They Thought It’d Be Funny
“I had a table of six young girls. They ask how much EVERYTHING is. Are bread sticks free? Is salad free? Is that refill free? Two of them order a dish called Grilled Shrimp Caprese…I bring it out and one girl says, ‘Oh, I don’t like shrimp.’ I stand there, scoff a bit, and repeat what she said. She says, ‘Well, I don’t like it cooked like this.’
‘What do you mean?’
‘I don’t like it grilled.’ Dumb…dumb dumb dumb. So she gets the meal taken off and free desert because my manager is an idiot. So does the other girl who decided she didn’t like it half way through.
Their bill was about $70, they gave me cash and I said, ‘I’ll be back with your change.’ Which I say even when I’m pretty sure they just want me to keep the change.
As I walk away, I hear one of these little girls say, ‘Yeah, you bring back all of our change, witch.’ I bring it back and they hurry out. I go to the table where a bus boy is cleaning and ask if there is a tip and he says I don’t see it… all I see is this quarter. The table next to them told me that the girls were talking about doing it and how they thought it was so funny. All because some dumb girl ordered something she didn’t like. Jerks.”
She Couldn’t Help But Cry After That
“This was when I was 16 working my first gig. It was during one of the busiest days of the year when our town throws this huge concert festival and people come from all over. I showed up to discover I was the only one who came in because the two other people who were supposed to be on shift with me bailed to go to the concert. In the middle of this busy supper hour, a table of 15 comes in.
Throughout the whole ordeal, I’m flying around the restaurant like a cat with its butt on fire and the whole while the guys at this table kept making snarky comments and laughing, saying things like, ‘Jeez, are you the only one here or somethin’? Service is sure slow.’ Do you see anybody else here? Seriously. So the meals miraculously get out on time, I am run ragged taking care of all the other tables while keeping their drinks flowing, and the whole time I am just getting this barrage of passive-aggressive insults.
Finally, the place starts clearing out a little aside from them. Once they finish their meal I start gathering up their plates and empty glasses as the majority of them are putting on their coats. I’ll never forget this one horrible guy with a salt and pepper mustache calling me over and grinning at me over his glasses as he pats his hand down on the table and says: ‘Here. This is for you.’ It was twelve cents. I saw red and tried not to cry. I mean, a volcano after everything that had gone wrong this day let loose inside of me.
I looked him dead in the eye, shook my cleaning rag out, and swept the dime and pennies so hard that they went flying across the restaurant. I spat: ‘You can take that with you.’
His face just crumpled and a woman who had come back to the table for something said ‘What did you do?’ He laughingly explained to her as if what he had done was actually funny and she was extremely appalled. She went over to me, opened her purse, and pushed a twenty into my hand. She said, ‘Take it. Oh my God, I’m so sorry.’ I had to go out back to the dish pit to hide my tears of embarrassment, but apparently, she spread the word on what he’d done because there was a nice tip left at the table when I mustered the gumption to go back out when they’d all left.”
“In The Middle Of Cleaning Puke, The Mom Asked…”
“Not leaving me a tip when their kid puked all over the table. They sat there and continued talking while I comforted the kid and cleaned up the puke from the table. In the middle of cleaning the puke, the mom asked for a refill on her drink by lifting it and shaking it in my direction, making vomit fling all over and informing they needed a new pizza for free because the last slice on the tray got puke on it. They did not leave or take the kid home and did not tip. She flung puke in my face and their 8-year-old was shirtless because he puked on his shirt and was devastated. I tried to cheer him up by letting him help me blow up balloons in the party room so he could hide from the kids he knew that came in.”
“We had a large party that came to eat on a Saturday night. They were quite unhappy at having to wait for a table – apparently, they were unable to comprehend that weekends are, like, busy and stuff. So, of course, they were rude throughout the entire evening, and when they were finished eating, they left some loose change on the table and poured bbq sauce on top of it. The impressive thing about this was that their waitress was the calmest, meekest person in the entire store, and she was emitting curses that would have had a sailor cowering in fear. Never before or since did I see her that furious. Our store owner promptly went to the table, retrieved the sauce-covered change, intercepted the horrible customers in the parking lot, slapped the money in one guy’s hand, and told them not to ever come back.”
“This Cruel Man Laughed At Me While I Worked”
“As a bartender, I had some nasty people sit at the bar and drink all day. I took pretty good care of them and when it came to paying one guy pulled out his wallet and put his credit card down and a £20 note and put it on the bar. As I went to grab it, he said, ‘Actually nah, you’ll just spend it on brews. I’d rather buy you a drink’ and put the £20 in his pocket.
I replied, ‘Thank you, that’s kind of you (hiding my anger) but I can’t drink while I work.’
He replies, ‘Okay, well I’ll drink it for you.’ Laughing, he drank a brew and waved a £20 note in my face.”
Let That Serve As A Lesson To You All
“I’m a cook but one of our coworkers was hyped about getting a $20 tip. She made such a thing about it the manager came over to see what the commotion was all about. That’s when he informed her that it was a counterfeit 20. And after checking the register, also found out the rest of the cash they used was fake as well. The money didn’t even look real at all. And it’s all now taped to the wall to remind everyone of that faithful day we got paid in basically Monopoly money.”
“I had a family come in, a couple and their three kids, to this beachy cafe I was working at. I worked as one of three waitresses (we served brunch, lunch, and dinner). The owner was the only cook except for a sous chef who came in at 3 pm. The owner was so mean. So mean. We had to moderate our own tickets (we couldn’t let him have more than four tickets at a time, we had to hold them in our book until he worked through some of the existing tickets because he got overwhelmed), but he was a fantastic chef and the food was excellent. So even though the wait was long, people generally left happy. Of course, every now and then, you would get people who did NOT understand this bizarre, ‘Um, you have to wait for genius’ concept at the restaurant and would stiff us on tips, which is why, contrary to the norm, we got paid $7 an hour. Anyway, this family came in at 1 pm and everyone wanted burgers.
Now the chef HATED doing burgers because he had to prep the grill and it makes the kitchen hot (why not just take them off the menu?). He’d been having a bad day, so he told me, ‘No, NO WAY, not until 3 pm.’ So I went back to the table, apologized, and told them that the burgers won’t be ready for two hours because the kitchen isn’t cooking burgers right now, I’m sorry, blah blah. They said, ‘We still want burgers, we’ll wait.’ Okay. So I went back to the kitchen, which was semi-open and this was a pretty small restaurant so everyone could always hear this guy’s profanity-laced tirades.
I told him, ‘They still want them, I’ll hold the ticket until 3.’
‘WELL TELL THEM IF THEY WANT BURGERS, THEY SHOULD GO TO MCDONALD’S.’
Obviously, the table heard, but they still clung to their burger dream. (And their table in my zone…) So hours pass, I kept giving them refills on soda, iced tea, all the bread in the world, FREE ICE CREAM FROM THE ADJOINING ICE CREAM SHOP for the kids. And finally, sous chef came in, the burgers were cooked, served, serviced with an apology and smile. Then the check was handed off, the credit card was exchanged, I came back to the table and low and behold, the dad took the time out of his day to write ‘ZERO’ all in caps on the tip line. I still wish I would have remembered to jot down his name so I could give him a piece of my mind about how, with full and complete disclosure, they still chose something off the menu that, for whatever a ridiculous reason it might be, would take over two hours to get. And it’s not my fault.”
Sending A Message
“My brother got so ticked at a dude serving us at IHOP (guy was the definition of a bad server) that he whipped a penny out, handed it to me, and went to his truck outside. I was confused until he came back with bolt cutters. Yep, left that half penny as a tip, wonder if that guy got the hint?”
He Had To Pay For Her To Eat
“I was working at Outback Steakhouse and had a mother/daughter pair (daughter was about 15/16). They were OK during the meal, but after they paid and left, I noticed they’d stiffed me. Not a big deal, really, it happens. So not five minutes later, they came back with a couple they’d ran into exiting the restaurant. They sat back down at the freshly bussed table to talk for an hour with only the mom having a single cup of coffee, then they got up and walked out again. I normally wouldn’t care about a cup of coffee, but not tipping me kinda had me a bit riled up, so I followed her out and presented her with the tab for the coffee. That woman marched me right back into the restaurant, got my manager and totally berate me for charging her for coffee and making her feel like a thief in front of her friends. I said, ‘Ma’am, I received no tip from you.’ Turns out the daughter thought the mom had left her change on the table and pocketed it. I got written up for mentioning a tip in front of the customer and the manager bought the four of them dessert. And I still got no tip out of it. It’s so awesome that I had the privilege to PAY for that woman to eat in my section.”
“I used to work as a waitress throughout high school. We had one lone man come in one afternoon who was particularly difficult. He complained that there was nothing on the menu that he wanted to eat and our prices were too expensive. After patiently trying to give him suggestions of popular dishes or specials, he tried to negotiate the prices on things – offering to pay half of the price listed on the menu. I told him that I wasn’t authorized to make changes to the prices on the menu, but that I would get my manager to come over and speak with him. After he tried this with my manager (who is also extremely patient), she told him simply that the prices listed were the prices that they charge for the food and if he wasn’t happy with the selection or pricing there were plenty of other restaurants in town he could eat at. He ended up ordering something off the menu, I served him (pleasantly and promptly) and brought him his bill. When I came back to get payment from him, he left the exact change for his bill on the table. He then took a nickel, spit on it, told me that was my tip and threw it on the ground under the table. I told my manager and she escorted him out of the restaurant told him he wasn’t welcome at her restaurant anymore.”
When “Lousy” Tipping Lands Someone In Cuffs
“I was at a restaurant for a business meeting, total came to $49.63 with taxes. Now, my company refunds all business meals, but do not refund tipping at all. For this reason, I like to pay the main bill with my credit card (in company’s name) and leave the tip in cash at the table. I left $10 on the table, then went to pay (at this restaurant, you pay at the entrance, not at the table). I rounded the bill to $50 and paid this amount with the company’s credit card. The waitress, seeing my low tip, took around 37 cents in the cent jars and threw them at me, yelling, ‘Here’s your tip.’ Everyone in the restaurant looked at me. I was humiliated in front of a potential customer. I explained that I tip in cash and that I had left $10 at the table, and she smiled and said: ‘Yeah, right.’ I told her I would call the police, which I did, and at the end, I had her cited. I felt it would be unfair to let this happen and do nothing and there was no way I would accept that. She got arrested partially because of video recording. I settled the matter with the owner without involving a lawsuit for defamation/assault. This sucks, it was a restaurant I liked a lot.”
“I Seriously Lost Faith In Humanity”
“I have Multiple Sclerosis and was having an attack but had to continue working. I had a pretty significant limp due to this attack and was moving pretty slow but doing my best. There was a table of rednecks in my section who were asking for one thing at a time and generally running me around, even though I was obviously trying my hardest. I made sure to go out of my way to be extra nice and apologetic. They were laughing about making me grab things one at a time and being snarky about everything. At the end of the meal, they paid and got up really quickly. When I went to bus some of the stuff off of the table, there was a huge ‘0’ in the tip line and it said ‘Have a nice day! ;)’ I think that is the day when I seriously lost faith in humanity. We have gotten to a point in this culture where we care so much about the customers that we could care less about employees. You would think that you wouldn’t want patrons like that at your restaurant, but it is all about money.”
Her Big Mouth Got Her In Trouble
“A girl I was working with was waiting on a table of gentlemen who racked up a pretty hefty bill. As most waiters do, she assumed the tip would be fat and was gloating about it the whole meal (printing out the ticket, bragging to other waiters about her upsells, etc etc). So the men payout, get up and leave. She walks over, grabs the book off the table, looks at it, and immediately slams it back on the table. She walks up to bar where I’m working and begins ranting about how these ‘stupid customers just stiffed me on $250.’ She starts insulting their Southern drawls calling them rednecks and accusing them of being poor.
The whole time, she was completely oblivious to the fact that the head of the party was at the bar asking me for change on a $100 bill. I give him his change (not knowing it was her guest) and he walks down to the end of the bar where she is still ranting about him, throws $80 in front of her and says, ‘I used to be a waiter and I hated having to break $100 bills for customers. I was trying to save you a step on a busy night.’ He then turns around and walks out, leaving this stupid little girl to cry and moan when she finally realized how horrible she was for using preconceived notions to judge this guy who was one of those rare people that every waiter loves to wait on.”
A Different Kind Of Tip
“I was a waitress in a city that had a church (or two or three) on every street for awhile. Church people were regular customers and Sunday was always a really busy day. There was one particular church group that came in regularly every Sunday of about 10 or 11 people. They’d come in in their fancy church clothes and we’d have to move several of our tables to put them together so they could all sit beside each other. They’d usually order something about mid-price from our menu and stay for about an hour or so and for that time I’d keep their drinks refilled and I’d make sure they had everything they needed. Usually they’d wish me a good day/week and I never had any complaint. And every single week without fail, instead of money, they would leave me bible verses printed out on little slips of paper like the ones you get out of fortune cookies only they were always in all these different bright colors instead of white. I worked there for probably three years and I never saw a dime from those people.”
Doing Your Coworkers Dirty
“I worked in a kitchen and the split I got from the pooled tips was so minimal, I assumed the front staff must not get very much in tips at all, considering that I knew the prices of the meals and how many people worked there. When I started working in the front, I realized that the girls in the front had been pocketing all of their tips the entire time. I spoke to the boss about it (because I wanted the system to work having been on the other side of it – and feeling bad for myself and the couple other people who actually tipped out the full amount getting shortchanged) and he tried to enforce it a bit better but the greedier of the girls I worked with would still do the same.
I quit shortly thereafter and tip on card whenever possible.”
The Tipping System At This Place Is Outrageous
“I worked for a company where you had to pay 3% of your takings back to the company for the privilege. I.E. if I took $2,000 on a Saturday, I had to give them $60 out of my tips. If I only made $50 in tips, $10 would come out of my pocket. They justify it by saying that it goes towards training managers, and bonuses that managers get. Because, you know, people on minimum wage should have to pay for that. This made me resent most people. If a table spent $100 and didn’t tip, I’d be ticked off because I’d be paying for them to have a good time.
Anyway, to the story. I had a table of 8 or so people. No manners, nobody said please or thank you. I was there to be their servant, because that was my job, and that’s how they acted. When they finally paid, they were short a significant amount. They had taken a prawn head from their plate, and wrapped it up in the cash. I had to find this treat, count the money, and go back and confront them, so that I didn’t have to pay any more for their delicious meal. Needless to say, I lost it, and that was my last shift at this wonderful company. Looking back on it, in the long run, I feel like they did me a big favor. Most nights my 3% would equate to more than my wage for the evening.”
He Thought He Was Real Clever
“Table with a husband, wife, and kid came in. Orders come out husband says he ordered bacon cheese fries instead of cheese fries (though I heard cheese fries). I offer to fix it, he gets all sassy with me and says nope no it’s fine. Then my manager offers to comp everything and once again guy acts like a brat. Long story short he comes up to pay, he signs our receipt that we keep and on the tip line he puts $.10, hands it to me, waits for me to read it, and then grins at me. Right as he walks out I shout, ‘Very mature!'”
I Spoke Four Languages With Them But…
“Saudi Prince (not that impressive; there are like 500 Saudi Princes,) party of 5. I spoke English, Arabic, French, and Spanish with the table, only apologizing for my lack of Greek to the fifth member of the party. $14 tip on a $330 bill.”
“She Tells Me To Take A Seat And..”
“I was a cook a few years back at a nice upscale place in a small town of about 60,000 or so. It was a Sunday evening and also the slowest day of the week for us, so I was the only cook in the kitchen minus our dishwasher who could only do small prep like chop veggies or clean shrimp. Well, this particular night we got slammed for about an hour and a half. I’m rushing from the cold line (salads/apps/soups) to the hotline (main courses) and am super ticked off because none of the other cooks answered their phones. I almost always came in if they needed help so this just added fuel to the fire.
One of the more popular items on the menu at the time was Rotoli, its basically a mixture of tenderloin/pine nuts/shallots wrapped in fresh pasta and served with a red sauce with a bechamel poured over the top. I had so many orders that I had run out of bechamel and had no time to make another batch so I was making something similar but less complex to make. So the last order of the rush (as well as the night) was for Rotoli, and I’m completely drained at this point and forgot to make the fake bechamel for the dish. The two top of mid 30’s ladies had been there almost all night starting at happy hour and were just hammered. I send out the food and take my first smoke break of the night. So while I’m smoking one of the servers comes and says that the lady with the Rotoli didn’t get any bechamel sauce and is just livid (and quite wasted). I quickly put out my smoke and tell the server to see if she can bring the dish back so I can make a quick fix to it. This lady wanted absolutely none of it. She actually had the guts to request for me to come to the table and explain myself.
So I come out with my head held high and she tells me to take a seat, and I oblige. She spent the next 10 minutes loudly berating me in front of the entire restaurant and asking me, ‘You call yourself a chef?’ I had to do my absolute best not to grab her head and slam it into the table but I told her what the situation was in back and politely apologized for the mistake. I even offered to pay for the meal and give a free dessert. She wanted none of it. She finally let me leave the table and left shortly afterward. Her friend came in about a half hour later to give the server a generous tip and me the stank eye.
I ended up getting quite wasted that night because I have never in my decade of working in kitchens had someone talk to me like that (aside from an actual chef). A day later the owner comes and grabs me while I’m prepping my station for dinner and shows me a printed off email he got from one of the customers that was there that night. They said that I should be commended for remaining so calm and trying to find a solution to the problem and even came in that night and bought me drinks all night. Now I still got hate for forgetting the sauce but everybody realized it was just a mistake and that lady shouldn’t have reacted the way she did.”
“I Had To Play Hide And Seek With My Tips”
“I had to play hide and seek with my tips to keep them from being stolen once. I was a cashier at a coffeeshop, and it was company policy not to accept tips. We were already paid minimum wage, it’d have required paperwork and tax stuff to set it up, and we were a new coffeeshop where most of the staff didn’t know what they were doing already, we didn’t need the complication. So of course, there’s a guy who always, always, tipped me $2. Only me. Kept asking when we’d get a tip jar. I’d explain we don’t accept tips, politely, that we’d never get a tip jar, and he just didn’t buy it, every single time.
Because we just opened, traffic was off the charts, so usually, a manager was actually working next to me when this happened. So I’d always make a show of setting the $2 aside, or using it to ‘cheapen’ someone else’s drink later, so management couldn’t get mad at me. People adored me for that and started tipping me MORE. It became a bit of a tradition- regulars would set aside extra change or bills for other lucky customers. After I gave my 2 weeks notice, I had to train someone to take my place. She had, hands down, the worst attitude of any cashier I’ve ever met. Pathological liar, too. While I’m training her, she catches on that I’ve been ‘recycling’ tips to make people’s drinks cheaper, and she starts trying to pocket the kitty instead. I called her on it, but neither she nor management really cared, because this place was barely functional as is, and they had bigger fish to fry. So, I started hiding the tips around the shop, for my last week. Finders Keepers. I was like the coffee-cash tooth fairy. Better some random customer or employee get it than her. A stupid solution, but it was kinda funny, and it’s not like they were gonna fire me, anyways.”