Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Waitress Revisited

The other day we talked about The Waitress that I had at dinner almost one week ago. Just to recap, in case you did not get a chance to read it or if you are allergic to hyperlinks or something I am going to recap it for you. Our waitress did a pretty awful job all around. She was very nice and was trying hard and all that but she just wasn't a good waitress. That being said we should say that she was new and just because she wasn't a good waitress on DAY FIVE of working at it doesn't mean that she wouldn't become a good waitress somewhere along the line. So the question that arose in my mind was how to tip her appropriately and of course I ended up at some overly deep philosophical meaning behind how much you left for said tip.
So anyway, devoted reader AND master mechanic AND restaurant entrepreneur AND professional chef Chef Tel was kind enough to write in with some tips on how I could have appropriately handled the situation in lieu of throwing my butter knife at an elderly person and barrel rolling out the front window of the restaurant and into their professionally landscaped bushes, which is what I ultimately chose to do. What he recommended, to me and you and anyone else with access to the Internet or the ability to communicate with someone who does was to tip The Waitress just a bit below 20% because that would sort of let her know that yeah she put in the effort but there was room for improvement. Also still tip her an appropriate amount because I liked looking at her tramp stamp. First of all, I was not looking at her tramp stamp; she had a full-on T-shirt as part of her uniform and was showing nothing around her middle. So you can only imagine where her tats happened to be but good guess anyway Chef Tel. Second of all, I have to admit that is a pretty good idea and I am slightly embarrassed that I couldn't figure out to take the middle of the road. Yeah, here is me, Mr. Moderate for anyone who knows me, and I couldn't figure out not to tip high, and not to tip low, but to tip somewhere in between. Yikes. I wonder if I am losing it.
Or maybe The Waitress had me head spinning, I guess we will never know. Chef Tel goes on to make the very cogent point that in the end it really doesn't mean squat what we tipped her, aside from whether she cursed us under her breath or just sort of didn't think of us at all. What matters is not the kind of person that I am, or that my family is; what matters is the kind of person that the waitress is. He goes on, IN ALL CAPS, to note that if she is the kind of person who is happy to just get ANY tips at all as opposed to someone like me who would use the tip amount to sort gauge my progress it isn't going to matter one bit how much beyond the price of the meal was left at the table.
So anyway, just some things to think about. I certainly thought about what Chef Tel said; after I was done thinking about The Waitress of course. And I've been thinking about some other things that I've been reading about the food service profession (like the hilarious blog called The Bitter Waitress or a recent Yahoo! article about ten secrets from a professional waiter) and I think that all of that totally supports my long standing opinion that food service is by far and away the most difficult industry in which to work. And I used to work in the gambling industry, so you can tell how serious I am about that. So thanks Chef Tel for setting me straight, and thanks to The Waitress for bringing me my food and being nice, if not terribly successful, about it. I have decided that I am definitely going back soon to check up on your progress. I just hope you are one of the people who actually cares to make progress.

1 comment:

Chef Tel said...

Firstly, David, only a guess on my part- about the tramp stamp- my bad! Secondly, my point was that the waitperson (must be P.C these days) have to want to do a good job, to make the money in the end. Just two days ago, had a decent night @ the club and with one waitress on she should have ealily made well over $200 in a 4hr shift, only walked out with $105 and was totally tickled,(alot of 10% tips). In fact she said she had to work to had and to put another server on for that shift- directly cutting tips in half!? Now i have two staffers not making cash? What do you make of that? lazy? The New American Way? less work more money? I have had staffers walk out with just shy of $300 CASH in a 4hr shift.