Bad service = no tip, am I wrong?

@redrover (597)
United States
February 28, 2010 4:42pm CST
One night my friend and I went to a nice restaurant. The waitress called me mam, I am a guy, and my friend corrected her. For the rest of the night the waitress did not look or talk to me once. She asked my friend questions for me and acted as if I was not there, I realize it was because she was embarrassed but it made me angry. So when the check came I paid with a credit card. In the tip box I wrote "Don't ignore the person paying." I said nothing to the waitress but had to stand up for myself. My friend thought this was funny and told my family about it when we all went to eat. My mom and brother both said it was rude. I think it was the nicest way to handle the situation. Was it rude?
6 people like this
28 responses
@sid556 (31006)
• United States
1 Mar 10
Hi redrover, The waitress made a mistake....something we all do. I'm sure she had been saying maam enough to other patrons that it was just a little slip. Still, she should have appologized to you and moved on from the incident. To ignore you all evening was absolutely wrong. Working with the public, her job is not only to serve you but to make the customers feel comfortable. A smile and good attitude is part of the job. This waitress still has a bit of learning to do from the sounds of it. The in which you got your message across to her was perfect. Hopefully it worked!
1 person likes this
@cream97 (29169)
• United States
1 Mar 10
I feel the same way that sid556 feels too. The waitress should have handled herself much better than she did. The way that she was acting was petty, very petty.... And she is supposed to make him feel like he is the most important customer there is in the restaurant. I just don't get it. How can she ignore him when he was sitting at the table the entire time until he left the diner?? It had to have been a lot of ignoring to be doing. He is a potential customer that may or may not come back. So, it is best that employees always keep their attitudes in check. I have seen this kind of behavior even at the grocery store. So, this does not surprise me one bit that it is happening elsewhere. What surprises me, is a waitress that is highly trained to cater to customers, that has a petty childish streak in her!
@miravu (100)
• United States
1 Mar 10
Everyone makes mistakes. She may have been really embarrassed which is why she didn't look at you. I'd agree with your Mom. Consider this, waitresses make about $2 per hour. They rely on their tips to live on. When you don't tip, you made someone work without compensation. Imagine your boss deciding to not pay you because he was insulted by something you accidentally said and then in addition to not paying you made a remark to point out how bad you already feel. When someone is rude, be the bigger person and try to forgive the insult. If the actual service wasa good, i.e. the food was hot and what you ordered, you should have tipped her.
@redrover (597)
• United States
1 Mar 10
The tip was not held back because of a mistake. It was because she made the choice to ignore me after the fact. If I worked for tips I would be sure to be nice to everyone. We all embarrass ourselves sometimes, but I suck it up and go on. I do appreciate your comment :)
@miravu (100)
• United States
1 Mar 10
In my younger years I worked many side jobs - sometimes waitressing. I can tell you that while restuarants are required to make up the difference between the base $2/hour and minimum wage, it never happens. There were many shifts where I walked out of a 12 hour day with little more than $20 in my pocket. The reasoning behind it from the restuarant is that you can't prove that you didn't make enough in tips and if you argue, they just fire you. What restuarants are required to do and what they actually do are separate things all together.
@SomeCowgirl (32271)
• United States
28 Feb 10
I think that I would have directly talked to her during the meal. Like when she was talking to your friend asking your friend a question for you. I would have talked to her, that may have eased her guilt a little and opened her up to talk to you. Possibly even apologize, which she may have been embarrassed to do. By not telling the waitress directly, your opening up for anyone at the register to read what you wrote in comment. That could be embarrassing to the waitress even more, or also get her in more trouble then maybe you wanted her to be in.
@redrover (597)
• United States
28 Feb 10
I probably should have said something to her but I might not have been too nice. Thanks for the input :)
1 person likes this
@SomeCowgirl (32271)
• United States
1 Mar 10
True, when not too nice it's better to not say anything at all. I read back through my response earlier and realized I didn't clarify to say that my suggestion was to talk to her say when she was asking your friend what you wanted. Say it went like this. Waitress: (looking at your friend) Does he want more coffee? Yourself: Yes I would (make eye contact with her) Maybe she would talk to you after that, she may have thought you were mad at her...
@cream97 (29169)
• United States
1 Mar 10
Hi, redrover. I don't understand why would the waitress ignore you. Your friend was the one that corrected her from calling you a mam.. So, she should be mad at her and not you.. I have seen many people act like this around me too. They are mad at me and I am not the one that said anything. Your note was not rude. Your friend should apologize for saying anything to her. Oh well.... The waitress should have been more pleasant. After all you are paying for a meal that you could have declined.
@cream97 (29169)
• United States
1 Mar 10
Oh, and for the record, this waitress does not need a tip. The way she treated you was very unfair. She does not deserve one. If she was ashamed she should have kept her feelings to herself without mistreating you like you was second class. I bet your money probably paid for the entire meal am I right??
@qamarep (4450)
• Pakistan
28 Feb 10
no even in the bad service we do tip the waitress.
@redrover (597)
• United States
1 Mar 10
This is the only time I have never tipped. I will almost always tip regardless of service. I had to make an exception here. Thanks for your input :)
@online_jon (1478)
• Philippines
28 Feb 10
For me it's still depend to the service which is given to you but if you do not have enough money to add some tip? I guess thank you is enough.
@redrover (597)
• United States
1 Mar 10
If I can't afford a tip I usually don't eat out. Thanks for the comment.
@rsa101 (13336)
• Philippines
28 Feb 10
Yeah I think it was really decent to make that comment against the waiter. I think it was appropriate for her to apologize for that hishap. I think the reason why we give tips is to tell how much we appreciate the service provided for us and if we are not satisfied then we have the right not to give tips.
@redrover (597)
• United States
1 Mar 10
Thanks for the reply. I hate not to tip but none was deserved here.
1 person likes this
@MrKennedy (1994)
28 Feb 10
Took me a while, but I realised the joke in the end. Maybe following this tip will help her to earn money tips in the future
@redrover (597)
• United States
28 Feb 10
Hope she learned from it.
@jaiho2009 (39021)
• Philippines
28 Feb 10
The waitress maybe was to shy to approach you becoz of the mistaken address she gave to you. Some people were too shy to say something or approach us when they made mistakes on the first moment. She also maybe think that you will ignore her when she talks with you,so,she remain silence when it comes to your side. I don't think it is rude with what you have done.... Sometimes we do or act improper ways ...but not too much.
@redrover (597)
• United States
28 Feb 10
Her calling me mam did not bother me so much, it happens. If she had acted normal I would have been fine. Thanks for the input :)
@freeboy90 (458)
• Italy
28 Feb 10
No I don't think it is rude at all, You handled the situation very well, I would have got pretty angry and not even write that message, my solution in that case would have been not enter that restaurant anymore. I have met some rude waitress more than once, but the one time I got really really angry is when I was on holiday in a foreign country and I asked a hot sandwich, then she asked what I wanted in my sandwich and I replied based on what I like and what I usually take in my country, she started laughing, and she could see I was pretty serious, when she brought the sandwich she still had that stupid mocking smile in her face and I got pretty annoyed by that, and it got even worse when I understood that she started telling to another waitress what I asked for. I know that food can change from country to country and some of the food that foreign people eat I might think it's strange, but a waitress cannot behave like that beacause it will be a loss of the owner and of the restaurant itself. There are some great waitress and some really bad ones, I think the best is to report them to their boss beacause the risk to lose customers if his employees act like that.
@redrover (597)
• United States
28 Feb 10
Wow your waitress was rude. I don't understand how some people can be so rude. Thanks for sharing.
@theonerm5 (365)
• United States
28 Feb 10
You are absolutely right! Some of those waiters/waitress's think they should always get a tip and don't even need to earn it. Well I understand it's a low paying job and tips help but I still think they need to earn their tips by providing quality service. In fact I believe those who don't provide good service should be replaced by those who will. There are plenty of people who are hard working individuals and need jobs. I don't see the point in keeping somebody who doesn't do a good job. What you did was not rude but it was in my opinion the right thing to do!
@redrover (597)
• United States
28 Feb 10
Thanks for responding. I haven't seen her there since so maybe they got rid of her.
@newtalent (1114)
• United States
28 Feb 10
I can understand where you are coming from. She should not of talked to your friends to get your answer. If she had a problem then another waitress should have taken over. I know they make only a small amount of money an hour. Way below minimum wage. She might of gotten in trouble or written up for behaving badly to you. I would of just not written anything and just left a zero in the tip line. I know people can have bad day, but there are ways to handle it correctly. if it bothered you that bad I would of asked her if she had a problem with the situation or with you. I would not go to that waitress anymore. I guess you could say it was diplomatic. No confrontation, direct ,and to the point. I am sure you shocked (made them laugh) the person tallying up the sales and tips for the night.
@redrover (597)
• United States
28 Feb 10
I thought about just not putting anything in the tip box. But I wanted her to know why there was no tip. Thanks for your input :)
@alinka (184)
• Greece
28 Feb 10
Hmmm....nope.I think it was the nicest way to handle the situation as you said.But after that i think what my friends use to say about me,as a joke.Im the nightmare of any salesman ,restaurant because i make my choice very difficult and the bad service irritates me,so bad service leads to no tip.
@redrover (597)
• United States
28 Feb 10
This was the only time I haven't left a tip. I am very understanding but enough is enough!!!
@kprofgames (3018)
• United States
28 Feb 10
Nope, you weren't in the least. I agree with you that she was trying to cover for herself because of her slip, but to completey ignore you so much that she asks your friend the very things she should have been asking you - to me that was out of line. The waitress made a mistake and then carried it further. I think it was funny what you wrote in the tip box. If anything it will give the waitress more to chew on the next time they feel they want to ignore a person that would be giving them a tip.
@redrover (597)
• United States
28 Feb 10
I hope next time she is ignoring someone she remembers my note and treats them better. Thanks for sharing your opinion :)
@jesssp (2742)
• Canada
1 Mar 10
If I was in that position, having the waitress ask someone else what I wanted, I would never have done what you did - because I would have left the restaurant before we even ordered. I can understand that she was embarrassed about calling you mam but the right thing for her to do would be to apologize and move on. If anything she should have paid you more attention to make up for the initial slip up. I don't blame you at all for leaving that 'tip' but personally I would have said something to her a lot sooner. You were much less 'rude' than I would have been!
• United States
1 Mar 10
No I don't think you were rude do what you have to do and I think she was being rude. Also people have different opinions so that's probably why your mom and brother said that.
• Romania
1 Mar 10
not, totally not. I don`t give tip to persons who don`t treat me with respect, who talk to me with rudeness or make me feel bad because of their service or behaviour. For example I went to a restaurant an the waiter was very rude, he was talking as he was superior and tired of his job, and I wanted to cause him problems. I don`t understand people who do their job without putting some interest and loving what they are doing. In my country happens very often, when the shop assistants are rude or don`t want to help you. I don`t give tip only when that person looks me down or his behaviour isn`t as it should be. What have you done was very fair.
@sjvenden27 (1850)
• United States
1 Mar 10
No you were not rude.. A tip is something that is earned.. Too many people have a hand out to receive but not willing to give.. When I am in a restaurant and the service is bad I do not leave a tip. But if the service is really bad but I just to not want to communicate the problem or in a hurry I will leave 2 cent. Why? Then the person that was servicing me knows that I just didn't forget a tip, but they didn't earn a full tip..Granted waiters and waitresses rely on those tips to make an income.. But it is no different then any other job, if you do not do the work you do not get paid period.. I have worked in Food service, and have received nice tips and none at all.. its just part of the job.. If a waitress really want a tip they will do their job right period.. Has nothing to do with being rude!! Rewarding bad behavior does not make sense in my book!!
@kialele (126)
• United States
1 Mar 10
That happened to my friend before, when he was having a long hair but the waitress thought he is a girl. My friend was really angry and he yell to the waitress and didn't pay the tip. Well, from the point of my friend's view, he just want to stand from his side, he thought it was kinda of insult. But the waitress was not really mean to do so. So if I were you, I probably will also be angry with that, but I will also pay the tip and write some comment or tell the captain about that.
@gracie04 (4555)
• Philippines
1 Mar 10
I think that is the best way to handle the situation... the reason why the waitress acted that way is maybe she was agitated with what she has done (addressing you maam instead of sir) however, she should have talked to you inspite of what happened because it's kind of rude.. it's okay not to give tips when you're eating out particularly if you became unhappy or uncomfortable during your stay in the restaurant...