The Price Of Shit Service
How much does one tip for shit service? Sandy L Investigates.
by Sandy L Posted: 2017/06/26
She smiles through her annoyance, I know it’s not a real smile, I wasn’t born yesterday… she knows it’s not a real smile, she wasn’t born yesterday. It’s not either of our first time at the rodeo, so what game are we playing at?
I am there for the coffee. Every day I bless the Ethiopian chap who discovered the holy bean. I wanted to stay for some food, but the awful service pushed me right over the edge. Enough to pack up my laptop, give up my comfy spot with the perfect amount of sun and light and evacuate the restaurant. So that means a push right out the door. Very bad service means she was rude. She had her back to her customers so she never noticed when someone called her. She put my coffee on the table with no care, she clearly didn’t want to be there. Is it really a surprise she spread that exact feeling to her customers?
A week ago, I was at my regular watering hole. It was one hell of a shit day at the office, the lady mopping the floor at the front was shouting to the lady at the back in a conversation I not only didn’t understand but I also didn’t want to understand. That was only one of a lot of distractions my senses were battling with. The suit up front with her straight short hair was also working and absolutely lost it, she had an adult tantrum, put me on the stand to ask how I handle the noise and then left, I am rather certain never ever to return again. Customer lost.
I can say without a doubt the lady in the suit didn’t tip and if she had pre-noise I am pretty sure she regretted it. I am also pretty sure she took to Facebook and HelloPeter to complain, probably even dropping a very unpleasant tweet between sofa and kitchen that very night using words like unacceptable, incredibly loud, bad manners and maybe even day club popped in there.
But really, how do we tip bad service? Do we give someone a break for having a bad day, an off moment? Maybe their rabbit died, maybe their boyfriend is an ass, or maybe their boss has them working on their birthday. From my side, not to hop on a horse here but I tip well, mostly because I have been the waitress. I can’t say I was very good at it, and it is hard when a place is packed and everyone wants a piece of you. But I had manners about it, I respected the fact that as a face upfront I was a representative of the company that paid my bills. Isn’t that still the position I stand in today? If I don’t come to the party with my work, my client is justified to revert until they are happy, or not pay. I know it’s not the most suited comparison, but surely we all need to get on with it and do whatever we are doing to the best of our ability? The good old expression FIFO, unofficially used within organizations, comes to mind. A simple case of fit in or fuck off. I will tip bad service because I am silly and would feel bad if I left without giving anything, but not half as much as I will tip great service. Most people I know wouldn’t and I don’t blame them at all.
If we were in New York, not only would bad service not see a tip, but if the bill isn’t in front of the customer within 10 minutes of asking, it is standard practice for the customer to leave, bill unpaid never mind the tip.
The upside – we pay our bills; the tip requires actual work.