UnderCover Waitress: Shoosh! Don't Say "Tip"

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Shoosh! Don't Say "Tip"

Working as a waitress is like being in a play. We love serving you. We'd do it for free 'cuz we love it so much, and when you leave a tip it's a nice "thank you" thrown our way. We certainly don't expect it.

Yeah, right.

Quiet evening, had a six-top of ladies enjoying food and friendship. Was glad to have them, especially considering it was not busy. Easy to give them good service and they seemed to have a lovely time.

When it was time to pay the bill, I was handed a couple of credit cards and some cash by the leader of the group. She gave me clear instructions how to take payment. Her instructions did not include tip, but at that point I was not worried. I followed her instructions and returned all of the change to her.

As they were leaving, the receipt on the table said "cash" on the tip line. There was no cash in the bill folder. So, yeah, I started to worry. I needed to say something but did not want to be rude, so I approached the leader of the group and gently stated that I wanted to make sure that I took her payment correctly. I clearly made it sound like I thought I had made a mistake and wanted to make sure I had followed her instructions correctly.

She yelled at me. "Did I not write 'cash' on the receipt?" I was standing there holding an empty bill folder with the receipt inside. "I left it on the table! Oh, I'll go get it."

She rushed over to the table so she could pocket some of the tip that they had hidden under the sugar caddy, which explains why I didn't see it. Most people just leave it in the bill folder with the receipt.

After docking my pay because I dared to voice my confusion, she went and told the hostess that "we had big problems with our waitress!" Fortunately, the hostess was well aware that the table had been quite happy until just before they left, and wanted to hear my side of what happened. (It also helps to work with the same people for a long time; they get to know your strengths and weaknesses.)

The bottom line was that one never mentions or even alludes to the tip. We all are supposed to pretend that we are not being paid for providing service. So, I could have made $3 an hour waiting on a six-top over a miscommunication instead of asking for clarification. The customers found my confusion highly offensive. What baloney. I'll bet if her paycheck was ever incorrect, she went strait to her boss for 'clarification.'

Not only is restaurant theater, it's dysfunctional. 

No comments :

Post a Comment

Please share your thoughts.