Dropping a Penny   1 comment

Normally I pre-write a post so I have time to think about it, but I was scattered this morning, so am not prepared. Besides, I feel like saying what’s on my mind today.

Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of complaints by waiters concerning customers and I have to say — shut up! I know, that’s rude and it’s not like me, but really … are you idiots?

I’m coming at this from the most respectful of places. My dad was a professional chef and my mom was a professional waitress. I calculate she waited tables for the better part of 40 years back in the days when being a waitress was something you did for a living, not just while you wait for a better job. I waited tables for a while in college, myself. I know it’s a tough job. I also know that there are better ways of handling it.

From my mother (with some influence from Dad, I’m sure) —

No, the customer is not always right, but you get better tips if he thinks he is. The customer is, after all, the reason you get paid at all. If the customer didn’t come to eat in the restaurant, the restaurant would close and you’d be panhandling on the streets. The waiter doesn’t control the quality of the food, but he/she does control the quality of the service. If you’re rude, you don’t deserve a tip.

That’s right! I said that! If you’re rude, you do not deserve a tip. If you give half-hearted service, you do not deserve a full tip.  It is not the customer’s responsibility to pay your taxes. It is your responsibility. It is your income after all. If you want more than the standard 10% tip, then give service that is over and above the standard level of service.

I’m not talking lap dances, or anything like that. I’m talking good service. My mom used to call her tips — “My applause”.  She considered her shift to be a performance and the collected tips at the end of the night to be a performance evaluation. If she got 8% or more, she figured she’d done well that night. If she got less than 8%, she asked herself “What did I do WRONG tonight?” She didn’t complain about the customer. She examined herself and took responsibility for HER performance. Mom rarely had a night that was less than 8%. She had a loyal following of customers who would follow her from cafe to cafe all over town. She had bosses who lived in fear that she would quit and paid her accordingly. When she decided to “retire” to open her own daycare center, the customers threw her a party at their own expense.

Following her advice, during my months as a waitress, I made more in tips than I ever did from my paycheck. I also had quite a few customers leave compliments with the hostess on their way out. I’ve carried that work ethic into my real jobs for the last 30 years and it has served me well.

So, shut up! Stop complaining and give the customer some good service and see if — maybe — you’ll learn something.

One response to “Dropping a Penny

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  1. It’s the work ethic. I’ve seen nurses being rude to patients too. We don’t get tips but this is abusive in a hospital.
    Sometimes it feel as if many have lost all ethics. Not everyone, but some.

    Like

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