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At Your Service: The Tip Jar

Our busy season is almost over. Families have spent their vacation money and are now saving up to buy new school supplies and autumn clothing. Does this mean they are cutting back on eating out? No, they're just tipping less.

I don't blame families for saving where they can.I am not offended if everyone at the table chooses to drink water and declines an appetizer. You get on my bad side when you feel it is okay to sit at my table for more than two hours and let your kids throw everything on the floor and then tip less than 10 percent.

Now, one in five people truly may not understand how to tip. Fine. That leaves 80 percent of you with no excuse.

You want to save money? So do I . . . but I need to make money in order to save it. Let's work together here.


I have noticed a trend recently that is even worse than screaming children dipping their chubby little fingers into the parmesan cheese containers.

Worse even than hillbillies telling me our pizza is "backwards-like."

It is educated, articulate adults who abbreviate words that have no business being abbreviated.

If you want to shorten words while texting, fine, that is no business of mine; but there is no reason for this phenomenon to cross over into face-to-face conversation.

The first time a woman told me the pizza was "delish," I stood there for a moment like an idiot waiting for her to finish.

But no. She was done.

Apparently it was too much work to utter that last syllable.

One young lady used "obvs" and "vacay" in the same sentence - and I almost kicked her out.

I am not one to tell people how to speak; I just don't understand why people choose to dumb language down to a point where we will soon revert to grunting at each other.

This doesn't mean you must speak only in polysyllabic words. I'm not that much of an elitist. I won't complain if you say the food is "good" or "awesome." You can give me a thumbs-up; hell, even talking to me with your mouth full is acceptable. Just please, don't make me wonder if you're making up a new language.


I never know what to say to people who do not like their pizza. If it's not burned and it's what you asked for, that's where my responsibility ends. You will not get your pizza for free just because you discovered deep dish pizza is "not your thing."

I've gone to restaurants before and not liked what I ordered, but I ate it because I was hungry or bagged it up and gave it away.

Sure, it's no fun to spend money on food you don't eat but it's a risk you take when you dine out.

When I was still a fresh-faced new server and someone told me the food was not to his or her liking, I would panic. Now, when someone shrugs or pushes the food away, I merely offer to box it up.

Free food is not option. You can, however, get another refill on your diet soda. And I'll drop off the check while I'm at it. Pay me whenever you're ready.


The pseudononymous Patty Hunter brings you tales from the front lines of serverdom every week. She welcomes your comments. Catch up with the rest of this series and its companions in our Life At Work archive.


Posted on August 6, 2009

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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