush will keep you busy, sure, but it's not like you're working as hard as a fruit-picker. Or even a dishwasher.

    The social aspect of your job hardly counts as "work." The customers in an average bar are doing just as much as the bartender, or more, to provide that "atmosphere" that people go to bars for. Bartenders always tell themselves that they're the stars of the bars, the reason people keep coming back. In reality, it's due much more to location, theme or decor, regular clientele, and fact that bars are the only places where a person can go in our society, on any evening and at any reasonable hour, to meet and mingle with strangers. Don't give yourself so much credit. I understand why bartenders tell themselves this little lie, because it can really help get them through a shift with their self-esteem intact, but when they start believing the lie, it leads to a rather ugly arrogance.

    The babysitting or trouble-spotting aspect is a bit of a hassle, sure, but it's not like you've got to have great big prison muscles and a black belt to keep things under control. That's what the cops are for. And in this new era of cell phones, patrons are as likely to call the police as the barkeep (more so, in some places).

    You've got an easy job. It pays very well. You get to spend a lot of your "working" time hanging out and chatting with friends who come in and sit on the same stool every night. Life is good.

    You are expected to put up with a certain level of interpersonal unpleasantness in exchange for your high pay and easy work. If a customer really gets on your nerves, well, you have the authority to eighty-six anyone you damn well please.

    You're doing a job. None of your customers have to be nice to you, and yes, some of them who have had bad days will take it out on you.

    You're getting paid. Suck it up.

    I think you are confused. (none / 0) (#173)
    by sophacles on Tue May 06, 2003 at 04:36:22 AM EST

    Im not bitching about my job. I know that my job is easy. This is in response to people who ask me how to get better service when they are out drinking. Why would I want to deal with people that make my job less enjoyable when the option exists to deal with the pleasant ones? Seriously, in your job are there no unplesant parts that you would rather avoid if at all possible (like my informing possible customers how not to be asses)?

    [ Parent ]
    Oh, no. I understand perfectly. (3.00 / 4) (#202)
    by RobotSlave on Tue May 06, 2003 at 07:02:28 AM EST

    Yes, pretty much everyone bitches about their jobs. I think I've figured that much out, thank you very much.

    Did you notice that little turnabout you did in your short reply? In one breath you claimed your purpose was to nobley help all those poor uninformed bar patrons who can't figure out how to order a drink, and then in the next breath you admit that what you're really doing is trying to make your easy life even easier by ridding yourself of those you deem to be "asses."

    Look, once again, it's your job to serve drunks. They're going to be "asses" some of the time no matter how well they understand the rules, and this isn't going to change no matter how many people carefully read your ever-so-helpful instructions on the internet.

    Sure, pretty much everyone has to do unpleasant stuff at work. So do you. Suck it up, already.

    Writing a how-to guide isn't going to change a damned thing. You're going to have to deal with just as many "asses" now and in the future as you did before you wrote your mildly condescending and no doubt satisfying little article. The sooner this sinks in, the sooner you'll be able to deal with the "asses" like a grown-up — by putting your game face on, toughing it out, and then leaving it behind you when your shift is done.

    If you'd done your article as a cartoon, or a short list, then you'd at least be able to tape it up over the urinals or something, where it might be seen where it's immediately relevant. But even that wouldn't save you from dealing with "asses." In fact, it would probably just make those brief moments of unpleasantness in your otherwise cushy job even more frustrating, and your consequent self-righteous indignation even more insufferable.

    [ Parent ]

    Tipping in Britain (4.66 / 3) (#122)
    by Arevos on Tue May 06, 2003 at 01:00:33 AM EST

    Conversely, if you're ever in the UK for a spell, tipping isn't done here in bars or pubs, and you'd get some strange looks if you attempted it, at least around my neck of the woods :)

    On another note, this claims to be a good guide on international tipping.

    Too little, too late... (none / 0) (#134)
    by Francis on Tue May 06, 2003 at 01:58:26 AM EST

    I tipped-away the last time I was in London, just as I would have if I were at a bar back in the States. I didn't get any mystified looks from the bartender, however. At least, not that I remember. ;)
    _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    Insults are the first and last arguments of fools. -- Unknown
    [ Parent ]

    sounds like they've had Americans before (5.00 / 2) (#152)
    by Delirium on Tue May 06, 2003 at 03:25:11 AM EST

    And you know, nobody is going to complain about free money.

    [ Parent ]
    Australia (none / 0) (#143)
    by drizzy on Tue May 06, 2003 at 02:35:55 AM EST

    I quote that article because it says what I was going to say..

    "Tipping in Australia is basically non-existent."

    The only time I tip is when I'm in a taxi and the fare is something like $22.30, I have $25 and I can't be bothered with the change..

    [ Parent ]

    Speaking as an Australian (none / 0) (#194)
    by drsmithy on Tue May 06, 2003 at 06:35:56 AM EST

    There are basically three situations in which I tip: 1. I know the person involved is doing an underpaid, thankless, shitty job (cabbies generally fall into this category). 2. As you said, if the bill is fairly close (as a percentage) to a nice round figure like $25, $50, $100, etc. Again, cabbies are probably the most common beneficiaries here. 3. If I've been given excellent service. Note: not just "good". I *expect* "good" service by default.

    [ Parent ]
    and pizza drivers too. (none / 0) (#235)
    by haakon on Tue May 06, 2003 at 10:09:43 AM EST

    I follow the same tipping guidelines as you do. But I usually also tip pizza delivery drivers as well as they generally get paid by the delivery in Australia and not really that much either.

    [ Parent ]
    Thankyou. (none / 0) (#480)
    by Jacques Chester on Thu May 08, 2003 at 11:45:46 PM EST

    I used to deliver pizzas for Pizza Hut. The pay is awful, and most of my money paid rent and fed my car. Tips were great, on a good night, I ate for free.

    --
    Well now. We seem to be temporarily out of sigs here at the sig factory. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
    [ Parent ]
    I used to be a Pizza Haven driver (none / 0) (#495)
    by haakon on Sat May 10, 2003 at 08:16:50 PM EST

    I found it funny that I would get more tips from the poorer areas that I delivered to than the richer areas. Also people who were known tippers allways got prioity deliveres. The Store manager would bump their pizza up the queue.

    [ Parent ]
    In Australia... (none / 0) (#196)
    by kesuari on Tue May 06, 2003 at 06:44:04 AM EST

    Actually, there are places that don't allow their employees to accept tips. I'm not sure of the argument for this is.

    My mother doesn't give tips on principle—she doesn't want people to end up getting paid $2.15 an hour.

    Finally, I don't understand the point of tipping at a restaurant—the waiter didn't cook your food, after all.

    [ Parent ]

    That's so noble of her. (4.00 / 1) (#234)
    by waxmop on Tue May 06, 2003 at 10:09:03 AM EST

    My mother doesn't give tips on principle--she doesn't want people to end up getting paid $2.15 an hour.
    Meanwhile, she's generated enough animosity to fuel a worker's revolt. I hope she's not going to the same places twice; waiters and bartenders have nauseating methods of retribution.
    --
    We are a monoculture of horsecock. Liar
    [ Parent ]
    I think you have misunderstood (5.00 / 2) (#370)
    by drizzy on Wed May 07, 2003 at 01:16:44 AM EST

    I assume you're not Australian. I believe the reason the parent posters mother doesn't tip is because she doesn't want the fucked up situation present in America to become prevalent in Australia. Sounds good to me.

    [ Parent ]
    Whereever your mom goes, (none / 0) (#248)
    by duffbeer703 on Tue May 06, 2003 at 12:02:37 PM EST

    She's considered a rude, cheap bitch. (no offense)

    Restaurants are amoung the most corrupt institutions on earth. Waiters often have to tip cooks, bussers and hosts to get their tables turned quickly.

    All your mom's "principled" non-tipping policy does is force the hapless waiter/waitress to tip the other staff out of his or her own money.

    Why don't you encourage your family to patronize chinese buffets and fast food or just stay home since they apparently cannot handle civilized society.

    [ Parent ]

    Same as the other guy (none / 0) (#371)
    by drizzy on Wed May 07, 2003 at 01:18:05 AM EST

    See http://www.kuro5hin.org/comments/2003/5/5/135024/3556?pid=234#370

    Hope that link works :\

    [ Parent ]

    No she isn't (5.00 / 2) (#398)
    by Tom Rowlands on Wed May 07, 2003 at 08:22:26 AM EST

    She's considered a rude, cheap bitch. (no offense)

    No offence taken. (Not my mother. :-)

    Seriously, that's not the way things are done in Australia. I enjoy dinner out maybe once every few weeks and have done for a long time. Tipping quite simply isn't expected. End of story. Workers get paid properly in the first place for honest work, as they should IMHO. This, rather than having to grovel for their patrons' sympathy, which is basically what tipping amounts to in America if I interpret this discussion correctly.

    The idea that tipping `makes up' for the fact someone isn't paid a minimum wage is disgusting. They should be paid at the very least the minimum wage in the first place and then, in exceptional circumstances, if, and when, the service is very very good perhaps they get a gift from the patron. End of story. If the patrons are tipping all the time well that's fine. Why not integrate the tip into the meal cost and then pass it on to the worker in their wage? I'm sure the workers wouldn't mind; they get a guaranteed higher wage. Some workers may argue they can't make as much that way because of either tax or because their `exceptionally good service' will no longer yield the fattest tips. However, if their service is so exceptionally good it will still be recognised and be appropriately rewarded. I'm not suggesting for a moment tipping should be banned; simply that it should be a gift to another person in exchange for services above and beyond the call of duty and not considered an extension of their wage.

    That said, cultures differ, and quite obviously in North America the story is very different. When I eventually get to tour over there I look forward to taking part in the local customs and that very much includes tipping.

    Cheers,

    --
    Tom Rowlands
    (Sorry, I can't sign this.)

    [ Parent ]

    depending on the restaurant (none / 0) (#333)
    by cyclopatra on Tue May 06, 2003 at 04:42:33 PM EST

    The cooks, bus staff, etc may get a share of the tips. A lot of restaurants have a policy of 'tipping out', where the wait staff shares a portion of their tips with the other employees. They still keep the lion's share, but the other workers aren't totally left out.

    Cyclopatra
    All your .sigs are belong to us.
    remove mypants to email
    [ Parent ]

    Oi! (5.00 / 1) (#323)
    by phuzz on Tue May 06, 2003 at 04:13:48 PM EST

    Do not listen to this person, especially if you happen on the Plough Inn, Ford, Gloucestershire, UK,
    There you must tip mightly!

    That said, although most peoplpe don't tip bar staff in the UK, it's customary to buy them a drink every few rounds, or perhaps on your last round of the evening.  That means you're more likely to qualify for things like, doubles instead of singles, or rounding down of the price to make the adding up easier ;)

    [ Parent ]

    UK Tipping (5.00 / 1) (#372)
    by czolgosz on Wed May 07, 2003 at 01:54:05 AM EST

    During the first of my expatriate days (I ended up staying for several years), I left a tip at the bar of my local in London. Since it was evident that I had no idea what I had done, one of the regulars politely asked me "You wouldn't tip your doctor, would you?"

    In short: it's a profession, not just a service.
    Why should I let the toad work squat on my life? --Larkin
    [ Parent ]
    My last time in the UK... (none / 0) (#493)
    by weave on Sat May 10, 2003 at 04:50:37 PM EST

    I was in a pub in some tiny town in Wales where the local phone numbers were 3 digits and the area code was 6 digits. I had a pint, then another and offered one to the bar tender. He poured himself a half pint. I later bought him another one, well maybe a few! As the night went on, things slowed down, he got off his shift at 10, came sat next to me for the last hour, we were talking about all kinds of things until his woman called and yelled at him to come home.

    We both stumbled out onto the high street (all seven buildings along it). I walked to my B&B and him up the road.

    A highly enjoyable evening.

    His passing comment to me at the end was that I wasn't like most Yankees. I took that as a compliment!

    [ Parent ]

    hey, i have a bartender question! (4.00 / 1) (#123)
    by rhyax on Tue May 06, 2003 at 01:03:34 AM EST

    if you open a tab right away do people still expect a tip after every drink? in cash? because that's annoying. what if the bartender sorta knows who you are and that you usually tip at the end? is that weird?

    No (none / 0) (#171)
    by sophacles on Tue May 06, 2003 at 04:30:39 AM EST

    If you have a tab open you just tip when you close the tab and pay, like you do at a restaruant.  If you have a credit card, you can write in the amount on the receipt usually, if you pay in cash you can just add that on. Or you can tip in cash and pay with credit card, a practice becoming more common now since people seem to think bartenders and waitstaff dont claim 100% of their tips, and this would help them with taxes.

    [ Parent ]
    It all depends (none / 0) (#240)
    by IAmNos on Tue May 06, 2003 at 10:37:31 AM EST

    Usually if you're running a tab, you can tip at the end. I'm not a bartender, but have a few places where at least I was a regular. Now, I've never been a regular at a Bar, perferring lounges. This is also from a Canadian's perspective in the praries. If you're new to a bar, or not someone the staff is going to recognize, tip well early. Even if this means buying the first round cash as opposed to on a tab. Tip based on service. If you don't feel you've gotten the service you should, leave a small, or no tip at all. I've done this before, and it makes a statement. However, I've also tipped almost 50% of the bill on one occassion. The service was amazing. The next time we were in, the waitress bought us two rounds because she said we tipped too much last time. Notice though, that I will from now on have excellent service from that waitress. If she ever takes a position at another establishment, I'll be sure to make that my new regular hang out.
    http://thekerrs.ca
    [ Parent ]
    tipping w/ tab (none / 0) (#519)
    by dtothek on Mon May 19, 2003 at 02:25:14 PM EST

    i don't know about everyone, but at least my bartenders understand that if i open a tab, i'm not going to tip until i get the tab. it's analagous to when you intend to pay by credit card: no one expects to be tipped after every drink if you're paying by credit.
    -d
    [ Parent ]
    i don't think so (3.66 / 3) (#126)
    by Suppafly on Tue May 06, 2003 at 01:24:59 AM EST

    Bartenders are working, and they get paid less than minimum wage,because patrons are expected to tip. I don't know of anyplace that pays their bartenders, or waitstaff for that matter, less than the regular minimum even though legally they can pay them something like $3 an hour since they get tips, most places don't deal with the paperwork hassle and what not. Generally anyplace that pays less than the regular minimum wage isn't anyplace you want to visit let alone work for.
    ---
    Playstation Sucks.
    Well, I think so. (none / 0) (#132)
    by cribcage on Tue May 06, 2003 at 01:52:06 AM EST

    I don't know of anyplace that pays their bartenders, or waitstaff for that matter, less than the regular minimum even though legally they can pay them something like $3 an hour since they get tips, most places don't deal with the paperwork hassle and what not.
    I don't know where you're from, or where you're getting this information. But what you're describing is 100% wrong with regard to every restaurant and bar with which I've ever been familiar -- mostly in New England, but also in Florida, Indiana, and several other states.

    Just for the record: The author writes (paraphrased), "I'm a bartender. My professional experience is the basis for this information." So if you're going to argue that he's wrong, you should at least offer some qualification as to how you know what you claim to.

    The author says one thing, and he's backed it up by citing his experience. What he says is totally accurate, with regard to any establishment I've ever encountered. I've never heard of any place doing what you describe. So...care to offer some qualification for your "correction"?

    crib



    Please don't read my journal.
    [ Parent ]
    Strange... (none / 0) (#133)
    by Francis on Tue May 06, 2003 at 01:52:56 AM EST

    I don't know of anyplace that pays their bartenders, or waitstaff for that matter, less than the regular minimum even though legally they can pay them something like $3 an hour since they get tips...

    I don't know of any place in my area that pays much above the mininum server's wage. In fact, my wife recently worked for one of the more upscale bars in our area as a waitress and was only paid something like $2.13/hr. It was hardly relavent since she routinely pulled in a couple hundred dollars in tips for an evening.
    _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    Insults are the first and last arguments of fools. -- Unknown
    [ Parent ]

    Uh. (none / 0) (#183)
    by kitten on Tue May 06, 2003 at 05:26:46 AM EST

    At least in the US, it's industry standard that waiters make $2.13 an hour from their employer.

    Fact is, waiters don't work for that paycheck. When I waited tables I was surprised every time a paycheck came in; it was like "Wow, we get paid here?" It's like a little extra 60 dollars at the end of the week, but it isn't anything spectacular. A waiter works for the tips, not for the paycheck.
    mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
    [ Parent ]
    Tip Timing (4.14 / 7) (#131)
    by gehrehmee on Tue May 06, 2003 at 01:44:57 AM EST

    Am I completely out of line to believe that tipping is a reward & incentive for good service? If that's the case, how can you justify tipping on every round? I tip when I'm ready to leave, so I get to see whether there's anything spectacularly good/bad about the service before I decide how much to tip.

    There's something inherently disturbing about tipping someone who, five minutes later, accidentally smashes a pint of beer on your friend's head. (true story)

    You said it yourself... (5.00 / 1) (#145)
    by KittyFishnets on Tue May 06, 2003 at 02:47:33 AM EST

    ..."incentive for good service."

    You don't need service after you've left.

    [ Parent ]

    Not really.. (none / 0) (#214)
    by cluke on Tue May 06, 2003 at 08:42:49 AM EST

    The barman is supposed to serve everyone well in the hope of getting a good tip at the end. But I have to say when I visitied the US, as an Irishman, I found tipping to be a profoundly uncomfortable experience. Have I given enough? Have I given too much? I would much rather they just automatically added how much they deemed fair to the bill, so I could know up front. All this sliding of dollar bills at people seems so tawdry and mercenary, and even patronising ("Here's a dollar for yourself, my man! Don't spend it all at once! I am the big man, flashing the cash!") It seems to emphasise a certain class hierarchy - the master tipping the servant.

    [ Parent ]
    Do you offer the barman a drink? (none / 0) (#301)
    by rantweasel on Tue May 06, 2003 at 03:06:04 PM EST

    Someone earlier in the thread offered a link to info about pubs, and the notion of buying a round for the publician is mentioned.  It seems to me that they're the same notion, just with different cultural mores about money and class and service jobs.  I know that when I waited tables, it felt really good to get a good tip if I had worked hard for the table, because it was clear that they saw the effort I was putting forth, and I hated to get tipped badly when I was slacking, because it was clear that they knew how much I was slacking.

    mathias

    [ Parent ]

    Esactly (none / 0) (#396)
    by cluke on Wed May 07, 2003 at 07:20:51 AM EST

    Yes, that link has it exactly right. I would have no qualms whatsoever about 'getting' a barman a drink. I understand on an intellectual level that tipping as an integral part of wage-earning is a reasonable notion, it's just a the transaction makes me uncomfortable. The recipients never seemed uncomfortable though, right enough! ;-)

    [ Parent ]
    Agreed (none / 0) (#192)
    by drsmithy on Tue May 06, 2003 at 06:25:17 AM EST

    Am I completely out of line to believe that tipping is a reward & incentive for good service? If that's the case, how can you justify tipping on every round? I tip when I'm ready to leave, so I get to see whether there's anything spectacularly good/bad about the service before I decide how much to tip.

    I believe this is the (sane) attitude held by most of the rest of the developed world. I mean, if tipping has reached to the point where it's being automatically added to bills, then why the hell aren't places just charging more for the service and passing that directly on to their employees ?

    I tip when I get good (or entertaining, as is often the case with a bartender(ess)) service. Never before. And, having visited one or two places here trying to imitate the American model, I have made it perfectly clear to them that I will never frequent their establishment again after being "advised" that tips were "expected" (and each time with a bill well into the hundreds of dollars). Then again, I'm from Australia...

    [ Parent ]

    Bad, bad attitude (none / 0) (#263)
    by dachshund on Tue May 06, 2003 at 12:45:06 PM EST

    I mean, if tipping has reached to the point where it's being automatically added to bills, then why the hell aren't places just charging more for the service and passing that directly on to their employees?

    Most non-tipping countries do exactly that. You end up paying the same amount of money, so it's hard to complain that you're being "ripped off" by the American system.

    What the American system does is give you the option not to tip in the event that you receive extremely poor service. It's galling to pay a 15+% mandatory service charge when your waiter gets your order wrong three times and says rude things to your wife.

    The worst thing I can say about the US system-- from a customer's point of view-- is that it requires too much damned math at a time when you're least likely to be able to work out percentages (ie, after a few drinks.)

    [ Parent ]

    Tipping math (none / 0) (#279)
    by rusty on Tue May 06, 2003 at 01:41:24 PM EST

    When you're so bleary that the numbers are swimming, all you need to remember to figure out a reasonable tip is this:
    1. Find the total on your bill. Let's say it's $61.34
    2. Move the decimal point one place to the left. From the total above, you'll now have $6.13. You can generally just throw out anything less than a dollar, so call it $6.00
    3. Double the number from step two. So now you've got $12
    4. That's your tip. It will always be 20% or slightly less, but enough to meet or exceed the 15% minimum.
    5. If you end up with a tip that's less than a dollar, just make it a dollar.
    I'm always amazed at how many people don't ever learn this basic trick.

    ____
    Not the real rusty
    [ Parent ]
    Bistromathics ... (4.00 / 1) (#285)
    by levsen on Tue May 06, 2003 at 02:10:17 PM EST

    Teehee, reminds me on "bistromathics" in the Hitchhiker's Guide ...
    This comment is printed on 100% recycled electrons.
    [ Parent ]
    Alternatively (none / 0) (#303)
    by rantweasel on Tue May 06, 2003 at 03:15:00 PM EST

    1 dollar tip for every 6 dollars in the bill

    It works out to just under 17%.

    [ Parent ]

    Not always so simple (none / 0) (#336)
    by dachshund on Tue May 06, 2003 at 05:03:06 PM EST

    I'm always amazed at how many people don't ever learn this basic trick

    Of course it's simple. I move the decimal point, then either multiply it by 2 or by one-and-a-half. Not difficult math-- when you're paying the entire bill.

    But try working it out when there are six people at the table. Someone always ends up overpaying, while someone else makes out like a bandit. Alternatively, think about how much you're tipping when you throw down a few bucks at the bar. I bet if I actually tallied up my total tips after a night of drinking, it would be far outside of the 15-20% guideline.

    [ Parent ]

    there's some benefit to the American model (none / 0) (#322)
    by Delirium on Tue May 06, 2003 at 04:12:01 PM EST

    The American tipping model allows not only extra pay for exceptionally good service, but withholding of pay for exceptionally bad service. If the serviceperson is just plain bad, you can underpay (say, 10% instead of 15-20%), or if they're exceptionally terrible or rude, you can simply not pay them at all. If the price includes a 15% service charge built in (as is done in Europe and many other places), you don't have this option, and are stuck paying even if the person is incredibly rude.

    [ Parent ]
    In the UK (none / 0) (#417)
    by pmc on Wed May 07, 2003 at 11:11:43 AM EST

    you are not obliged to pay the service charge (or you may only pay a propoertion of it) if you think the service has been poor.

    If the foods been poor then you don't have to pay the marked price for the meal. But you must bring it to the establisments attention to give them a chance to fix it.

    I've never done either.

    [ Parent ]

    You are exactly right (none / 0) (#232)
    by bearclaw on Tue May 06, 2003 at 10:01:24 AM EST

    A tip is a reward for good service. If the bartender is shitty, I don't tip him/her. Of course, if a bartender is great, I tip him/her very well.

    I'm sick of people expecting things for free.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm polite to the bartenders at the places I frequent (though by no means a "regular"), and I usually can strike up a good conversation with them, but I refuse to tip for no reason.

    -- bearclaw
    [ Parent ]
    Australia (4.80 / 5) (#135)
    by ComradeFork on Tue May 06, 2003 at 01:58:32 AM EST

    Where I come from, tipping is not really done. It's fine for people to give money away, but if its expected of them, it seems a bit silly.

    Any bartenders from Australia here?

    Class System (none / 0) (#163)
    by CaptainZapp on Tue May 06, 2003 at 04:18:48 AM EST

    What I remember (among a lot of other things, most of them pleasant) about Australia is that you never ever get into the back of a cab.

    Aparently this is considered very rude, since there is no class system and the cab driver is to be considered a mate.

    [ Parent ]

    Speaking as an (ex) Aussie Cabbie (none / 0) (#191)
    by drsmithy on Tue May 06, 2003 at 06:18:51 AM EST

    What I remember (among a lot of other things, most of them pleasant) about Australia is that you never ever get into the back of a cab.

    In general, women get into the back seat and men get into the front seat (when they're alone). Two men will usually take front seat & back seat, other combos tend to prefer the back seat. I've got no hard figures, but when these patterns were not followed it always stood out (I drove cabs for ~3 years in Brisbane, QLD).

    Aparently this is considered very rude, since there is no class system and the cab driver is to be considered a mate.

    It's not so much there's no "class system", it's just that (IMHO) a much larger proportion of Australia considers themselves (and most others) to be "middle class" - including cabbies. It's not often you bump into someone who thinks they're better than you are (and unless you're completely out of your element when you do, it's not difficult to bring them back down to Earth).

    I'd never consider it rude when a bloke on his own got in the back rather than the front - I just thought it was weird (I *hate* being in the back seat of a car).

    Why wouldn't you get into the front seat of a cab ? Are cabbies that much worse in the rest of the world that it's more likely for a cabbie to mug & rob their passengers than vice versa ? I mean, the worst taxis I've ever been in here in Australia were in Sydney (aside: having experienced it, I understand now why so many people from Sydney don't like cabs) and while they were rude, mercenary, usually lost and almost always incapable of speaking English, I never felt unsafe in one. Then again, I'm 6'2 and 220 pounds, so not many people intimidate me :).

    [ Parent ]

    Well (none / 0) (#195)
    by CaptainZapp on Tue May 06, 2003 at 06:38:52 AM EST

    Thanks for sharing the inside info.

    Why wouldn't you get into the front seat of a cab ?

    I think that really depends on the country. In the US I've never sat in the front of a cab, in fact a lot of them seem to anticipate getting shot, looking at the bullet proof plastic construction surrounding the driver.

    In Asia I had the impression, that it was frowned upon, when you sat in front (riding alone that is). I guess it's the oposite from Australia and has something to do with saving face. My last visit was in Tokyo, though where drivers usually wear white gloves (and drive the most expensive taxis anywhere. Interesting side note when you're dining out with Japanese friends: At 11:30-12pm they start to rush away. Because if they miss the last subway, they're essentially fucked. Distances are huge and a hotel is probably cheaper then a cab for 40 miles). I don't really recall Bangkok (overall pleasant taxi experience) or Manila (Probably the worst of the scum congregates as cabbies in Manila - oh and did I mention that the meter is always broken there?)

    In Europe it depends: London cabs are constructed so that you ride in the back and are separated from the driver. More southern countries like Italy, Spain Portugal (and even Paris) it's not flat out of the question that you ride in front. But the front seet is so often cluttered with maps, newspapers and Macdonalds wrappers, that it seems to be an implicite means of discouragement.

    The more central parts of Europe (Switzerland, Germany, Austria) I think it's your choice as a passanger. Nobody ever gave me a hard time either way.

    [ Parent ]

    Safety and inconvenience (none / 0) (#258)
    by dachshund on Tue May 06, 2003 at 12:36:36 PM EST

    As a New Yorker, I would never get into the front seat of a cab unless I was with a group of people. If someone's concerned enough about their safety that they go to the trouble to build an expensive bullet-proof barrier between the front and back seats of the cab, they may not be too comfortable having you pop into the front seat.

    Furthermore, most cabbies like to keep their bags and personal effects on the front seat. I always feel a little guilty making them grab that stuff and find some place to stow it. Can't imagine why the rest of the world's cabbies would be any less inconvenienced.

    [ Parent ]

    Class System (none / 0) (#397)
    by Tom Rowlands on Wed May 07, 2003 at 08:02:05 AM EST

    Apparently this is considered very rude, since there is no class system and the cab driver is to be considered a mate.

    From my perspective (just graduated software engineering student; I'm hardly a man of the world) there's not a complete lack of class system in Australia but I gather it's a whole lot less prominent than elsewhere. To a certain extent Australian's like to think they have no class system and it's considered very bad form to do anything that might suggest we do. People feel very embarrassed to be thought of as `upper class'.

    --
    Tom Rowlands
    (Sorry, I can't sign this.)

    [ Parent ]

    Uh oh.. (none / 0) (#421)
    by noquarter on Wed May 07, 2003 at 12:08:16 PM EST

    I hope the posts other people have made about this not being "rude" but just "weird" are the standard attitudes among cabbies. I'm Canadian, and here sitting in the back seat is the norm when you get into cabs. There's no bulletproof plastic barriers (at least not here in Calgary), but I usually just get into the back seat out of habit. But I just recently spent 7 months in Sydney and sat in the back seat of the cab every single time. Whoops.

    [ Parent ]
    Australian Cabs (none / 0) (#501)
    by RavenDuck on Sun May 11, 2003 at 10:07:26 PM EST

    As an Aussie, if I'm alone, I'll aways sit in the front of a cab (when I'm in Australia, at least). I'm not a particularly chatty person, but some cabbies are, and it's easier to carry on a conversation if you're sitting in the front. It just seems more polite. I wouldn't have put it down to a lack of class system, but anything's possible, I guess.

    However, it's not just cabs. The other day I had to have some stuff done to the car and the Insurance company ferried me too and from home in a driven car. Sort of the Australian equivalent to a limo (the only people who use stretch-limos here are kids on the way to a school formal). For anyone from Victoria, it was one of the VHA-plated cars (a nice white Ford LTD). Even in that car, it just seemed to make more sense to sit in the front. The driver even opened the front door for me (man, is that weird), so he obviously expected me to sit in the front.

    I've never seen a local cab with any sort of protective enclosure for the driver, and it seems to be only very rarely that any sort of assault or robbery happens within a cab here. I think it's probably just assumed that, you're a passenger in a car, you'll probably want to sit in the seat with the best view (after all, am I the only one who squabbled with my siblings when young as to who was going to sit in the front seat?).

    --
    For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak
    With most miraculous organ.
    [ Parent ]

    Australia (none / 0) (#469)
    by mr fusion on Thu May 08, 2003 at 09:15:24 AM EST

    Yeah from Brisbane. Mainly work security but I have done a bit of bar over the years. It is getting more common now to receive tips over here, usually they go in a jar which is split at the end of the night between the bar staff. I have even had some patrons (suits) tip me when I was working on the door. The first couple of times I was really unsure what to do, lots of people offer you money to let them in drunk/no id and I though if I took it a manager might think I had snuck someone in. But yeah, its certainly not expected but it sure is appreciated.

    [ Parent ]
    Tipping in Australia (none / 0) (#489)
    by Overnight Delivery on Sat May 10, 2003 at 12:43:05 AM EST

    I have to disagree that tipping is not done in Australia, it is done just not in every situation (Disclaimer: This refers to Sydney and have have friends in hospitality which has coloured my view).

    Taxis: Often just rounding up to nearest dollar or two but may be more if the cab driver didn't a) get lost or not know basic things like where a suburb is, b)  drive dangerously  c) take a long route.

    Restauants / Cafes: Usually  As you climb the restauant ladder tips go from nice but not required to absolutely mandatory. As a personal rule (though many Australians would disagree) if there is table service I'll tip by default, however if service or food is bad that will quickly disapear to nothing. If I just ordered a drink in a cafe I'll usually throw some coins in the jar (many small cafe's have a tip jar).

    Bars / Pubs:  There is a definate push for tips in the CBD by placing change on a plate instead on in your hand. Frankly, this pisses me off as the only places that do this have severely overpriced drinks, might not let you in because of "the wrong shoes" and are populated by wankers.

    Doorman / Misc: No.

    [ Parent ]

    Sydney (none / 0) (#498)
    by ComradeFork on Sun May 11, 2003 at 06:58:17 PM EST

    I don't live in Sydney, but I went there the other day, including to a restaurant in North Sydney, and didn't see any tipping.

    [ Parent ]
    Explain this to me (4.00 / 4) (#137)
    by medham on Tue May 06, 2003 at 02:07:08 AM EST

    Why is it that we are expected to tip bartenders 33-50% for doing essentially nothing when 20% is the accepted standard for those who provide real service, such as waiters and pizza-delivery drivers?

    What would Derrida say?

    The real 'medham' has userid 6831.

    bartending is a real service (4.33 / 3) (#146)
    by BankofAmerica ATM on Tue May 06, 2003 at 02:52:24 AM EST

    alcohol is the drink of the gods.  alcoholics are the coolest people around, and bartenders do us a service by making them cool regular attatchments to bars and set the atmosphere.  depressed alcoholics are cool if they don't talk, often pick up chicks by staring at glass.
    STOP PROJECT FAUSTUS!
    [ Parent ]
    20%!?!?! (none / 0) (#375)
    by Belgand on Wed May 07, 2003 at 03:28:35 AM EST

    What the... in my experience the standard tip is 10-15% with 20% being reserved for those who do a pretty damn good job. Not dragging this into a tipping argument, but really... that's an excessive ammount of money for someone who moves a plate of food across the room.

    [ Parent ]
    Well (3.33 / 3) (#422)
    by medham on Wed May 07, 2003 at 12:15:07 PM EST

    You're a cheap, anal-retentive geek. How novel.

    The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
    [ Parent ]

    on tipping (3.66 / 3) (#138)
    by gdanjo on Tue May 06, 2003 at 02:10:44 AM EST

    Nice article. Now if only all bartenders would give us a model of their own behaviour, drinking beer would be much easier :-)

    I'm intrigued by your tips on tipping though. I've never been to the US but this tipping thing seems complicated. Are there any norms on who gets tips? Is it everyone that offers a service? Is the tipping behaviour universal, or different depending on city/state/etc.?

    I dunno, but it all seems a bit much. If I had a hard day and just want a beer and forget to tip, my day will surely NOT improve by being boxed as a non-tipper. If I ever do visit the US, I know my anxiety level will be high - always wondering whether to tip, how much, and watching their reaction to see whether I did ok.

    Also, you say you earn below minimum wage? I thought the idea of a minimum wage was exactly that: a minimum. What happens if your tips plus less-than-minimum wage is still less than minimum wage?

    Dan ...
    "Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
    Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
    -ToT

    On Tipping (none / 0) (#160)
    by CaptainZapp on Tue May 06, 2003 at 04:13:35 AM EST

    I'm intrigued by your tips on tipping though. I've never been to the US but this tipping thing seems complicated. Are there any norms on who gets tips? Is it everyone that offers a service? Is the tipping behaviour universal, or different depending on city/state/etc.?

    Generally speaking: You always tip in the US. In bars I usually leave the coins & 1$ (I'm a beer drinker), in Restaurants it's around 15-20%, depending on the service. The simple rule in NY or SF is to approximately double the sales tax (at least it was). Compared to most European countries, where tipping is not necessarily expected, there is an up and down:

    The up is, that service is usually (but not always) better, since the waiters/waitresses/bartenders income is directly related to the quality of service. On the other hand: It really, really does get on my nerve when you run into the: "Hi, I'm Dork and together we will have a most outstanding dining experience tonight." This always triggers a fuck-off reflex in me and it seems to be more predominant in California then on the east coast.

    I also never understood why I should tip in a Starbucks. Mate, I was standing in line, I was moving up to your counter, I picked up an overprized 4-shot latte and I really don't see a point why I should tip a person who just wished me a nice day. Regardless if I want one or not.

    BTW and here's a word of warning. Some restaurants already add the tip to the check. In that case of course, you don't have to tip at all (in fact, I consider this to be rather sleazy, alas I can understand where it comes from; especially in more touristy areas)

    [ Parent ]

    Good advice (4.00 / 2) (#167)
    by PylonHead on Tue May 06, 2003 at 04:27:03 AM EST

    With regard to Starbucks... I don't tip for any "wait in line for the counter" food/drink unless I'm a regular at a place, and I want them to remember me (fondly).

    Restaurants usually add in the tip for large parties (often for 6 or more people, but I've seen seen places that do it for groups 4 or larger).  I guess it would suck to serve eight people and end up with a tip appropriate for 2...

    [ Parent ]

    What's the difference (none / 0) (#168)
    by grouse on Tue May 06, 2003 at 04:27:50 AM EST

    between the bartender and the barista? Why does the former get a tip and the latter does not?

    You sad bastard!

    "Grouse please don't take this the wrong way... To be quite frank, you are throwing my inner Chi out of its harmonious balance with nature." -- Tex Bigballs
    [ Parent ]

    Well (4.75 / 4) (#174)
    by CaptainZapp on Tue May 06, 2003 at 04:38:02 AM EST

    If Starbucks charges me for an overprized coffee I simply expect them to pay their Baristas decent wages.

    Maybe I'm wrong; but it just feels different then in a bar or restaurant (more like a self service place) and I do not consider it to be my job to run Starbucks' payroll.

    If somebody steps in here to tell me that Starbucks pays below minimum wage my solution is rather simple:

    I will not enter a Starbucks again, ever!

    [ Parent ]

    I agree (none / 0) (#487)
    by Work on Fri May 09, 2003 at 08:04:16 PM EST

    I don't tip at starbucks, but I usually do at the independent coffee shop. Starbucks likely pays their barista's well, and their employees are generally happy to work there. I figure if you're happy to work there, you're making good money without the need of tips.

    I've also never had what I would call 'great' service at starbucks. One guy takes my money, another whips up a starbucks-standard coffee.

    [ Parent ]

    If at the you have to wait in a defined line (5.00 / 1) (#479)
    by jforan on Thu May 08, 2003 at 11:05:30 PM EST

    at the establishment in question, you don't have to tip at that establishment.

    No, there are no organized lines at most bars.  Since the bar tender can choose to serve you first or last or never, you tip.  But that is not why, I guess.

    If there were lines (e.g. Mardi Gras in new orleans or Starbucks), and a tip jar was sitting out, I would at most leave my change in their tip bucket, no matter the price of the meal.  If they come and serve you at your table, I am sure a tip would be appreciated, but not expected (if they had a line to pay for the object in question).  I think 8-10 percent is reasonable in this case, and you can just leave it on the table.

    In general, when a person working for a business is supposed to treat you (or does treat you) like you are a customer-machine, you don't need to tip.

    Jeff

    I hops to be barley workin'.
    [ Parent ]

    Best explanation of this ever [nt] (none / 0) (#485)
    by grouse on Fri May 09, 2003 at 05:39:56 PM EST


    You sad bastard!

    "Grouse please don't take this the wrong way... To be quite frank, you are throwing my inner Chi out of its harmonious balance with nature." -- Tex Bigballs
    [ Parent ]

    Auto-tipping for better service? (none / 0) (#378)
    by Belgand on Wed May 07, 2003 at 03:46:57 AM EST

    In my experience our culture has moved to the point where tipping automatically means that good service is dying quickly. Waitstaff know that social custom and shame will force someone to leave at least 10% of the bill no matter how much crap (drinks, appetizers, desserts, etc.) they push even if it is the estabilishment's policy. They don't bother to react in a timely manner or go out of their way much. Do a shitty job and get a bad tip? That ASSHOLE! How in the hell could he stiff me on a tip?!? As with most things the people who actually work hard and do a good job tend to do it no matter what. They want to do a good job. Likely they know that it will pay off with a good tip. If tipping went back to being based solely on merit, a little extra something for doing above and beyond what's necessary to meet the bare minimum then yeah... I'll pony up some extra cash. Tipping no matter what? All you can expect is the same surly teenagers who'll whine when they don't get 30% from everyone because they had to refill your water... like... THREE TIMES!

    [ Parent ]
    One summer while still in school.... (none / 0) (#436)
    by rantweasel on Wed May 07, 2003 at 06:00:08 PM EST

    I was waiting tables at a diner.  It was still early on in the evening, and I got seated a table of four young adults (18-24ish).  Things hadn't picked up yet, so they were my only table, and so I got their drinks quick, got their order in quick, got their food out quick, and found that the kitchen had ignored the "no onions" on one sandwich.  No problem, it was slow, it was replaced quick.  They got their refills as soon as they finished because I had nothing else to do.  They left me 13 cents and a stale cigarette.  Later that night, we were slammed, and I was really slow starting a table of two.  They had to wait a couple of minutes.  They tipped me something like 20 or 25%  In my experience, it often doesn't matter how hard you work, some people just have a set notion of how they will tip, and they stick with it.

    And as counterexamples, so you know it's not my perception, I've found that the places where I go often, the better waitstaff try to get my in their sections because they know that I do tip better for good service.

    mathias

    [ Parent ]

    On minimum wage (none / 0) (#331)
    by cyclopatra on Tue May 06, 2003 at 04:27:52 PM EST

    In many (most? all?) states, and according to federal minimum wage law, you can pay someone less than minimum wage if they are in a profession which customarily receives tips. When my bf was bartending in Florida, for example, he was only being paid $2.13/hr (at a time when the minimum wage was $4.25 for other jobs, I believe).

    In addition, wait staff's tax withholding is usually based on their wages plus some percentage of their sales (I've heard figures from 7.5% to 10%), so their take-home is even less than that. A lot of my friends who wait tables don't bother to pick up their paychecks, or pick them up three or more month's worth at a time, because they're a pittance compared to what they earn in tips.

    It's a lousy trick, especially since a tip ought to be a bonus for good service, but it's one most restaurants are unlikely to be willing to give up anytime soon. (NB: before anyone attempts to involve me in the "why don't you tip" debate because of the above comment, I do tip, usually at least 25-30%, because I know way too many people busting their asses waiting tables)

    Cyclopatra
    All your .sigs are belong to us.
    remove mypants to email
    [ Parent ]

    arrogant bartenders (3.67 / 28) (#149)
    by levsen on Tue May 06, 2003 at 03:19:57 AM EST

    Sophacles you are so wrong. I'm not sure whether this post is a major troll or not, so let me make some this very clear here.

    Your underlying premise is completely wrong. I have no idea who told you that, but I don't come into a bar to be cheered up by the bartender. Your implication that you are the only reason I don't drink at home is a sign of incredibly self-centric wish-dreaming.

    In case you haven't noticed, bars offer lots of things that my home doesn't, i.e. a) my friends are there, b) nice interior, c) wider range of drinks than my fridge, d) music/DJ that I might not have at home. Go into your bar tomorrow and open your eyes and look around you, you'll be amazed what you find. That you don't notice those things and consider yourself at the center of the universe doesn't tell a whole lot about you.

    I am sure you got the job because you wanted to "work with people" etc. etc. yadda yadda. Fact is, you are the obstacle that's between me and a drink. At most I value your skill to pour the right ingredients for my favorite cocktail, at other times I'd be as happy to serve myself from the bar fridge if you'd let me.

    Under no circumstances do I want to be obliged to some small talk, just as I don't care what the bus driver's day has been who brought me here in the first place. Dude, I work in a job that's so completely unrelated to what you do, and my life is completely separate from yours. You would not understand my joys and sorrows. All I could do is a fake smile and superficial "I'm excellent", but then again that would lying half the time.

    Which reveals another underlying social problem. If you make socializing obligatory, not optional for getting a drink, it proves at the end that it's more likely you who need the attention and socializing, not the customer as you describe it.

    To make things worse, in addition to these things, you make serving drinks unnecessarily complicated with your complicated serving order. Bartenders have an impact on people's social well-being, as a nice group of friends standing in a corner with drinks is so much happier than one where half the people are currently fighting at the bar for getting basic service. This makes bartenders teeming with arrogance, as it allows them to impose their social world order on people around them and play little games of who-grovels-the-best.

    Don't get me wrong, I do think rude people don't deserve to be served quickly (or at all), but all other rules such as people-who-sit-at-the-bar and regular-are-served-first are not clear to the casual observer and make other's life unnecessarily complicated. To make things worse, bartenders often don't even acknowledge the existence of people waiting for a drink. If I go into restaurant the waiter will at least give me a glance or even a smile to let me know that she/he has seen me and will get back to me as soon as possible. Bartenders, in their little selfish world of arrogance, don't think that's necessary.

    Now speaking of rudeness, waving cash is not rude. It's the second stage in a fight for getting a minimum of attention, after you failed to acknowledge my existence in the first place. If you take that as rudeness and make things worse by further declining service etc., you've just fallen to the complete bottom of my scale of respect.

    So here's my guide to you: How to be a good bartender. It all starts out with the little notice outside your bar that says what drinks the bar has and what the price is. I don't know about your town, but where I live, that's the way things work. So it'll say something like "1 pint of Guinness $5". Maybe it'll say that not outside but on the drinks menu or anything else, but what matters is, at this point you have made a promise. A very simple promise, that I can get a pint of Guinness here for $5. I don't care if you were personally the one who put up the notice, it is your job for the rest of the evening to make that promise come true. If it's your boss who put up the promise and you don't quite agree with that or whatever, that's a problem between you and your boss, not mine.

    So first rule, make my life as simple as possible. Be transparent.

    Second rule, make good drinks. There isn't much that can be done to a Guinness, but there is to a cosmopolitan or a dry martini. I will make you personally liable for the quality of my drink. If it's your boss' policy to save on the alcohol, that's your problem with your boss. Quality is important, and that's your #1 job here.

    That's basically it. Remember, it's all about delivering on a promise. This is not some garden party at the neighbor's, where, if I chat nicely over the fence I might get a cold beer and a steak. Our relationship has begun with a promise on your part. And if you let your inferiority complex, your problems with what your boss pays you, your regulars-cum-friends, your attention-seeking or whatever else get in the way, your just as pathetic as the used car dealer who promises "yeah runs really well" on what's basically a piece of junk.


    This comment is printed on 100% recycled electrons.

    Dude, you rock! (3.66 / 3) (#161)
    by ti dave on Tue May 06, 2003 at 04:15:53 AM EST

    Fact is, you are the obstacle that's between me and a drink.

    Sophacles ought to print that one out and tape it to his locker door.

    I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm
    [ Parent ]

    Yup (n/t) (none / 0) (#169)
    by levsen on Tue May 06, 2003 at 04:28:30 AM EST


    This comment is printed on 100% recycled electrons.
    [ Parent ]
    Heres some troll food for you: (3.70 / 17) (#180)
    by sophacles on Tue May 06, 2003 at 05:05:11 AM EST

    If a bar is nicer than your home, you should perhaps find a better home, or maybe just get out the mop once a year. Despite your piss poor living conditions though, you could purchase the ingredients for a wide variety of coctails for a hell of a lot less money than you pay for them at the bar, seeing as how most bars have a 500% markup or so on most ingredients, some are much much more.  A $200 investment in alcohol would give you a very well stocked bar, and provide many more drinks than $200 at the bar would.

    As to your shoddy ass friends: If they are only at the bar, and nowhere else in your life, perhaps you should consider finding friends who like you, not your ability to buy them drinks.  Or if they are actual friends, then invite them over to share in your newly purchased liquor supply.

    And if you want to talk in terms of promises, in the USA bartenders are promised by law that they will make a certain amount of money in tips, hence our less-than-ninimum wage. Or perhaps you forgot the promise I have with my boss to sell as many drinks as possible, which means that the regulars and people at the bar are going to drink more, so I serve them first.

    Of course I know that none of this matters to you with your superiority complex. I am just a sub-human drink machine to you, deserving of your contempt. Please move along to the penalty box now and cry when you don't get your Guinness, while you are listening to music that you could have easily obtained from kazaa, and consider how your little game of which-bartender-is-most-submissive.

    [ Parent ]

    What if you don't make the tips? (none / 0) (#381)
    by Belgand on Wed May 07, 2003 at 04:22:04 AM EST

    So uhm... yeah... what do you do if you don't make the guaranteed ammount? Just ask your boss to throw in the difference? Sure, it's probably never happened, but really... I'm curious.

    [ Parent ]
    Oh, yes (none / 0) (#464)
    by epepke on Thu May 08, 2003 at 03:30:59 AM EST

    Yes, the employer is required to add a "minimum wage makeup" if a tipped employee does not make minimum wage. It's the source of some of the cruftiest bits in automated accounting. It also requires employees to report all their tips, which they don't like to do, because they are supposed to pay taxes on them, and so managers have to ride them more.


    The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


    [ Parent ]
    You would not understand my joys and sorrows (2.66 / 6) (#182)
    by PylonHead on Tue May 06, 2003 at 05:20:34 AM EST

    Wow.  Somebody is full of himself.

    Learn some basic social skills.   Treat people you interact with like human beings and not like drink dispensers.  It's bound to come in useful at some point even if simply being a decent human being isn't important to you.

    I'm letting you off the hook for your tipping etiquette since your web site seems to indicate that you're European.  We do things differently over here.  Tipping is part of the social contract.

    Bartenders make their money off tips.  It's great because this means they have to make you happy.  And if they do make you happy, it's your responsibility to tip them.  If you don't tip them, you are cheap.

    [ Parent ]

    where did I complain about tipping!? (none / 0) (#222)
    by levsen on Tue May 06, 2003 at 09:17:24 AM EST

    Funny that the only thing you are addressing in your reply to me is the one thing I didn't address. I have lived in the US and have no objection whatsoever on tipping. Please make some sense to me.
    This comment is printed on 100% recycled electrons.
    [ Parent ]
    Your $5 beer example. (none / 0) (#268)
    by PylonHead on Tue May 06, 2003 at 01:11:28 PM EST

    It had something to do with this paragraph:

    So here's my guide to you: How to be a good bartender. It all starts out with the little notice outside your bar that says what drinks the bar has and what the price is. I don't know about your town, but where I live, that's the way things work. So it'll say something like "1 pint of Guinness $5". Maybe it'll say that not outside but on the drinks menu or anything else, but what matters is, at this point you have made a promise. A very simple promise, that I can get a pint of Guinness here for $5. I don't care if you were personally the one who put up the notice, it is your job for the rest of the evening to make that promise come true. If it's your boss who put up the promise and you don't quite agree with that or whatever, that's a problem between you and your boss, not mine.

    Maybe I read too much into it, but then what was the point of this paragraph if you weren't objecting to paying more than $5 (a tip) for your beer.

    [ Parent ]

    Oh you read too much into it ... (none / 0) (#283)
    by levsen on Tue May 06, 2003 at 02:04:36 PM EST

    ... I don't mind paying more, let's say $6 including tip, because tipping is a socially accepted norm across the whole country. I tip in restaurants and cabs etc. I *do* mind having to small-talk and beg myself into a drink. I don't have to do that in the restaurant or cab.
    This comment is printed on 100% recycled electrons.
    [ Parent ]
    Drink machines? (none / 0) (#382)
    by Belgand on Wed May 07, 2003 at 04:23:43 AM EST

    So uhm... where ARE the drink machines and how soon can they replace whiny bartenders?

    [ Parent ]
    Research is being done at top universities... (none / 0) (#430)
    by PylonHead on Wed May 07, 2003 at 02:55:20 PM EST

    http://www3.hmc.edu/~bgreer/barmonkey/

    http://www.barmonkey.net/

    Nothing wrong with treating a machine like a machine :).

    [ Parent ]

    A teetotaller speaks of humility... (none / 0) (#482)
    by PigleT on Fri May 09, 2003 at 04:06:32 PM EST

    "Treat people you interact with like human beings and not like drink dispensers."

    It's a two-way thing. All we've seen here is a bunch of attitude in the original article, and occasionally from customers as well.

    It's "who offended who first", I think. Getting that wrong and assuming it's the other party's fault is the height of injustice and all too frequently encountered on the high-street. This goes for whether you're driving your vehicle or behind a bar or a cashier in McDonald's: never assume that the hassle you get is due to the customer being stroppy, it could well be exacerbated through something that's either your fault (if you're inept) or your organization's (if they've been in a queue for too long, for example).

    While I'm passing by: does anyone else object to the increasing incidence of cashiers starting processing the next customer in the chain before the current one has finished? This is the sort of thing that doesn't impress me at all; I'll not push someone out the way in order to answer "can I help someone?!" yelled at 90dB at me, nor do I appreciate those behind getting so close I can't turn round...
    ~Tim -- We stood in the moonlight and the river flowed
    [ Parent ]

    Interesting (3.75 / 12) (#201)
    by bigchris on Tue May 06, 2003 at 06:59:40 AM EST

    "In case you haven't noticed, bars offer lots of things that my home doesn't, i.e. a) my friends are there, b) nice interior, c) wider range of drinks than my fridge, d) music/DJ that I might not have at home. Go into your bar tomorrow and open your eyes and look around you, you'll be amazed what you find. That you don't notice those things and consider yourself at the center of the universe doesn't tell a whole lot about you."

    It might not tell him much about himself, but your post tells me a lot about you! You:

    a) have friends that don't come over to your house
    b) have a crap looking house
    c) are not well supplied with liquor
    d) find bar music to be better than your own taste in music

    "Under no circumstances do I want to be obliged to some small talk, just as I don't care what the bus driver's day has been who brought me here in the first place. Dude, I work in a job that's so completely unrelated to what you do, and my life is completely separate from yours. You would not understand my joys and sorrows. All I could do is a fake smile and superficial "I'm excellent", but then again that would lying half the time."

    e) don't want to know about people outside your workplace and sphere of life. You are a dull person.

    "To make things worse, in addition to these things, you make serving drinks unnecessarily complicated with your complicated serving order. Bartenders have an impact on people's social well-being, as a nice group of friends standing in a corner with drinks is so much happier than one where half the people are currently fighting at the bar for getting basic service. This makes bartenders teeming with arrogance, as it allows them to impose their social world order on people around them and play little games of who-grovels-the-best."

    f) are impatient (don't know about you, but last time I walked into a packed bar I didn't blame the bartender for the crush)

    "So here's my guide to you: How to be a good bartender. It all starts out with the little notice outside your bar that says what drinks the bar has and what the price is. I don't know about your town, but where I live, that's the way things work. So it'll say something like "1 pint of Guinness $5". Maybe it'll say that not outside but on the drinks menu or anything else, but what matters is, at this point you have made a promise. A very simple promise, that I can get a pint of Guinness here for $5. I don't care if you were personally the one who put up the notice, it is your job for the rest of the evening to make that promise come true. If it's your boss who put up the promise and you don't quite agree with that or whatever, that's a problem between you and your boss, not mine."

    g) beleive that the person who's behind the counter is your slave
    h) don't understand that the person behind the counter has the right to refuse you service, in the same way you have a right not be a jerk

    "Second rule, make good drinks. There isn't much that can be done to a Guinness, but there is to a cosmopolitan or a dry martini. I will make you personally liable for the quality of my drink. If it's your boss' policy to save on the alcohol, that's your problem with your boss. Quality is important, and that's your #1 job here."

    i) are the sort of person that would make someone "personally liable" for making a bodgy drink. Alcho.

    Interesting.

    ---
    I Hate Jesus: -1: Bible thumper
    kpaul: YAAT. YHL. HAND. btw, YAHWEH wins ;) [mt]
    [ Parent ]

    A bad experience? (3.00 / 1) (#295)
    by soldiercat on Tue May 06, 2003 at 02:42:58 PM EST

    I'm not quite sure what has you so riled up over this topic? It sounds like you've had to deal with some pretty poor or annoying bartenders and, outside the ones in your home town, you've now decided that they're all out to make your life at the bar a difficult one. I think that Sophacles' article made some great points about general politeness (that should probably be observed in more places than just the bar, but I suppose that's a start) and gave some insight for those not aware of social graces as to how to receive pleasant service. It never felt to me like he was suggesting people only go to the bar to hang out with the bartender. It never seemed like people must strike up a detailed conversation about their life with the guy slinging drinks. Instead it suggested that rather than just grunting "Gimme a damned beer." you perhaps preface it with a "Hello", or a "Nice day". While socialising need not be obligatory, there is rarely an excuse not to make some effort to be civil; as has been pointed out a number of times in the comments to this article, adding a simply "Hi" can be all that's needed to do this. I don't know, perhaps living in a city where the points made in this article do help in bars and also seem to make sense I'm not aware of the condescending attitude in the article that seems so obvious to you. I find the description of service and expected behaviour of the customer to be very reasonable and fair. Of course you're going to hit a bartender who makes it difficult for you because they're a jerk, or having a bad day, but that's why we (the customer) can choose not to go back to that particular bar and instead frequent the one that a) has the nice decor, b) is where our friends are, c) stocks the draughts we like, and d) plays the music we enjoy. But as much as these four things help to make a bar, the servers (bartenders, servers and busboys) I believe really impact the overall mood; and if I can help to make that place more comfortable by affording the staff some respect and civility then why not?

    [ Parent ]
    I know why he is so upset (none / 0) (#509)
    by Ta bu shi da yu on Wed May 14, 2003 at 09:50:13 AM EST

    He lives in Melbourne, Australia. The weather has gotten to him.

    ---
    AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
    ה
    [ Parent ]
    It's a matter of perspective (5.00 / 1) (#517)
    by levsen on Sun May 18, 2003 at 04:32:22 AM EST

    You must have been one of the 5235 people who have warned me about the supposedly "bad" weather in Melbourne before I moved here, but it's not!! To begin with, I'm originally from Germany, where it gets down to -10 in the winter, not +10 as here. There are much more sunshine days, too. Also, we get half the rain here that you guys in Sydney get if that's where you live!! I don't regret moving here at all.

    P.S. Did I mention nice bars and friendly hospitality staff? I've been paying a lot of attention to this since the discussion here and I never ever had to wait in a priority queue.


    This comment is printed on 100% recycled electrons.
    [ Parent ]

    Traffic (none / 0) (#518)
    by Ta bu shi da yu on Sun May 18, 2003 at 08:11:29 AM EST

    Then it's the lack of traffic and the fact that you have to do hook turns. You see, Melbournites' worst-kept secret is that they don't have enough traffic to dodge through to get to where they have to go. Hence the reason why they find where they live so boring.

    ---
    AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
    ה
    [ Parent ]
    Low in Priority (4.66 / 3) (#404)
    by SauceyMan on Wed May 07, 2003 at 08:53:39 AM EST

    I had customers like yourself. So full of anger and always asking why the world was so cruel to them. Never figuring out that the world is to you as you are to it. (for the most part :) I always wished they had just once worked behind the bar for at least one night to see what it was like. But they were usually so 'socially retarded' that they would never get hired.

    SauceyMan
    ---------
    "Son, you got a pantie on your head." -excerpt from 'Raising Arizona'
    [ Parent ]
    Jesus (none / 0) (#504)
    by coryking on Tue May 13, 2003 at 12:01:51 AM EST

    Ok, I agree with some stuff but jesus:
    Dude, I work in a job that's so completely unrelated to what you do, and my life is completely separate from yours. You would not understand my joys and sorrows. All I could do is a fake smile and superficial "I'm excellent", but then again that would lying half the time
    Are we an arrogant little shit? And how the fuck do you know this bartender isn't just doing this for shits and grins while he gets his Genetics degree or something?

    I pity you, at least I know my shit doesn't smell.

    [ Parent ]

    and in the end... (1.00 / 4) (#156)
    by dimaq on Tue May 06, 2003 at 03:40:44 AM EST

    all you want is to get some money for rotting their guts.

    why bother having fake pride? if a customer is rude - don't ignore then, sell them *more* alcohol - they will leave more money at your desk and they will die sooner!

    Isn't there something that you have missed... (4.40 / 5) (#181)
    by treefrog on Tue May 06, 2003 at 05:09:48 AM EST

    OK, call this a UKcentric attitude, but isn't one of a barman's main jobs to make sure that the beer is in the finest possible condition at all times?

    treefrog


    Twin fin swallowtail fish. You don't see many of those these days - rare as gold dust Customs officer to Treefrog

    exactly (3.25 / 4) (#209)
    by squid ca on Tue May 06, 2003 at 08:18:26 AM EST

    Not to attack the poor bartender here, but you will win points from me when you accept my contention that a pint is bad and give me a new one OF A DIFFERENT KIND instead of pouring me another from the same keg, or, even worse, arguing with me about the beer (I once had a bartender try to tell me that my flat beer was SUPPOSED to taste like that). Good points from the tarbenders perspecrive, though.

    [ Parent ]
    the sound of my blood boiling (3.42 / 7) (#186)
    by toothfish on Tue May 06, 2003 at 05:35:43 AM EST

    The guide that S has written ought to be common sense-- I have often argued that the US being what it is, we ought to have compulsory retail service, as most of this information would be patently obvious after working a day in any retail or service environment.

    To reiterate: When I say "Hi" do not respond with "Gimme a...". you don't have to be my best pal or even chat. It's one syllable. Service industry people, by and large, are among the more sensitive people I've met and/or worked with-- if you don't want to talk it'll be pretty apparent.

    If you want good service, be civil. That's pretty easy, I think, but some people never get it. It is possible to bludgeon some poor sap into submission, but you will never get the same level of service that a civil (notice I didn't even say "pleasant"-- it's not that hard of a stretch) patron otherwise will. If you do manage to lord your position of a customer over your bartender/coffee jerk/fry cook and wind up getting a price break/quicker service/etc, don't think for a second that they aren't planning some way to get back at you. You will get decaf (or regular). You will get weak drinks. That's the way it goes.

    Bartending is not easy. Latte slinging is not easy. Any job which requires you to take on the psychic torment of 100+ people a day is not easy. You're foolish if you think otherwise.

    Remember: the server is in the position of power here, whether you like it or not. If you contribute to his or her (possibly already) rotten day, you will suffer because of it. Maybe not even at his or her hands-- Every place I've ever worked at was protective of its employees, and you never know who's buddies with the guy you're waving money at.

    oh yeah. (none / 0) (#189)
    by toothfish on Tue May 06, 2003 at 05:42:01 AM EST

    The word "tip" is an acronym for "To Insure Promptness", and it's pretty accurate still.

    [ Parent ]
    should be "tep" then (none / 0) (#300)
    by Sacrifice on Tue May 06, 2003 at 03:01:43 PM EST

    with an "e" as in "ensure"

    Let me guess, "fuck" is an acronym for "for unlawful carnal knowledge" ...

    I'd be shocked to find any common (non-technical) word that truly has its roots in an acronym (if it's pronounced as a series of letters, then it's not a word, FYI, TGIF, YMMV).

    Perhaps one day "lol" will become a word (pronounced: lull) and then this type of etymology will no longer be so laughable.

    [ Parent ]

    you're right (none / 0) (#324)
    by toothfish on Tue May 06, 2003 at 04:14:38 PM EST

    and i'm wrong.

    mind the popup.

    [ Parent ]
    Okay (none / 0) (#325)
    by cyclopatra on Tue May 06, 2003 at 04:16:30 PM EST

    "Oll Korrect", a tongue-in-cheek misspelling from - the twenties? I think? Although you could argue that it's pronounced as a series of letters, most people don't consider it that way, and instead pronounce it as a unit.

    Oh, and I pronounce "lol" more like "loll".

    Cyclopatra
    All your .sigs are belong to us.
    remove mypants to email
    [ Parent ]

    Do you mean 1820s? (none / 0) (#357)
    by angst_ridden_hipster on Tue May 06, 2003 at 08:18:59 PM EST

    Oll Korrect and similar mis-spelled acronyms were popular in the late 1830s.

    For a good discussion, check out http://www.ling.ed.ac.uk/linguist/issues/4/4-694.html
    -- bukra fil mish mish
    [ Parent ]

    indeed (5.00 / 1) (#273)
    by romperstomper on Tue May 06, 2003 at 01:24:07 PM EST

    I worked as a cashier at an expensive fresh food market in Plano, TX (a fairly wealth city) for about a year. The average customers were basically snobs, and when polite customers came through, they were alwas afforded much better service. The customer is always "right", but a polite customer is much less likely to be "right" with their strawberries underneath a gallon of milk. Just be civil, it will turn out better for you in the end.

    [ Parent ]
    Forced by management (none / 0) (#379)
    by Belgand on Wed May 07, 2003 at 03:58:40 AM EST

    What the hell? I've worked retail, food service, etc. but never have I felt more cloying and pathetic than when following corporate policies like this. Maybe it's just me. When I go in a shop I want to be able to find someone to ask for help only if I need it, not someone to rush up to me the second I come in and then keep asking if I need help every 10 seconds. When I find what I want I just want someone to ring it up, tell me how much I owe and let me leave with it. Small items may need a bag, but I'm not picky. Adopting a purely common sense approach when working I act polite when customers come in. If they seem to need help after a few moments I discreetly ask if I can assist them. I ring up their purchases promptly and accurately and perform any special services asked of me. I've found more people respond well to this than the official policy. Official policy states that I rush up and say "Hello!" the moment they walk in ("should I wait a bit until they get into the store?" "No. As soon as they come in!"), then rush to help them with anything. The employee manual lists that people who say "No." or similiar are trying to resist "being sold to" and we must break this down! Only by guiding them by the hand can they be allowed to properly purchase what they want (this is from Godiva policy BTW... it's not that complex... just chocolate and almost all is clearly labeled). Then I have to mention a new product or promotion, try to force an add-on (a $12 box or $14 bag of coffee was once suggested as an appropriate add-on for $1 or so spent on a single piece of chocolate... not the $2.50 bars),and invite them back again (I have a choice? Can I tell them if they come back I'll call the cops and shoot at them?). It's terrible, stifling, and the second someone tried that shit with me I'd walk out and never return. Someone who just wants a drink just wants a drink. They don't want you to be their friend. They don't always come for anything but the drinks. Oddly some people go to do what the herd does or just to get out of the house or because there's a stigma to sitting at home drinking alone. Spend more time gauging your customers and seeing if they look like they want to talk to you and less time bitching about not getting tipped enough.

    [ Parent ]
    well, yeah. (none / 0) (#414)
    by toothfish on Wed May 07, 2003 at 10:36:14 AM EST

    I have most often been in a position where the customers come to me-- butchering, for example (when it's a liability to be nice sometimes).

    the typical scenario goes like this:

    (customer walks up)

    me: hi.

    customer: I want...

    me: hi.

    customer: I said, I want...

    me: HIHIHIHIHI

    customer: oh. hi. gimme a...

    me: certainly.


    I mean, it's not like I want to be their buddy or even talk longer than absolutely necessary (most of the time). It's just establishing the beginning of a negotiation.

    [ Parent ]
    Um dude (none / 0) (#503)
    by coryking on Mon May 12, 2003 at 11:55:04 PM EST

    Sorry - I know you are being sarcastic, but I would never take offense if somebody didn't reply to my hello in most places. Often these people have other, more pressing things on their mind. I doubt they even hear your hello, nor are they trying to be rude.

    Again, they are just trying to get what they want, and get out.

    [ Parent ]

    Just one thing... (1.00 / 7) (#187)
    by werty on Tue May 06, 2003 at 05:41:44 AM EST

    SHUTUP AND DRINK!

    Just one thing... (1.42 / 7) (#188)
    by werty on Tue May 06, 2003 at 05:41:57 AM EST

    SHUTUP AND DRINK!

    except that (3.60 / 5) (#208)
    by mincus on Tue May 06, 2003 at 08:10:30 AM EST

    his view of the priority queue is skewed. The queue really has pretty women above all else, with someone holding money right behind it. Holding money out is the only thing that can get a guy a drink sometimes in a bar full of beauties.

    Tipping is very US-centric (4.60 / 5) (#213)
    by hengist on Tue May 06, 2003 at 08:36:46 AM EST

    I've been to the USA twice (although you might think that I hate the place from my other posts, it's just the government I can't stand) I must admit to being extremely confused about tipping.

    I'm sure that I have inadvertantly offended service staff there because I didn't tip them. It's not because I'm unhappy with them or miserly, it's because tipping is not part of my culture.

    That said, I also get the impression that working-class people in the US, and service staf especially, are very much looked down upon. I was always friendly and polite to them, but it is hard for me to override ~30 years of cultural conditioning and actually tip them.

    So, if you are not tipped by someone who has a strange accent, but is otherwise polite and pleasant, please don't be offended - they're probably from a place that just doesn't do it.

    There can be no Pax Americana

    did you know about tipping when you came to the US (4.00 / 2) (#238)
    by Jack McCoy on Tue May 06, 2003 at 10:25:56 AM EST

    I ask because it's a topic covered in many tour guides I've seen (Rough Guide, Lonely Planet, etc). It is a fairly important cultural institution, and ignoring it makes one look like the kiwi equivalent of the "ugly american". Remember, you are in another culture, and you would like it if people respected your local culture when they visited your country, right?

    Tipping is an important part of many people's income. Waitresses for example, make very little per hour, and are expected to make up for it in tips. Most people I know of (in the US) don't consider it extra money to be paid, but rather just another part of the bill. Here in NYC, you can just take the 8.25% percent tax (listed on the bill) and double it to get a decent tip (though 20% is also common)


    -- Jack
    [ Parent ]
    Good points, well made (none / 0) (#345)
    by hengist on Tue May 06, 2003 at 06:41:07 PM EST

    While I was tipping after a couple of days into my first visit, even on my second I still occasionally forgot to do so. A couple of times I've walked out of restaurants or gotten out of taxis, then cringed ten minutes later after realising that I'd forgotten to tip them.

    You have to remember, that while restaurants make it easy to remember tips (most have a box on the bill for the amount of the tip) in other situations I would have to make a quick decision on a matter for which I have absolutely no cultural context. Knowing it academically is different to being able to do it instinctively.

    Also, in my case at least, I was always in the USA on business. Since I'm an academic, that means my expenses are being paid by my department, which means I am really tipping with someone else's money, something I don't feel entirely comfortable with doing.

    I think that comparing a non-tippping Kiwi to an "ugly American tourist" is a bit unfair. The stereotypical ugly American is rude, obnoxious, demanding and patronising: in short, it's their personality that makes them ugly. If your assessment of someone is based solely on how much money they give you, then your values are a bit skewed, IMHO.

    I'm not asking for forgiveness for the times I didn't do it, I'm just asking that people be understanding of why I didn't do it.

    (I was going to go into a longer discourse about how unjust it is that people rely on tips for their welfare, but that's probably off-topic)

    There can be no Pax Americana
    [ Parent ]

    Tipping situations, and the extreme (none / 0) (#408)
    by cluke on Wed May 07, 2003 at 09:36:41 AM EST

    I know what you mean... I read in the guide book that you are supposed to tip the porter guy who lifts his arm and calls for a taxi outside hotels (even though there is usually a rank of them just sitting right there). You what? This just seems like pointless invented work to screw money out of tourists.

    That's nothing compared to Cuba though. The fact that luxury items can only be bought in dollars means you can't so much look at someone sideways without them asking for a dollar. When using transport, people practically wrestled your bags off you to put into the taxi or bus so they could demand tips, or stuck to you like glue being your unwanted 'guide'. It was exhausting just walking down the street, having to fend off a person every 15 seconds (no joke!) trying to foist their services onto you.

    "psst.. you like cigar? you wan' taxi? you like good food?" - words familiar to any cuban tourist, I'm sure!

    [ Parent ]

    Re: Good points, well made (none / 0) (#500)
    by RavenDuck on Sun May 11, 2003 at 09:43:35 PM EST

    As an Aussie who has been to the US a couple of times, I agree that it's difficult to a) remember to tip, and b) work out how much to tip.

    As another acadmemic-type, I'm rarely in the more touristy areas - I'm much more likely to be in a city which has to cater to all sorts. I do find that the accent (which is hard to miss) can occasionally ameliorate (sp?) the insult of tipping too low (I was sitting next to a Kiwi on a flight last time I was in the US, and was interested that the Yanks have even more trouble with the Kiwi accent than they do with the Australian (even if most of them can't tell the difference between the two)).

    Usually when I'm in the US I'll be hanging out with Yanks (who also can get it wrong, as they're often not locals), but if you're with a bunch of other foreigners, you're almost guarenteed to get it wrong.

    I also find it something that's difficult to actually ask about. Asking something like "how much is it appropriate to tip you?" seems really wrong or awkward for some reason. No idea why. It's probably just some weird cultural bias of mine...

    --
    For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak
    With most miraculous organ.
    [ Parent ]

    It's why many tourist places add the tip in... (none / 0) (#492)
    by weave on Sat May 10, 2003 at 04:32:26 PM EST

    One thing that I hate about NYC is that many places, especially touristy places like Time Square, automatically add on the gratuity. If you're not careful, you tip on top of the 18% added.

    I know they do it due to the large number of foreigners who don't tip, but the fact that it's there is not made well known.

    It especially bites me who, if I see the server is busy and I feel I can trust them, when they ask if I want anything else at the end of the meal, I just hand over my credit card and say "No thank you." It saves them two whole trips to the table (one to deliver the check, another to come pick up the payment).

    [ Parent ]

    well, not *just* US-centric (4.00 / 2) (#252)
    by Delirium on Tue May 06, 2003 at 12:15:52 PM EST

    Many Asian countries (though certainly not all of them) expect tipping, as do Canada and Mexico, and from what I understand the UK expects tipping in restaurants (though not at pubs).

    [ Parent ]
    Scotland (none / 0) (#307)
    by baron samedi on Tue May 06, 2003 at 03:29:22 PM EST

    In Scotland, they sure have a funny idea about what constitutes a 'tip', I'll tell you what.
    "Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
    [ Parent ]
    In Brazil too (none / 0) (#358)
    by cbraga on Tue May 06, 2003 at 08:21:19 PM EST

    10% is standard for pubs and restaurants

    ESC[78;89;13p ESC[110;121;13p
    [ Parent ]
    Asia (none / 0) (#393)
    by squigly on Wed May 07, 2003 at 05:56:47 AM EST

    Many Asian countries (though certainly not all of them) expect tipping

    Certainly not all.  In Japan, one of my travelling companions tried to leave a tip, which just seemed to confuse the waitress.  

    and from what I understand the UK expects tipping in restaurants (though not at pubs).

    You understand correctly.

    [ Parent ]

    flat beer and good pubs (3.33 / 3) (#218)
    by treefrog on Tue May 06, 2003 at 08:55:14 AM EST

    Not actually sure there, AFAIK some beers are meant to be flatter than others. I grew up in Lancashire (UK), where a good pint of beer had a serious head on it. These days I live in the SW of the UK (Bath, actually), and I expect my beer to be nearly flat. A string of pearls round the edge of the glass, and no more is just perfect. WHile I am posting, I might as well mention some good pubs (although not my local as it is just fine without hordes of k5ers in it!)
    • The Salamander, Bath - Bath Ales rock!
    • The Star, St Just - HSD! Hick's Special Draft or High Speed Diesel - you decide. A fine pub with a great atmosphere.
    • The Guarnards Head Hotel, near Zennor. One of the great pleasures in life is sitting in the garden here, looking out over the Atlantic while eating fine seafood and drinking Skinner's Cornish Knocker.
    • Tiles Bar, Charlotte Square, Edinburgh. I spent many happy hours chatting up my wife. Oh, and they serve a fine pint of Caledonian Deuchars IPA.
    regards, treefrog
    Twin fin swallowtail fish. You don't see many of those these days - rare as gold dust Customs officer to Treefrog
    Re: flat beer and good pubs (none / 0) (#241)
    by Springfield on Tue May 06, 2003 at 10:37:57 AM EST

    I spent many happy hours chatting up my wife.

    Me too! :)


    --
    Phils corner
    [ Parent ]
    Re: flat beer and good pubs (5.00 / 1) (#428)
    by UncannyVortex on Wed May 07, 2003 at 02:11:46 PM EST

    We've all chatted up treefrog's wife, at one time or another.

    [ Parent ]
    flat beer <> bad beer (none / 0) (#337)
    by squid ca on Tue May 06, 2003 at 05:17:14 PM EST

    I take your point that flat beer does not necessarily make a beer bad. I just meant that, in the particular example I gave, the bad beer in question was bad because it was not supposed to be flat.

    There was this bar my friends and I used to go to that was great; it was in the basement of an old building, had a fireplace and flagstone floors, was warm in the winter, cool in the summer, had great people but had slightly expensive beer compared to other locals pubs. Still, the prices made up for the ambiance, etc.

    (The prices were annoying as well. The owner charged $4.95 a pint, pretty much guaranteeing that the waiter made a 5 cent tip unless they really broke your change up, which some were too stupid/good natured to do).

    The owner, though, made the cardinal mistake of skimping on the wrong item, namely his beer. If a keg went off, he didn't change it. He would tell his staff to continue pulling pints for people unless they complained. Even then, the staff was told to argue with the customer who sent their beer back. It began to be a joke that we would show up, ask "What beers are on tap and which are off?" Eventually, the ambience of this bar wasn't enough to compensate for the nonsense.

    We now drink at a pub with an OK environment and great beer.

    [ Parent ]

    Yay for that Salamander... (none / 0) (#410)
    by NoNeeeed on Wed May 07, 2003 at 09:51:13 AM EST

    The Old Green tree is pretty good as well.  Let us not forget the mighty Farmhouse, although only if you like live jazz, nice...

    Where do you work by the way?  Any jobs going?

    Paul

    [ Parent ]

    Being positive (3.25 / 4) (#233)
    by levsen on Tue May 06, 2003 at 10:08:42 AM EST

    To supplement my other post and to take even more wind out of sophacles' misery campaign, I am giving you some real world examples that the world is actually not that bad and some actual alternatives for people who end up in sophacles' bar or one of the many like that.

    I live in Prahran, which is a suburb of Melbourne, Australia, and a simply a place that's seriously cool. If you know Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco you're getting the idea, but even HB isn't there yet. Prahran is actually part of the Richmond-St.Kilda-strip, which is arguably one of the coolest places ever. And there are bars. Lots of them. Go to citysearch to get a complete listing of all 136 bars in the city and inner suburbs and poke around a bit, and this doesn't even include, pubs, cafes or restaurants which often serve similar functions.

    So what are bars like here? a) You are welcome even if you have a shoddy home or are otherwise poor. Rental space is expensive and lots of people live in shared accommodation where they can't easily have a party all night. b) Bartenders are nice and friendly and drinks are good. (No complicated tipping even, not that I would mind.) c) Bars usually have enough bartenders to serve everyone fast and stay cool at that. d) Cool music. I often select bars by which music they play. Some have DJs. Others they will at least go to the local record store once in a while and get the latest stuff. I get lots of inspiration about what music to by for home from what I hear in a bar. The bar DJ (or the guy that operates the stereo) will happily show you the cover of the album they are just playing and tell you where they bought it. e) Live music. (Espy here I come!! AC/DC got their first gigs here.) f) Most important of all, it's ok if you go to a bar to meet your friends. Australians are very outgoing, Melbournians even more so, and bar/pub life is an important part of life. Even the people with nice homes meet in bars.

    See? Not all life is a troll. When you are in the area, drop me an email or contact me here, I will take you around and show you some cool places!


    This comment is printed on 100% recycled electrons.

    Ahh so there it is (3.00 / 2) (#242)
    by sophacles on Tue May 06, 2003 at 10:49:08 AM EST

    Why do you insist on personally attacking me when I state that my article is based on how things are done in the region of the United States called the Midwest (roughy the Dakotas south to Kansas and east to Ohio or western Pennsylvania). It is the second paragraph. It is also on a different continent and in a differnt hemisphere of the world from your own location.

    To adress point f specifically:
    I have no doubt that Melbournians are outgoing and fun. Many of them come to my bar 2-3 times a week after classes.  They seem to have no problems with the rules around here, seeing as how its a different country from your own with different customs and rules of ettiquet.

    [ Parent ]

    Bars like yours don't just exists ... (1.00 / 1) (#243)
    by levsen on Tue May 06, 2003 at 10:56:37 AM EST

    in the midwest US. I have in fact never been in the midwest, but many other places in the US and the world, and your rules apply far too often.

    Yes, I live on another continent, but culturally we are not that far apart, and I don't see why bars like yours couldn't work the way the bars here do.
    This comment is printed on 100% recycled electrons.
    [ Parent ]

    *sigh* (none / 0) (#510)
    by bigchris on Wed May 14, 2003 at 09:59:02 AM EST

    Mate, I also live in Australia. If I was a bartender and you treated me in the same way, you'd probably get crap service too.

    Although I wouldn't expect to be tipped.

    ---
    I Hate Jesus: -1: Bible thumper
    kpaul: YAAT. YHL. HAND. btw, YAHWEH wins ;) [mt]
    [ Parent ]

    Which one is your bar? :) (none / 0) (#516)
    by levsen on Sun May 18, 2003 at 04:25:48 AM EST

    Will come and test you. :)) Private email to my address ok.
    This comment is printed on 100% recycled electrons.
    [ Parent ]
    Ha (5.00 / 2) (#269)
    by rusty on Tue May 06, 2003 at 01:13:24 PM EST

    If you know Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco you're getting the idea, but even HB isn't there yet.

    I used to live in the Haight. It sucks horribly. Thanks for the warning about your neck of the woods. :-)

    ____
    Not the real rusty
    [ Parent ]

    Probably o/t, but (none / 0) (#282)
    by levsen on Tue May 06, 2003 at 01:59:23 PM EST

    what was the problem? Too snobbish nowadays? I never *lived* there (couldn't afford the 2k/month) but the shops, cafes, restaurants were nice.
    This comment is printed on 100% recycled electrons.
    [ Parent ]
    not exactly. (none / 0) (#287)
    by toothfish on Tue May 06, 2003 at 02:10:31 PM EST

    the haight is pretty much a caraciture of itself these days-- most of it's pretty run down and there's more tourists than hippies. lots of street kids spare changing, etc. i try not to smoke while walking down the street because you wind up giving out cigarettes every ten steps or taking shit from erstwhile suburbanites who are too cool to work.

    club deluxe is nice on slow nights though.

    [ Parent ]
    Meh (none / 0) (#288)
    by rusty on Tue May 06, 2003 at 02:11:09 PM EST

    It's full of tourists and "homeless" (for the summer) college kids from Sonoma. I had a well-scrubbed girl in a North Face jacket ask me for change. Everything's about ten times more expensive than it should be, it's crowded, it's dirty, the bars and restaurants almost all suck and are all full of annoying people...

    Other than that, nothing's wrong with it. :-)

    ____
    Not the real rusty
    [ Parent ]

    Ok all of the bay area is expensive (none / 0) (#290)
    by levsen on Tue May 06, 2003 at 02:18:25 PM EST

    and at least they don't SELL the North Face jackets in Haight-A., last time I looked it was rather used clothes. Considering the people, maybe you've seen more stuff having actually lived there; I thought I needed a comparison that some people (esp. US) could relate to, but maybe it was wrong. Prahran is NOT snobbish, if that's what you mean by "well-scrubbed". (Not that there is anything wrong with scrubbing yourself from time to time.)
    This comment is printed on 100% recycled electrons.
    [ Parent ]
    and then to tip (3.50 / 2) (#236)
    by xs euriah on Tue May 06, 2003 at 10:09:44 AM EST

    I tend to think there is a 'dollar a drink' tipping standard.

    then again (4.00 / 3) (#239)
    by xs euriah on Tue May 06, 2003 at 10:30:48 AM EST

    tipping sometimes feels like an encore that is already on the set list.

    Give me free drinks and then we'll talk (3.50 / 6) (#246)
    by dewdrops on Tue May 06, 2003 at 11:38:40 AM EST

    <i>It happens quite often that I will say to a patron, "How's it going?" and she replies "Yeah, can I get a bottle of beer."  This is annoying.</i>

    On a Friday night at a crowded bar when I've been waiting in a throng of pushy people, I really just want to get my drink and get back to my friends.  I can hear your lifestory some other time.  Besides, I'm tipping you two bucks for sixty seconds of work; I shouldn't have to also make you feel special about yourself.    

    conversation (none / 0) (#343)
    by dboyles on Tue May 06, 2003 at 06:22:20 PM EST

    On a Friday night at a crowded bar when you've been waiting in a throng of pushy people, the bartender won't strike up a conversation with you.  At the most, you'll get a "what's up?" which should be followed by a smile, a nod, and a polite request for drinks.  I have never, *ever* seen a bartender initiate a conversation in such circumstances.

    --
    "Complacency is a far more dangerous attitude than outrage." -Naomi Littlebear
    [ Parent ]
    conversation (none / 0) (#399)
    by SauceyMan on Wed May 07, 2003 at 08:25:39 AM EST

    so true. I was thinking the same thing dboyles. It is when you are 'Dead' that someone snubbing your 'How's it going?' is irritating. I can't even imagine myself or anyone being 'three deep' busy and to try to carry on a conversation. Ridiculous.

    SauceyMan
    ---------
    "Son, you got a pantie on your head." -excerpt from 'Raising Arizona'
    [ Parent ]
    Tipping as communication (5.00 / 2) (#249)
    by splitpeasoup on Tue May 06, 2003 at 12:13:35 PM EST

    I think tipping as communication is very inefficient. Furthermore, most times my interaction with any given wait or service person is so infrequent that:
    1. It will not at all be obvious whether my tip is based on the service, or whether it is based on my habit or mood
    2. The tip is unlikely to be remembered, so it does not improve future service
    When service is really good, I usually comment on it, in addition to leaving a good tip. It takes a little more courage to comment on really bad service, but I plan to do that as well.

    -SPS

    "Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi

    Not entirely correct (none / 0) (#339)
    by pla on Tue May 06, 2003 at 05:32:36 PM EST

    The tip is unlikely to be remembered, so it does not improve future service.

    I tend to tip well, as long as I get decent service. For "cheap" stuff, I tip VERY well, percentage-wise (I'll leave $5 on an $8 meal for great service).

    After my third or fourth visit to a place, the staff starts to remember me, and the quality of service goes up quite a lot. I have no doubt that part of that involves the "one of the regulars" factor, but if I get poor service on a given visit and my tip reflects that, on my next visit the staff will act almost obsequiously toward me.

    So yes, tipping does get noticed. Not on your first visit (unless you leave something obscenely huge), probably not on the second. But after a few visits, consistently tipping a decent amount will result in an improved quality of service.

    Now, as for the "right"ness of this, I have to admit a bit of a moral dilemma. On the one hand, I don't believe I should have to pay a form of extortion to get good service. On the other, I realize that most food (and related) servers get paid about half minimum-wage and such a pittance simply doesn't pay the bills.

    Personally, I tend to reconcile this dilemma by considering the basic price as the cost-of-goods, and the tip as the cost-of-service. If I "pay" for better service, I'll get it (and likewise, if I get horrible service, my server can go pound sand).

    As for letting your server know they've done poorly (assuming they don't know you well enough to know your tipping habits), just outright tell them. "Your service tonight sucked. You behaved rudely, repeatedly forgot my requests for another cup of coffee, and only voluntarily came by my table to take my order and bring my food. Your tip will reflect that, but more importantly, I hope you will take this suggestion to perform your job in a more attentive and pleasant manner". Obviously, you can give a lot of leeway if you visit at an extremely busy moment, but even then you can get "good", if somewhat slower or less responsive, service.

    Incidentally, if you get REALLY bad service, you can make your point far more poignantly than by complaining to management or the old "change for a nickle tip" request - Simply ask for a different server, and then give the replacement a large tip. The message will get back to the original server.


    [ Parent ]
    Getting a drink quick.. (2.25 / 4) (#251)
    by jiminim on Tue May 06, 2003 at 12:15:12 PM EST

    No matter how well I tip or be nice to the bartender, being male always seems to slow me down. Enter the great g/f with boobies. Gets drinks in 30 seconds and does not mind doing it for me at all.

    Here's a tip (none / 0) (#418)
    by edo on Wed May 07, 2003 at 11:47:46 AM EST

    Go to a gay bar!
    -- 
    Sentimentality is merely the Bank Holiday of cynicism.
     - Oscar Wilde
    [ Parent ]
    Common Sense (4.25 / 4) (#272)
    by CaptainZapp on Tue May 06, 2003 at 01:21:55 PM EST

    Even though not all of your guide-tips are applicable in other countries and cultures what it breaks down to in every bar in every town and in every environment is common sense.

    Hek, if I see you're stressed out, then I can usually spot that and wait a couple minutes longer; big deal!
    If I'm not happy with the drink you made, or - the exact opposite - if I'm very happy with the drink you made I'll let you know. In the first case in a polite manner in the second case more enthusiastic.
    I most certainly wouldn't treat you as an underling or a service man, but as an equal who provides a valuable service in that moment in time and space. This is not exclusive to barkeeps, but most certainly also applies to shop clerks, cabbies, and airline checkin agents (even though cheking in and flying commercially is one of the heights of horror to me).

    That doesn't mean that I follow those rules consistently and like a mantra. Like everybody else I have my asshole days and my mood swings, but in general I like to interact in a friendly, curtous and respectful manner with my surroundings. Doesn't matter if in a bar or with an usher in a movie theater.

    Of course, if you have an attitude, don't do your job professionally and friendly and generally behave like an asshole all bets are off. But in my experience if you approach people in a decent and honest manner it usually reflects back on you.

    Efficiency (3.66 / 3) (#274)
    by Shimmer on Tue May 06, 2003 at 01:24:47 PM EST

    If I am busy, or if you look busy, I will combine the polite response and drink request into a single sentence: "Hi, I'd like two beers please."

    I feel like I'm doing us one or both of us a favor in this case.  Would you consider this rude?

    Brian

    Wizard needs food badly.

    No (none / 0) (#299)
    by sophacles on Tue May 06, 2003 at 02:59:51 PM EST

    Because you didn't ignore the basic idea of a return greeting. It's also a good way to show that you have other things to do, so I'll curtail the chatter without considering it rude.

    [ Parent ]
    Yeah (none / 0) (#330)
    by FuriousXGeorge on Tue May 06, 2003 at 04:23:58 PM EST

    This is really the best situation in my mind.

    Bartender gives a friendly greeting, customer replies as if the bartender is not in fact a drink dispensing machine but an actual human being, and the transaction is handled quickly and effieciently with everyone happy.  It seems so simple, why can't people master it?

    --
    -- FIELDISM NOW!
    [ Parent ]

    Introverts (3.50 / 6) (#275)
    by Jman1 on Tue May 06, 2003 at 01:25:27 PM EST

    Some of us are introverts. Sometimes we want a drink, not a conversation. In fact, I've been known to avoid certain restaurants/stores because the staff there was starting to recognize me and trying to start a conversation with me. I'm always polite, but if someone isn't in the mood to talk, you should respect their wishes. Especially if they're paying you. :-)

    (Tangentially, just last night I was sitting in a bookstore reading a book when this middle-aged woman next to me tried to start a conversation with me 4 or 5 times. I kept my answers to her questions curt, I pointedly continued to read my book, but she was clueless. Eventually, I just got up and moved. It's a bookstore, lady. I'm reading.)

    Duh. (5.00 / 1) (#306)
    by jw32767 on Tue May 06, 2003 at 03:25:48 PM EST

    Did the though cross your mind that she was hitting on you?

    --
    Krups, not only can they shell Paris from the Alsace, they make good coffee. - georgeha

    These views are my own and may or may not reflect the views of my employer.
    [ Parent ]
    Dude... (none / 0) (#363)
    by emmons on Tue May 06, 2003 at 09:07:02 PM EST

    Bars are by definition a place for social gathering. Ditto for most restaurants. If you don't want the social atmosphere, go to a liquor or grocery store. And I concur with jw32767: the woman was hitting on you.

    ---
    In the beginning the universe was created. This has made a lot of people angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.
    -Douglas Adams

    [ Parent ]
    Social Gatherings (none / 0) (#403)
    by Dr Ted on Wed May 07, 2003 at 08:46:13 AM EST

    Whilst I agree with you that bars are a place for social gathering, quite often, I like to go to the bar (or pub as we prefer in Aus) and just sit on my own and drink. Sometimes I like to talk to people, most times I go there with other people, but if I go there just to be 'alone' (by that I mean soaking up the atmosphere), then I should be allowed to enjoy that without a pestering barman trying to have a conversation with me because he's bored. I won't be rude about it and tell him to fsck off, I'll gently drop the hint and continue drowning my brain

    [ Parent ]
    Buy the book take it home, or go to the library. (none / 0) (#497)
    by Anonymous Hiro on Sun May 11, 2003 at 01:35:24 PM EST

    It's a bookstore Jman1. Sure you can read there, but the environment is kinda different.

    I've been guilty of complaining about the noise when opportunity knocks too, but it's good to be more aware of it.

    More friends = good :).


    [ Parent ]

    crazy.. (4.66 / 6) (#278)
    by Suppafly on Tue May 06, 2003 at 01:36:37 PM EST

    I find it amazing that people will go out of there way to tip waitstaff who are generally paid atleast $7-$8 (at least in my area, generally the only time waitstaff is paid the measly $2.30 an hour is when they make $50/hr in tips) and yet they don't bother to tip the minimum wage employees that work at stores and have to carry out heavy purchases and cram them into little cars. I worked many years at a craft store that sold furniture and artificial Christmas trees and can count the number of time's I've been tipped on one hand. The same is true of all of the employees so its not like some of us are less helpful than others.
    Next time you go to office depo and have one of their employees carry a tv or a computer desk out to your car, remember that they often time's make way less an hour than the waitstaff at the resturants that your frequent and leave tips at.
    ---
    Playstation Sucks.
    If you live in the US.... (none / 0) (#310)
    by rantweasel on Tue May 06, 2003 at 03:35:22 PM EST

    waitstaff tend to be paid near tipped minimum wage.  So $2.15-2.60 or so, depending on local unemployment.  Really.  Where are these restraunts that pay 3-4 times the average?  And $50hr in tips?  Is that over the shift, or just the peak hour of the shift?

    mathias

    [ Parent ]

    Tipping (none / 0) (#344)
    by Gwen on Tue May 06, 2003 at 06:34:44 PM EST

    I don't know about other places, but I work for a big chain of big-box office supply stores, and people will try to tip the staff in the computer and furniture departments every so often. If you accept, you get fired, though.

    I'm not sure of the rationale of that, but if you ARE going to tip a kid who's helped you out, you should ask if they can accept it, first of all.

    Gwen


    --
    "So raise your hands in the air like you're born again
    But make a fist for the struggle we was born to win"
    -The Coup ft. Dead Prez, Get Up!


    [ Parent ]
    Tipping (3.00 / 1) (#419)
    by noquarter on Wed May 07, 2003 at 11:50:11 AM EST

    Many, many years ago I worked at Wal-Mart in the Seasonal department. We weren't allowed to accept tips, and quite honestly, I didn't work very hard and probably didn't deserve any tips. There was one time though, after spending two hours helping a customer pick out a swingset for his kid, hauling it out to his hatchback and through some kind of black magic, actually making it fit, that he offered to tip me. I said I couldn't accept. He offers it again, promises not to tell my boss. Me, being an honest (lazy, but honest) employee, again refuses. He eventually started screaming "Take the damn money" at me, and so I took it. Anyways, the point is, if someone says they can't accept a tip, let it go. Or maybe the point is that Wal-Mart customers are unstable, even if they seem friendly at first. Or maybe this post was just totally pointless...

    [ Parent ]
    Sub shops... (5.00 / 1) (#376)
    by Belgand on Wed May 07, 2003 at 03:34:17 AM EST

    Agreed. I spent part of the summer working at a small local sub chain for terrible pay, constant labor (breaks?!? what on Earth are those?), terrible management, etc. I easily did a pretty damn good ammount of work taking orders, fixing sandwiches to order, slicing meats and cheeses and so on. Hell, I even lost a bit of my thumb at one point when there was a crowd well out the door (again, bad management and not enough staffing). Before quitting to take on a much better summer job I managed to get tipped exactly once. I sure as hell did at least as much as a guy who has to fulfill the arduous task of filling glasses with drinks.

    [ Parent ]
    I had the exact same experience... (none / 0) (#423)
    by FuriousXGeorge on Wed May 07, 2003 at 12:24:08 PM EST

    except for the thumb thing, is it a rule that making subs has to be a totally miserable experience or are there some good places?

    --
    -- FIELDISM NOW!
    [ Parent ]

    Where do you live?.?..?... (none / 0) (#478)
    by TaoJones on Thu May 08, 2003 at 10:33:06 PM EST

    I find it amazing that people will go out of there way to tip waitstaff who are generally paid at least $7-$8
    Between highschool, college, and a few "in between" jobs I've spent over 10 years waiting tables, and (in the southern US at least) you're getting $2.13 an hour. A few lucky bartenders might make that much per hour, but if you can find a resteraunt in my area where servers make that much I'll buy you dinner there.

    Labor costs are the main expense in most resteraunts - cut out tipping and start paying servers minimum wage and your $5.95 lunch special will cost you $10.95.

    __

    "Most people are paid just enough to keep them from quitting, for working just hard enough to keep from getting fired." George Carlin

    [ Parent ]

    Corollary for the Other Perks... (4.25 / 4) (#296)
    by baron samedi on Tue May 06, 2003 at 02:50:42 PM EST

    Great article. It's amazing how some people don't know how to act in a bar (or restaurant)...

    The corollary to the "be cool and you might get one on the house" is of course, totally true. You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, as the saying goes.

    That being said never, *ever* ask for free drinks. That guarantees that you will not receive one. Consider the following requests:

    "Hey! It's my birthday! I should get a free drink!"-- Request Denied.

    "Hey! It's my birthday! I'll have a Guinness!" Reply: "Here, you go, this one's on the house!"
    "Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll

    Of course, in the South.... (4.00 / 1) (#302)
    by artsygeek on Tue May 06, 2003 at 03:10:10 PM EST

    It's politeness and friendliness to the bartender up front, and a tip comes at the end, if one can afford it.  If one cannot afford it, one drops an extra-generous tip when one can.

    If you're not an ass to people, and you can't afford a tip, you can still get ace service because you're regular, and you're always willing to listen to their issues as much as they would yours.

    Where do you sit in the bar? (2.00 / 2) (#312)
    by LaundroMat on Tue May 06, 2003 at 03:42:34 PM EST

    Since I worked for about 4 years as a bartender, I can no longer sit at a table in bars. I have to sit at the bar, I can't control it.
    (Not because I want to check on the bartender's work or anything; it's just that I can no longer sit anywhere else).
    ---

    "These innocent fun-games of the hallucination generation"

    Some general comments (3.75 / 4) (#328)
    by FuriousXGeorge on Tue May 06, 2003 at 04:18:34 PM EST

    Alot of this discussion is focused on the tipping issue, and I wanna comment on all that.

    I like tipping, even when I get bad service.  It gives me a good feeling to be a generous tipper.  

    However, I have a problem with some aspects of the whole tipping concept, take this quote from some other website discussing bar behavior,

    "
    I will flash you my sweetest fake smile, I will laugh at your pathetic jokes, and if the tips are good enough I may even attempt to remember your name for the next 15 minutes.  Don't get a false sense that I think you are cool and I want us to be "friends".  As soon as you stand up and grab your coat to leave, all I'm thinking is "hurry the hell up so I can get some other sucker to sit down and make more money"."

    I don't want that.  It reminds me of strip clubs, ok?  I'll tip for good service, but don't patronize me, ok?  If I wanted fake love or friendship, I would be getting a lap dance right now.

    No matter how much you smile, I won't give you extra money, just give me my fucking beer and if you like me lets talk, ok?

    --
    -- FIELDISM NOW!

    Tipping explained (none / 0) (#505)
    by Hacksaw on Tue May 13, 2003 at 03:59:48 AM EST

    When I go out, I am paying for something more than food. I am paying for service. Someone else sets the table, fills the glasses, gives me a selection to choose from. In fact, I use my fave bar as an R&D lab, asking for odd drinks (during slow times only :-)

    As to the "fake smile" part, let's remember something: These people are at work. They work in the entertainment industry. Yes, the smile isn't saying, "I like you and want to hang out with you." What it is saying is "I want you to feel comfortable and welcomed into this business establishment." It's not fake, you are just interpretting it incorrectly.

    If you walk into an unknown bar expecting to make a lifelong friend in one night, you are severely deluding yourself.

    Yes, they are "paid" to be friendly. But you'll know when they are really your friend, when that check disappears and they just smile and invite your over to their apartment for the big game instead of printing a new check.


    [ Parent ]

    How to say no.... (4.33 / 3) (#340)
    by Alomex on Tue May 06, 2003 at 05:33:02 PM EST

    This is annoying, a simple "Fine", or "Good, how are you?", or even "Well I'm kind of thirsty" takes almost five seconds, and provides an opening for me to serve you better. [snip] As a bartender, I will try to start a conversation with you, if time permits. [snip] If you do not wish to have a conversation, I understand, just politely let me know. If you give a cold shoulder, or ignore me, the quality of your service will go down.

    That is an art on to itself: knowing how to politely decline or rebuff without being curt.

    I work in a nightclub... (3.50 / 4) (#359)
    by SwampGas on Tue May 06, 2003 at 08:24:28 PM EST

    When I used to be a patron there, we'd leave 200% tips (read: $100 tip) simply because our drinks were always done first, they were always right, and the bartenders were VERY attractive females.

    Now that I work there, it's a different story. I don't have cash to throw around anymore. I'm trying to make a living just like the bartenders. So, let me explain things from a DJ booth perspective to the bartenders.

    You are an employee

    You work there. I'm not going to change the lights to accomodate you. While I'm not going to do anything to specifically annoy you, I'm not going to go out of my way to please you. Do you see me complain when you clank bottles constantly? It DOES get annoying.

    Furthermore, I'm not going to play songs for you simply because YOU want to hear it.

    Visit me, please

    I'm working. I don't have time to wait in queue at the bar. If you're the cocktail waitress, visit the freaking DJ booth every few minutes. While we're not giving you $20s for tips, we'll still tip you. This also goes hand-in-hand with what I said above....treat me well and you may hear your song "next" or I may fix the lights so they don't shine in your face.

    Hang out, but shut up

    We like when attractive bartenders/cocktail waitresses take a break in the booth. Makes us look cool, and we enjoy looking at you. For the most part, we enjoy chatting. But it's not our break time. From 10pm to 2am, we're constantly working non-stop. That means, when the DJ booth monitor gets turned up, the headphones go on, and you see me manipulating the mixing board and turntables, SHUT UP. Stop your incoherent screaming babble with your friends and let me concentrate. How would you like me yelling at you about nonsense when you're trying to hear someone's drink order?

    We thank you for your cooperation to make the clubbing experience better for the patrons :)

    Dear God. (4.50 / 4) (#395)
    by RobotSlave on Wed May 07, 2003 at 06:20:53 AM EST

    Looks like everything they say about DJs and ego problems is true.

    [ Parent ]
    Which part? (3.00 / 1) (#434)
    by SwampGas on Wed May 07, 2003 at 05:16:56 PM EST

    You really have to be one to understand where I'm coming from...just like in the main article you have to be a bartender to understand some of the things said.

    [ Parent ]
    All of it. (none / 0) (#448)
    by porp on Wed May 07, 2003 at 09:56:22 PM EST

    You don't get it? No one cares what you do at a nightclub. Your entire post can be summarized thus:

    "Hey guys! I work as a DJ at a nightclub! I think it's really cool, and even though this post is totally irrelevant to the article, I just want you all to know that I DJ AT A NIGHTCLUB! WITH HOT BARTENDERS!"

    I mean, are you kidding? Why the fuck are you writing to kuro5hin about this? Do we bartend at your nightclub? Do we care?

    [Note: No, we don't care.]

    [ Parent ]

    Moron alert! (none / 0) (#474)
    by SwampGas on Thu May 08, 2003 at 03:36:22 PM EST

    I mean, are you kidding? Why the fuck are you writing to kuro5hin about this? Do we bartend at your nightclub? Do we care?

    Why did the author of the article write to K5 about it? Do you frequent his bar? Do you care?

    If you don't care, then why bother reading?

    [ Parent ]
    I'm a DJ! IN A NIGHTCLUB!!!! (1.00 / 4) (#475)
    by porp on Thu May 08, 2003 at 08:43:31 PM EST

    I know you're desperately scrambling for even an iota of justification for your ego-rant, but is that the best you can come up with?

    I read this article because I wanted to know how a bartender sees things. Your pathetic little 'Hey mom, I'm a DJ in a nightclub!' trip has nothing to do with sophacles' article, and you know it.

    Just look at yourself in the mirror tomorrow morning and ask yourself, are you such a pathetic piece of work that you can't even admit to yourself the real reason you posted that?

    [ Parent ]

    Artists across the board (3.00 / 1) (#466)
    by lpret on Thu May 08, 2003 at 03:50:47 AM EST

    Ok, Mr. Slave, (I watch too much Southpark)
    DJing is an art. As much as someone can try to "learn" how to be a DJ, it comes back to feeling the music, and feeling the crowd.
    Similarly, bartending is an art. It's the same principles -- you feel how much kahlua goes in a white russian, and you may mix it a little different for different customers.
    You wouldn't answer your cellphone in a theatrehouse would you? Similarly, all we as artists ask is that you give us similar respect in regards to allowing us to do our jobs/art.

    A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in. - Greek proverb
    [ Parent ]

    true (none / 0) (#515)
    by saitoh on Fri May 16, 2003 at 01:47:32 PM EST

    I would have to agree with this for the most part, but I think the emphasis should be moreso on stopping the patrons from bugging you in the dj booth, not the bartenders.

    [ Parent ]
    a response (5.00 / 3) (#361)
    by randxx on Tue May 06, 2003 at 08:49:42 PM EST

    the posted article is pretty good, and it's obvious that there are a few bar visitors in the K family who don't know how to behave themselves.

    as someone who's bartended in NYC, drank in most major cities in the US and visited Europe more than a number of times, here's why your local bartender isn't a dipshit to be treated with disdain:

    1) bartenders aren't often bartenders for life. good bartenders in big cities are usually on their way from something or to something. any bartender in any establishment on a busy night worked hard to get there -- there's a reason they're there. don't assume your bartender is a dipshit.

    2) bartenders in neighborhood joints connect the clientele. this is especially true in NYC.

    3) if you're interested in hitting on the bartender, please don't sit at the bar all by yourself and order non-alcoholic drinks for hours on end. we know you don't have the courage to hand your phone number over. we aren't likely to ask you for yours, so either do it or don't.

    4) bartending can be a kinetically enjoyable job. i can make 8 simultaneous drinks with one trip to each section of the bar (yes, there are sections; they're designed a certain way for a certain reason). sometimes it's its own reward. bartending was, in many respects, better than dotcomming it.

    5) tip $1 per drink, more if you're making demanding requests.

    6) yes, if you come in with your hot girlfriend, you're likely to get served quicker and yes I'm probably flirting with her. no i don't expect anything to happen, but bartending is an 8 hour shift with about 3 hours of interesting rush to keep my mind busy.

    7) don't come to the bar and order "something green". we hate that and you're not going to get an interesting drink. i can tell you what you're going to get, but like i said, it's really easy to make any drink green. think about it.

    8) walking into a bar on a crowded friday night and waiting until you're called upon to think of what you want is stupid. have it on the tip of your tongue. there are others waiting to order too.


    Same goes for espresso bars (none / 0) (#465)
    by lpret on Thu May 08, 2003 at 03:40:58 AM EST

    I worked at an espresso bar for 6 years (before I decided a college education is worthwhile) and these rules/guidelines apply similarly in the coffee world.

    I remember the times when I had 5-6 drinks going at a time -- one fluid motion between pulling shots and steaming the milk.

    I actually preferred it to my bartending friends, because they had to put up with drunks, whilst we only had hyper-excited people.

    Sorry, just my own memory lane...

    A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in. - Greek proverb
    [ Parent ]

    You're stupid (1.00 / 1) (#524)
    by Kax on Tue May 27, 2003 at 10:06:56 PM EST

    .

    [ Parent ]
    Bartenders in Cologne. (none / 0) (#374)
    by Akshay on Wed May 07, 2003 at 03:01:26 AM EST

    Any comments on how to handle these guys? Pretty aggressive folks, the moment you take the last sip out of your glass of beer, they appear from nowhere, plonk another glass beside you, take the empty glass, and go. All before you can say "no, sorry sir, I don't want another drink" or something.

    Not that I've ever found myself saying no to Cologne beer (with due apologies to Bavarians, it's much better than the stuff you get in, say, Munich), but still, it's a damned nuisance to be thrust drinks upon you.

    (A curious aside, but one of those folks there once actually convinced a friend of mine in broken English that beer in Germany is, to be sure, free. Guess that's where the term 'free as in beer' came from) :-)

    Not sure about Germany (4.00 / 1) (#406)
    by cluke on Wed May 07, 2003 at 09:16:08 AM EST

    But in Prague, the accepted way to say you did not want any more was to either place a beer mat over the top of the glass, or turn it upsidedown.

    [ Parent ]
    yes: mat over the top or upside-down (none / 0) (#506)
    by nowonder on Tue May 13, 2003 at 03:19:46 PM EST

    My parent is right about that. In Cologne the only (polite and accepted) way to stop a load of new beers is putting a beer mat on the top or turning the glass upside-down.

    That said, I cannot share any enthusiasm for this pussy beer they serve there. Sorry, but anyone who prefers "Kölsch" over a more bitter and serious beer is either a) a GIRL or b) a WEAKLING.

    [ Parent ]

    For gods sake! (4.85 / 7) (#411)
    by melia on Wed May 07, 2003 at 09:58:30 AM EST

    Can't I just get a drink? Maybe I should write "KFC: A patrons guide". How to buy chicken, but like, politely.
    Disclaimer: All of the above is probably wrong
    No. (3.00 / 2) (#412)
    by ph0rk on Wed May 07, 2003 at 10:24:49 AM EST

    And its buggers like that fuck up the queue, wave money around, piss off the bartender so bad she throws glassware at the floor, and plunks quarters in the jukebox to listen to sweet home fucking alabama every night.

    If you just want a drink go to food lion and buy a case of bud.

    .
    [ f o r k . s c h i z o i d . c o m ]
    [ Parent ]

    Arbitrary tipping rules (4.33 / 3) (#425)
    by pmgolz on Wed May 07, 2003 at 12:33:51 PM EST

    But who to tip? It seems pretty standard to tip waiters and possibly taxi drivers and barmen, but isn't this just arbitrary. Why not bus drivers? Why not accountants (they provide a service after all)? Why not teachers? They have low wages and really put an effort into what they do.

    ------
    Enthios
    Not arbitrary (5.00 / 1) (#477)
    by Hobbes2100 on Thu May 08, 2003 at 09:57:41 PM EST

    Bus drivers
    Unionized and/or city employees, who, at least in my town (Pittsburgh) can't be fired for anything short of illegal conduct on the job (i.e. shooting crack cocaine).

    Accountants
    Do you know what accountants make hourly?

    Teachers
    What do you think those apples are? Seriously, they're unionized, can't lose their jobs, and get their summers off (although this is going the way of the dodo bird). Further, some don't have low salaries and others don't put an effort into their job.

    Next, tipping is by no means arbitrary. It is rooted in historical (though not necessarily ancient) practices and the society you are embedded in. Tipping a bellboy in China is considered rude.

    Another point, is anyone stopping you from giving money away to everyone that pleases you? Typically, with professionals, you search out a provider, determine the cost/benefit and then get a service rendered. With people in service rolls, you do not tend to have a choice (though you may choose a bar, you may not be able to choose a server/bartender), so you are given a nod, by society, to determine some of the compensation this person receives.

    Finally, many professionals (lawyers, etc.) do get tips ... a bottle of expensive champagne at Christmas, invitations to suave parties, and the like.

    Regards,
    Mark
    Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes? --Iuvenalis
    But who will guard the guardians themselves? -- Juvenal
    [ Parent ]

    Low waged and un-unionised (none / 0) (#523)
    by pmgolz on Thu May 22, 2003 at 10:33:29 AM EST

    So your argument seems to be that if someone isn't in a union, is low-waged and we don't get to pick them then they deserve a tip?

    For a start I can think of plenty of people who fit into that category. Ever tip the check-out girl at a supermarket (or whatever the equivalent in your country is?) How about the person who collects the trolleys. How about the assistant chef in your restaurant (assuming not a fancy restaurant). The life guard at your swimming pool?

    Secondly I think this definition is fundamentally faulty - we should tip for exception service, whether or not the person earns a lot or not.

    Personally I consider cash tips extremely rude. If someone exceeds expectations, or makes a particularly high effort for me then a small gift (apple for the teacher?) is enough to express your gratitude.
    ------
    Enthios
    [ Parent ]

    Coupla questions (sorry, drunkbeen to the bar) (4.00 / 3) (#440)
    by mcgrew on Wed May 07, 2003 at 09:21:30 PM EST

    If the bartenders get waitress wages (ie, not jack shit, minimum wage doesn't apply) then why are the damned beers so expensive??

    I mena wtf, Duffy's is down the street, and Track Shack is down the street from them. $2.25 for a bottle of Bush when I can get a six pack at the grocery store for $4.00, price of 2 beers I can almost get a sixpack. And I'm supposed to tip on top of that????

    Fool I am, I do. I give 'em 3 Georges and tell 'em keep it. I don't seem to get any better service than the cheapasses.

    If the bar owner, who is really ripping me off on the price of drinks (EG Joe at Track Shack) is tending bar, should I tip him? Wspecially since he doesn't like me because I hit on his daughter and insinuated she liked women? Hey, I was drunk, he should have expected it....

    "The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie

    Uhhhhh, no (none / 0) (#468)
    by FuriousXGeorge on Thu May 08, 2003 at 06:50:47 AM EST

    NEVER tip the owner, lol.  

    --
    -- FIELDISM NOW!
    [ Parent ]

    having never worked in a bar (none / 0) (#472)
    by anagram on Thu May 08, 2003 at 12:59:29 PM EST

    Beer at bars is expensive, surely. But there are many other costs besides just the retail price of the bottle.
    • facilities (rent, utilities, taps, glasses, fridges, darts, pool tables, etc)
    • staffing (bouncers, bartenders, cleaning)
    • liquor license, noise permits, etc
    • insurance (drunks often cause trouble, you know)
    That's just what I can come up with as a layman off the top of my head.

    [ Parent ]
    The grocery store (none / 0) (#490)
    by mcgrew on Sat May 10, 2003 at 01:46:10 PM EST

    Has all those same expenses, plus shoplifters, stock expiring/going bad, etc. If they sell beer they, too, have to have a license. By your reckoning, it should be cheaper at the bar.

    "The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
    [ Parent ]

    One reason for bar prices (a small part of it) (none / 0) (#508)
    by Superfreak on Tue May 13, 2003 at 06:25:17 PM EST

    Don't know if it's this way everywhere, but in my area, bars are *required*, by law, to buy beer from a few distributors - their liquor license can be yanked for running to the grocery store if they run out of Bud Light. And, of course, the distributors have local brand monopolies, and can set price as they like. Supermarket chains buy larger quantities, and are exempt from some of the regs on by-the-drink bars, and get their beer much much cheaper than the bars do. I've known a few bar owners, and they pay more per 6-pack than they would at the grocery store buying retail. Sure, it's delivered, and cold, but pricey. It's been my experience that the large/trendy/popular bars charge out the a$$ for alcohol. Small neighborhood bars are much cheaper places to drink. Yeah, the large ones are just lining pockets, I think.

    [ Parent ]
    small bars (none / 0) (#511)
    by mcgrew on Wed May 14, 2003 at 09:30:52 PM EST

    Yeah, you used to get Rolling Rock for a buck a bottle at Dempsey's until they sold the place. It's about $7 a six pack at the grocery. Now it's three bucks a bottle there =(

    "The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
    [ Parent ]

    Having worked in a bar... (none / 0) (#514)
    by Parity on Fri May 16, 2003 at 06:11:10 AM EST

    The drinks in the bar are so expensive because a bar does 12 hours of business a week - 8pm-2am Friday and Saturday... the amount of sales the rest of the time amount to nothing. Drop into a bar sometime at 11am on a Wednesday... there'll be two regulars, and they'll nurse their beers for ages...

    (Okay, yes, in college towns Thursday and Sunday do real business, and yes, even weekday evenings pick up a bit...)

    Anyway, this economic situation is why so many bars are restaurants during the daylight hours.

    The other reason the beers are so expensive, of course, is because of volume. Each customer at a liquor store might be buying anything from a $7 sixpack to several hundred dollars worth of cases and hard liquor, never mind the wines...

    Each customer at a bar is ordering a beer, or a drink. And continuing to take up space in the bar for a long time after, unlike the liquor store customer who gets out of the way... and eventually the bar has to -turn away- paying customers at the door! (Okay, said customers are welcome to stand around in the cold rather than going to the competition, but most won't.)

    Well, you get the idea.

    --Parity None

    [ Parent ]

    Sorry, you ARE a drink machine, or ought to be. (3.80 / 5) (#461)
    by alexboko on Wed May 07, 2003 at 11:55:17 PM EST

    No offense, but... 1) I don't go to the bar for the "Bar experience" and certainly not for the bartender. I go there to hang out with my friends, and to meet people who don't know me yet and therefore would not go and drink at my house. If there was a drink-vending machine there, that would be just as good, if not better because... 2) You've just admitted what I've suspected-- that you play favorites. So if a principled bartender like you plays favorites based on people being regulars or nice to him, that means that a whole bunch of less principled bartenders out there play favorites based on whether or not they like how someone looks, whether or not they're flirting with some patron instead of mixing drinks, or what kind of day they're having. So, bartenders are in a position of arbitrary and unearned power doing something we could in principle do for ourselves.


    Godwin's Law of video games: if a company is out of ideas for a long enough period, they will eventually publish another World War II shooter.
    The bar experience.... (none / 0) (#470)
    by DJTiesto on Thu May 08, 2003 at 10:35:29 AM EST

    Sorry, but hanging out with friends and meeting people you don't know yet IS the bar experience.

    [ Parent ]
    yes, but (4.50 / 2) (#471)
    by anagram on Thu May 08, 2003 at 12:51:49 PM EST

    the bartender isn't necessarily part of that.  That is, if there were a vending machine for drinks, I could hang out with my friends and meet new people without a barkeep ever being involved.

    There are some bars with awesome bartenders who are friendly and helpful.  There are other bars where I have ponied up to the bar for a drink and been completely ignored by the bartender.  I sat there politely, keeping my eyes on the bartender to let them know that I would like their attention, with money in hand, yet I received absolutely no service.

    Yet, person after person (mostly women) could get immediate service.  Sorry, but I don't yell at people or point.  The bartender should be able to notice that I've been waiting, especially when I'm right in front of them with no drink and money in hand.

    According to the author, I must have been in the penalty box, yet I had no previous interaction with the bartender.  Perhaps they just didn't like the way I looked.  Maybe it was because I was new there and they only liked locals.  Whatever.

    Sometimes I need a public place to unwind.  I don't want to take an acquaintance back to my place with a six pack, yet I also don't want to deal with some bartender protocol that seems to vary from bar to bar.

    [ Parent ]

    j00 R my f4v0r1t3 DJ!!! [n/t] (none / 0) (#481)
    by YelM3 on Fri May 09, 2003 at 03:32:54 AM EST

    werd.

    [ Parent ]
    Bang On (3.00 / 1) (#484)
    by Mad Hughagi on Fri May 09, 2003 at 05:25:30 PM EST

    I long for the future when there will be robots who will make my drinks efficiently and without the arrogant extortion schemes that are presently commonplace in the North American bar scene.

    I take an opposite approach to tipping than is suggested by the author. I tip low to begin with. If the server maintains a decent approach to their job, then I tip them accordingingly. I refuse to be held hostage by some arrogant wait-staff shithead who can't be bothered with me if I am not contributing to their $200 a night profits that they will probably not declare on their income taxes anyway. You want to make me wait? Fine. I'll ask a different server/bartender to get me something.

    In the end, I believe that we should treat others the same way we expect to be treated. I am absolutely disgusted with people who try to bribe me into their good favour, and as such I find the majority of wait-staff to be nothing more than (scantilly) clothed strippers. I don't mind tipping, but I can't stand people who place an unsigned social contract on it's usage.


    HUGHAGI INDUSTRIES

    We don't make the products you like, we make you like the products we make.
    [ Parent ]

    Good article! (2.00 / 1) (#496)
    by MoxFulder on Sun May 11, 2003 at 11:11:11 AM EST

    I liked the article, sophacles. There seems to be a holy war going on here over whether bartenders are an asset or a pain in the ass. I like most bartenders, but since I live in a college neighborhood in a college town, they are always too busy to talk to except on week nights sometimes. One other question: how does one get into bartending? Let's say I have no experience bar tending and want to be a bar tender, what would I do?

    "If good things lasted forever, would we realize how special they are?"
    --Calvin and Hobbes


    Getting in to bartending (5.00 / 1) (#499)
    by sophacles on Sun May 11, 2003 at 08:12:26 PM EST

    I started bartending after being on the security staff for a while, and working in the kitchen at the bar I work at.  Some bars use this approach, so that the tenders start bar work with knowledge of how the place operates.  Others just hire bartenders.

    The best way is just to apply for the job, some places will train you some want experience.  I know one bar in town had a policy that they won't hire anyone with bartending experience, so that everything would be done "right" (read their way).

    As to the holy war thing, yeah I've noticed that too.  It's actually kind of suprising, and enlightening.  At least the tip war got moved to a different article (thanks DesiredUsername, I was hoping that this article wouldn't be that, since I've already been part of it too many times in real life).

    [ Parent ]

    Bar floors & bathrooms: A patron's guide (4.00 / 5) (#502)
    by wji on Sun May 11, 2003 at 10:57:55 PM EST

    My job is to keep things relatively clean-looking. If the customers wanted the bar experience without a drink, they would just scatter dirt and garbage around their house, since it is cheaper.

    Cleaning is a tedious job. I often see the worst in dirt: urine soaked cigarette butts, vomit, unknown mud. I stay at my job because I need money. It isn't much, but hey, well, actually, I don't know how to end this sentence. So don't bitch if the place is dirty.

    Many customers seem to forget that I am a person, not just a cleaning machine. If you follow the basic rules that I post below, hopefully I won't show up on a busy night with a machine gun.

    Be polite.
    It happens quite often that I find crap left around that was obviously not dropped by accident, but was put there because you're a fucking idiot. If you must pick your nose, at least put the remains in a kleenex instead of pasting them on to a surface or something. Don't touch the mirrors with your grubby hands. If you throw garbage in a urinal, I will come into your house while you sleep and murder you.

    On tipping.
    If you think I'm doing a good job, just stuff a few coins somewhere that I'll find them. Under a couch is good, or inside the toilet paper dispenser. A common strategy is to just drop it on the floor. This is fine. Americans can figure out what to do with their bills themselves; we have $1 and $2 coins here.

    The penalty box
    If you make something really dirty in a really stupid way, I just won't clean it. Get a life.

    Graffiti
    I've got nothing against it, but be creative. Mushrooms and joints are boring; "inspirational" quotes in the womens' toilets are ridiculous, and Goethe never said that. The inverted American flag was good, but it's 13 stripes and 50 stars, people. And meta graffiti isn't half as witty as it is.

    Conclusion
    The school janitors I used to ignore are saints; I'd pull a trenchcoat mafia thing in a few weeks.

    Note to authority figures: The violence remarks were all jokes in bad taste. The only person I've ever seriously considered shooting is Tony Blair. Maybe John Howard.

    In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.

    Tips (2.50 / 2) (#512)
    by Sartori on Thu May 15, 2003 at 11:45:57 AM EST

    I used to work in a fast food chain (Burger King, to be precise). I worked long shifts, late hours, for minimum wage. I worked as hard as any bar staff I've ever seen, for less thanks, and for no tips. People tip waiters, they tip bar staff, they seem to tip everyone but fast food staff. Why?
    --
    Sartori
    "What is now real was once only imagined..."
    Tips (4.00 / 1) (#513)
    by borehawg on Thu May 15, 2003 at 11:20:10 PM EST

    Bars have been around since the beginning of alcohol and civilization, and have always specialized in personal service.

    Fast-food chains became popular in the 1950's in the United States, and *never* specialized in anything but efficient, factory-like production systems. Read /Fast Food Nation/ or /Grinding It Out/ (Ray Kroc's autobiography) if you need details.

    The first time I saw a tip jar at a fast-food chain (Subway, Einstein's Bagels, etc) surprised me to no end. Of course, the less-than-enthusiastic automatons didn't have much in the jar (I'm not insulting fast-food workers. I was employed at McDonald's back in my teens. But the inherent job functions of a fast-food employee imply efficient systematic process first, customer service second, and if the individual can manage it, personal service last (usually to regulars and friends)).

    --
    Sixty-five wildly panting fruitflies gazed hungrily at the juicy bouncing kumquats.
    [ Parent ]

    amused (none / 0) (#521)
    by dtothek on Mon May 19, 2003 at 02:41:24 PM EST

    first and foremost, allow me to express my pleasure at finding an article about my favorite pastime: drinking in bars. second, i wish to note how amusing it is that so many people, responding to "Bars: A Patron's Guide", are completely irrational when it comes to this socially mandated behavior. come on, it's not brain surgery folks. i don't know about you, but i am exquisitely polite to those that condescend to serve me. don't fuck with the guy who can pee in your drink, people. if this bothers you, stay home or stick to bottled drinks. third, let's go out and drink. first round's on me!
    -d
    Bars: A patron's guide. | 525 comments (470 topical, 55 editorial, 0 hidden)
    Display: Sort:

    kuro5hin.org

    [XML]
    All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
    See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
    Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
    Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
    My heart's the long stairs.

    Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!