I Work Hard For The Money

| December 9, 2010
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I was faced with the unusual, but not altogether rare, situation last week where I was over-tipped. And when I say “over-tipped” I don’t mean a generous table that had left me more than the typical 18-20%. I’m pretty sure that my customers at this particular table left me a fifty dollar bill when in fact they meant to leave a twenty. Obviously it is possible that they were immensely impressed with my waiting capabilities and wanted to leave me an extra thirty dollars, but my keen insight lead me to believe they had goofed. So here’s the question I pose to all you servers (and customers) out there: would you say something?

Typically in the aforementioned situation I would absolutely say something OR I would take the change back and let them figure it out. This particular table however specifically stated that they did not need any change. I chalked it up to dumb luck, or karma as I like to think, and went on with my work.

Now let’s reverse the scenario. At my establishment we, as servers, are responsible for making all of our own drinks, alcoholic or not. Sometimes when it gets busy we may rely on the help of a fellow co-worker to make a drink if we are “in the weeds”. Occasionally we may forget to charge a table for that cocktail, beer or soda. As a customer, would you tell your server it’s not on the bill, or would you just assume it was your lucky day, pay your tab, and be off as quick as a prom dress? No one has a problem telling their server when they are accidentally over-charged for something or didn’t realize curly fries were a dollar extra, but I’m curious if those same people would speak up when the odds were in their favor.

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Category: COLUMNS

About the Author ()

I graduated with an Art degree from a small liberal arts college, did a bit of traveling and moved to Annapolis from Baltimore about seven years ago. I currently manage a well-known Annapolis restaurant, serve and bartend. I live downtown and I like sunsets and long walks on the beach :)
  • Fred Shubbie®™©

    I get free drinks all the time and assume it is a ‘gift’ from server or bartender. I increase his tip exponentially for his gift(s). No harm , no foul. Everybody’s happy–except for maybe the owner.