As my time working two jobs and waiting tables winds down - I'm expecting to resign sometime this fall (but, I know, I say that every year) - I care less what people think of me. Not to be too cocky, but I know I'm a good waiter. I like doing it, like talking to people, like the restaurant I work at, like the whole process - except the tipping. I enjoy tips, but it's always hard to figure out if someone tips you poorly because he or she is a cheap asshole, or whether there was something wrong. I usually go with the former, because I'm never rude and rarely screw up, and when I do I'm apologetic.
Last night, I got a table that I sort of guessed would be assholish about their tips early on. They didn't order an appetizer, which is usually a sign of cheapness, at least at the place I work (though, admittedly, it can sometimes just be a sign that they're not that hungry). They loved the food and wrote really nice comments in the guestbook about the service, but tipped me $6 on $44. I was expecting it, but it was still shitty.
But, a little bit later, a couple with two young kids came in. We have a high chair and a booster seat and don't mind kids in the restaurant, but it's still not that common. Well, these parents let their kids run around a bit, had really specific requests for food, had to referee arguments between the kids, had a lime-juice in the eye accident, and in general just made a mess. But they were really nice, and the kids were cute, so I was happy to wait on them. However, after they left, Nikki, the bawdy British broad I work with, was clearing my table and grabbed the check. "Shit," she said. "They only left you $3 on $64."
I did three times as much work on this table than any other, and I was really mad. So mad that I went out to the sidewalk and looked both ways so I could chase them down and ask if there was any problem with the service. They were gone, though. But I didn't care; in my closing months of waiting tables, I'm going to do my damndest and do a good job, but I'm not going to be shy.
However, come to find out a few minutes later that Nikki was just fucking with me. They left me a generous $13. So I put ice down her back and we were even. Taught me a bit of a lesson, though, and I'm sure glad those folks were gone when I went chasing them down.
Zack and I grabbed a post-drink beer at Ale Mary's. That place is quickly moving up the eschelon as favorite bars in Baltimore. Too bad their food menu is so ho-hum, because their beer list is great and their TVs and atmosphere are perfect. It's hard to be in a bad mood when Mary, usually beaming and always friendly, is waiting on you.
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