Vengeance is yours!

If you ever worked for gratuities you’ve felt the compulsion to seek revenge against bad tippers, I know I did. Sometimes I crossed the line. While I never enhanced a patron’s entree with my DNA I lost reservations, told customers that their credit cards had been declined, stuck patrons at horrible tables and slipped into my arrogant John Cleese “waiter from hell” mode. Sometimes it was fun. But sometimes it was all I could do to stay sane

But I’ve told my story. Today I’m interested in what you, my fellow tipped workers of America, have done to wreak vengeance on customers. Are you a waiter who ever spit in a customer’s soup? Added a pubic garnish to a drink? Are you a hotel maid you left something other than a mint on a pillow? A sky cap who sent someone’s luggage to Minsk instead of Miami Beach? Are you a car valet who pulled a “Ferris Bueller” with someone’s Maserati? A taxi driver who took the long route or a limo driver who just refused to pick someone up? Maybe you’re a furniture delivery guy who “accidentally” scratched someone’s new couch or a Starbucks barista who substituted heavy cream for soy milk in some socialite’s chai latte? A hairstylist who gave someone a new bald spot? Tell us in the comments section! Let ‘er rip! As I learned in my seminary days, confession is good for the soul. (And entertaining.)

And If you’re a tipped worker who’d  like to be interviewed for my book just email me at waiterrant@yahoo.com. Just like the confessional, confidentiality is assured. Just don’t tell me you murdered someone.

Let the badness out!


Comments

Vengeance is yours! — 341 Comments

    • ld just like to say that personally I haever tampered with a customers food other than the harmless classics, ex. shaking up their soda. I am a delivery driver, been doing it now for just over 3 years. Although I do not do such things I understand why many people have and continue to do so. Those of you that are utterly shocked that anyone would do such a thing have obviously not worked in food service long enough if at all. If you ask me it is more shocking how many people lack any sort of common courtesy. Stop sending your 10 year old son to the door to stiff me and do it yourself, if you leave your kid home with money to order out teach them to tip, although i wouldnt advise sending a stranger to your home when your child/children are home ALONE! If your pizza is late there is no need to yell at me you just make yourself look like a jackass. I cant do anything about the fact that we are busy and you live 20 mins away. Feel free to pick it up yourself. A delivery driver makes more money the more deliveries they take so its not like we are just casually taking a drive around town. If you think the job is brainless try it out, i promise you will be made fun of for atleast 4 to 5 months because of how slow you are. Most of my customers are pleasant, I give everyone the exact same service untill they give me a reason not to. You dont have to be a big tipper just dont be rude. Do not talk down to me, if you are on the phone tell them to hold on. It is very rude to be on your phone while I am trying to greet you and give you the total etc. Do not order a delivery on the internet 2 mins before we close. Anyone in food service will tell you it is extremely rude! I do have a life I would like to go home at some point, I do not appreciate losing an hour of my time because you want pizza at midnight. Yes we are open till 11 but be reasonable, if you order at 10 55 I wont be leaving with it till after we are already closed! If you have late night munchies get something out of the fridge and take your fat, late night munching a## back to bed. People that order that late and do nit tip, beware you are on my list. Guess that was a long enough rant, I could go on all day. Moral of the story just dont be a douche, we are just trying to do our jobs like anyone else, it isnt our fault we have to rely on tips, blame the government, blame the corporation, just dont take it out on us we have bills to pay and we provide you with a service. Those of you who think you are doing us a favor just by ordering are sorely mistaken, if you do not tip I lose money, not to mention you just wasted my time.

  1. I’m assuming this only applies to repeat-offenders? How can you get revenge on someone when the tip is pretty much the last interaction between waiter and customer? Should I flick my waiter a twenty upon being seated saying, “I’ll have my meal booger-free, thanks”?

    Lately I’m sensing a real “us vs them” attitude on this blog and it’s making me nervous.

    I can imagine restaurant patronage going down in the coming weeks based solely on the comments that are bound to follow…

  2. I think this blog has established that not tipping is bad, but anyone who thinks that spitting in someone drink/food, adding hair of any sort to anything on purpose, or somehow has done anything which could have potential health repercussions to anyone deserves to rot.

    I bet a lot of you who end up with bad tips bring it on yourselves

  3. Wowwy you guys take your lives so serious! I don’t necesarilly think that was the point here! He wants to hear entertaining stories….not your morals here. This is supposed to be “fun”. You sure rained on that parade! Maybe anyone who has negative, ethical, comments should start their own blog. I don’t even know how you find this one amusing if you feel that way! Weird…

  4. My co-workers used to sub regular for decaf and vice versa. I strongly discouraged this because I wasn’t interested in seeing a customer have a heart attack.

  5. Thank You, Bien! Geez for a secnd there I thought I had stumbled onto the the Pseudo-Nazi Broccoli-Murderers’ weblog by accident… As to the original question: the worst i ever did was return a patron’s crappy tip with a snide “looks like you need this more than me.” But then I stopped waiting tables after just a couple years; not long enough to get REALLY jaded (or criminally vengeful).

  6. Yeah, Bien, because stories in which people endanger others by sharing germs, substituting food when there could be allergies and just generally destroy their belongs are just SO funny.

  7. Yes Stu, they are quite amusing. At least to many of us. :)

    I worked in a coffee shop and the worst we’d do is substitute decaf for those deserving in the morning, and caf for those deserving in the evening.

  8. TBH,
    As a waiter I cannot think of anytime I saw someone “add dna” To food. Ive seen food take a long time to get put in the computer. I have seen food rung up for more than it should have cost. My favorite was a waiter who always upgraded liquor purchases to premium. But he did that for everyone not just people he was mad at. The lesson is if you are trusting someone to handle your food, you should probably be nice to them.

  9. i personally havent done anything to a persons food but i knew of a chef in NYC that, if something was sent back, he would tea-bag it(sorry for the crude terminology)

    i only worked under him for 3 days.

  10. Are “revenge stories” really the result of bad tipping? Any stories I have heard have typically been the result of a customer acting like an asshole, not the result of a customer not tipping. I mean, if a customer established a repeat pattern of poor tips/not tipping, especially at a restaurant, then maybe. But bodily fluids because someone doesn’t tip their hotel maid or barista a couple of times? That seems extreme.

  11. On one occasion as a barista, with a repeat bad customer (who also happened to get caught stealing) I simply looked her in the eye and said, “We’ve got a problem, I’m not going to serve you and neither is anyone else.” For some reason, she suddenly remembered that she “didn’t realize” her daughter and she had forgotten to pay for some items on a previous visit and paid for them. Public embarrassment doesn’t always work, but it did in that case.

  12. OK, I’ve never admitted this to anyone before: I licked a customer’s knife before giving it to her.

    Why? Because, when she dropped the one she’d been given on the floor and needed a new one, SHE POKED ME WITH THE FORK SHE WAS EATING WITH TO GET MY ATTENTION. (Did I mention this wasn’t even my table?) So I went to the back to get her a new knife, gave it a going over with my tongue, then presented it to her (lovingly wrapped in clean napkins) and said, “I cleaned this one special just for you.”

  13. Back when I was a barista, we had a serious problem customer. Before I get judged, he was a complete asshole, who would call us constantly and ask questions he knew the answer to. He would try to make us serve him things, even though his mother would then call and check what he’d eaten, or come in and yell at us for letting him buy sweets. He would sit in the upstairs and make us bring food to him. He would purposely touch customers on his way around the cafe, drop his cane on purpose (he didn’t even actually use it) and wait for someone to help him, then touching them far too much in the process of getting his cane from them. The only saving grace of this man’s custom was that he was blind and apparently couldn’t tell any of the baristas apart by voice. We used to see him coming, and have silent wars and negotiations over who was stuck with him that day. Usually, if he asked for a certain item that his mom didn’t want him to have, or *we* didn’t want him to have, we’d tell him we were sold out. If he called and asked, we’d usually trick him into not coming to the cafe(“no, we’re closed this afternoon for a private party, sorry”). I think my manager once saw him coming and locked the doors till he decided we were closed.

    He was the only customer I ever treated badly in any way; generally I went out of my way to make deserving customers happier and just gave the assholes neutral service. But that guy was a plague.

  14. LR, that hilarious. One of the worse things I’ve done was to rinse a customer’s cup with some leftover oven cleaner, then made a cappuccino into it.

    This was one of those “I know the owner” types who repeatedly tried to scam free coffees with some expired gym card, and refused to pay 50c for an upgrade in size (“but I AAAALLLLWAAAAAYYYSSSS get it at this price)

    I wonder if the caustic chemicals reacted with her acidic tongue and made her head asplode.

  15. We had repeat offenders that had no class or tipping etiquette. They would not look us in the eye, they ordered house merlot with ice and the same thing every Friday night.

    I happened to be in another restaraunt and they walked in. Before I left I wrote a note describing just what waiters think of people that tip below 10% and schooled them on things like tip-out and why they can expect shitty service anywhere they go, because we talk. The lady was on the phone when I dropped the note on her table in a check presenter on my way out the door. (As she had been for the 30 minutes that she was there.)

    She was so pissed she wanted the manager to give her free food. He didn’t because I was not his employee. From then on out though, I heard she left at least 15%!!!

  16. I have worked in restaurants, both fine dining and otherwise, and have NEVER seen anyone put “DNA” in a customer’s food. BUT, if customers are nice, they generally get better treatment than the jerks- bigger portions, better alcohol, free dessets, better tables, and faster service.

    If you are a jerk, it will come back to bite you.

  17. I worked at a county club as a teenager.

    If the bartender didn’t like one of the members, he’d take his false teeth out and swish them around in the filled glass before the drink was served.

  18. As a few other people have said, while working as a barista, I’ve substituted decaf for regular when a customer has been particularly venomous. I would never, EVER replace regular with decaf, though. Some people have conditions wherein caffeinated drinks are capable of causing great harm, even death. Not cool, folksies!

  19. I used to work as a bartender in a hotel. I had a few customers that came in 3 days in a row. Gave them great service the first night and most of the group tipped well, except for two people drinking Bacardi Limon and diet. They were rude and tipped less than 5 percent. So, the next two nights when they came in, they had to come down to the bar to order their drinks (even though I went up to serve the rest of the group) and there was almost no alcohol in their drinks. I was surprised they came back the third night, but you bet they got the same treatment as night two!

  20. I worked in fast food for three years in high school. Occasionally, I would get tipped by older customers who needed assistance with getting food or whatever, and that was nice. I made sure that those people would get the service that I knew they needed the next time they came, stop by to have a little chat if we were slow, the works. Then there were the young’ins.

    The restaurant I worked at did not have a playland, and customers generally either kept their kids under control by either making sure they behaved or keeping them contained in a corner booth. One family I remember in particular came in as we were closing (5 minutes to spare), demanded food and then saw me in civvies running the vacuum. When the manager told them that the dining room was closed, they grudgingly agreed to sit on the patio, but sent their 5 & 3 year-olds in to get the food and condiments. The kids, of course, dropped the food and trashed the condiment island. The manager escorted the children outside, and served them the dropped food. We cleaned up and waited for them to be finished. And waited. And waited. At 11 (we closed at 10) we took up a collection to replace the tray and whatever they might break outside, told them that we were closing and that the minors working had to go home, shut off all the lights and left.

  21. If someone is just really rude to me and I’m not busy, I’ll sometimes leave the plate under the heater for a few minutes. I’ll keep forgetting to refill their drinks. I’ll forget to bring a mint with the check. And I’ll top it off by wishing them a real nice evening with my biggest shark smile. Small victories. Very small.

  22. Rather the opposite of what you are looking for, but as a (now former) limo driver I once picked-up a young couple at the airport and started heading to a private residence in a high-zoot mountain resort town.

    I could quickly tell from their conversation that the young couple were(much) less-well-off friends of the homeowners we were heading towards. As I dropped them at the residence (probably a $7 million home), the husband asked with some hesitation if the tip was included with the ride (it wasn’t but was arranged for and paid by the homeowner). I just couldn’t add to the financial woes of the couple, so just told them the tip was included and wished them a pleasant stay.

    Good karma though, next guest tipped me $100.

  23. I had a 20 year old guy sit in my section, he was celebrating a birthday with two 19 year old girls. He orders a very nice ($300) bottle of vintage champagne. Through the evening, he felt the only way to get my attention was to snap his fingers at me. (GRRRRRRRRRRR….must not stab him.) Instead, I killed ‘em with kindness. They were young and didn’t know any better. Let the next server take a pound of flesh.

    Anyhoo, Buddy pays the bill and leaves me $3.73 tip on a $425 bill. They finished only half of the champagne and wanted to take the rest home with them….it’s allowed where I work.

    I poured a nice glass worth for myself and found the biggest-longest non-champagne cork I could find and crammed-pounded it in past the level of the lip back into the bottle. It wasn’t coming out. Then I took my cork screw and repeatedly drove it into the cork so it comprimised the integrity of the cork and would shatter if he tried to use a cork screw to remove it.

    The only way that cork was coming out is if you took a hammer and shattered the neck. This guy was too young and stupid to know about sabering champagne.

    I didn’t get upset…I chalked it up to my charity for the month. The very next evening I had a fantastic table who more than compensated for this moron.

    Remember…you are professionals…don’t spit in people’s food.

  24. In my seven years’ experience as a waiter, I’ve come up with my own way of dealing with my least favorite regulars (you know the ones…you’re sure that God must be punishing you by making them repeat customers). I am so ridiculously thorough and achingly sweet to them that they can’t complain about anything, and if they do, they’re always the ones that come across as snarky jerks. The trick is to be just short of out-and-out making fun of them, but with just enough saccharine that all other guests in earshot know that they must be asshats.

    Also, there is no greater pleasure than my manager congratulating me and treating me with respect because I put up with the regulars from hell. That gives me far more satisfaction than any DNA presents would.

    P.S. I’d love to be interviewed. I’ve served in Memphis, LA, and NY.

  25. When I saw a group of stereotypical non-tippers come to the door I’d purposefully dirty any tables I had open so the hostess couldn’t sit them in my section. I’d then clean the tables again in hopes good tippers would come along.

  26. I agree with Alanna.
    Though I have been guily of a crop dust or two.
    The worst I did was when I was younger and working for a pizza chain. At the time, I was in a management postion that would require me to be in both FOH & BOH.
    If a jerk ordered a pizza, I would open a can of anchovies (or two) and pour the thick, slimy brine all over the pie and wish the guest a nice evening. Or, if they ordered jalapenoes… they got them! Sauce… jalapenoes. Cheese… jalepenoes. Pepperoni… jalepenoes. And I’m not talking about a few here and there, either! That sucker would be so hot, no one could eat it!
    I AWAYS based my “revenge” on attitude, ratehr than tips. The tips always seem to work out. One would tip less-than-ideal, and another more-than-expected. As I grew older, I just gave my stellar service to everyone and “the basic package” to the jerks.
    “Hi. What do you want to drink? What do you want to eat? Here’s your food. Here’s your check. Have a nice night.”
    And that was it.
    Everyone else got personable, attentive service. The tips always seemed to work themselves out when I just treated everyone the same regardless of what they tipped in the past. Someone always came along and tipped fat and made up the windfall. And everyone left satisfied.

  27. One lady at my work was notorious for being really nasty, complain-y, and asking for way too many ridonkulous requests. She left one day and forgot her hideous old glasses. When she came back asking if she had left them, I pretended I had not seen them. I feel guilty about it now, but hey, she needed new ones anyway…. :S

  28. Stale beer. This was an Irish Pub, so you would scrape the tops off the Kilkenny, Boddingtons, Guiness etc during the night. We normally chucked the dregs of course, but every once in a while I would happily charge some sexist loser $8 to drink slops.

  29. I work midnights at a local diner chain, and I’ve never screwed with someone’s food. Usually bad customers in my restaurant just take a backseat to the good ones (waiting for refills, leaving their food in the window for a bit, letting the only cook finish his smoke break before telling him we put check in, etc). One of the morning lifers has a story from about 20 years ago when she first started about a woman who got so angry at her customer (I can’t remember what he did to incur her wrath) that she dipped her used tampon in her coffee. Personally, I think it’s just a myth, but it’s horrifying none the less.

  30. That last one reminds me of the waiter in Australia who got so fed up with a bitchy customer that he spiked her drink with LSD. IIRC, he got arrested for it.

  31. I know these stories are all great, but I agree with a lot of the comments. NEVER EVER have I left my DNA on someone’s food!

    If someone behaves a jerk, they’ll get some extra “crushed” croutons on their salad or lots of onions. Sometimes I’ll squish the biscuits we serve with every meal or a lot of times, if they already left the tip…and it was bad, I’ll get them “to-go” waters…which usually ends up being lukewarm tap water without a lot of ice..actually only about 3 ice cubes.

    We do have a couple of customers that come in regularly and never tip, but order the same thing every single time and if not everything is perfect they complain. So, I go out of my way to make everything perfect including bringing them the perfect check at the perfect time, with a perfectly sarcastic “Thank You” and a smile so wide they won’t want me as a server again.

    I try to give everyone the same exact service, but people that come into a restaurant about 20 minutes before closing time are obnoxious! They sit and debate about what they’ll have for dinner and then ask for everything extra. Extra Ranch dressing, extra cocktail sauce, extra biscuits, more ice for the sweet tea etc etc. People don’t understand that at the end of the night, all you want to do is go home…and you have a lot of sidework to do that takes up time, but if there are customers, you have to neglect that sidework. Well, sometimes I just start vacuuming right next to their table while they are eating or tell them we’re out of sweet tea because it’s the end of the night or turn off the music and make noise in the kitchen… I love serving tables

  32. Taxic, you’re hysterical! I would love to have seen the customer’s face as she was being treated for burns to her throat in the emergency room later! Man, that’s so funny I can’t imagine the police wouldn’t find it just as amusing as they were arresting you later for assault.

  33. “I used to work as a bartender in a hotel….they were rude and tipped less than 5 percent.”

    just for the benefit of the UK-ians, what is the rationale for tipping bartenders? Waiters etc. get tipped because you sit at a table and they basically fetch and carry for you, but I’d no more think of tipping a bartender than I would someone behind a counter in a shop

  34. I used to be a service technician for a large cable company. Tips weren’t expected but definitely a pleasant surprise. It was rude customers that incurred our wrath. There are more than a few ways to get revenge but these two were the most common.

    1: It was the companies policy that service calls were free unless the customer caused the problem or the issue was their own equipment. Now whether they were charged for the service call or not was up to the technicians discretion. An asshole was almost guaranteed to pay the $60ish fee while polite or pleasant customers never paid the fee no matter what the cause was.

    2: This is reserved for the super assholes. There is cable meant to be buried underground and cable meant for general purposes. The underground cable had a layer of a silicone inside to provide protection from water. When replacing a line that goes through the attic to a cable outlet, we would use the underground cable instead of the general purpose cable so that when the attic would heat up during the summer it would liquify the silicone compound and the sticky, runny result would drip down the inside of the cable and out their outlets.

    Like I said though, there are a million other ways we would get revenge on the super-assholes.

    You had already emailed me about being interviewed but I think you got busy and forgot. The email I put here is still the best way to reach me.

  35. Why on earth dont you people just raise the prices and pay the waiters a bloody wage they can live on. The American fixation on tipping and the resulting stomach churningly over acted fake sincerity in customer service is disgraceful.

  36. This thread has convinced me never, ever, ever to eat out again. Ever.

    It’s bad enough that the kitchen is — more than likely — an unsanitary cesspool; at least it’s out of sight and thus mostly out of mind. But now, I also have to wonder whether the waiter futzed with my food due to some perceived slight.

    I tip 25%, but I’m sure I look like the “stereotypical non-tipper” to wait-staff inclined to think that way. So, I could be screwed from the word go. And then I have to worry if any of my words might have been misinterpreted each time I deal with the waiter? “Did I sound like a smart-ass?” “Did he think I was being sarcastic?” “Did my smile look sincere?” How the heck can you enjoy a meal when you know you’re one mis-step away from Saliva Soup? Why would I *pay* for that kind of miserable experience?

  37. JOSH
    “Why on earth dont you people just raise the prices and pay the waiters a bloody wage they can live on. The American fixation on tipping and the resulting stomach churningly over acted fake sincerity in customer service is disgraceful.”
    B/c I don’t thin most people could withstand over a 100% price increase.
    I live in a tipped state min wage. Servers &Bar make $2.13/hr, host & bus make $2.40/hr, Togo – $3.00/hr. Just figuring the server increase alone –

    avg night 15 servers, approx 5 hrs work = $160.
    Min wage 15 servers, 5 hrs work = $544

    Now figure in the host, bus, and togo pay to raise your $10 – $30 meal…. what do you think it will end up at?

  38. #32 suck it . Obviously you have no clue. I myself have been bartending for thirteen years. Its the the decaf instead of brewing a new pot. Also the simple there so drunk you know you need to water down there drinks. Bad tippers and fall down drunks just step it up and you will never have to worry.

  39. I work at Starbucks, and in my neighbourhood we get a lot of pretentious latte drinkers. Soy is big but you can’t really switch it with anything ’cause it’s too obvious. I have given people 2% or whole milk secretly when they ask for nonfat, but it’s possible for them to see me do that too. So the easiest thing to do to screw with them is switch around the decaf and regular espresso, ’cause they can’t see what button I push. That or just re-steam milk, or make it too hot/cold. They may complain about the latter and make you do it again (these people have attitude here) but at least with the former I know they’re getting inferior quality milk.

  40. I have waited tables, bartended, and managed restaurants for 20 years. I had a guy who came in every night, drank vodka and tonics, and would always ask for a free refill, because I was the “Best bartender in Durham”. He would bring his friends in, and expect me to hook them all up.
    He once came in 5 minutes after close, and expected service. I hate people with entitlement issues, so I served them a weak one. He gave me a tip that amounted to less than a dollar, all coins. He then complained to our owner, who then barred him from the place.

  41. Are some of you really suggesting anyone has the power to change the billion dollar restaurant industry in America?

    However someone made a mistake up thread, the dollars are the same, whatever combination of tip and retail food price. And of course, the big tippers subsidize the bad tippers in the present system. The problem is forcing restaurant owners to pay waiters the same as they used to make with tips.

  42. I, intentionally, did not read the previous comments because I feel the need to comment that all servers “are not (created) equal” – just as all customers are not. I’m sure there are many reasons for servers to seek revenge, so to speak – or – it seems literally! (gross!) However, how is a customer able to speak up or out other than in the form of a gratuity?

  43. I’ve served for many years and have never put DNA in any food or drinks(or seen any coworkers). I have had quite a few little revenge moments over the years…

    Years ago, a woman ordered a hot ham and cheese sandwich. The sandwich came with tomato, it stated so on the menu. She did not say “no tomatoes” when she ordered. When I delivered the food she slung the plate back at me and said
    ” I didn’t want tomatoes!! don’t you people ever listen!” So, I took her sandwich to the kitchen to pull off the tomatoes, the sandwich fell on the floor. I picked it up and served it to her anyway. If she were nice about it, and simply asked for a new sandwich since she forgot to mention that she didn’t want tomatoes, I would have been happy to get her another.

    I used to bartend and we always gave jerks and non-tippers the weakest drinks. We would pretend not to notice when they needed a refill. We also used the cheapest liquor when they asked for top shelf. We, of course, charged them for top shelf liquor.

    When flies landed in the drinks, we would fish them out with straws and serve the drink.

    At a previous restaurant job, anyone who came in minutes before closing got microwaved food. Mostly because the kitchen staff had already cleaned their equipment and didn’t want to dirty it.

    At the end of the night when I’m cleaning up, everyone gets decaf, no matter what they ordered.

    I also bend the truth to customers when they ask about our hours. I’m supposed to say that we take our last seating at 9, but I tell them that the kitchen closes at 9 so they won’t make a late reservation.

  44. #42 -we Used to do the same thing in the restaurant I worked in, one guy was nicknamed King Ding due to his skill at cooking anything in a microwave (I dont think I ever saw him use his pots and pans!)

    I always give the bartenders a little tip when getting drinks, they generally tend to remember you when you go back to teh bar and its does help oil the wheels to faster service.

    I have been on the end of very poor service from bartenders in the past, sadly it wasnt best time to annoy me :( I spent nearly an hour stood at an near empty bar trying to get the bartenders attention for drinks (little waves, eye contact etc) and I seemed to be the invisible man, eventually an exsasperated sigh from the bartender they came over and sulkily asked what I wanted. I looked them dead in the eye and said ‘Your manager’. A quiet complaint to the manager and we got our drinks for free.
    Suffice to say we no longer frequent that bar at all.

    The worst I have done is when working in the kitchen was have a bartender ask for a Carribean Po’Boy while we were swamped then have a petulant strop cos we wouldnt cook it as it had been taken off the menu weeks ago because it was just too time consuming. we made it for him but gave it a liberal dose of Tabasco sauce before searing it and also chose the last of the limp salad from the counter. He thought it was the ebst one he had ever had!

  45. Are some of you really suggesting anyone has the power to change the billion dollar restaurant industry in America?
    You don’t change a whole system at once. But any restaurant owner can decide to switch his own system.

  46. Oh goodness, I had a table tonight I WILL get revenge on if they ever show up again. A table of four and the two males have their pops refilled no less than four times. I made a small joke the last time to one of them saying, “wow, you are a machine!” and all four looked up at me like I was speaking Japanese.

    Then they go to pay, their female partners split the check 50/50. One of them tips nothing and the other tips $1.50. (on a $60 bill) TH

  47. Oh, where to begin…I don’t mess around with health code related revenge, I have a bit of a conscience. But it’s the little things that always make me smile when an asshole leaves. Obviously it’s self-defeating to ruin a person’s experience intentionally – they tip poorly, speak badly of the place to friends, whatever. I always try to salvage the situation first, but once I know it’s out the window, it’s on.

    -short pouring drinks, sometimes combined with downgrading liquor, especially when the drinks are foo-foo and don’t taste much like booze anyway.
    -pouring tap beer with a huge head.
    -”forgetting” to clear dirty dishes/glasses. AKA the Pigpen treatment.
    -the 15 minute “I’ll be right with you”
    -”Sorry, I can’t change that TV to the game you’d like to watch, some people are already watching what’s on.” – this one’s a favorite. Nothing better than saying NO to an asshole simply because they’re an asshole.
    -turning a 10-minute wait on a to-go order into a 20-minute wait. I don’t expect 20% on a to-go, but stiffing me is not going to get you out the door quickly, especially when you’re “in a hurry”.
    -the Jekyll & Hyde treatment – be super nice and attentive to someone in the asshole’s party or within earshot of the asshole, while generally ignoring the asshole. Backfires if the asshole takes the check.
    -putting the cordless phone down near an asshole at the bar, then doing my best to avoid answering it. Seriously annoying. Especially effective on nights that we’re showing PPV fights like UFC or boxing, because the phone rings literally nonstop with people asking if we’re showing the fight, charging cover, canIgettatable, etc.
    -charging for as much as possible that is defensible based on the menu. Making sure every extra condiment, drink, etc is rung up. Normally I’d never charge someone for condiments or extras, but give me a reason and I will.
    -charging for soft drinks. Normally would never charge someone for a soda at the bar if he or his buddies are also drinking booze (designated driver? rehab? no worries I got ya). Be a dick, shake your empty cup, etc, and I’ll gladly charge you for it.
    -fake 86-ing something. Again, the joy of saying NO.
    -cutting off alcohol service because the patron “seems intoxicated”. Legally defensible judgement call = awesome.
    -giving bad recommendations for “Where’s the cool place to go out tonight?” Love sending good ol’ southern boys to the gay bar district. Annoying sorority girls to the pudgy male yuppie hangouts. Etc.
    -finding out that assholes are heading toward a bar where a friend of mine works, calling to give them a headsup so they can replicate my efforts in de-assholification of our valued guests.

  48. To be honest, I was much more likely to rip off the management than the customers – not ring in cash alcohol sales, that kind of thing. I was always throwing food or beer at the customer by accident, so it never occurred to me to do anything on purpose.

  49. Back in the 80′s an old friend of mine worked at a Pizza Hut in London. One family was giving him a massive run-around for no other reason than their daughter (about 8) was making a scene. When he took their pizza to the table, he elected that he would nick a slice of pepperoni before dropping it on the table. As he did so, the family all sat there with the jaws hitting the floor – he had a string of cheese going from his mouth to the pizza!

    Needless to say he was fired about 10 mins later!

  50. Well, I had been working hard, waitressing in Singapore for 5 years. Though we don’t depend on tips, it’s certainly a great help to our low pay. If you ask any waitress here, they’d say that tips are important, though we’re paid a salary because service charge doesn’t go to the wait staff.

    So in my case, when a guest is very rude or unkind towards me (I don’t expect tips, so I only ask for respect from guests..), I tend to delay their orders, charge them a more expensive price for their drinks (We have the happy hour prices and ‘normal’ prices), I can choose to deny them their complimentary ice cream or drinks – little things like that. I’d deliberately key in “Weak” in Custom Modifier for their alcoholic drinks. I’d pay as little attention to the table as possible. Take my own sweet time sending the table their napkins, whatever.

    But I’d never spit or do anything dirty to them. It’s just not my style. Normally, I’d just charge them the normal price for drinks when it’s still happy hour, simply because they were very rude and unkind. Whistling at me to get my attention and all that – Disgusting.

  51. I work in the kitchens and when people send back their food because it’s cold, tasteless, too salty, whatever, depending on the food, my friends and I would kick it around the floor (works only for steaks or chicken chops), or if it’s pasta, wring a little mop water on it.

    Plate it, then send it back out.

  52. ‘Revenge’ can really backfire. I worked briefly in a restaurant where we had a customer who was a real pain. Picky as hell, always asking for something special, and making complaints for the least little thing.
    One of my collegues switched her soy milk for cream. She took one sip of her coffee, and asked ‘are you sure this is soy?’
    He goes yes, absolutely, I just made it, yada yada, so she drinks it.
    10 minutes later she’s throwing up all over everything: the table, the floor, the waiter.
    The guy lost his job, and the restaurant lost a lot of customers, and had to deal with a lawsuit.
    Never muck with peoples requests, alergies can be very serious business. Just fishing out the tomatoes, or nuts, or shrimp, or whatever, from a meal and bringing it back can still leave enough traces of the alergen to kill someone.

  53. As a bartender in a small town I often got little to no tip and was very used to it. One thing I couldn’t put up with, though, was bad tipping in combination with bad behavior. There was one man who would repeatedly come into the bar and think it was fine to grope and spit at me if I walked past him. One night he finally pushed me too far–when he left (though he had only had 2 drinks), I called the cops and said I had just seen a man driving (his vehicle) all over the road and endangering people.

  54. Oh, man have I been guilty of the crop dust, but usually I lay it on my fellow employees. Host stand not giving me enough covers? I’d saunter up, take a gander at Open Table, and then go about my business. Pantry taking too long with desserts? A leisurely stroll to drop off some ice cream dishes for them, because I’m such a nice guy. Fellow servers jealous of how I just sold a $1700 bottle of wine? Step in to join the conversation for a brief moment, then step away. None are safe. Resistance is futile.

    As far as revenge for bad tipping? Like our host I have never enhanced a dish with my own genetic material, even though I have come pretty close.

    On the tamer side, one five top still had almost a full bottle of wine on the table even after the check was paid. After entering my ten percent tip, I went back to the table and proceeded to continue pouring, everyone got a proper top-off except for the host, who got maybe a couple of tablespoons’ worth. One of his companions noted: “Looks like you came up a little short, Andy!”

    By far my worst revenge transgression came from the mind of writer/director Kevin Smith. In his movie “Mallrats,” Jason Lee’s character explains to Jeremy London’s character how to “stink palm” someone. This particular practice involves reaching in to your FOTL’s and scratching your ass before you shake a person’s hand. And I don’t mean just a simple cheek job, I’m talking about damn near violating yourself. So after a ten top of suits drops $1300 on a nice meal during which they ran me ragged and essentially told me to ignore my other guests then left me a grand total of FORTY FIVE FUCKING DOLLARS, you better god damn well believe I made sure to thank the host again and shake his hand on the way out the door. No word on whether or not the gentleman came down with a sudden case of dysentery.

  55. Steve, I miss your posts that were uplifting. Here is an uplifting story for everyone…

    A few years ago, I took my (then eight-year-old) daughter out for a meal at an upscale place. I was not terribly hungry because I had a big lunch, so I just ordered a side salad to eat while she had her meal, and then we ordered a piece of pie to split for dessert. Our server was lovely to us and very accommodating, and I felt badly that the ticket was going to be so low on our table so I tried to not stay for too long. My daughter and I were having a really pleasant time, laughing and joking, and when the pie arrived, the server said “dessert is on me” and when she did, I realized that, with my non-existent meal and our split dessert, she must have thought that I was a single mom (true) struggling to make ends meet and that I had ordered small so I could feed my daughter a nice meal. Her kindness was such a blessing, I ended up leaving a 100% tip and thanking her on the way out with tears in my eyes…I’ll never forget that woman who just wanted to make things a little easier on a single mom.

  56. I was a waitress at a strip club and on fridays most of our customers were barely legal teens that had turned 19 yesterday and wanted to get a sneak peak at some ass.

    Usually a table of 6-8 young men would come in, sit there and stare. They would order 1 beer each, (usually the exact same kind because they had no idea what to order and were still busy staring at boobs).

    A strip club is cash transactions so if one of the little buggers didn’t tip I would wait until a dancer came around to the table to chat to the guys and I’d say “Hey guys this is Candi, Candi this is..” and I would introduce them until I got to the one that didn’t tip. Then I would say to the table and Candi, “but don’t bother with that one, he’s so broke he can’t even tip his waitress, so dont waste your time talking to him”.

    Lesson learned young one.

    I know it sounds harsh but really, what people don’t understand at bars is that if you don’t tip your waitress, she actually LOSES money because at the end of the night she has to tip out the bar and the kitchen and it’s usually about 3-5%. So his beer just cost me 40 cents.

    Other things I would do is add drinks to drunk people’s tabs (everyone does it), change things to premium like that other guy said. Completely ignore a table if they continued not tipping even if they were waving and flailing around like an idiot trying to get my attention. It’s like I was suddenly blind.

    I never ever however, spit, put hair, or anything of that nature at all when I worked and I worked in strip clubs, restaurants, bars.

    I could never live with myself or stomach watching them eat it.

    People need to realize that this site is all in fun. You have a choice don’t read it if you don’t like it. Maybe people will learn to tip the servers appropriately.

    Don’t forget, a waiter or waitress has to constantly be happy and cheerful regardless of what is going on in their lives so sometimes if a waiter is messing up my order and I can see he is genuinely stressed about it. I will over tip him because if everyone tipped him poorly, he would not only have a shitty day but also make no money.

    A little help goes a long way.

  57. Marcy that is a wonderful story! I am a regular at a diner near my house and I always tip 20% or $3, whichever is higher, so even if my bill is $4.06 (like this morning) my tip is $3. Hopefully this (and my laid back attitude!) will keep me out of the revenge circle!

    On that, the best/worst revenge I ever saw was back in the late 90′s I was working in a little Mom n Pop place in NC. This guy came in to eat lunch, but on the way to his table, saw that we had an African American server, and said “I don’t want the N– waiting on me. Don’t seat me there.” When he was seated he told the hostess to bring him tea. She hocked a lugie in it, took it to him and informed him that no one would wait on him, so he could feel free to leave anytime.

  58. The most hated customers in the Hamptons were a wife, husband, and sometimes daughter team who always managed to arrive seconds before closing be it lunch or dinner. Every server in every good place out here knew who they were. While on line for the movies, she was right behind me and after staring at me inquired as to how we knew each other. Well I simply stated the obvious and explained that she was a member of the most hated family in all of long island for her timing, doing so in a cheery way but loud enough so that all others could hear. Laughter ensued.

  59. I would get my revenge with to go boxes. If they were rude and wanted their leftovers to go, I would DUMP the whole plate into a to go box, shrimp tails and prime rib fat and all the plate dressings. I might even give it a little shake or two. One guy I worked with would poke holes in the bottom of the to go box so it would leak out in their lap or car.

  60. I think the stories of waiter vengance are greatly exaggerated – and personally I am sick of hearing about them [some are downright nauseating].

    Having been a waitress for 9 years it never, ever occured to me to ever tamper with someone’s food. If the stories are to be believed then it is a sad statement of human behavior and these people ought to be fired and prosecuted.

    I do know my parents raised me right.

  61. LMAO I grew up in the bar business and have seen alot of things…all of them totally deserved by the patron. Bottom line is: “they” are mostly assholes and “we” have to put up with them. Take revenge as needed. As for the single mom….what a wonderful server! I personally used to feed a homeless woman on a regular basis during off hours and that beautiful lady would actually always come up with a .25 cent tip once in awhile…I hope the lord is still looking over her, or at least some server who has a heart. We all do. “they” just don’t know it.

  62. I do not understand why servers get upset with people who need refills of their drinks. It may suck, but it is in no way bad behavior. Now if they are complaining about having to wait when they drink stuff ridiculously fast that is one thing, but I do not understand how drinking a drink is bad behavior.

    • Asking for/ needing refills is not bad behavior. Hell, I don’t even mind if you need a refill every few minutes. It’s my job, plus I work at a cafe in a park where people tend to go for a jog before their meal. People are thirsty. I personally drink a lot of water, so I’m on the ball with refills. Unless you are a straight up asshole. Rattle your glass at me, grab me or whistle at me, and you will wait until I’m done with fulfilling my polite tables’ needs before you can hope for a refill.

      I’m not a revenge type. I would never add my DNA to anyone’s food or drink, no matter how much of a dickbag they are. But I do prioritize. I have a ton of work to do, and I force dickbags to be incredibly patient. If you are a dickbag and you choose to come to my restaurant, then you had better hope I have no other tables and no sidework to do. I mean, you will definitely get the basics, but the ‘extras’ are gonna take some extra time.

  63. I used to work in tourism and the most that I ever did was not give someone a brocheure of the tourist attraction they were going to. Or if they asked me a question I would lie. I also had to give tours and I would sometimes just stay silent for the entire thing. Not much, but it kept me sane.

  64. I was lucky. Last place I was a waiter/bartender at, I came close to only having repeat customers. It seemed like everyone was a regular and would wait to request me. Too bad my owner is/was a total jackass. He hated that people would request me and he would always talk shit about me. The only thing I ever did as revenge really was say someones card was declined (thanks waiter!) That always seemed to be the best thing that could be done.

    As for paying a normal wage and raising food prices… I doubt that could happen. I mean I suppose if the food cost went up 20%, and the owner GAVE that extra 20% to me at the end of the night, it might work. But from my experience, I would always make way more than my friends working “hourly” retail type jobs. Bartending/waiting tables is the easiest way to make a lot of money in much less time without a college degree. I’m sure I averaged close to 20-25 bucks an hour cash.

    So yeah, if the restaurant owners basically gave us commission on what we sold, and increased every item’s cost by 20%, and we got a 20% commission on what the check total was, then maybe it would work. I think generally, most American’s like the ability to tip, and most tip properly. You always have that scum that like to play the system and take advantage of it.

  65. I’m tired of people saying “I’m a good tipper. I always tip 15%”

    15% sucks. It’s an insult. You are the same people asking for split checks(when the person you are splitting with has the SAME AMOUNT check as you!), asking for water with lemon and sugar to make your own lemonade, and complaining about the meal AFTER you ate ALL of it.

  66. Lemon and water….we call it an Englewood cocktail Take the sugar off the tables in your section and make tham ask for it. The perfect opening to sell a real beverage. Embarass the crap out of the cheap MF’s. BTW I LOVE the ” your car has been declined thing ” Can’t wait

  67. I’m an excellent tipper. It probably comes from waiting tables for so long when I was younger.

    I tip “to ensure excellent service” and it always works well for me. I usually try to tip around 40-50%. As a result, waiters, bartenders, etc. remember me and go out of their way to give me phenominal service. Hell, it’s not uncommon for bartenders or waiters to give me their numbers so I can check to see if they’re working before I come in, and when I come in, my favorite drink is usually already made and waiting for me.

    Lol I love my bartenders.

  68. Keith- I love people like you!!!

    You will always get excellent service because you tip well and I bet you are a nice guy too!!!

  69. I worked as a delivery driver at a Pizza Hut through college, and there was one other employee there who was known for “adding DNA” to an order on occasion. The only time I personally witnessed it, he spat directly on top of the pizza after it had been put in the delivery box.

    Pretty nasty if you ask me, but I never did it though. On the other hand, the delivery was to a well known non-tipper, so remember to tip your delivery drivers.

  70. Hey 65 – I think it’s HILARIOUS that someone calling themselves Gasman was the one to give the definition of crop dusting! LMAO!!!!

  71. The worst thing I ever did: i was totally in the weeds and had about 17 checks open- a table of italians (sorry, but europeans are notoriously shitty tippers…) were running me ragged, and complaining, and sent a hamburger back for cheese that they never ordered in the first place. i licked the bun before putting the patty back on it. she ate the whole damn burger.

    best war story: my father worked at a country club for a few years after college. the chef was a former east german stasi informant with your typical rage/alcohol issues. a customer was giving my father a hard time about a steak he felt had been under cooked. the first time he sent it back, the chef grumbled and threw it back on the grill. the second time he sent it back, the chef laid into my dad with some german expletives, and threw the steak back on the grill. the THIRD time my dad brought the steak back, the chef picked it up off the plate, threw it against the kitchen wall, stomped on it, put it on the plate and hocked a lugie on top, and told my father to take it back to the customer. he did, and then 5 minutes later checked back to make sure everything on the table was ok. the customer thanked my dad, his mouth stuffed with steak, for fixing his meal.

    that being said, don’t send your food back. ever.

  72. I just had a table on sat night, Two of my regulars, that I adore, they are a little needy, but I know what to expect have been taking care of them for years. This week they came in with a younger couple I have never met before, turned out the guy was a waiter at a place downtown(Chicago) I work out in the burbs, well this jerk proceeded to special ordered everything, I had to write a novel just for the salad….it was recocklous!!!! Shame on him for doing that to a fellow server!

  73. Why should people not send their food back? I don’t think people need to be nasty about it, but if I am paying $50 for a meal you can believe I will send it back. Politely. And I don’t blame the waiter if the food is wrong.

    To be honest with you Steve, these recent posts where you throw out a controversial subject and let the peons fill your site with contentious comments is getting old.

    No, I don’t have to read them. And YES I pounce on people regularly who leave whiney “I want to hear waiter stories!” comments. But I believe I have had my fill. I’m gonna practice what I preach and move along.

    Good luck with your new book!

  74. I’ve worked in the same restaurant for twenty years. I’m a bartender and sometimes I fill in as a server. I don’t understand if I crack open a beer I get a buck or two. When I wait on a table for and hour I get two or three bucks!!! I remember a girl I worked with had a real cheap jerk of a customer. He didn’t finish his pizza so when she went to go wrap it up for him she picked up the cheese on the pizza and loaded it with tabasco sauce and neatly put the cheese back on and politely handed it to him and said to him have a nice night! I would never do anything like that. What comes around goes around!!!!

  75. Not a tipping situation, but a revenge one of sorts. I was working at a bookstore at the time. The customer says they have a discount card but doesn’t have it on him.

    Ok, to be nice I see if it’s in our printout (if they didn’t have the card on them, we didn’t *have* to do this. But I was trying to help out). I look, but it’s not there. So I check under an alternate spelling of his last name, confirm the address, and it’s there. I tell the guy what has happened, and inform him that I’ll write it down in the book under where it should have been if it hadn’t been misspelled, along with the card number.

    His wife is clearly pleased that I’ve done this, but he starts *screaming* at me that I had been the one to enter in the information wrong to begin with. I inform him that’s impossible because he’d gotten the card well before I’d started working there–and I was sure of the date because I’d started working there on my birthday.

    He refuses to accept this, even once my manager comes up and confirms what I’ve just told him. He’d gotten the card almost a year ago and I’d only been working there a couple of months. Finally, his wife had to practically drag him out of the store. God only knows why he was so enraged by me. Even customers who were behind him had told him to lay off, and were perplexed as to his attitude.

    Well, one of the duties I had at the end of the night was to clean up the rather large magazine area–it covered the whole back wall. You know all those cards that fall out of magazines? I’d have to pick all of them up. Mostly subscription cards, but sometimes offers for free samples.

    Since I had his address, I signed him up for every free offer I found for six months (It takes me a while to get mad, but once I do it takes even longer for me to stop being angry). Say three to five offers a week. My favorites were the free booklet on erectile disfunction and the free video on toenail fungus.

    And, of course, there would be all the mailing lists he ended up on because of taking up on those offers.

    Heh.

  76. I used to bartend at a chain “Gourmet Pizza” place, and the staff from the “Family Italian” place across the street used to come in after work because we were open about 5 hours later than they were. They’d take advantage of our 1/2 price appetizer happy hour special, ordering two or three each (and there were a LOT of them- usually 10-15 people in our small pool-table area) and expecting the same prices after the end of happy hour. Same with drinks- draught beer increases a full dollar in price after happy hour, but these assholes would always whine and plead to continue to get the discount. Maybe if I liked them… One guy would always beg for free shots, and if I was feeling especially bitchy they’d get tonic water and grenadine and get charged for a Washington Apple or something. More often, they’d get nothing. They’d always get wasted and trash the area, and then want their check split at the end (on our simplified bar computer it was impossible to split their table up as I went along). After I split all the bills, one or two would come up and want theirs recombined for some reason or another, even though they all paid cash. Usually, I’d just send a bunch of nonsense chits back to the kitchen- $5.00 upgrades, substitutions etc, premium beers/liquor instead of the usual, and etc. They were so wasted by the time they left that they were all praising my name “you’re the best bartender EVER” because of all the “free stuff” I gave them. The reason it all got to me was that they were servers and bartenders too and should know better. Assholes. Finally they came in one day when I was managing instead and asked the bartender to serve girls we KNEW were underage. I threatened to call the cops on them and they rarely come in anymore.

  77. I’m not really a ‘waitress’ per se – more of an exploited jane-of-all trades who does the waiting, bussing, FOH cleaning, coffee making, and register – and i don’t get credit card tips, only cash tips. typically this is illegal, but to get the job i had to agree to forfeit them and i needed employment very badly. as a result, i make roughly $50 in tips a week.

    but not getting tips has never affected my service. since i have no hope of getting rewarded for my service, there’s no point in being unpleasant or anything except friendly. i always make an effort to be pleasant and accomodating of diners’ attitudes/needs. needless to say i frequently see very large credit tips from customers who appreciate me slide right into the owner’s pocket. once i both waited, bussed during service (small tables, so it’s policy to remove salad bowls/appetizer plates when the customer is done to give room), and made lattes for a table of ten. the host signed the credit slip and said, “i added an extra 20% just for you! we really enjoyed our evening, thank you!”

    i could have sobbed.

    also once a customer deliberately tipped me 30c. on a ~$28 tab. i have no idea why. whatever the fuck his problem was, i’m sure it followed him home.

    however neither the chefs nor i have ever done anything in ‘revenge’ – keeping a level of service integrity, even unacknowledged, is more important than feeling vindicated.

  78. “Some people have conditions wherein caffeinated drinks are capable of causing great harm, even death.”

    I find it hard to believe that such a person would order decaf coffee (or any other beverage that could easily be confused for a caffeinated one) to begin with. Even if you’re not worried about a waiter maliciously switching it on you, I wouldn’t risk my life on the chance that the waiter or the person who put the grounds in the machine didn’t screw up.

    That’s like Superman saying to someone, “hey, can you please go into the other room and get me a big lump of glowing green rock? Not from the bin that says ‘Kryptonite,’ but from the almost-identical bin beside it that says ‘Kryptomite.’ Thanks!”

  79. I didn’t exact revenge on bad tippers, but I had my own petty amusements with customers who did other annoying things. For example: one regular always insisted that her pats of butter come directly out of the refrigerator. Fine, no problem, I don’t care. But when she’d order, she’d say, “And the butter for the bread? I want it straight out of the fridge! I don’t like soft butter! Make sure my butter is right out of the refrigerator!” And she’d repeat the whole thing after she ordered her entree and after her husband ordered his entree, as if I didn’t hear hear the first 8,000 times she said it! So then once I went overboard and brought her butter out of the FREEZER! Heehee–she couldn’t even cut it with her knife! She never did that again. Same with the nasty old smoker lady whose lips were so numb from smoking that when she’d order breakfast she’d tell you 16,000 times that she wanted her coffee HOT! “Make sure it’s HOT! It had better be HOT!” So I microwaved it until it was on the verge of evaporating and she couldn’t even pick up the mug, it was so hot. The key of course, is to act innocent and say, “Oh, I’m sorry…I thought you WANTED it hot!”

  80. I saw Christina’s (82) comment about credit card tips not reaching the servers. That’s how I normally tip & I always tip at least 25%. Is it common for credit card tips to not reach the servers? Should I now start carrying cash for this purpose? Don’t the restaurants have to pass these tips to the servers because there is a paper record the IRS could audit?

  81. As a bartender anyone that left a crappy tip and also forgot their credit card never saw their card again. Suddenly it would become imperative that I cut their card up right away (for security reasons of course). Even if I could see them dining just 10 feet away.

    Also anyone that repeatedly (more than two times) sent me back to warm up hot tea, soup, etc. They would get their spoon run under the hot tea tap. I guarantee the first spoonful was always a doozy.

    I could go on and on. I lost my soul waitressing.

  82. @cmoney: Refilling a drink once or twice over the course of a meal is not a problem. It’s when diners suck them back and demand two refills before the food appears that it becomes a problem. Even this would be fairly manageable if there were no other behavior issues but there always are. Bad customers, like patients, always have a syndrome of bad behavior and entitlement that must be attended to immediately. Sadly, the service would be better if the diners would trust their servers’ rhythm and let the service flow.

  83. I have short poured, given beers which are half foam, over seasoned Bloody Mary mix with dried peppers… That’s child’s play though… One time I sought out a bad tippers girlfriend and made out with her in a bar in front of him… Not one of my shining moments… But it did rile him up enough to get thrown out and never come back to my restaurant…

  84. My husband is the sort who goes through 3 or 4 large glasses in a night. He hates making the staff refill his drinks, sometimes he’ll hint that a pitcher of his tea or soda on the table would be fine by him. Our regular servers at a certain favorite diner usually do that from the get-go.

    I don’t understand the problem with split checks. Most places I’ve been to or worked at have systems that do it easily. And if people say from the beginning, before they order, it should work out even without a good system. People often don’t have cash, and if dining with friends, they’ll want to split.

    As for percent, where I live, 15% is definitely standard. But then, I don’t live in a crazy expensive place like NYC.

    As for tipping bar staff, I have a friend who goes to one bar for his favorite band’s concerts. He tips the bar $50 with his first pitcher of cider if they give him his favorite pitcher (they have exactly one pitcher made of glass that is also maybe 2 ounces larger than the others) and then the bar keeps him and his table in alcohol, in his favorite pitcher, all evening.

  85. Most people are going to find this boring but I’ll go ahead anyway with my story.

    Back in the 80′s when I was in the 7th grade I started delivering newspapers on Long Island for Newsday. I worked that route for 5 years. It was 10 blocks from my house. On Sunday’s I would deliver close to 75 papers. It was hard work but I enjoyed it. When you are a newspaper boy and you get the papers dropped off at your house they are in a bundle. The delivery drive throws them off the truck so when they land the bottom paper usually gets damaged. I would always wind up with 2 damaged papers. I had 2 customers on my route that never tipped. So guess what, they got a shitty newspaper everyday. (On average I would get between .50 and $1 tip per week – I would make between $50 and $70 a week which was damn good money 25 years ago when you are 12 years old). One time one of my non-tippers asked me why he always got a bad newspaper. I explained to him that I get 2 bad papers a day and I get 2 customers who don’t give me tips hoping he would get the message. He went inside and came back out with a check. He decided to pay me for 3 months in advance and give me a $1 tip. Needless to say he still go the crappy newspaper.

  86. Wow, a lot of you people kind of suck. Poisoning your customers? Committing fraud by deliberately shorting or changing your customers’ orders? It is going to serve you right when you pull that on the wrong customer that happens to know the DA and they decide to prosecute. Oh my, your customer wants his drink, sold with free refills, refilled? Do us all a favor and quit your job.

  87. My husband is one of those “fast drinkers,” but having been a pizza delivery man for several years, he generally doesn’t do anything to mess with the server. He just sets his glass near the edge of the table (where the waiter could see it) and starts in on my drink. :) Although, one night out with friends (to a chain restaurant), he’d finished his drink before the waitress had finished putting the rest of the other drinks down, and joked, “You brought me an empty glass.” She apologized, took it back, refilled it, and he finished it while she was talking to someone else at the table. She looked back at his glass, then at him, and said, “Okay, I KNOW I filled it that time!”

  88. hey Biff- I literally just walked in the door after waiting on a guy just like you!! Left me $20 on $174.00, and that’s after we got the guy a beer on the house.

    Bet you think thats a great tip, huh?

  89. I used to own an antique store. I had this customer who was being very rude, loudly complaining about prices and things in front of other customers. When it came time for her to purchase her finds, she all of the sudden became frantic, asking me for a bathroom. It became obvious that she had some sort of “frequent urination” problem.

    I took great joy in telling her that I did not have a public bathroom, and that she could try the gas station down the street.

    Umphf!!! She stormed off without her purchase. But no worries, a few minutes later, her husband sheepishly came back and apologized and bought the things his wife had left in a huff.

    So yeah, don’t be a rude person, you never know when it will come back to bite you!

  90. I use to bartend in a small college town in western New York. I always told my customers that T.I.P.S. = To Insure Prompt Service. I remembered who tipped and who did not, as well as how well the tippers tipped. Well, every Thursday was my busiest night, Mug Night, where the bar was full of elbows and assholes. One particular Thursday, a mug night regular came into the bar for his usual. The bar was already 2deep so I decided I would make him wait since he never ever tipped so much as a quarter.
    He made it up to the front line of the bar and I continued to make him wait. I think he waited for about 20 minutes or so. I noticed a good friend of mine walk through the door, so since he drinks the same thing all the time I grabbed him a cold bud while passing a cooler while serving another customer. He worked his way up to the bar right next to the no tipping regular. I instantly gave him the beer I had grabbed for him and gave him his change. The look on the no tipping regulars face was priceless! He says “I’ve been waiting for 20 minutes how come he got a beer right away?” I turned to him and said (as I collected the tip from my friend) “He tips you don’t” (while showing him the dollar tip. Not that I expected a dollar from every poor college student but heck once in a while something would be nice. From that moment on the no tipping regular became a satisfied customer who got his beer fast because he learned the true meaning of T.I.P.S. first hand.

  91. i have never waited a table in my life and i do tip less when i am not pleased with the service and tip more when am happy with the food and all.

    and some servers are natural jerks and some are nice, the same goes for the dining public.

  92. I worked as a cook at a private club, we had an obnoxious socialite customer who was rude to everyone. She was skinny and obsessed with her weight, so everything she ordered got extra cream, butter, oil etc. when we made it. Everyone on staff was in on the gag, and one day a server overheard her complaining that she had put on 10 lbs and didn’t know why. Everyone was on the floor laughing.

  93. Puny Hobbit:

    “I have worked in restaurants, both fine dining and otherwise, and have NEVER seen anyone put “DNA” in a customer’s food. BUT, if customers are nice, they generally get better treatment than the jerks- bigger portions, better alcohol, free dessets, better tables, and faster service.

    If you are a jerk, it will come back to bite you.”

    I worked in a chain sit-down restaraut (as I have mentioned in previous posts) and it was always extremely frustrating to me that when my customers had problems, my manager would always ask me, “Are they mad?” If the customers weren’t going to make a big scene, they didn’t get anything except an apology. They didn’t get a free meal, they didn’t get their plate for free, they didn’t get a free dessert. But if they yelled and screamed, they got their meal for free. Every time.

    I have been on the recieving end of extremely bad service (often that had nothing to do with the waiter) and have sat waiting for food up to an hour, but because my husband and I refuse to make a scene and embarrass the waiter or manager, we have never recieved ANYTHING to make up for our extremely bad experiences. In the restaraunt business (or at the least the chain restaraunt business) the louder and ruder the customer, the more free stuff they’ll see.

  94. Meh, I’ve waited tables and 15% is not a bad tip. I usually tip 20% though, because I know how completely shitty waitressing can be. To tip 10% or less, the server would have to punch me in the face and ridicule my appearance. There’s nothing worse than people who tip 10%.

    My boyfriend’s (elderly) parents didn’t realize until recently that they have to tip their server on the alcohol they order. As in, they thought that if they had a $100 bill and $25 of it was alcohol, they’d tip on $75. Embarrassing.

  95. I’ve been waiting tables for about a year now, and i have never done something on purpose to people’s food.

    International readers: I understand your frustration with the tradition of tipping. However, it’s an aspect of american culture that is inherent in our culture. It is mentioned in various travel guides and you have been informed of this tradition when you travel to this country. When traveling to India, you would avoid eating with your left hand or turning the bottoms of your feet to an eating companion. In Latin America, you wouldn’t make the “ok” sign to indicate approval or satisfaction. When traveling to Britain, I wouldn’t make the two fingered V in a greeting or to say “peace”. These are cultural aspects particular to those countries, and any well-informed traveler would adhere to cultural customs to avoid insult. Tipping is one of those weird cultural customs that a traveler should adhere to.

    With regards to drink refills, I have no problem bringing out two glasses of Coke for you if you know you’re going to be a fast drinker and would like immediate gratification. If not, I’ll get your drink to you when I can but customer’s food takes priority. So if I have a tray of entrees to take out, your refill will wait.

    Poor tippers: I don’t remember them. The sterotypical “bad tippers” get the same service as anyone else. Good tippers, I remember and yes, you’ll get more attention from me. I hold out hope that those bad tipper types will prove to be different from the norm and I’ll be pleasantly surprised. Hasn’t happened yet.

    I like the above person’s comment. “I hope whatever problem he had followed him home.” It’s like what I feel when I see a bad tip. I have to trust that karma will work it all out in the end, or I’ll end up like some of these posters, angry and bitter and wanting to hurt someone to “teach them a lesson.” They’ll create their own lessons in time.

    The people I appreciate the least are the inconsiderate ones. I’m trying to do a job here, and when I finish I get to go home.
    I had a table on Monday of 10 women who came in about thirty minutes before closing.
    Not a problem until check dropping time. We’re long closed by this point. Split up the check, handed it out. One woman wants me to combine hers and her mother. No problem. Bring that back out, everybody has their credit cards in the presenter. I start picking them up and then the host has a question. It’s one woman’s birthday. They want a cake. I add the cake to hers, bring it back and bring the cake out.

    She dosen’t want the cake on hers, she wants it on a ticket with the birthday girl’s meal, and everybody wants to help pay for the cake, beer and meal as a present. Comes out to about three dollars per ticket. Apparently no one has cash to toss toward the feeding fund. So I had to combine/split/recombine this ticket of ten people, keep their credit cards straight and they all ask me for pens. I’ve got four pens, can’t you share? So I find more pens (which could be its own post) by which time they’ve managed to share those four pens and sign everything. I assume (since they were in such a rush to sign their checks) that they’ll be leaving soon. Wrong. They stood up. They stood around the table for twenty minutes. It’s not our policy to completely buss the table before people have left the restaurant but we start pulling the tables back into position, rearranging chairs in order to signal them that it’s time to leave. They take another twenty minutes to walk out the door.

    Finally, I can do my cashout. I take the twenty five dollars I made off the table, and finish my sidework, and go home. At 1.45, they’re still standing outside the restaurant talking. I got home to my baby at two oclock in the morning. I was supposed to be home at ten.

    Those nights make me appreciate my (hopefully) short-term time waiting tables while I finish nursing school.

  96. CreditCardTipper, no that doesn’t happen everywhere, that woman’s story was because her boss is a greedy jerk who wants cheap labor and a few extra bucks in his pocket.

    While I’ve never done anything in vengeance, I can honestly say that a lot of these are harmless jokes on assholes. Not your normal person. Anyone commenting on how “we” are terrible people for doing such things, obviously have never worked in the business. Its not these little things here and there at different tables that bring the wrath on to some poor, innocent, unsuspecting guest. Its people that are straight out RUDE and INCONSIDERATE to servers and bartenders and ignore the fact that these positions are filled by PEOPLE who deserve respect.

    On a sidenote, refilling drinks isn’t usually an issue unless the first thing that comes out of their mouth before asking for a refill is, “Is the refill free?” which usually means, “I’m cheap.” Or, when said people, then all of a sudden act as if their throat is dryer than the Sahara Desert and start slinging back their free refills.

    As for splitting checks, in most situations, if anything its a major pain in the ass. Most computer systems make it easy, but when you get large parties who constantly switch seats its a lot harder to keep things in order. Plus, let’s not forget that we don’t just have to print these split checks but cash them out too, and when you have a ton of tables, this can require more time than you have to do so. And, finally, logic would say that split checks should equate good tips because everyone can just put in a couple bucks and look, you have a 20% tip, but most people who ask for split checks are cheap.

    Most people think its an easy job which doesn’t require a lot of brain cells to do. Half of that statement is right- it doesn’t require many brain cells to do, however to be GOOD at that job, is a whole other story. Some people who forget this deserve what they get- what goes around, comes around.

  97. I was lucky enough to get paid a decent wage at the busy Airport coffee shop I worked at for 3.5 years. Tips were an added bonus. However, that doesn’t excuse bad behavior. But I still think our punishments was pretty mild. Mostly, we’d just switch out decaf for regular (never the other way around though. I was always afraid of someone being allergic to caffeine.) This was particularly satisfying when someone had ordered an extra shot or two of espresso. I knew other baristas who scalded the milk, so that not only would it burn your mouth, it tasted bad too. However, if we had to live off the tips we received, undoubtedly we would have become a lot more creative.

  98. I used to work at a very popular italian chain and have countless stories of what cooks and servers would do to the bad tipping regulars food. We had one gentleman that would come in everyday, order the soup & salad and a water with extra lemons, sit there for at least three hours, then leave no tip. It got to the point where no one would wait on him. But as the lead server I was stuck with him. I would make him wait for everything. After about four days of this he stopped coming in. I found out later that he started going into the other italian chain in town and did the same thing there.

  99. Miss Manners says that if you can’t afford to tip, or refuse to tip, then you shouldn’t eat out.

    I agree with others that I can’t condone DNA presents in food, I can certainly understand the frustration of waitstaff who are not even paid minimum wage. At least here in California they receive minimum wage, although it’s pretty much impossible to live on that amount of money.

    If you aren’t happy with the food, tell the server what’s wrong and give them a chance to get the kitchen to fix it. If it is still wrong, ask for management. It’s not usually the server’s fault; don’t cut the tip unless you are actually having problems with the server.

  100. Marcy’s story was awesome! And Christina, I don’t know who you work for, but they are seriously breaking the law if they are swallowing up your credit tips.

    Like pretty much everyone else in here, never once have I (or would I tolerate from another server) put any DNA into a guest/customer’s order. That’s just wrong no matter how big of a shit they are.

    However, on my first waiting job, when I was just 17, I did snap on one lady. We were an all-you-can-eat seafood place and we closed between lunch and dinner from 2:30 to 5:00. I worked lunch and was scheduled to come back on for dinner and this woman walked in at 2:15, sat in my station and ordered all-you-can-eat crablegs. She had this brace-like thing on her head that was attached to her teeth with wires and my first thought was “how the hell is she going to eat anything, let alone crab legs?” But it was her order, so I got it for her. She proceeded to slop crab meat (and extra, EXTRA butter) all over her mouth, the table and the surrounding floor as she shoveled down about six orders; it was a truly horrific sight, I assure you. And she kept me there until almost 4:30pm, so my break was shot to shit, and I knew I had a whole night worth of work still to look forward to.

    Finally, she asks for her check, pays in cash and starts to leave. I go to start cleaning up the disaster area of a mess she left behind and see she has left me exactly one quarter for a tip. So I flipped out, grabbed the quarter, ran after her out the front of the restaurant screaming “Keep it, bitch!” and bounced the quarter right off her head. Needless to say, that was the last day of my first waiting job, but to this day it was totally worth it!

  101. Some Canadians bolted without tipping and they left their keys. I was stopped from dropping them into the grease trap. Still wish I had gotten away with that . . .

  102. When I waited tables back in the 90′s, I had a gentleman order New England clam chowder. It was a very busy Friday night, and after I dropped the soup, he proceeded to stand up and say “This soup is cold!” I returned with the soup to the kitchen, nuked it up for a lil bit,then stood there while he tasted it. It still was not hot enough. I was in the weeds by this point, but he was not going to win. Back in the kitchen again, I let it sit in a commercial microwave for 3 minutes. I spilled some soup on my hand when I served it. It was scallding hot, but I held my composure. I stayed there why he tried it again. It took this guy 15 minutes to even start eating the soup. I ended up with a pretty good burn, but it was well worth it.

  103. A long time ago in a galaxy far away I worked as a pizza delivery driver for a mom and pop restaurant (not a chain). Back then, a large loaded came to $19.95 and I had a couple of regulars tell me each time to ‘keep the change’ from a $20.

    I had one regular insist on paying by credit card (before portable debit machines) and I used to have to carry a full-size card swipe machine. In -30 weather he would hand me out his credit card and then wait behind his closed door for me to swipe the form and then take the form back inside to sign. He didn’t tip at all.

    And don’t think servers don’t remember you! I had those addresses committed to memory without trying.

    Needless to say, any pizzas ordered by these ‘regulars’ went to the bottom of the stack in delivery order. I’ve held their pizzas back waiting for new orders to be ready. I’ve gone for a cross-town cruise if they were the only order I had. Less than a full tank – think i’ll fill up on the way to the delivery …

    You can get away with a bad tip at a place once. Try again, and then again and see how fast your level of service drops.

  104. Biff the spoon: “It is going to serve you right when you pull that on the wrong customer that happens to know the DA and they decide to prosecute.”

    “I’ll sue you” ranks right up there with “Do you know who I am?” when it comes to jerk customers. To you, sir, I say, “Meh.”

  105. puny hobbit 15% is an insult, thats ridiculous i have been a server, a chef and currently own and chef at my own place and 15% is certainly an adequate tip. of course we would all want more but to say it is an insult is asinine.

  106. Yeah anon maybe 15% is ok at your crappy diner in friggin Redneck, Arkansas.

    But at a fine dining restaurant 15% is rude.

    I’ll bet your servers think you’re a real peach too.

  107. A deuce walked in the door a few weeks ago. I knew them from somewhere, but it was one of those acquaintances that , for some reason or another, had left a poor impression in my mind. They were pleasant in a very phony way; I said the usual “hi, how you’ve been, so nice to see you again”, but I felt something wasn’t right the last time I served them. Anyway, as soon as a I acknowledged them, I told my coworkers…”I’m not taking that deuce”. But being as professional as I am, I ended up talking to them and taking care of their dining experience. After dinner was over, they thanked me again and again: “everything was fabulous”. Tip, however wasn’t. Well, guess what? I’m perfect, so I may indulge in some “perfect” little mistakes sometimes. For I know closing that check with a 20 instead of their lousy 10% was no mistake: I gave them excellent service.
    Same service I gave to a 6-top 2 years ago and they didn’t tip on the wine(which happened to be half the bill!). Since then, I always add 20% grat to all 5 or more ppl unless I know them. Why take the risk?

  108. Back in the 70′s I found out that Kahlua does not come out of suede – - “oooops, the glass just tipped over on top of her lovely skirt, boss, and of course i will be glad to pay for it”

  109. Puny Hobbit, where do you live? I bet it’s “the city”. So, yeah, sure, where a 400 sq ft studio costs you $1500 a month in the ‘cheap’ part of town, of course you think 15% is an insult.

  110. Yeah, Puny Hobbit, I’m with Fred. What IS your idea of an acceptable tip? I completely disagree with your idea that 15% is awful – obviously I’d prefer 20% (I do like money, after all), but 15% is definitely not an insult.

    Oh, and for what it’s worth, I waited tables in a nice restaurant in one of Chicago’s wealthiest suburbs, not “a crappy diner in friggin Redneck, Arkansas.” ::eyeroll:: Please.

  111. Puny Hobbit – yes, do tell, what do people tip where you work? I’d like to know so I can move there and leave the cheapo neighborhood (although part of a major city) I work in taking home on average 10% after tipping out.

    I would love to be taking home 15-20% a night!

  112. A lot of you servers amuse me.
    The outrage at “bad tipping”. The problem is not with the clients, it is with your employers. I don’t see why I or any other person should pay you extra for what you are already being paid to do. Sure I will tip more if a server has been especially pleasant or gone out of their way to make the dining experience more pleasurable but this whole attitude of entitlement is pretty damn rich. If your job doesn’t pay you enough, it’s simple, do what everyone else has to and find a different or an additional one.

    Having said that, there is no excuse for bad behaviour on the part of the customer. i don’t condone rudeness on ANYONE’s part.

    • Are you retarded? Tipping, in the US, is custom. If restaurant owners were to pay their employees a living wage, restaurant prices would skyrocket. If servers all found a different jobs, there would be no one to staff the restaurants that you like to frequent. If you cannot afford to tip, or you don’t want “subsidize servers’ wages” then do everyone a favor and cook and clean up after yourself. And remember your comment the next time you feel you’re “entitled” to a raise at your job. Find another source of income if the income you make at your job is not sufficient. After all, it is simple, and everyone else does it.

  113. At our restaurant bad tipping is not what causes thoughts of revenge, it’s bad behavior. The most cruel I’ve ever been to a guest is sending out scalding hot food after they have repeatedly complained about it being too cold.

    As the owner of the restaurant I take great satisfaction in asking customers who do not know how to behave to never return. My staff works too hard to have to put up with churlish behavior.

    I, personally, would much rather have a table of friendly 15% tippers than some rude, groping, difficult 25% tippers…

  114. WHILE I haven’t worked as a bartender in a decade, I suspected that when I started reading this, I would be shocked. However, I was pleased to read the comments that exuded dignity and professionalism. The allergy issues has been raised, but I would also mention that spitting in people’s food can transmit serious diseases, such as hepatitis, norwalk and various bacteria. For those who admitted to licking knives and spitting in food, there’s a reason your names aren’t posted. You know you are wrong and should be ashamed of abusing the tiny trust and responsibility you have been given.

  115. The most devastating paybacks I have observed in my career were done to Clintonese types who were foolish enough to dine with their Sig Other and their Other Woman(men) in the same place and in some way treating their servers poorly by behavior or bad tipping. One coworker once got hit on heavily and or groped by this one cad when he dined alone. All it takes is an “inadvertant” mention of the last visit in from of the wifey to ruin the cad’s night and in one case possibly triggered a divorce.

  116. #85 no its not so common just an employer in her case an owner enriching himself at her expense. I suspect she came off as desperate during the interview process and got screwed over. More the norm is to underpay support staff legal wage in that location thru cash amt per shift or a sub legal hourly wage and some %age of the tip pool.

    To Jan of all trades- go to http://www.877tippool.com and speak to them-taking your tips is ILLEGAL and they will get you back monies owed you.

  117. Agree with most of the posters on not depositing DNA into the food. I worked at a pizza place, making food & delivering pizzas, and dropping DNA was always just going too far.
    If you were a shitty tipper we remembered you, and your food was made crappy, delivered late, and in general, treated with very little care.

    I once delivered a pizza only to be greeted at the door by a child (by the way, we HATE being paid by children – if you’re going to give us a shitty tip, have the balls to do it yourself, and not make little Jenny do it), anyway the tip was less than $1. (In a neighborhood of $300,000+ houses, mind you.) I return to the store, only to be told that the man who ordered the pizza wanted his change. I got the pennies from all the other drivers and returned his change, to his kid again, entirely in pennies. Cheap asshole.

    One other time, I had tried to deliver this pizza to this crazy lady and she never came to the door. When we come to your house to bring you pizza, you better damn well be home. I returned to the store, and was told to return to the crazy ladies house – because she said, “I saw him walk away and get in the truck and drive away.” And I knew she was lying. She said HIM, I am a GIRL. So I called her and asked if she was actually going to answer the door this time so I can give her her stupid food. I left the store, and was called on my cell on the way there – I better come back – crazy lady called back and told me to shove the pizza up my A$$.
    Bitch.

  118. I’d love to know why all the other comments have been accepted, but mine, which responds to someone who has done something dangerous and potentially illegal, is still awaiting moderation? I have been a reader since this blog began, and a commenter as well. To my mind, this post breeds bad karma in general. I’d sure like to see something a bit more lighter …

    To that end, what’s the purpose of telling someone their credit card is declined? If they have no other method of payment, it may embarrass them, but if you hold fast to that theory, the money is going to come out of YOUR pocket, since they believe that their credit card is no good and they may not have the cash to pay for it. So … what’s the point?? Am I missing something?

    I don’t know; maybe my sense of humour is off today.

  119. If you think 15% is an awful tipping rate, get over it. It is the norm in the US. It doesn’t matter if you’re living in overpriced suberbia or cheap college town. 15% is the norm, and it’s what you should be expecting. Less than 15% is cheap (but if 15% happens to bring my bill to a total of $23.07, don’t get upset if I leave $23; however based on most of these posts, it sounds like the next time I’d dine at your establishments, I should expect vomit in my food over a nickel and two whole pennies). Most people that I know, when paying with cash, will usually round up to the nearest dollar. It’s not because we love you. We don’t care who our waiter is. It’s because we don’t want to deal with coins. What we do care about our company, our food, and our service. You don’t have control over our company, so you’re excused from that if there are any problems with it. If you’re serving us, or if it’s the new guy, if your short-handed and the owner is serving us, we don’t care as long as we get what we ordered in a timely manner.

    I think what a number of the waiters are forgetting (or have stopped caring about) is that when people go out to eat, they want to enjoy themselves. They do not want their cup to be empty. They want their food just the way they ordered it (or the way they meant to order it –yes, I understand, it’s a bitch when someone forgets to mention they don’t want tomato in their salad and then send it back). When you go out, do you get upset when your empty glass has been sitting there for 15 minutes and you’re being ignored? If your food comes out with onion when you asked for no onion, are you going to send it back (good luck picking the onion out of your chili)? If your food is cold, are you going to eat it? It works the both ways. Just as you want your drink and your food the way you like it, so do your customers. Hopefully your experiences as a water have taught you not to be a douche, but who knows. Maybe the reason you get so many terrors as your customers is because you’re an asshole and you think everyone is out to get you and you don’t appreciate the good, or even the mediocre customers. It sounds to me based on most of the comments here, anyone who leaves under 20% is a bad customer.

    I have spent the past couple of years serving in a dining hall and working fancy catering events for snobs. I have seen the people who no matter what slop you put in front of them, they’ll be happy and will show their appreciation for it. I’ve also seen the people who you can give them everything exactly the way they ordered it and they’ll still be upset. I agree, some people are unreasonable and shouldn’t be allowed in public. Is it really worth it though? If you want to get back at them, just give them shitty service. If you give them your DNA, they’ll never know and they might keep coming back and you will have to keep putting up with htem. If they have to wait and wait for their refill and then their food is cold the first three times and the fourth time it’s too hot to eat, and they get decaf instead of regular coffee, they’ll be much less likely to come back because they are unhappy with the service. You don’t get vindicated by giving someone your DNA. You get revenge by seeing the person miserable. If they complain to the manager/owner, so be it. Are you going to lose your job because one table has found a reason to complain about absolutely everything? If your boss doesn’t understand that there are people out there who it is impossible to please no matter what you do, and you’re going to get in trouble for that, it’s just a matter of time before you were going to get fired anyway. Making people wait is the most effective way of letting them know that they are not welcome.

    Someone says they’re a close person friend of the owner. If it’s true, they won’t say they know the owner, they’ll ask to speak to him/her (some of them will even know if s/he is there at the moment). If you go back and it just happens that s/he is not in right now or is incredibly busy or in a meeting and whatever, then there is nothing you can do about it. If they call him/her, then you’re fucked. But who really knows the owner? If they’re supposed to get special treatment, you would have found out about it. All people want more than they deserve. If they don’t want to wait in line, that’s their problem. If they really do know the owner and are supposed to get special treatment, they probably know him/her well enough that they’ll know if s/he will forget to let the host know about it and will have to remind the owner.

    If someone comes in at last minute, you’ve never run into the problem that only the few easiest things for the chef to make are what are still in stock? You didn’t have a super busy night (that because they came in late they missed it) that you sold out of everything else? At the end of the night, doesn’t your manager want to go home too and not deal with customers who can’t understand why they can’t order the most complex thing on the menu with three substitutions and none of two things and extra and another one? My boss will never turn away a customer, but if they come in at the last minute, or late, they get the limited menu. The only exception is if they’re late and everything has already been packed up, then he will turn someone away.

    And everyone can see right through your fake smile and disposition. You have to do it anyway, but customers can tell. And if you give me a death glare for whatever reason, you’ve just instigated something with me and I’ll take my time in leaving because that’s the only way I can get back at you and limit the chance that you will do anything to my food or drink. I’m normally a good customer. If I forget to tell you that I wanted separate checks, I have no problem working out the one check with my friend and we can usually find a way to pay the other back (although sometimes they’re the obnoxious one who really wants the separate check and there is nothing I can do about it). I’m patient for a refill. I am specific with what I order, and I try not to play around with what is included in my meal (i.e. no substitions or special requests), and I try to be kind, courteous, and friendly, and I tip well (15% after tax rounded up to the nearest dollar).

    As for bartenders, I won’t tip you. You, understandably so, go to your regulars first who tip you, but because I’m not a regular and because I lack a vagina, I’m only one step above the bad tippers. If you don’t give me good service the first time around, why should I tip you? This is also the reason I try to avoid bars or I’ll send one of my friends who I know will get better service than me to get me a drink.

  120. I eat out mostly at breakfast. The only unusual demand (actually, polite request) I make of waiters is “coffee now and a large milk with my meal.” Because of the standard waiter pattern of delivering beverages first and food later, about half the time the milk is forgotten. My tip is based on this; i.e.: 25% if milk delivered as requested and service is friendly, 20% if milk is delivered after a reminder, 15% if milk is never delivered, 15% minus the price of the milk if milk is never delivered but appears on check. In the latter case, I fill out the credit slip to show payment for the full check then note the deduction of the milk price from the tip, thus:

    COWBOY BREAKFAST PLATE 9.75
    COFFEE 1.75
    MILK LARGE 1.50
    DANISH PASTRY 3.45
    —-
    16.45

    Tax .99
    —–
    Subtotal 17.44

    $3 minus milk = (<- hand
    Tip 1.50 written)
    —–

    Total Credit Card Charge 18.99
    —–

    The waiter will, course probably get the bill corrected and not be charged for the milk that was not really sold, but not without bringing the poor service to the attention of the manager. Note that I’m NOT a “bad tipper.” Even the waiter who doesn’t bring the milk gets a standard 15%; only the sin of neglecting to deliver it AND charging for it gets punished with a shorted tip.

  121. Why is it that EVERY time some servers get together to share stories anywhere, there is ALWAYS the person who has to give their ridiculous lecture pontificating that ‘tipping shouldn’t be expected, you waiters should force the management to pay you a living wage, you’re all ill-mannered and ungrateful, you really should get a different job – why, I am an office manager/realtor/hedge fund broker and I would NEVER speak ill of a customer under any circumstances ever, when I go out I tip 10 percent and here is my extended list of philosophical reasons why, and here are all the clever ways I have taught waiters a valuable lesson…’

    Seriously, SHUT THE F**** UP. Nobody needs to hear it. It’s simply waiters talking and blowing off steam. Period. No doubt you see it as an opportunity to grace the reading public with your VERY IMPORTANT OPINIONS and ludicrous justifications as to why you spend your life inflicting your entitlement issues on innocent bystanders but guess what? Not. Everything. Is. About. You.

    And WHY, pray tell, do people who consider waitstaff to be ignorant cretins ALWAYS FLOCK TO WAITER WEBSITES?

  122. Hey, SWEET, you are a thief, and you will be caught. Do you actually change a tip on a card? 4 tables in your section, Shit tip of 10% from one, 20% from another, 18% from the 3rd, and maybe you get lucky with 30% from the 4th. Do you take an average and screw only those whom have tipped via credit? Waiting tables is all about averages, and we all know instinctively what our patrons will leave. Get out before you are prosecuted.

  123. i have a good one—way back in the day, in ’85, i waited tables at who song and larry’s (el torito) in santa clara, ca, across from the pepper mill and embassy suites. we use to get these indian families(we called them patels)with grandpa grandma husband wife and about 6 kids come in for dinner on busy friday and saturday nights and run us ragged demanding more free refills of water, tea and chips/salsa.

    if it was free they wanted extra of it. here’s what happened more often than not.

    me, dropping off 1 order of nachos appetizer for 10 people: “here are your nachos and more chips and salsa like you asked.”

    dad patel: “are the chips and salsa free?”

    “yes”

    “why didn’t you tell me when i was ordering the nachos? i would not have ordered the nachos if i had known chips and salsa came for free. ”

    cheap ass bastard. then they would order 3 #1 combo plates (1 cheese enchilada, rice and beans)with extra side plates to be shared by the 6 kids, and some kind of burrito to be split by mom and grandma, and the dad and granddad would order 1 entree each. so instead of 10 entrees, i would only sell 6.

    one time dad patel ordered sizzing chicken fajitas, which are a real pain in the ass to serve. we had to place the extremely hot and grease splattering cast iron skillet on the oval food- tray, lift said tray (and if you see waiters carrying trays you see how close to the head you gotta carry it) parade this thing through the dining room while its spraying hot grease in your face, place it on a special candle -stand warmer thing in the center of the table (which you have hopefully already preset there) and then light the friggin candle underneath the skillet. all while smiling and ignoring the fact that you have 3rd degree burns on the side of your face and ear and are getting yelled at by the lead server to hurry up and help him sing the birthday song for one of his tables.

    anyone who is familiar with the “concept” of that restaurant will know what a zoo it was on friday and saturday nights.

    so i’m in the hallway to the dining room with patel’s chicken fajitas and knowing i’ll get a crappy tip from dad patel anyway cause he is a known poor tipper, i say to my buddy steve “hey check this out!” and proceed to hawk a great big cocaine infused post -nasal drip loogie on this guy’s sizzling fajitas. F with me why don’t ya… we laughed as we watched it dance around on the hot skillet, and then i proceeded to serve the rajah and his court the best service this lowly servant could offer.

    f with me, you gonna get a little somethin’ somethin’ extra.

    that’s just one story that comes to mind. other times i’ve stuck my finger up my ass then wiped it all over someone’s food. or got some good “fumunda” cheese and added that to the diner’s plate, free of charge. you know, the cheese fumunda ya nuts.

    hey #58–i’m not exaggerating.

    #91 biff–FU cabron.

    #118–i’m anonymous just like you, jackass. you said ” spitting in people’s food can transmit serious diseases, such as hepatitis, norwalk and various bacteria. For those who admitted to licking knives and spitting in food, there’s a reason your names aren’t posted. You know you are wrong and should be ashamed of abusing the tiny trust and responsibility you have been given.”

    i don’t have hepatitis, norwalk or any other communicable diseases. i hope someone got the e. coli from my ass-finger, though. i am not wrong. these ass-holes deserved what they got. rude, condescending, arrogant, exuding a sense of entitlement…F’ em. life is not fair or nice and neither am i. they shoulda thought twice before pissing me off. i am not ashamed. position of trust? yes. it’s a social contract. they act like a good guest, and i won’t spit in their food. responsibility? yup. i have a responsibility to the rest of my guests to not be monopolized by one selfish horse’s ass.

    #122–i do get vindicated. avenged, which is one definition of the word. i enjoy seeing a real ass-wipe eat MY ass-wipe.

    don’t worry folks. i no longer wait tables. instead, i hire others to work for me in my restaurant.

    just kidding! i have nothing to do with restaurants any more, other than drinking and dining in them. but the 20 years i did in the industry killed my soul, and left me a bit of a misanthrope.

    regards,

    groovecat

  124. I personally haven’t done anything to food while waiting tables, but we had one cook that was known for dropping steaks on the floor.

    One time while working fast food, the guy ordering at the drive-thru was extremely rude. The manager pulled a Whopper Jr.® out of the trash and put it in his bag.

  125. Waited tables for years…now moved on. Never did the DNA donation, but among the things I HAVE done”
    - brought a too rare prime rib up to temperature on the coffee burner “grill”
    - turned over a coffee cup on the burner and microwaved the stink out of a persons coffee when they complained it wasnt hot enough.
    - Microwaved french onion soup till the cheese melted when another customer made the same compliant
    - EVERYONE got decaf when I was working…easier to keep track of. BTW, as someone who is now in the medical field, if someone is so tenuous that one cup of regulary sends them to an MI, the probably shouldnt be out enjyoing dinner without their private nurse.
    - ran the rim of a glass through the alcohol, then no straw, no alcohol in the mixed drink, but my it tasted strong.
    - when a douche asked for “everything to go” he got everything…empty sugar wrappers, gristle, all from his table
    - have fished stuff out of a lexan food bin when someone forgot to ask for something to go, then decided later they wanted it.
    - promised to have something re-made/re-touched, then stood off to the side for the obligatory 5 minutes, 30 seconds in the nuke, and brought it back, the entree never actually seeing the kitchen.
    - bald faced lied about the fat free nature of a dish
    - completely ignored repeat lousy tippers.
    - once asked a woman if she had been living in a cave for twenty years when she announced that there was no such thing as store bought caesar salad dressing, that all of it was house made (I had tried to use it as a selling point, as we made our dressing in house)

    I am sure there is more, but it had been a couple of years.

  126. I waited tables throughout college. My kids did the same. If I thought they had done any of the gross acts you guys have described, I would string them up and leave them dangling in the wind.

    You are nuts to think any customer’s actions warrant what has been described here. I send back eggs all the time. I clearly ask for hard, hard, hard eggs. No runny gunk. 85% of the time the eggs are undercooked. What am I supposed to do, barf all over the table? That is what would happen if I ate them. Seriously, someone answer that. I hate to think what I may have been served. Disgusting.

    Good grief, after reading this crap, I’m staying away from restaurants. And I tip very, very well.

  127. I completely agree with beenthere, especially the part about not eating food in pubs and restaurants. By the way, I routinely tip 33% on a $6 can of beer.

  128. Someone said “Never send your food back. Ever.” But what if it’s really inedible? I once ordered fish and it tasted like diesel fuel. My partner tasted it and confirmed it. The waiter tasted it (we insisted) and confirmed it. Why would a waiter be angry at me for sending back food that tasted like diesel fuel?

  129. Anyone putting toxic chemicals in beverages or not giving decaf when requested needs to be prosecuted.

    Either can lead to longterm health issues and death.

    You are nothing but thugs.

  130. #139 anon–monsters such as myself are made, not born. it took a looooong time before i finally got fed-up with being treated like a second-class citizen while at work by certain “guests” before i decided to exact my revenge. i never f’d anyone over who didn’t deserve it. play nice w/ me and you got nothing to worry about. get stupid and i’ll smile while i get even. why? for my own mental health. MY health before yours. previously, i use to get off work from the restaurant and drink myself silly. then i started avenging myself, and my stress level dropped to where i no longer felt the need for 6 vodka rox with a splash of soda post-shift.

    you mess with the bull you get the horns.

    regards,

    groovecat

  131. Alright. Many of you who haven’t been a waiter for many years or not at all have expressed concern about going out to eat for fear of unintentionally offending your server and reaping some terrible act of revenge.

    In truth, 98% of all the restaurant patrons I have served were wonderful customers and never have I been tempted to tamper with anyone’s food.

    What most servers are demonstrating in these posts is that the 2% of bad customers we serve are so terrible, cheap, and inconsiderate that it’s easy to see how serving for any length of time can steal one’s soul. No one should have to endure such treatment at his/her workplace.

    15% used to be a good tip years ago. These days, servers often have to pay the restaurant a percentage of sales. This goes to pay hosts, bussers, bartenders, and others. If a server averages 15% in tips all night, he or she may net only 10%. You must also factor in that one must occasionally buy alcohol for the kitchen staff in order to stay on their good side.

    When I serve a table, I expect 20%. I often get more, rarely less. However, I am fortunate in that I now work for a restaurant that enjoys an unusually generous and respectful clientele.

    Most servers work very, very hard to make the customer experience a good one. Customers often don’t realize how tricky it can be to recommend foods customers will enjoy, time meals properly, mitigate the effects of an overwhelmed kitchen, and maintain composure when that one evil customer rears his head.

  132. #140 kim—–you said “Why would a waiter be angry at me for sending back food that tasted like diesel fuel?”
    i can’t speak for all servers, but i didn’t get mad if something was obviously wrong with the food. and i didn’t get mad when the “guest” made a mistake and didn’t tell me to add/subtract/substitute/modify an item and insisted that that they did. irritated,maybe, but angry enought to retaliate? no. only when it was a flagrant, obvious case of douche-baggery would i give them a little somethin’ somethin’ extra. and if you don’t know you’re being a douche-bag (although i’ve only heard the term applied to men) then you are one.

  133. I have waited tables for years and delivered pizzas when my kids were little.

    Like others have said if people are poor tippers, they got their pizzas last. I delivered 20 years ago when drinks were sold in cans. If I knew someone was a bad tipper or an ass on the phone, I would shake the shit out of their drink. I didn’t get to see the explosion on their face when they opened it but it always brought a smile to my face thinking about it. Juvenile? Probably but I didn’t hurt anyone.

    Years ago when razor phones first came out, I had these 2 people who NEVER tipped. EVER! Well one night they left their brand new razor phone. I didn’t notice it until after they left. I decided to change the message on their phone when it’s first turned on. It dealt with tipping. One of the guys I worked with actually did it and while perusing the phone he found nude pics of the woman. HAHAHAHA I had planned on returning the phone when they came for it. Well she got nervous and started calling. She had no idea who had the phone but knew that her pics probably had been seen. The messages she left were filled with cursing. The C word was a big one. I decided to hell with them and their phone. I tucked it away in a drawer and still have it and her nude pics to this day. ;)

  134. RE: asking for lemon in water because (OBVIOUSLY?) the customer is a cheapskate — my daughter would always order water with lemon. Not to make lemonade, but because — SHE LIKES THE LEMON FLAVOR IN WATER! So if you withhold sugar and wait, smirking, for her to ask for sugar, then I hope you are holding your breath until you keel over, jerkwad!

  135. Those of you who “get even” haven’t thought it through very well, have you? You may get a momentary thrill out of knowing that someone is ingesting your DNA donation, and leaving aside the fact that this is dangerous, gross, and ILLEGAL, your target doesn’t know you’ve done so. HOW, then, does your action “teach him a lesson?”

  136. ok, i’m old-school. the purpose of adding lemon to water started because way way way back in the day, tap water was unpalatable. people in “olden times” discovered that lemon hid many undesired flavors, specifically those which would indicate that the item to be consumed was no longer “fresh”. fish and hefeweizen come to mind. when i worked for gordon biersch, they taught us that centuries ago, oktoberfest started as a way to drink up the beer that was brewed in the spring-summer that was left over and about to go bad. it was still drinkable, but needed citrus to get rid of the “not so fresh” aroma and flavor. hence, the tradition of lemon in the beer. at g.b. all the beer was fresh and brewed on-site, so we were instructed not to add lemon, to the chagrin of many “guests”. man, would they get mad when you showed up sans lemon! “you forgot my lemon! where’s my lemon! it’s SUPPOSED to come with a lemon in it!” they would bray. then i would have to try to “educate”(as per the brewmeister and dean and dan) the “guest” as to why we didn’t bring lemon with said bier at oktoberfest. they weren’t having it. they didn’t care. they didn’t want to be “educated” and i sure as hell didn’t want to waste my time. same thing with corona, tecate,sol etc…(german immigrants brought beer brewing to mexico)or any beer that travels a long way to market or is exposed to light.

    so, in short, the tradition of citrus in just about anything with a short shelf-life or tasted bad (like espresso in italy during wwII, they couldn’t get quality beans) started with an effort to make bad stuff palatable. same with how spices got started.

    but, unfortunately, some folks like to make their own lemonade and expect to not be charged for the ingredients, thereby raising the ire of waiters and owners whenever lemon is requested.

  137. I had a drunk customer who broke a ketchup bottle under the table when he decided his food was taking too long (it had been 2 minutes since I took his order and I was just returning with drinks). When he left without tipping I was pretty pissed until I realized he left his keys on the table. I made sure they went into the kitchen garbage where no one would ever dream of looking.

  138. #148 jj—it doesn’t teach him a lesson. it just makes me feel good. heh heh heh.

    so when i come over and ask with a smile as the “guest” and his wife/date/daughter/niece/whatever are relishing their food with obvious gusto, “are you enjoying your (whatever)?” ,it warms the cockles of the black-hole that was my heart to know that,yes, i may have to smile and be courteous, but they are eating my whatever i put in the food or drink, and they are enjoying it!! yes! eat up and drink deep, my friends…enjoy the dining experience. know that this sort of thing NEVER happens to you.

    like i said, life is not fair or nice, and neither am i. i took whatever little power i had to bone them over if they crossed me. these people who deigned to grace me with their presence under the social-contract and are not holding up their end of the bargain are under MY control. i didn’t care if they had a bad day, they are in a bad mood, i don’t have to stand them having brought their issues to bear on me by having acted like a jackass. i don’t go to your job and slap the d!ck$ out of your mouth, do i? act like a civilized adult and you have nothing to worry about.

  139. I don’t see why I or any other person should pay you extra for what you are already being paid to do.

    But they’re not: waitstaff are paid below minimum wage and the tip IS A MAJOR PART OF THEIR COMPENSATION.

  140. #122 Greenbay
    Here’s a clue douche: If the restaurants start paying their staff a reasonable wage your food costs will double at the very least.

    The waitstaff are paid to take your order, deliver your order and sometimes take the payment. Everything else is a bonus. Speed? Not included in the cost. Friendliness? Not included in the cost. Well-timed delivery? Not included in the cost. Recitations of sides, dressings, beverages, specials, etc… which are posted for your convenience in multiple locations? Not included in the cost. Pretending your pathetic attempts at humor are funny so you don’t look like an ass in front of your friends? Not included either.

    Do you go to a bar with a two drink minimum and start pontificating about how you shouldn’t be expected to buy two drinks if you don’t want to? If you want to be cheap, there are plenty of fast food joints who would be happy to give you the (disinterested) attention you deserve.

  141. You guys are lucky! Here in Germany people usually tip approximately 7-8%.
    10& is considered a very good tip.
    At the place I work now we share all the tip and everybody gets the same amount depending on how many hours he/she worked. So of the 100-150€ tip I make in a day, I get to keep around 25-35€.

    Now you guys keep complaining and spitting in peoples food. That’s really sad.

  142. Hey ARG! You guys are lucky! Here in Canada/US, waitstaff barely make any money, even with tips! Of course 10% is a good tip in Germany: waiters in Germany get paid enough money not to have to rely on tips!

  143. Years ago, as a wine bar bartender, instead of tossing our leftover by-the-glass wines after 3 days open, I would save them for those “special” diners we all have. It seems like most people outside the restaurant/wine business can’t tell a 2 day old glass of wine from a 2 week old glass. Mmmmmmm mmmmmmmm, good.

  144. I worked at a fast food restaurant in high school. It was an “order at the counter” kind of place. We were paid $1.10 per hour and NO TIPS. And, NO, it wasn’t the dark ages, it was the late 70′s when owners could apparently get away with screwing the help. I think in a year of working there, I had 2 tips from people who felt so sorry for us! (THANK YOU whoever you were!). Oh how I would try to steer them away from the fried chicken (can’t you tell by my facial expressions when the manager isn’t looking that the only pieces left are wings, and those are turning GREEN????). PLEASE for the love of GOD, don’t order the COWBOY BURGER! It’s a quarter pound of mystery meat that has been put, unused, over and over into the cooler for a WEEK, and smells like ROT!!!! Any chance I had, I tried to get them to order something 1/2 way safe!

    We hated the late night customers who would come in 3 minutes before closing at 10pm. Yeah. Thank you jerk! I’ve got ONE coworker to help me with a ONE HOUR long closing (cleaning, dish washing, grill cleaning, ice cream machine cleaning, sweeping, mopping, etc.). AND I’m 17 and I have an 11pm CURFEW that my crazy mom insists on enforcing even thought I live 10 MILES away!

    Trust me, I tip very well even if the service is adequate. If the food and the service is very good, I certainly upgrade the tip from 20%, to 30%. The only way you’re getting less than 20% is if you are a dick. I am NOT demanding and can go with the flow. If my boyfriend has to wait 20 minutes for you to “check back” (by which time we have wanted our 2nd beers for our meals way too long)–and NO LONGER WANT THEM because we are now FINISHED with our meals, you are gonna be a screwed pooch. To me, this means you will only get 15% tip or 10% tip if you are a real jerk! I even tip jerks! Good grief! Seat me. Take My order! Feed me in a timely manner! How hard can that be? I don’t ask for special requests, substitutions or ???? I work hard all day. I cook at home most of the time! Eating out is a treat, and I don’t mind paying for the privilege. In my 47 years on the planet, I’ve only ever handed out a crappy tip 2 or 3 times, and that was for extremely, insanely, BAD service.

    Please take heart waiters/waitresses/buss-staff/chefs/etc.–some of us appreciate you SO much! When I’ve worked a 60 hour week with my corporate customers bitching at me, it is SO FINE to patronize a good establishment (like we did tonight). And believe me, we show our appreciation in the form of $$$$$$ and polite conversation! Thank God for great wait staff!

  145. At the place I worked in high school, staffed mostly with other high schoolers, asshole waiters who left their drinks unattended would enjoy the nasty taste of cola mixed with pickle juice. Patrons aren’t the only ones who should be nice.

  146. Carol, when you give excellent service you expect an adequate tip for it. My average tip is 20-25%.I work at a very classy establishment with great customers. Last night I had 3 tables: one left 19%(cash, yeah!), another 25 and the last one gave me 50%! I’m very good and people love me. Veeery rarely (maybe twice a year)someone would say everything was absolutely divine and not tip well. Usually foreigners, but I don’t expect them to tip well anyway. But when a visibly well-off couple with Gucci and Prada all over leave a 10%, that’s a shocker. Then I have to fix their mistake. For I know it was a mistake. Maybe they added wrong after all that wine, but why should I go home frustrated? I never touch their written total, the computer does it for me. One thing is sure, I’m not serving those people ever again.

  147. I have seen some terrible things done to guests. I personally have never added DNA to guests orders but have done the coffee thing and taken extra long to care for irritating guests’ needs. But my recent fave incudes getting back at crappy coworkers at the same time. We’ve all worked with them. The lazy ones. THe complaoners. The shaddy ones. I go to the computer and under the rude guests reservation I add a server request, asking for the server that is most annoying to work with. That way the horrible coworker gets the horrible guest. Match made in heaven. lol

  148. Having never been a wait person in a restaurant, I can’t say as how I’ve ever enjoyed a tip. Ever. I have, though, worked at places where I made ice cream treats (shakes, sundaes, etc) and also worked fast food. So I’ve seen some things and not others.

    I’ve never gifted anyone with anything carrying my DNA tag, but I’ve been more than happy to give everyone handfuls of pickle on their burgers, build their ice cream up so high they need a tray to carry it, and the chicken nugget that’s been left in the fryer since opening this morning.

    On the other hand, there have been the few people that come through – the regulars, the cross-country travelers – that are kind and are not rude. Them I gave extras to because they were nice.

    The people who walked in and treated me like I was a drone or drove through and were more interested in their dogs special orders (“don’t let mustard come near it, Fifi detests mustard, and no onion, her digestive tract is to delicate for onion…” DUDE, WHAT ARE YOU DOING AT A FAST FOOD DRIVE THRU BUYING BURGERS FOR YOUR DELICATE DOG IN YOUR $90,000 CAR? SERIOUSLY?) always ended up with the highest sugar/caffeinated soda instead of the clear sparkling soda she ordered.

    Oh, and then the Beanie Babies… when the single mom came through and asked which one we had so her kid could have the pink one or whatever, I was happy to comply. But when the crazed, caffinated uber-mom with six bags of them came through demanding to know what the purchase limits were so she could create entire sets by driving around the state and purchasing the maximum number allowed and selling the sets on eBay and proceeded to try and purchase our display set and argued with the store manager that he didn’t really ‘need’ a display set as much as she did, well, she got cold decaf coffee and no stir stick. When she came back 10 minutes later for another set, we had ‘just received’ a fax from Corporate about food purchase minimums, meaning she had to buy three of the most expensive meals to meet the minimum in order to spend money on the beanies. When we wouldn’t take her non-local check, she screamed obscenities at us and left. The cop behind her left, too, and pulled her over for swearing in public and for reckless driving. (He got a free apple pie.)

  149. I was working as a cocktail waitress in a casino in Atlantic City. This woman orders a fuzzy navel. Now, this casino was alway the busiest in the city. Each waitress has a station (we’re all familiar with this). I took the drink order and went to retreive the beverage. It, surprisingly, didn’t take that long. When I returned, of course, the woman was gone. A few minutes later, after most of the ice had melted into her drink, I located the woman all the way across the casino floor in someone else’s station. As I drop off my last drink, hers was the only one left on my tray. I had a bucket on the tray for tips. As I’m putting my last tip into the bucket, a quarter fell into her drink. I’m walking towards the woman thinking, “do I give the drink to her, or just tell her what happened and get her a fresh drink?” As I approached her she said, “Oh my God what took you so long? I’ve been waiting forever,” In a not so nice way. So, I told her what happened to her drink and that I would replace it ASAP. “Jesus Christ, how long will I have to wait for this one?” First of all, I don’t like for people to curse at me. Second of all, she’s already totally drunk. Third of all I looked everywhere for her while carrying her drink. Anyway, I said to her,”this won’t take long at all.” Mind you, the bar I get the drinks from is all the way across the casino floor because of looking for this bitch. So, what do I do you ask? I get a dirty cup from another table and pour her original drink into it so I can get my quarter from the bottom of her cup. I go back to where this WOMAN is and she said, “wow, that was fast, what was the problem the first time?” I just said,”sorry ma’am we’re real busy, my apologies.” She said nothing and actually gave me a tip. I look at the tip after I get back to the bar and it’s a 20 dollar bill. I felt kinda bad, but, as I mentioned before, she was a bitch. WAIT THERE’S MORE!! The gentleman she was with approached me about 15 minutes later and said, “My friend said that she may have given you a 20 dollar bill by accident.” I reply,”no sir, you are more than welcome to look through my tip bucket you will find mostly ones.” Even though he said it wasn’t necessary, I dumped out my bucket on an empty blackjack table just to eliminate any doubt. “So sorry to have bothered you” he said. The moral of the story is don’t mess with the people who handle your food and you shouldn’t get so drunk that you can’t tell the difference between a 1 and a 20 dollar bill! I DON’T FEEL BAD IN THE LEAST!!!!

  150. So this isn’t so much about bad tippers, but one brand of rude customers in general. When I was a barista/cashier, hipsters and yuppies who couldn’t unglue their cell phone from their yap long enough to give me the time of day, and simply flicked their credit card at me without a glance, *somehow* always ended up buying the most expensive coffee we had. Not once did anyone bother to check the receipt…guess they were too busy and important. I feel bad, but not sure if it’s enough to not do it again :-)

    Besides, those people never left their conversations enough to notice the tip jar anyway. And minimum-wage baristas in San Francisco worship the tip jar.

  151. Busy Sat pm in popular Bethesda MD cafe. I had gone back to college at age 30, so there I was back in the business.

    9 top, dinner is done, leader of the pack had his elbow on the check for over 1/2 hour. Finally, he called me over to berate me for not picking up the check immediately (I checked at least three times, didn’t want to be a pest/annoying, and there was interraction with the host when I offered to have him pay, and he brushed me off). Long story short (haha) He told me that it was a perfect dining experience until I did not pick up the payment when he was ready, and it ruined everything (eight faces staring admiringly up to him while he told me how I ruined his life).

    My shining moment…I told him that I was sorry he felt that way, and that I did not deserve a tip if I ruined his night. His jaw dropped, and he demanded to speak to the manager (he was also the owner). He ran through his complaint, and then, the horror…”she told me not to tip her.” JJ (owner) said…so what do you want? Asshole customer says…”I am coming back again, and SHE (pointing at me) IS GOING TO WAIT ON ME!”.
    I really don’t know what this jerk wanted, if it was to save on stiffing me a 50 buck tip, or showboating for friends, but seeing his frustration when I did not grovel or stroke his ego for what would have ultimately been probable a 10% tip at the most, was worth any money that prick could have left me.

    I worked as a server and bartender from age 16 to 32, and upon that time moved into healthcare. (basically, the same business). I have never in my life since met anyone who is of the caliber of person as those that are in the restaurant business. My dearest friends to this day from my late teens and early adulthood are people I worked with in many restaurants, lived with, travelled with to seasonal jobs, married and had children with.
    Those of us that are in it understand. Teaching a wealthy Brazillian busboy (who has moved to U.S. to learn English so he can work as a designer in his family shoe business) what “It is raining cats and dogs, and I stepped in a poodle”, and “so hard a cat cant scratch it” means, to take back to his “English for Foreign Students” class (he taught me how to say “smell my ass” in Portuguese)is a rewarding experience that I cannot get in my current job/employment/life. I don’t get the comraderie with people that I work and mingle with now, (with the exception of my husband, who I met waiting on tables together, my best friend, and all my friends from the distant past that are my dearest most dedicated friends from working in the trenches at various hellholes and beautiful cafes)

    I tore through your book in a day, and I thank you for doing the thing (writing it all down!!)that we all said when anything bizarre happened (which was just about every night)

    I don’t think I will ever, ever laugh, cry or do both at the same time with the intensity that I did back then. Or maybe I was drunk.

    I miss my restaurant life. However, if you offered me a million dollars to work a year in the best whitecloth in DC, I would tell you to shove it up your ass. With a smile, and ask if you want ground pepper.

  152. I worked as a customer service person at the counter of a printshop. I did not work for tips, but instead had to take the same kind of abuse for a crappy ($10-$12) hourly wage.

    To get bad customers back, I would estimate their printing higher than normal. Some prices were set but others were flexible, so where a good customer might pay $20 for cutting, a bad customer would pay $40-$80. We called it the PITA (pain in the ass) charge.

    I had one horrible designer who was never happy with her printing and always wanted a discount. She called for an estimate and found the place across town was like $8 cheaper on a $500 job. She said “Can you meet their price?” and I said, “Oh gosh, no Jody, sorry, I just can’t.” And that was actually a GOOD business move because she always cost us money making us reprint stuff or give her discounts for lame reasons.

  153. During a party with some especially selfcentered assholes who party too hard and too cheaply, I ground an aspirin into powder and mixed it with English mustard powder. Then well into the evening I left some cut lines on the back of the men’s room toilet and left them for the next greedy asshole. I didn’t have too wait long for sweet revenge. Last time they booked with us.

  154. Last night we had a fully booked house and a grumpy man walked in requesting the best table, which happened to be free at that moment. He said he could wait outside. In a few minutes a cute couple with nice genuine smiles walk in. No reservation. So who do you think got the table? Yes, you are right. A genuine smile can get you anywhere .
    PS. We were still able to seat all our reservations and have a great night…

  155. when I worked at a horrible corporate hell and an obnoxious customer would ask for more dressing to dip their fried crap in, sometimes I’d grab a dirty ramekin out of the dishpit and put their dressing in it. here’s your dressing biotch! cuz really, my spit is not gross. other customers’ however…:)

  156. I’ve always been rather jealous of the people who can mess with customers food or drinks. I can never really bring myself to do it. but I think to each his own. I love hearing stories about what people do. it’s fantastic. and most the time they deserve it.

    I work at a steak roadhouse and shit is laid back but we get the most evil customers.
    if they’re assholes, I usually just give the bare minimum service. I’ll always look for shit to do, though, not refill drinks, take longer than usual on everything, etc.

    my husband has never served (but he tips like a god) he mentioned to me once that one thing to do if a table stiffed you and they were still there after you picked up the check, to ask them pointblank, hey. what’s up. is there something I fucked up that you think I don’t deserve a reasonable tip? what do YOU think I could do to better serve YOU.
    I’ve always thought it would be fucking hilarious to do. haven’t yet, tho.
    have yet to find the opportune moment.

  157. To EVERYONE out there who leaves a tip on a credit card: your server only gets 2/3 of. The rest, unfortunately, goes to IRS(and did they serve you?). To show appreciation of good service, please leave gratuity in cash only. This way the server gets 100% of it. So if you leave $51 on cc, we get only $34. That’s a significant difference, which we pay for at the end of the fiscal year, when you get your tax return, and we are stuck oweing thousands of $$$$ to IRS. So credit cards ar a big punishment to any server. Please leave cash tips. Thank you.

  158. You “servers” and kitchen folks are unbelievable. With every job comes some aggravation. So you get a difficult customer and you throw a temper tantrum by spitting in their food, sticking your finger up your rectum and then touching their food, or farting in their presence? What a bunch of class acts you are. If you don’t like the stuff that comes with waiting tables or working in a kitchen, do the rest of us honest patrons a favor and get out of the business. We don’t need your b.s. or your filth.

  159. It’s been a long time since I worked food service and the only thing that I remember doing was dumping the stuff from the anchovy can. It turns out that it’s only olive oil and is flavorless. So the joke was on me.
    The only times I have ever stiffed waitstaff on a tip was when I paid cash and they didn’t bring my change because they assumed that the change was their tip – their loss.

  160. I remember a specific incident. When I was a fry cook for the college bar and grill, one evening the dinner rush was extra-chaotic. The line was very long, the customers were grumpy, and the grill was acting up. Enter the university building supervisor (my manager’s boss). He cut into line in front of all of the students, ignoring many pointed comments, and addressed my manager directly (ignoring the student taking orders) In a bored, distracted (entitled) voice, he ordered a steak, medium well; a salad with Italian dressing; a draft beer; and a side of onion rings. Then he asked my manager to hurry it up, because he had a meeting to get to in a half hour. And then he turned and sat at a table that had previously been reserved by some students’ bags. He deposited the bags on the floor, and buried his nose in the newspaper he was carrying. For a moment, everything stopped. No one – the workers desperately trying to catch up to the orders, the poor student who had been completely ignored at the counter, or all of the student customers waiting patiently in line – could quite believe the hubris required to do this in the midst of dinner rush. My manager (for whom I would have run thru a wall after this incident) broke the spell. He turned and opened the refrigerator under the counter, where the steaks were kept. He picked out a steak, and in full view of the customers at the counter, he dropped it on the floor. Stepping on it, and using his foot to rub it around on the floor of the kitchen, we workers and the few student customers in line able to see over the counter saw him pirouette on the steak, all the while murmuring, “Steak? You got it, no problem BOSS, we got your STEAK, you can just JUMP in FRONT of all the REST of these nice PEOPLE to get your STEAK in time for your MEETING!!” He then sighed, picked up the steak, and handed it to the cook. He said “Special steak for Mr. Supervisor. Be sure to get his onion rings and salad working as well. Wouldn’t want him to be late for the meeting.” All of the customers in line had smiles on their faces, and the mood of the kitchen lifted immediately. For anyone reading who might know where I reference, I will give a clue – this is the origin of the term; BOG Seasoning

  161. As a teenage busboy at a country club i had to place butter pats onto soused dowagers bread plates from a chilled pewter bowl. If i reeeally hated someone ( or was really high) I would drop some butter into their purse.

    Damned, that sentence was poorly written. Don’t do drugs.

  162. Anonymous, every server overpays taxes-that’s the problem. We don’t get healthcare or any type of benefits whatsoever. So what do our taxes go for? In Europe you get medical+ dental care+ paid maternity leave( 4-12months). In US we pay and pay and pay and pay and get nothing(medicare is after 65, if you make it). Anyone who insists on overpaying taxes which go to big NOTHING is either a liar or a fool.

  163. And please don’t take this DNA- adding BS as a fact of life. It may happen in really dodgy places, but I’ve worked in this industry for years and never saw it. You always work with a team and the risk of someone seeing you is simply not worth it. I can assure you most servers would find it disgusting. Such absurdity could never happen in a classy establishment. In my restaurant we deeply care about our customers, which explains why most of them come back.

  164. Sweet @175 you don’t get NOTHING for your taxes, you get roads and police and WARS! don’t you just love WARS?!?!? (/sarcasm)

    Liz @169 Yes, other jobs have their frustrations too. Think of grumpy customers. Then think of my job: I’m a dental hygienist. I, too, get those grumpy people who want to tell me how to do my job and clearly don’t think I know what I am doing even though their teeth are covered with food debris and plaque and old coffee. And, no, I don’t seek revenge. Sometimes, if they are really obnoxious, I tell the receptionist to give them to one of the other hygienists next time. That sounds a lot like waiters trying to get the bad customers to go to someone else’s table, doesn’t it? And I only had one customer who ever gave me a tip — every time I saw him. But he was a sweetie anyway.

  165. I’ve been reading this blog for a long time now, and have always enjoyed it. So much so, that I also have the book, and tore through that rather quickly. That said, this is my first time commenting.
    I have to admit, I’ve always been a bit envious of those who work in a job where they can get a bit of vengance. I work at a register in a national chain store with cameras all over the place, so I don’t get that luxury. Very rarely however, I do get those moments where I can exact revenge, and am well within my rights and job description. My favorite was this one guy who only ever came into the store to get something to drink and something to smoke. Now, we have to ask for ID from everyone who looks under a certain age when they get smokes, but when you see the same person after long enough, you know their old enough so don’t check. When, this one guy looked young enough, so I carded him, and evey time after when I carded him, he got more and more pissed off about it. I decided then, that if he was going to be a pain in the ass about it that much, I would card him -every- time he got smokes. After doing that for awhile, instead of acting all pissed, whenever he came in and saw it was me at the register, he got quite and hardey said anything to me. Suited me find that did, and I still smile about it, a little victory in a job where ones like that are very few and far between. Anyway, after awhile of the silent treatment on his end, he stopped coming in alltogether. Can’t say I worry about it though, as I see more than enough customers shop to make up for one that doesn’t.
    All that said, I don’t ever act rude or mean to a customer, I don’t want to give them a legitimate reason to complain to a boss, I want to keep my job.
    To those seeming to fear going out to eat because of all that’s been said here, are you scared becase of some bit of needless paranoia, or are you scared because you’ve been the type of customer that’s been the cause of some of this treatment? Most of the time, those that worry about stuff like that have been guilty of being the ass customer, or theif, what have you, and don’t want to finally get caught and pay for their actions.
    Now, I am not condoing all the actions said, as some are truly disgusting, but nor am I condemming them either. Most of these are simply ways of a server trying to keep their sanity. I’ve done the food service thing (fast food) and it has got to be the most stressful thing I’ve ever done, those moments where I was up front rushing to take in order, cook fries, and fill drinks. Though at times my current job comes damn close. Far far to many people forget “treat others the way you want to be treated” when they go outside their homes, if they ever even knew it in the first place.

  166. I should say, I’m not condemming the acts that don’t inclute any “personal” donations to someones food. I really do find stuff like that disgusting.

  167. So what if a customer returns food for a valid reason? I went to a restaurant once and ordered my food well done. After two tries it was still literally bleeding. Should the customer have to get punished in a scenario like that?

  168. I think some people are misunderstanding a few things. All the servers I know including myself don’t get angry when food gets sent back for a valid reason. We want you to be happy because we want a good tip! If your steak isn’t cooked right, I’m glad to fix it. If your mashed potatoes are cold, I’m happy to get you hot fresh ones. When I go out to eat I expect my food to come out the way I ordered it too. It’s all about the way that you complain. If something is wrong with your food just ask nicely to have it corrected. When you act like an asshole, and treat us like second class citizens, you might experience some retaliation (because we know we aren’t getting a tip anyway). Be nice and tip well and you’ll have nothing to worry about.

  169. Back in the day I drove a cab in Vegas and had a blast but occasionally I did get a Class-A asshole. One time I picked up this lawyer at the airport who wanted to go to Bally’s. In talking to him he remarked about all the reading he had to do within just a matter of a few short hours and I replied [trying to be complimentary] “my hat’s off to you–I don’t think I could do that” [read all that material in an extremely short period of time] and this m_therfucker replied with “Well that’s why I make $350.00 and hour and you’re driving a cab”! Well as luck would have it, right at that moment we were on I-15 about a MILE from any exit [this whole section of freeway was elevated so there was no way to get off the freeway except to walk to the next exit]. I pulled over, got out, threw his luggage out on the freeway [he'd gotten out by this time] and I drove away ;) Knowing he’d call the company to complain, I called the dispatcher [a friend of mine] and explained what had happened and he said “I’ll take care of it”. Later I found out the guy had called and my buddy took the call and listened to him bitch for about 5 seconds [to make sure he had the right guy] and then put that line on hold for the rest of the night ;) I hope the lawyer had fun trying to collect his luggage AT NIGHT with cars zooming around him at 80 MPH and then walking over a mile to the next exit :) Stupid bastard thought he was “smart”….

    Other times we’d get a_sholes that hassled us when we’d dispatch. For the ones who went out of their way to be ultra-pricks, we’d save their phone numbers and call them back days later (usually on weekends! lol) [with caller ID turned off of course!] at 4am and announce “GOOD MORNING! THIS IS YOUR 4AM WAKE UP CALL!!!

    There was always a way to f_ck with the malcontents who HAD to let you know that they were “better” than you simply because of the service job you held….Some people are so empty the only way they can feel better about themselves is to berate, hassle, “punish” those who they think have to take their S_it. To this day I love a_sholes who give me attitude thinking they can get away with it because “I have to take it” because “the customer is always right”……

  170. dear #170 Save your money bitch, you’ll need it for the emergency room. Hopefully. People like you deserve it. I think I hear sirens LMFAO

  171. Pathetic, truly pathetic.

    The vengeful, twisted waitstaff, not the clueless tippers.

    Some of you people should be arrested. Or committed. Or both.

  172. hey lennysgurl I’ve done that. Delivered with the proper tone of voice at a pitch that is audible to every table nearby is very rewarding. I actually felt like tipping them. Bye the way they were canadians! Even better!!! The difference between a canadian and a canoe? One tips!

  173. Oh it makes me laugh to read what patrons say.
    Espeically the pathetic one who said a server who engages in these hilarious techniques “should rot”..He is obviously a frequent member of the socially retarted bad tippers.

    As for myself, I have never shared my DNA with a customer..nor have I had the chance to seek revenge when tipped badly. They always seem to run away after dropping 3 dollars on a table, for a $100 check. (though I love the one’s who stick around afterwards with pride, and dare to ask for more mints or a glass of water, they get ignored)

    However, if your atitude flys under my personal asshole meter, you will receive a special treat in some form. Years of experience has taught me to automatically deem you an asshole, untill proven otherwise.(I’ve begun to hate people who ask for a simple things,”This fucking guy wants another FUCKING refill!!?”). So I would steer clear of my section ;)

    p.s. I read the book..nice job

  174. by the way in NJ, we get 2.13 an hour..I have not recieved a check for the 2 years I have been at my restaurant because it gets eaten up by taxes.. My checks come in as VOID

    Then when tax season hits, I owe the government 700 bucks..sweet, right?

    Remember that when your cheap ass gives me $55.00 on a $48.96 check, and says, “Keep the Change” with a wink.

    I think there should be a general knowledge course taught in grade school, where tipping appropriatly gets a little recognition. It should also be a part of the test, when becoming an American citizen. Foreigners are the worst.

  175. Ascynical, foreigners are not the worst, because in most countries gratuity is included in the check. The worst customer is the American who is VERY well aware of the tipping etiquette in this country and STILL leaves you next to nothing for good service.

    To Kim: Yes, taxes get you something: federal one goes to GENOCIDE in Iraq, which no American asked for(in real democracies to start a war on a sovereign country you need a national referendum!) and roads, police etc are all paid for by STATE tax, which I don’t mind paying of course. The federal one is completely illegal, as Congress never passed a law requiing any US citizen to pay it. Google “Aaron Russo:There Is No Law That Requires You To File A 1040″ asap. We should all be educated about how this country is run.

  176. To those of you out there who believe all waiters are and I quote, “fucks,” who I believe you said you’ll never tip again, I have a little something to say. I am a server and have been for quite sometime now, no it is not the job I would ever have chosen for myself growing up and I still have the opportunity to do anything else I want, however at the time, I enjoy doing this and I’m good at it. Contrary to your belief there are servers out there like myself with a little more integrity. I have never, nor will I ever deposit any of my DNA to anyone’s drink, food, coffee, etc. no matter how angry they make me; believe you me, I have had some people say some pretty despicable things over the years. I have however given a not so fresh cup of coffee to a haughty woman who insisted the coffee I brewed fifteen minutes before couldn’t possibly be fresh anymore so I better not bring her any of that pot, I must brew her a fresh one. (Because I hung around in the back long enough to pretend I brewed a fresh pot, to my enjoyment she took a long savory sip of her coffee and said, “See, I told you, there’s nothing better than fresh coffee, thanks I can definitely tell the difference.”)
    I enjoy serving people and try to treat each of my guests as if they are just that, a guest in my home. I genuinely enjoy people and taking care of them… even when they are rude and taxing. I try to take it with a grain of salt and remember that everyone is fighting some kind of battle, so I should be as kind as I possibly can be. I do not however condemn those peers of mine who so choose to “punish” (for lack of a better term) those guests who cannot open their eyes long enough to realize that we too are people, intelligent, hard working, tired, often over worked, underpaid and over looked. So here’s a tip for you #170, if you don’t want to tip we “scum of the earth fucks” who work in sit down restaurants, then you shouldn’t enter our establishments. Chances are you’re the just one of the many arrogant customers we have to deal with and you just never know what kind of server you’re going to get; one like myself or someone who’s not above doing something a little less than honorable. Oh and by the way, I’ve been in the business for almost a decade and I have never seen anyone deposit DNA into a guests drink or food… a little extra grenadine in the cherry coke for the grown prick who ordered it and got six refills in a half hour (bet you didn’t know it’s a natural laxative), but for the most part we have more integrity than you give us credit for. And I almost forgot, with a big smile on my face, hope you have a nice day!

  177. Sweet, you should not fall for libertarian claptrap. There’s plenty of other sites that will tell you the actual truth, complete with court citations, regarding the legality of the federal income tax.

  178. Kelli, try to find THE LAW which requires you to pay federal tax. It should have a date and number and should be ratified by the Congress. Then we’ll talk. Facts only.

  179. 190. Sweet, I’ve heard that tired argument so many times. . I hope you get treated to nice, long AUDIT by the IRS.

    I was a cocktail in a casino for ten years. Mix lots of money, alcohol. . . presto lots of instant assholes. Lots.

    I never once spit or otherwise did anything gross to people’s drinks, no matter how bad I wanted to. Ohhhh, and I have wanted to sometimes! Other cocktails did though. I’ve seen fruit and straws from the dump sink put into fresh drinks, watered down drinks poured over fresh ice, I saw someone spit in a drink once or twice, short shotting, and all sorts of things. We were not allowed to hustle at all, and I did not. Other coworkers did it all the time, and they made a lot more tips than me, but I wouldn’t do it.

    I have been groped, pinched, fondled, had my HAIR PULLED, scratched, burned with cigarettes in the hands of bitches who didn’t want to have their smoke in their face, so they stuck their arm out behind them with their lit cig in it. I’ve had my tray knocked out of my hands by people in a hurry, had ladies with long, fake dragon claws poke me with them to get my attention, people who use their glasses as an ashtray instead of the ashtray provided, bitch that I haven’t been around when they actually didn’t notice (everyone around you has a drink. . .), I’ve been propositioned, talked down to, cussed out, belittled and threatened. And for the most part I actually did like my job.

    I really didn’t mind all that much if people didn’t tip the first few times, people who weren’t regulars to casinos but were polite and treated me with a degree of respect. I didn’t mind the little old men/ladies who would faithfully dig out two nickels and a penny for me for each drink, at least they were giving it a go, and I don’t think they even realized they were being cheap. They were polite and it was my pleasure to serve them.

    What I minded was the entitled assholes who came in every night, plopped down in penny or nickel slots . . and put a dollar in the machine, and would only hit the button when I was there. . . and want top shelf drinks, and never tipped. You wait on those people for a few days in a row and yeah, you are going to mess with them. And bus people, casino waitstaff HATE the bus people. I did mess with people. .. . non-tipping snotty people did not get that hennessy and coke, they got well brandy (drinks are free, so they always wanted the very best), the bartender would put scotch in the daquiris, or make them without alcohol at all, or put stirrer straws in them so they caved their head in trying to drink it. . .and they always wanted extry whipped cream. . I’d pile it so high they’d get it all over their nose and not give them a napkin. . virgin bloody marys or extra bitters. .. if they pinched or poked or hollered or god forbid, snapped their fingers at me. . .they waited… . for a long time. Sometimes all night. I despised the people who would have a slot tray FULL of coins and tell me they had nothing to tip me with, but they’d say I was sure pretty. . .or even better, the ones who would give me coins from casinos out of town (our bank would not cash them for us). And I just loved the ones who wanted to put their hand right into my tip cup to drop in the tip, so I wouldn’t see what it was. . news flash, anyone doing that as long as I did can tell pretty much what kind of coins you dropped in by sound. . pennies make a distinct noise.

    And the poker players were the worst of all. Especially the superstitious ones. One guy told me ‘I want THREE STIRRER STICKS!!! Not two, not four, THREE!!’ I put five, he nearly had a stroke. What was he going to do, call my boss and complain that I put the wrong number of stirrers in his coffee? They were absolute pigs, loved to harass the waitresses, and if you were new, they would NOT stop until you cried, literally, were in tears, they considered that your ‘breaking in’ to working in the poker room. None tipped more than a dollar and a lot didn’t tip at all. A bunch of class A dickheads. I would mess with them every single chance I got. They were mean and enjoyed it. And they all wanted extra special treatment.

    Example 1: guy is smoking on the non smoking floor. Guest complains to me and asks me to do something. I say to guest “This is a non smoking area, could you please put that out?” Guest replies “who made you the God Damn fire marshall???” I go get security and guest cops an attitude with him too and is ejected from casino.

    Example 2: Guy orders vod/cran at craps. As I set it on the rail, he grabs my arm and twists it til my hand is pressed against his crotch. He holds it there for a second then lets me go. I go to the pit bosses, and since he’s betting 3k a roll, I’m expected (and warned) to let it go.

    Example 3: Rude woman at Roulette grabs my ponytail and gives it a very hard yank as I’m walking by and just about snaps my neck saying ‘is that REAL??’

    Example 4: Guy has been playing $5 slots all evening, I’ve waited on him and he hasnt tipped, I hope that if he wins, I’ll get something. He does win, he asks or drink which I promptly bring and he says “You’ve been real nice taking care of me, here you go” and he pulls out a wad of hundreds that could choke a moose with a rubber band around them, and peels through to find me a $1 bill. Wow.

    I could go on forever. I’m glad I don’t have to do it anymore. My shoulder is permanently wrecked. But when I eat out, I do not send food back, ever. If it’s blatantly wrong, I just won’t eat it, servers that notice and ask about it and get it taken off my bill get extra, those that pretend not to notice I haven’t eaten more than a bite of it the whole meal get less (because they know, and they don’t give a shit) Once I got a piece of chicken at a Chili’s that looked ok on the top but was totally charred and black on the underside and had actually been trimmed with a serrated knife to try to remove some of it. . .I wouldn’t allow that cook to make me anything else, because the manager saw it and they’d been caught, who knows what they would do to my replacement. No thanks. I worked with vindictive people, I know better.

  180. Wow, seems like the only places worth being a server at are the fine dining restaurants. It’s actually fun and financially rewarding when you are surrounded by quality coworkers and customers.

  181. Not my story, but I once knew a woman who had worked for, I think, American Airlines. She told me a story about working at a check-in counter when a belligerent drunk asked to be seated next to some attractive women. He was flying from Atlanta to Anchorage in the middle of winter. She checked his bags through to Guam.

  182. I delivered pizza in a college town in the Midwest for about 8 years. We knew who our good customers were and they got their food super fast. The bad no tip customers would have to wait. One that sticks out used to be a University cop but roughed up the wrong student and got fired. He was a 40 something year old guy that moved back in with his parents. He lived around the corner from my mom. While I had his food in the car, I’d stop at my mom’s use the bathroom, watch some tv, get something to eat and THEN go out and make the delivery, which naturally he was always the last one out of the bag.

    Everytime it was the same thing he would ask “Are you guys busy tonight?”

    After about 75 minutes to get his food.. I would just reply, “No, not really.” take the correct change, thank him and leave…

    Don’t F with the pizza guy. We know where you live.

  183. the only waiter i have ever tipped over 30% was on Lake Norman in North Carolina.
    believe it or not it was at corporate “down on the farm” blue hair establishment. A flaming homosexual elderly black man named george – best dam waiter i ever had.

  184. It’s my pleasure to tip well when I get great service. On the rare occasions I’ve sent something back, I am super polite and almost apologetic. But if I get someone with an attitude, yeah you’re lucky if you’re getting 15%. And if that makes me a bad customer, OH WELL. I’m okay with that.

  185. eurotrash, $5 on a $25 bill is 20%. Most of the people here will rape you, kill, and then rape you again, if you tip them any less (some might be ok with $4.50, which is 18%). The norm, however, is still 15%, which would be $3.75.

    I also love how defensive everyone is on this thread (myself included in my last post). Everyone who is not in the food industry wants to defend their tipping and behavior to prove that what they are doing is ok. Everyone in the food industry wants to prove that what they are doing is justified. I think what most people here are forgetting is that unless you come off as an ungrateful asshole and/or you repeatedly tip poorly (and we all know that 15% is the standard for average), no one has any interest in messing with your food. If you come, have a seat, are pleasant, don’t make serving a hassle (e.g. sending back perfectly good food, inhaling your drink and not being patient for a refill, substitute everything in every order, taking an excessively long time in picking what to order…), you’ll be fine.

    These stories are about the marginal percent of the population who, while I can’t condone sharing DNA, do deserve some kind of punishment. These things rarely happen. I’m curious to hear how often a waiter actually does something intentionally to a customers food just to get an idea of what average is.
    True, being a waiter does not involve higher level education and is a relatively easy job, it is also a very high stress job. The stress is what makes it difficult. When it gets busy and you have to juggle table 1′s check, table 2′s drink refill, table 3′s entree’s and a refill, and table 4′s screaming child who is bothering the rest of the customers because he wants his food (and probably more), and all of the shit from the kitchen (forgetting part of or an entire order, mixing up an order, things not coming out right, food being too cold, forgetting a substitution, only half of the tables food being ready, and depending on how much the kitchen staff like you does to a certain extent reflect how well your orders come out…), it becomes a very high stress job. And you have to deal with all this (and hopefully more than 4 tables) at once, and to do it all with a big smile on your face and without breaking out a sweat. It becomes stressful and difficult. I strongly think that is everyone spent only a few days working in a restaurant when it gets very busy, they’d have a better understanding as to why waiters get so vengeful and you have stories such as these. It may sound like waiters are overreacting spiteful jackasses who need to be on house arrest, if not worse, but until you’ve dealt with it, you don’t understand it.

    What both customers and servers forget is that the other party is also human. Both sides have bad days and have good days. If you go out and eat and you’re in an extraordinarily foul mood, don’t take it out on your server who is doing the best they can at their job. They are fully aware that most of what they earn is coming from tips and want to keep you happy so that they earn what they deserve. This is also, at least in my opinon, where the problem with 15% comes from. If you give me 15% and I’ve just tried my best and done everything in my power to keep you happy, you’re telling me I did an average job with your 15%. You’ve just insulted me. I was friendly and smiled. I never let your cup get empty, I brought out your food as soon as it was ready. I brought you your bill just as you were about to ask for it. I didn’t hover over you or try to push anything on you. You get the point. So if I did such a good job, why am I being called average? At the same time, if because of this, the average become 18%, someone is going to start being offended when they *only* get 18%…
    And waiters, if you come off as an arrogant asshole, it will come out of your tip. You may be incredibly good at judging how well someone will tip based on their appearance and mannerisms and will treat them baed on this, but sometimes it’s just a self-fulfilling prophecy. You think someone will tip your poorly, so you don’t do as much for them as you would treat someone else, so you get a smaller tip. The cliche “you can’t judge a book by its cover” is true and will therefore prove yourself right. Just as you have bad days and want to piss on everyone’s steak before it gets cooked, they have days when they are ready to leave you a piss-poor tip because they incorrectly feel that everything is going wrong that day.
    It’s also possible, for both waiters and customers, that you are coming off as a douche unintentionally. You may not even know that you are doing it or how to fix it. Your sense of humor might rub someone the wrong way. A lot of people don’t get sarcasm. It’s sad, I know. Maybe your natural, normal smile is crooked and makes you look like you’re evil and you’re being judged for it. That stain on your shirt makes you look cheap and dirty.

    One point that I’m surprised people haven’t gone ape shit about yet is people who tip poorly because the kitchen messed up. It’s not the servers fault if your hamburger is rare when you ordered medium-well or if your hot wings came out mild. Servers also understand that sometimes the kitchen does mess up and have no problem taking the food back if it’s not what you ordered or isn’t the way it should be. They also go out and eat at restaurants. They know what it’s like to be on the other side of the table (sorry for the bad joke, it was unintentional).

    Many customers simply act as though they are the only people in the restaurant. No one wants to hear your conversations. The chef is not your personal chef, nor is the waiter your butler. There are other people in the restaurant who the chef is making food for and the waiter is serving. If it’s busy, understand that it may take longer than expected for things to get done. If you’ve signaled the waiter because you need something and they’ve zoomed by you, it’s not necessarily because they’re ignoring you (although they may very well be). There might be a legitimate problem with another table that needs to be taken care of immediately.

    And politeness is never a tip. You are expected to act like a human being. You are also expected to tip. Both are required. This is not either/or.

  186. @ 38 – you are an idiot. sorry, but servers aren’t stupid. we don’t get angry over “perceived slights,” we get angry over real ones. and we know the difference, after dealing with thousands of people. there are many types, but it basically boils down to the under-handed assholes (the worst – the smarmy, sarcastic, fake-nice types who generally begin their requests with, “i don’t mean to be a bitch, but…”) and the over-the-top assholes.

    it’s very, very simple: treat us with courtesy and respect, and you will receive the same. you do not need to fear that your server is going to spit in your soup if you have even the most BASIC of human decency and manners.

    it got to the point in my last job that i wanted to do a fucking cartwheel when a guest actually used the words ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ this simple lack of etiquette astounded me, time and time again.

    “gimme a dr pepper”.
    “gimme a steak.”

    and no please, and no thank you. really?

    so if it doesn’t hurt too much, just throw those 2 golden phrases out a few times, and you’ll be amazed at the type of service you can engender. not always, for sure…but for the most part.

  187. in keeping with the topic, my favorite:

    boiling the soup/plate if a guest kept sending it back, claiming it was ‘too cold’ and was particularly nasty about it. yes, this sometimes included the elderly, and what’s funny is when i heated it up to bionic temperatures that should send someone to the ER, then, and ONLY then, was it ‘acceptable.’ they’d happily slurp away WHILE IT WAS STILL BOILING, smile on their face the whole time. oddly enough, this pleased me. or, the person would finally stfu and eat their food, because how can you really complain that something is too hot? win-win, either way.

  188. hahaha!! i used to be a waitress. i am lactose intolerant and i can say that i was guilty of “crop dusting” especially when i had ice cream before i came to work ;) . otherwise, i never put dna in a customer’s food. i have done some unsafe practices in foodservice tho. i will admit to that.
    there was this one woman who came in a couple times a month and was notorious for tipping a couple cents if anything on her tabs. she was usually put into a newer server’s section and i have had the unfortunate experience of waiting on her. she would come in and ask for anything and everything for free. she would announce what she had in her pocket for the bill and order everything she could as close as she could to the exact amount. then she would request a glass of olives. when i had her at first, i told her we couldnt. the newer servers would give them to her. but i used to watch her from across the dining room put her fingers in the bartender’s olives and eat them one by one. the night i saw her do that, i hit the fruit tray when she went into the restroom. she looked around and left. i never could be outright mean to anyone, its just not my nature, but i did get the satisfaction of knowing that karma would bite them in the ass. good luck to all you servers! i cant do it anymore!

  189. Working fast food in high school. Our manager takes a drive through order late at might. She has a slight Mexican accent. No problem understanding here and the customers didn’t have to ask for clarification on what she said; no one ever did because her English was better than most Americans. After we take the order and ask them to pull up one guy says to the other “”is that in pesos or dollars? ha ha ha.” They were still on the pad so we could all here them. I took their burgers and fries and put them in a reach-in fridge and asked them to pull ahead away from the window. 5 minutes later I took them their ice cold food.

  190. This isn’t revenge per ce, but satisfying nonetheless…A few months ago, I was talking to one of my tables when I saw someone at the table next to mine get out of his booth, reach into his pocket to get his phone and proceed to drop a bag of weed on the ground. Being that where I work is a rather dark sports bar, he didn’t notice it, nor did anyone else at his table. I had overheard earlier how rude he was to his server, and I waited until he walked away, and gracefully kicked it to where I could reach it unseen. Needless to say, some of the workers that night left there REALLY happy. And to top it off, I knew he knew he lost it. You couldn’t have taken the grin off of my face for anything!

  191. I’m a server myself and I think it’s sort of funny when you look at the whole tipping thing from both points of view, I like anyone else hates bad or no tipping because I feel like I personally do a great job and it is my livelihood after all. But one interesting thing to think about is to a waiter who has not been tipped, the thought of no tip is accredited to the reputability of the customer but to the customer who does not tip, its based on the the reputability of the waiter. Food for thought ;)

  192. hey Shandalar – thanks for answering my question. I am horrible at math and generally do the 5 on 25, 10 on 50 etc. I do this in every place – hair salon, restaurant, anywhere I am supposed to tip. My next question is am I offending someone if the bill is 27-28 and I still do a 5? Also, in the pricier establishments for what ever reason I feel like I tend to not be as generous after the 100 mark – I agree with an earlier comment, why should I tip more because my steak cost 25 more than a restaurant down the road – no difference in what waiter does. Thanks for the answers!

  193. I have another question about the free refills – I generally say yes, when the waiter comes around asking to refill my cup – I don’t usually ask them or stare at them as they serve others – When they ask if I would like more or start to refill automatically – should I politely decline?

  194. I used to work at an Irish Restaurant/Pub and the owner (actually Irish) was jovial and outgoing, the consummate frontman, but he also had one hell of a temper. It made him somewhat difficult to work for when you were on the receiving end of a tantrum, but it was a pleasure when he turned it on a deserving customer.

    We had a regular who always tipped $1 no matter if his bill was $20 or $100. One day the owner must have just had enough, and after over-hearing the server complain about the usual crappy tip, he grabbed four quarters out of the register and followed the guy out to the parking lot.

    As he was about to get into his car (a shiny new Corvette) he asked the guy if there was anything wrong with his meal or the service. The guy said no, and the owner asked why he only left $1. The guy explained that was all he felt he should ever have to pay for service.

    At that point the owner hurls the quarters at the guy’s feet and tells him to keep his lousy tip and to never come back to his restaurant again.

    One of the worst bosses I’ve ever had, but damn he was entertaining.

  195. Hi, I work at a 24/7 establishment. I used to work 4 nights a week on the late, ten hour shift.
    I’ve had bacon thrown at me, people call me incompetent, and lousy tips. I’m the best waitress at night cause I’ve been there for almost two years.
    The only revenge I’ve dished out is shitty service, ignoring people, and acting like a doll after I’ve pissed someone off. For my customers, pyschological revenge is the best.

  196. As a barista, I’ve never actually used “revenge Decaf,” but I have burned milk for customers who insisted their drink wasn’t hot enough. There are multiple was to ring up most drinks, so for really awful customers I will ring it up the most expensive way and always add any extra toppings I would normally let slide.

  197. 173 Jado that was FUCKING AWESOME! THANKS FOR SHARING! I especially loved the visual of your supervisor doing the pirouette! LMFAO!

  198. Way back in the day I used to work nights [second job] delivering pizza for Pizza Hut. Well most people were pretty cool, tipped OK etc but one time when we were HYPER busy and got way behind I had to go deliver a pizza and it was about 45 min late [but not my fault]. Anyway I get there and this psychotic bitch is screaming at me at the TOP OF HER LUNGS and I haven’t even gotten out of my car yet. Anyway she has to repeat that HER CHILDREN ARE STARVING, have been starving and it’s all my fault and this is totally unacceptable and I ought to have you fired! I couldn’t get a word in edge-wise as she repeated her rant in this nasal, whiney, you owe me tone. Then she asks what am I going to do about it. Then I said to her You want to know what I’m going to do about it? And she said yeah, what are you going to do about it? As I said THIS is what I’m going to do about it! I HURLED the whole pizza and box DOWN THE STREET LIKE IT WAS A FRISBEE–you should have seen that bitches face :) Then I said “Have a nice day” and left. If that c_nt had been the LEAST bit nice I would have just apologized for the delay but NO she had to give me her shit and tell me about how I was responsible for her children “starving”. Of course we all know if this stupid bitch had used some forethought and got off her ass her kids could have already been fed but NO she wasn’t happy till she got to BLAME SOMEONE ELSE for her problems. Typical “entitled” bitch (I’m SO f_cking happy I’m not chained to some PITA like this for life!).

  199. I used to work as a housekeeper at a local hotel, it was one of the higher priced ones, ’cause the hotel has a waterpark (Very large waterpark) inside of it. The cheapest room was a two bed, one bath, view of the back of the waterpark building, priced at $130 a night. Most people would it got as expensive as over $1500 per night a room there.
    it kind of sickened me that these people could shell out all that money for park passes, their room service (Which was ALWAYS all over the room), and the cost of the room, and yet, treat the house keepers like we were trash under their feet. We bust our asses off to get 15 or more rooms done in 6 hours (Not an easy task when you leave the room a freaking pigsty!) and sometimes less because you won’t get your asses out of the room until an hour after check out, and then we have 4 hours.
    Some people were repeat offenders too. how do I know? our boards would give guests’ names. And trust me, if you were a repeat offender (not just not tipping, but being rude, leaving your room a MESS) and you were staying more then one night, your stay over service was less then stellar.
    The worst i ever did to a repeat offender, and this guy was a complete JERK, I didn’t change his sheets, just remade the bed, the other which was all messed up too had his shit all over it, we’re not permitted to touch guests’ things to make a bed, I left it. i also would use their used towels to dry out the tub and the walls of the shower to make it look like it’d been cleaned, same with the sink. it was his ass going back in there, and my thought process, dude’s an ass, I’m not going above and beyond scrubbing everything down for him again, when he treated me like shit.

    NEVER would i do this on a check out. NEVER.

    But there was revenge on co-workers once. When i was pregnant with my youngest, I was having a particularly bad day, morning sickness, back killing me, and the houseman on the floor had been helping me. I had one stay over, and i asked the guest if he minded if the houseman accompanied me into the room to strip the beds and such. the guest didn’t mind, so in we went while he went down to the candy shop in the lobby. We got the room done, and left. The guy came back up, and I was in another room, while the houseman was dumping the laundry down the chute. Apparently, the guest thanked him for the room being cleaned, and a co worker saw this, and got in the middle of it, telling the guest, that I was the one to clean the room, I was the house keeper, and I was 5 months pregnant (TOO MUCH INFORMATION!) The guest then tracked me down with help from the houseman, who’d come to find me to tell me what happened, I started down the hall to confront the bitch, and the guest came out, and handed me a $10 bill. pity money. I was so embarrassed, out raged, I kept my composure in front of the guest, graciously thanked him, then went in search of the co worker. She had this look on her face like she thought I was going to share the tip with her. i told her to mind her own damn buisiness (Had a few other choice words, but unfortunately, guests in the hallway prohibited me from saying them) Turned to the house man, and told him, go break this, You helped me, we’re sharing evenly, just bring me a powerade on your way back up.
    The Co-worker was left dumbfounded as I walked away. little victories.
    When the guest left, I didn’t work that morning, but he left a note saying that the $20 tip was for the pregnant girl that cleaned his room the morning before. Management held onto it for me until I worked again. While it was a nice gesture, it was still pity money. I split that with the houseman as well.

    Steve, i got many tipping stories for you on the housekeeping/maid side of things, I’ll drop you a line at your email.

  200. I do know a person in my husband’s family that might make all the waiters in here cringe. When I first heard it I laughed my ass off, but now i realize, it’s not the best idea in the world.

    All the restaurants around here, you will not rack up more then $30 on two people. one of my husband’s uncles would take ten singles out of his pocket, lay it on the table, and say “This is for you, but for every mistake, I’m taking a dollar off” And he WOULD. for every two minutes his glass would remain empty (Free refills everywhere here) a dollar would come off, forgetful, waiting too long for food without a good reason, dollar off. and I mean this guy would do it every time. Most of the time the servers would make out with all ten bucks, but some would get nothing.

    My husband and I have never done this, and after reading this blog I realize how much pressure it can put on someone, and just how rude it really is to do that.

  201. Sometimes when Big black women do not leave me enough, but ask me for more after I have collected their 10% percent tip. I take dirty dish water and put it in their cup and let them have it togo.

  202. 220: That’s incredibly rude and crass. If someone said that to me when they sat down. I’d tell them to go ahead and keep the money. I’m not interested in playing games with them. I tried to give good service to just about everyone . . . . but people with attitudes like this just piss me off. So many factors can go on. …My dad does crap like this and I hate it. He chugs tea like he’s been in a desert for days. . . and if they don’t come fast enough his favorite saying is ‘the tip WILL reflect that’ or whatever else he doesn’t like. . . nothing I say changes his mind. But I’d be outrageously insulted if someone laid out ones and told me they’d be subtracting for every ‘mistake’ I made. Fuck them. To me that’s even more insulting than stiffing.

  203. There are many subtle ways to “revenge” a bad tipper. One time this very demanding lady left her umbrella behind. It must have been from WW2, all scratched and cringy. When I saw the tip, I gave up running after her, which I usually do if a nice customer forgets sth. Surely it came to good use on the next rainy day…

  204. To the guy with the milk: Instead of holding your breath during your entire meal, waiting to see if that milk ever comes, why don’t you just change your method and ask for the milk when you want it, not in advance? You’re putting way too much effort into allocating a tip based on delivery of milk.

    A lot of these things mentioned will get someone fired in a place like where I work. All the customer has to do is tell a manager and we are out of a job. Subtlety is the only revenge we can get away with.

    As for the commenter above me, I’ve heard about this before…and if anyone ever laid a stack of money on the table and told me this plan, I’d just tell them not to worry about tipping me at all. I’ll be damned if I am talked down to and treated like a servant. Also, I can’t get in trouble with management for offering to decline a tip…fuck that guy.

  205. Also, refilling drinks is Serving 101. If someone is chugging, they can wait. But bitching about having to get a refill is moronic. You’re paying $2.25 for a soft drink that costs us about 10c. You can have as many refills as you’d like…if you’re willing to wait.

    My best tactic for dealing with rude people is to very kindly say things that can be interpreted as rude in a way that the person can only blame themselves…such as…if someone is shaking their glass at me, I look at them stupidly and I ask, “Did you need some more Coke?” or if they shove their empty bread basket in my face, “Would you like some more bread?” while staring them in the eyes and not reaching out for the basket. I often say “you’re welcome” anyway when people don’t say “thank you”. Think about it: these are all things that, if someone complained, I couldn’t get in trouble for…

  206. Entertaining, yet frightening (I am talking to you Groovecat, even though I suspect you are a legend in your own mind).

    I am an OTR truck driver. I dine in all kinds of places; basically wherever I can park my truck. I drive trucks of many sizes and types, so it isn’t just truck stops.

    I am so grateful to have never been a waitress that I tip very well. I really feel for you all, putting up with the public, who, frankly, are rude, impatient and just plain mean for no reason other than they enjoy making other people’s lives miserable. I did work retail for awhile – and endured some of the same people without recourse.

    So waiter, you have my vote for one of the best blogs online. And to you servers out there who do extract revenge on deserving customers, I hope that you also get your share of great customers who sympathize with you while you do your sometimes difficult jobs.

  207. I’m surprised not to see any discussion/comments about the tip being based on the sub-total, not on the sub-total + tax. I’ve heard some waiters saying the 15-20% should be on the total, including the meals tax.

    Not in my mind. Sorry. I try to tip closer to 20% (or even more, depending on service, amount of change, etc.), but based on the sub-total (food and beverage/bar), not including the government’s portion. This becomes significant on larger bills.

  208. I waitressed for about a week once at one of those “higher classed” establishments. I waited on a table of approx. 15 people with their messy nasty kids. Bringing them bread and the little olive oil sauce crap that came with it… trying to keep it away from their demon spawn because I was tired of picking things up off the floor. Also – No bartender, so guess who had to figure out how to make their crazy ass drinks. Gosh you can’t just ask for a glass of wine or a beer? It’s gotta be something with 10 different ingredients…. and never did I receive a please or thank you and felt like I was an invisible servant..
    So any who the total bill was somewhere between $200-$300 I can’t remember exactly.. but man I had really busted my ass trying to make them happy with all their typical yuppie BS.. They left me a $5 bill. I quit because well… otherwise I would have stabbed someone eventually.
    God bless anyone who does waiting – You are more patient then me.

    As to the housekeeping issue…. I’ve never stayed anywhere more expensive then the red roof inn but I didn’t know you were expected to tip housekeeping. I mean… technically you can tip anywhere (mechanic, cashier, etc.) but my best friend is a housekeeper and she makes more then I do just on her base salary! Is there somewhere housekeeping doesn’t make $10-15 an hour and is only being paid minimum wage or less? I have always been under the impression that cleaning staff do pretty well….and I always try to strip the bed and collect all dirty towels and stuff and make it as easy as possible any how. Please correct me if my assumptions are wrong because apparently everywhere I stayed there is probably a housekeeper cussing me out as a cheap bastard!

  209. My family’s been in the food & beverage business for 3 generations now,but I can’t stand it myself,I know what they go through,so my wife & I tip well.
    A couple of years ago she broke her left arm & after some shopping she decided she needed some prime rib at Paul’s,an excellent establishment.The waitress noticed her broken arm & had the chef cut up the meat for her without us saying anything.

    We left her a tip in the same amount of our lunch.

  210. To Ell: If you had a party of 15, why didn’t you add the 20% gratuity? A click of a button would have given you instant gratification for taking care of all those temperamental kids. I add it every time I have 6 or more people. Why would you slave for nothing? I love children, but please don’t bring your screaming 3month-old to my restaurant-babies chase our customers away.

  211. Sweet: It was almost 10 years ago so my memory is a little foggy but I don’t remember there being an automatic gratuity. The owner was a piece of crap anyway… Probably wouldn’t have gone to me if there was one. They just threw me out there and said do it. He was banging waitresses and expected us to lie to his wife, the condition of the food was terrible… Probably why I don’t deal with the public anymore and only eat out at places where I am actual close friends with the staff.

    I love these a-hole stories. I’m an LP Detective for a major retail chain so although I don’t have to deal with customer crap I see what the customers do to my poor associates. I always feel extra warm inside when I see an a customer treat an employee like crap and then I get to pick them up for shoplifting and they get handcuffed and fingerprinted. Makes the employee feel a little bit better when they get that version of revenge through me. (especially when they are walked out of the store in cuffs to the squad car) :D

  212. I have worked as a waitress for 10 years now and I have never ever spit in someone’s food. What’s the satisfaction? They’ll never know i did it.

    Few months ago I get a table, two American women and a foreign guy. Has an accent of some sort, can’t quite place it. Anyway, I happened to cut my finger cooking the night before, so I’m wearing a band aid. After serving them drinks, the guy goes “How did you hurt yourself? Fingering? Fingering? Did you hurt yourself fingering?” with his accent… at first I was so appalled I could not believe what he was saying, and the women with him just snickered and said “Uuhhm, sorry, his English is not great…” At first I bought that, but after thinking about it for a minute, I realized there was no way he meant anything else than what he said, his English was good enough, and he really thought he was being funny. anyway, they pay and leave, and what do I find on the floor by their table? His passport with both of their IDs in it!

    About 15 minutes later they come back looking for their stuff of course. Now, I’d love to say that I threw it in the trash because of his asshole comments, but I didn’t. I returned it to them. I hope they realized that I could have just tossed it away for payback.But I’m not that person.

    However, I had a bitch of a customer one day who left a shopping bag full of trash and 300 dollars in cash in it, and when she came back to look for it I told her that her bag full of thrash was thrown away, and she was welcome to go to the building’s trash department and go through the whole container of it if she felt like it. Kept the 300 dollars, it was just enough to cover for her attitude.

  213. So I’ve worked in cafe’s for the last 5 years. The worst thing I’ve seen is that in a privately owned cafe, which had us input the amount to be charged to the credit card manually, it was common for a compulsory tip to be added to a patrons charge. ‘Did you need your receipt today?’ meant that as soon as the patron said no they got an extra quarter or two added to their bill. And our mistakes usually aren’t mistakes so be nice.

  214. Let me preface my story by saying this: In my experience, a server really has to be pushed to the brink to resort to DNA or used dishes. Run-of-the-mill customer BS just got bitched about or relatively harmless tricks, like bending your straw or giving you pickle ends on your hamburger or the greenest tomato on the salad bar. Not exactly life-threatening.

    DNA or trash dishes were usually reserved for customers who were truly awful, like those who engaged in verbal abuse and/or threat of physical abuse or job termination. Sometimes even attempted physical abuse.

    And really, think about it: If you’re at your job and you had a coworker with a modicum of authority over you- say, they’ve got year of seniority or so- and they thought that gave them the God-given right to get in your face and tell you that you were a fucking idiot, that they were going to kick your ass after work AND hopefully get you fired, what would you do? You’d probably start collecting documentation to go to HR, because that person is a crazy psycho.

    Well, in the restaurant industry, there are a lot of people who think they can act like that because they spent $20 on a meal. It doesn’t happen a lot, but it happens. Oftentimes the classier the place, the more entitled a customer feels in acting that way. And as a server, you have no HR department, and most of the time you can’t even refuse service to that person because that wouldn’t be “customer-friendly.” So what would you do, ya know?

    Anyway, my story is about a guy who was exactly like that. He was about my age at the time (mid-20s) and this happened at a private club at which his parents were members. I’d waited on him a few times already and was already hip to his M.O., which was to come in, eat his usual sandwich on his parents’ dime, pickle his liver as fast as possible, and generally treat people like shit.

    Unfortunately for us servers, the state drinking laws had recently gotten pretty tough regarding overserving. So, the club had decided to discourage patrons from engaging in blatant binge drinking by enforcing slow service and/or cut offs. This created conflict with this particular young man as he would usually order and slam 3-4 double screwdrivers within 10 minutes if you let him, and call you names like bitch or whore and threaten to talk to the GM if you didn’t let him. And that was when he in was by himself or with his hatchet-faced sister.

    The final straw occurred when he came in with his parents and several members of his family for a Sunday meal. THEY were extremely gracious and polite, so perhaps as an act of rebellion this little prick decided to act twice as horrible as usual. Instead of wanting 3 double screwdrivers in 10 minutes, he wanted 6, and when he couldn’t have #3,4 and 5 (after I explained our policy which the rest of the family thought perfectly reasonable,) “Bitch” became my new name along with plenty of other choice words and phrases. And that was before they even ordered!

    Right before their food came up, I went to the table to deliver condiments only to have Prince Charming say, and I quote, “When the fuck am I going to get my fucking drink, you stupid bitch?” And I officially snapped. I told him I would bring it with his food, then calmly went back to the kitchen to tray up their order. Then I calmly hawked the biggest loogie I could muster into the middle of his sandwich and made it visibly undetectable. Then I graciously delivered it along with the rest of the food and his stupid drink.

    After the requisite couple of minutes I checked back with the table, noting that Prince Charming had already scarfed half his sandwich. He asked me if I was still going to be a stupid bitch and not bring him yet another drink. I looked right in his eyes and replied quietly, in my most gracious yet subtly evil tone, “Are you enjoying your sandwich?” He was thrown by the change of subject and said, “Yes..sure, it’s delicious.” And I said, even more graciously yet evilly, “Good.” Then I covered my tracks by inquiring about the rest of the family’s meal in a more normal waiterly voice. They were thrilled with it and said so. (I should say at this point that the rest of the family seemed thoroughly embarrassed by this kid’s behavior during the meal and tried to be accommodating and wonderful to make up for it.)

    For the rest of the meal, Prince Charming did not say one word and he did not eat one more bite of that sandwich. He just stared at it with a horrified look on his face. I had a smile on my face that probably could have rivaled Miss America. At the end of the meal, Prince Charming’s dad asked him if he wanted to take the rest of it home. “No, no, no!”

    So, I’m not proud that I had to stoop to that level but I can tell you that a) that kid completely deserved it and b) by some miracle, he did, I think, learn his lesson (for about 24 hours). He knew I’d fucked with his sandwich and I KNEW he knew, yet somehow he didn’t try to bust me for it. I’m not sure why, considering he was perfectly comfortable threatening my job when I WASN’T doing anything wrong. Perhaps he didn’t want his suspicions confirmed.

    Humorously enough, there’s actually a postscript to this story- shortly afterwards I quit that job (couldn’t take the patrons anymore) and got another serving gig at a nearby public restaurant. Wouldn’t you know, he actually came in with his sister and got seated in my section. He didn’t recognize me at first and started in on his usual waitress abuse. Then he started to order and I interrupted with, “The Usual Sandwich and a double screwdriver? I remember you from Private Club.” CLASSIC DOUBLE TAKE. And gee, wouldn’t you know they didn’t even stick around for the meal? I wonder why!

  215. this is after the fact, but i thought you would enjoy it nevertheless…i worked in a bakery as a baker and cake decorator…one day i had the pleasure of taking a cake order face to face with a couple who didn’t know i was the baker/decorator(they assumed i was a ‘stupid clerk’–their words not mine) anyway, they ordered a cake, and brought swatches of the colors they wanted for the cake, how the writing should be, etc…each time they would grab my hand to see if i wrote the order properly, then exclaiming that i didn’t get it all right, therefore i was stupid(we use shorthand on elaborate orders, so we don’t run out of paper), so after a barrage of insults about my ineptitude, they left, not knowing i would be the one to make and decorate their cake…let’s just say that their carrot cake with buttercream frosting had just a hint of garlic….

  216. I’ve just come across this blog and i can’t believe so many of you would spit in someone’s food just because they didn’t leave you a tip! I think it’s pretty pathetic actually. Does it not occur to any of you that maybe the person in question can’t afford to leave or tip or that maybe they weren’t impressed with the food. Why should we have to subsidise your wages? If you aren’t happy with your pay, look for another job. I think if people not leaving a tip affects you that much that you want to seek revenge then you have serious problems.

  217. If the service is fine…you get at least 20% or $5…which is ever is greater…if you make me laugh or I can see you working your rear off….the tip gets exponentially bigger…if the bus people don’t do crap…I will bitch at management about the tip outs. If you aren’t any good…you get 15%….and if you are rude…if you make an effort at being a bad waitperson….I will leave you one penny.

  218. I’m sitting at my desk in a restaurant I just purchased a few months ago, after waiting it’s tables for eight years. About five years ago, a 350lb wretch of a lady finally pushed the very patient former owner far enough to ask her never to return. She just complained about everything enough times that he was confident that it wasn’t us that was the problem, but her. It’s been too long to remember every detail, but rest assured, if the former owner washed his hands of her, she was intolerable.
    Anyway, she tried to come back a year or so after being asked never to return thinking we would have forgotten, but not so. She was stopped at the door and turned away, and rightfully so.
    This is a small town, and she’s obviously heard about the sale of the restaurant, but doesn’t know who bought it because she’s back to her twice a week gorging schedule. I’m looking for some encouragement here. Further, do I let her get to the table and order before I ask her to leave? The walk up the stairs has to be a huge effort for her. To leave un-stuffed will be soul crushing. Help me out here people.

  219. I’m from Iceland, where we have minimum wage laws and tipping is not only unnecessary, but tends to make servers uncomfortable (and cc tipping is impossible), though some of the more touristy places have tip jars.

    I have worked in a few different service jobs, and I quite enjoyed exacting revenge on the ruder customers;

    When I worked in a bar, I’d put way too much ice in the soda, the beer was nothing but head, your crappy microwave lasagna portion would be tiny, et.c.

    When I worked in the menswear department, the annoying wives/girlfriends/mothers who wouldn’t even let the poor guy choose his own suit would be completely ignored as I made small talk with the actual customer.

    When I was in charge of receiving packages for shipping, the companies that never filled out their forms correctly got a very rough guesstimate instead of an accurate weighing/measurement, and the *holes who complained that I charged them by volume instead of weight for their huge box of styrofoam cups should not count on that ‘fragile’ sticker being visible.

    When I worked the register in a self-serve cafeteria, there wasn’t anything I could do to a rude customer, except put on my dumb face, take forever to count their change and then say ‘Bon Appetit’ in my smarmiest voice.

    This isn’t about being mean, it’s about staying sane.

  220. To Lauren: if you don’t like the food in the restaurant, it’s usually not your server’s fault. And if you can’t afford leaving a tip, then how can you afford to go to a restaurant at all? Go to McDonald’s or cook your own meal-it will cost you less. If you can pay $20 for a pasta dish that would cost you no more than $5 at home, you can DEFINATELY afford to leave a tip. As for spitting in food, it’s an urban myth, almost never happens, it’s beneath most servers’ ethics. Even if a customer is rude and uses derogatory gestures or language, there is no reward in leaving DNA in their food. The customer is a stranger, why share something personal and sacred like DNA with a stranger?

  221. #96 I agree with you completely on not returning food. I waitressed in many restaurants and have seen cooks/chefs/waitstaff spit on food, use dirty dishes, etc at EVERY PLACE I’ve worked, just because a dish was returned. I would rather go hungry than risk that “revenge”. I won’t short on the tip in those circumstances BUT I will never eat in that place again. I realize that’s not fair to the good, decent folks who wouldn’t pull this crap, but since I can’t tell who is decent and who is a scum-sucking jerk just by looking at them, in my mind they all are potential jerks and I’m not risking it.

  222. Well…I’ve read about 20 of these things and finally decided to type up what I did to this b***h lady that came into my restaurant.

    It was a pretty busy night, and I had been running around for a couple hours at this point. You know those people that rarely splurge on a beverage other than water, and then think they should probably empty out the syrup? She sat at MY table.

    I don’t usually get upset when someone shakes their cup at me…once…but the 4th time in about 10 minutes us just going so far. If you are THAT thirsty for more Dr. Pepper, let me know and I will bring you 5 of them to put on the table. I’d had enough, so the next time I made her a drink, I squeezed out the sanitizer towel that had been used all night to clean things up, right into her Pep.

    I never felt bad about it, and I still don’t. She deserved it!! Especially since her two year old started shaking his cup at me too. People need some manners!!!!

  223. Yeah, thanks to that uber gross movie “Waiting” we all get to pay for it. As I’ve worked mainly in Metro DC, I was disgusted when women would say to me, “I better be nice to you because I don’t know what you’ll do to my food.” How utterly ignorant of them.

    Well, the only thing I’ve done that was wicked, but OH! so deserved was cutting up 2 credit cards. One from an older Indian man who was eating at an upper end establishment that I worked at. Demanding, rude, crude and disgusting. His bill was high, left me like 8-10%. He left his CC behind. I had it. He called into the restaurant and asked if he left it, and management came to me about it. Nope, I said, no clue what he did with it. It’s probably hidden in his tight cheap ass. I felt so justified when I cut it up in my car(had a pair of scissors in there) and threw it out of my window down I-95. Laughed like a loon. No regrets. Another time I worked for a Corp. chain. We used to make those flavored iced teas and lemonades that the server had to make, and hopefully you didn’t run out of syrup which we did frequently. Had 2 guys come in. One was rather nice, the other was evil. Could see it in his eyes, and of course he was paying. Ran me ragged on the flavored drinks. Left me no tip. Left his CC. Guess what happened?? hehehehehe. Jerk wad.

  224. I had a table that had excellent service, and were nice, but at the end, they only tipped me about $4 on a $100 check. As soon as they got up and left, I noticed the woman (who paid) left her wallet behind. Now, usually, I would run out to return it, especially since I could still see them heading their way to the exit, but of course I didn’t. I figured, sooner or later she would notice and turn back. Well, she did, but of course she lived about over an hour away. So 2 hours later, she called looking for her wallet, since I turned it in to my manager, well after they were probably gone, and then said, “Oh, man I wish I noticed sooner, did you know I live over an hour away, and now I have to drive all the way back just to get my wallet, then drive the hour back home?” HAH, karma’s a bitch woman. Now if she only tipped me well, that would not have happen and the money she wasted on gas, and the 3+ hours she wasted would not have happened if she only tipped me good.

  225. I used to cary a small magnet in my apron and if I got the check back before they left, sometimes I would ask for it back saying that there was “a problem with the system” and that it didn’t go through the first time and that I had to run the card again, but assured them that they wouldn’t be charged twice. If i’m super nice, they usually let me take the check back. At that point, Id swipe the magnet across the card deactivationg it rendering it useless.

  226. Oh, man, there ARE some seriously sick people out there. It’s one thing to cut up a credit card left behind, and totally different to out ANY type of DNA in some’s food. As a server , I am APPALLED at the creep above my post who put puss in someone’s drink. That’s GROSS! Such jerks give really bad name to serving!

  227. I got snapped (not verbally, finger snapping) at and called ‘waitress’ during a busy lunch shift by a fourteen year old boy that was wider than he is tall. He needed more orange soda (fourth refill?) and his parents just sat there and smiled at him like he was the cutest, most angelic, most perfect thing in the world.

    I snapped back, rolled my eyes, and walked away. I brought the soda after fifteen minutes or so of making the rounds to other tables in my section and then showed them their bill. I got ten percent, which makes me wonder. I expected a stiff, and got what I expected from them had I just gotten him his fourth adult sized refill when he asked for it.

    I know, mundane. But I don’t want karma coming back to get me. =]

  228. Early in my career, when I was a host, I worked in a restaurant with a famous view along one of its walls.

    The restaurant did not reserve specific tables, but probably 75% of people who made reservations tried to reserve window tables. Despite the fact that we made sure they knew that there were no guarantees, they often came in believing that they could tell us where they would be sitting- which, given the turnover and situation of the restaurant, simply was not possible from a practical standpoint.

    One day the place was packed and a couple found themselves at one of the least desirable tables. The wife came up and was immediately confrontational with me, which made me forgo any kind of measures I might’ve taken to help her (wait a few minutes for next available, ply them with amuses, etc). Instead, I told her that the table in the back next to the kitchen was going to be the only option. When she persisted, I told her that I didn’t care for her attitude, and that I felt threatened. Her husband was sick of both of us and told her in front of me that I wasn’t “worth it” (which I actually kind of can’t blame him for saying) and tried to get her to settle down.

    She wasn’t having any of it and ended up spending the entire meal at her bad table, fussing at the waiter every time he showed up, telling him that she wouldn’t tip him a penny because she hated the HOST so bad. She also engaged adjacent tables, interfering with their lunches to tell them how angry she was at the restaurant. The couple got free entrees from the manager, who refused to admit that I’d done anything wrong. The woman told my boss that he needed to fire me or she’d tell everyone she knew what a horrible place it was.

    He knew he’d never find anyone as reliable or competent as I was (this incident aside, I took a ton of shit every day and did it politely- I was just at the end of my rope that day and that woman was among the worst ever). He told her that he simply wasn’t going to fire me, and that he was sorry that she was going to devote so much energy to hurting the restaurant’s reputation.

    It pays to build up points with the boss, I guess. I’m glad it didn’t escalate any further. I think 5 more minutes of listening to that woman and I’d have called the police.

  229. Think you missed the boat, here, waiter. In our field, we deal with some of the biggest douchefuckers this side of hell. But this gives you the opportunity, at the end of the night to examine, “was I the better person, or was I a vindictive little twit?” A waiter exacting revenge on a guest, however large or small, if detected, will give an asshole guest all the ammo he needs to mistreat the waitstaff. And he will feel justified, even entitled! How does that make things better for you, other than provide you with the cheap, short lived thrill of having gotten “even”?

    Some guests need to be put in their place. And it is great when that has happened. I have put guests in their place with a carefully chosen phrase that covers my ass. The world is full of fuckers, and waiters have to deal with a pretty high ratio of them.

    None of this give you the right to tamper with someone elses food. At the very least, everybody has the right to know what they are getting, be it in food or beverage, or in a social interaction. It is extremely wrong to covertly contaminate someone elses food, and it is also illegal. It matters not whether is is a “harmless” body substance or a caustic chemical. You don’t have the right to mess with anyone elses food.

    So, in summary how is risking your job, and possible prosecution worth the cheap thrill of revenge?

    It is always better to make a douchebag guest feel like the douchebag he is than to risk coming across as a bigger douchebag than he is!

  230. I have to share this one. But 1st off, Lauren, crawl back under the rock you have been living under. Anyway, I had the pleasure to wait on the most condesending (Missspelled I know) BITCH on the planet. Also stiffed me after I took great pains to keep smiling and cater to every friggin demand she made. Unfortunately for her she happened to say that she worked in the deli at Publix. Publix employees HAVE to bend over backwards for customers. I found her woring on day and waited for her to serve me. I ordered 7 kinds of cold cuts all cut differently and tasted each before she could cut it. I ran her ass off and annoyed the shit out of her. Then I changed my mind and said I no longer wanted the order and walked away. She remembered me after the 5th item I ordered. I laughed loudly as I walked away from the BITCH.

  231. I am definitley guitlty of this.. I have told people that their credit card declined when they were obviously on a first date. Accidently spilled crablegs, or soup, or drinks, whatever i have in hand on people. I have sneezed in their entree. mabe I have stirred a drink with a certain appendage in the restroom…. Once i spilled an entire tray of merlot On some ass hole wearing all white.

  232. If you are one of these customers…you are the “they”…we are the “we”. Dont infiltrate our rants and funny stories on this thread with your obnoxious opinions. We deal with it enough on duty. Shut up and go troll on CL.

  233. #237…you should probably find a different website to puruse, before we find a different job. Arent you the one who is a little out of place? This is our space. I want to spit on your comment. You are the ignorant MF’s were ranting about.

  234. You all are wimps. I would insert entire pieces of lettuce in my mouth before putting them on the plate. Spit in togo drinks and salad dressings. Witnessed a co-worker rub his balls all over a “nut-less” brownie, if your soup was cold, the entire kitchen made sure it was hot the second time by running their hands though it, someone actually pissed in a guys coke because he walked in just before closing… i could go on, im surprised i still go out to eat myself.

  235. To every waitress and waiter on this blog… I tip my hats to you! As a Customer Service rep in a Weightloss company I can not spit in anybodies food. But God help them if I could. To the jerks who are reading these blogs in disgust… get over yourselves. There is a reason the movie Waiting was made and there is a reason the Caught on Video TV shows run… to stop A******S from doing what they do and thus getting poo fingers on their burgers and spit in their enchiladas. Groovecat, you are the worst person I have ever had the beautiful pleasure of reading. I am very VERY glad you don’t serve anymore.. you are funny as all hell. Kudos ^_^

    Tipping is how waiters and waitress live. It is the job that they do to pay rent. Stop looking down on the job that a person does because damnit someone has to give you the food and someone has to make sure your fat ass is getting skinny. Not everybody has the gift of a perfect job and thus people must serve you assholes with your tipping games and 10%. Now I may not be swimming in the dough but I would never leave $4 on a $100 bill. And if I am eating with others and our bill comes to $100 and we split the bill… we will ALL tip $2-4 dollars on that bill. It is the right thing to do.

    So tip your waiters. Don’t be a B***H! And please remember that Servers, no matter what field they are in, is working just as hard as you are in your Corporate American job and deserves the same respect. Treat them like human beings and they won’t Crop Dust your table.

  236. Once I opened a check presenter and saw a ten percent tip and a forgotten credit card. The credit card promptly went in the trash can. I didn’t stop to think twice about it (if I had I might have felt bad for them and not done it). They came back for it later… I gave them a blank stare. They had received excellent service. Fuckers.

  237. I think that any non-waiters out there should be reassured that professional waiters will generally not spit in people’s food (or serve them regular coffee when they ordered decaf or regular coke when they ordered diet) because professional waiters make good money doing what they do and respect their clientele. Somewhere where the waiters get a lot of shit and no compensation (TGIF of something like that) is a different story. But if you’re an asshole (someone who doesn’t tip for real professional service is basically a thief) expect people to be assholes to you… that’s life not just restaurants.

  238. In 1991, I had just graduated from college, and was waiting on tables at a well-known chain steakhouse.

    One evening, Mr. X, my gym teacher from grade school, came in with his wife, and sat in my section. He did not recognize me.

    Rewind several years, Mr. X had administered severe corporal punishment on my brother. My brother came home from school with bruises on his shins, reporting that Mr. X had kicked him there as punishment for talking too loudly or something. My outraged mom called the principal, who stated that teachers reserve the right to do as they see fit to control unruly students. What was one to do? It was the late 70s, and corporal punishment was the norm in taxpayer-funded schools. Lawsuits were not yet dispensed like Pez. One dealt with it, lacking viable options to “call the manager” or whatever.

    Fast forward back to 1991. The Xs sat down, and I took and filled their drink order, and went to the kitchen to pick up another table’s food order.

    The cook was this kid named Shane. Shane was a true wacko, grilling steaks as he loudly sang the pop songs that were popular at the time, only he’d forget the lyrics, and substitute the forgotten lyrics with strings of profanity, to the tune of the songs. Shane often saw perfectly fit to throw steaks on the floor, or stick them down either the front or back of his pants, then place them back onto the grill, or onto an outgoing plate, just for laughs. Even customers who were nice to servers were at risk of such special preparations, depending on Shane’s mood or his desire to impress his peers. It was an unfortunate customer indeed who abused a server and had Shane prepare his or her order. The usual suspects invariably walked out of our establishment full of steak, potato, salad, buffet items, mucus, saliva, sweat from genitalia and buttocks, and whatever had been on the floor in the kitchen, or in the trash can. I neither condone nor condemn any of this. The world is an unpredictable and often unfair place. Deal with it or move to Mars.

    As I pick up the order in the kitchen, I offhandedly comment “Damn, my gym teacher from grade school’s out there.” Shane hears my statement, and goes “Didn’t you go to (XYZ elementary school)?”. I say yes. Shane goes “Is it Mr. X?”. I say yes. It immediately became clear that Shane had also had some manner of bad experience with Mr. X. Together we quickly figure out which order is going out to the Xs.

    Shane gets this look in his eye. I say “Oh god, what is he gonna do?”. As the Xs’ steaks are sizzling on the grill, Shane reaches into the oven where baked potatoes are kept, and pulls one out. He very purposefully strides into the walk-in cooler, with me and one of the waitresses (sorry, female servers or waitronesses or whatever I’m supposed to call them) following close behind. We know he’s got something big in mind.

    Shane unzips his green regulation trousers, and begins to “reproduce” with the potato. While doing so, he makes these loud exclamations, i.e. “OH GOD! OH YEAH!!! OH F— YEAH!!!! F—!!!!!”. As “the end” draws near, these exclamations increase in volume and intensity. The female server, and I, by this time, are hugging each other, barely able to breathe from severe laughter and disbelief, keeping each other from falling into a nearby tub of macaroni salad (which, in all likelihood, also listed one or another of Shane’s bodily fluids as an ingredient).

    One might guess what happened next. Yes, the potato went onto Mr. X’s plate, with the assigned load of sour cream, butter, and chives. Shane exclaims “ORDER UP!!!!”

    I dutifully take the order out to Mr. X and his wife. After asking the requisite questions regarding the need for ketchup, steak sauce, more drinks, etc, I am dismissed, and return to the kitchen.

    The entire staff, alerted to the situation, gathers in the kitchen, and each person jockeys for a view through the small square window in the door leading to the dining room. Mr. X digs in, and devours the potato, while the staff makes the expected vocalizations, i.e. “OH MY GOD!!!!! EWWW!!!! HE’S EATING IT!!!! AAAAAAHHH!! HA HA HA HA!!!!”, young male and female voices mingling in a tremendous cacophany of hysterical squeaks and growls.

    The manager, having been cloistered inside his office doing lines of cocaine, bursts explosively out of his office, shouting “HEY! What the hell’s going on here??? Get back to work!!!”

    Conscientious employee that I am, I go to Mr. X’s table to inquire “how is everything, can I get you anything?”. I am told “It’s great, thank you!”

    Justice was served that sultry summer evening, fresh from the oven and swathed in a coat of sour cream, butter, and chives.

  239. I had a two top pay their check with $2 bills, $42 worth! I don’t want $2 bills! Why would anyone want $2 bills? Anyway, my next table after them, thought they were supposed to pay their check at the host stand in the front of the restaurant, not so, they are supposed to pay through their server, duh. So as I see them walking up front with the check presenter, I look at the table and there is ONE DOLLAR on the table. Their check was about $40. So, I let them walk up front, only to turn around and come back to the table, needing change….I gave them back $14 in two dollar bills…that made me feel a little better.

  240. I have always been troubled by the way obese parents will pass on their poor nutrition habits to their overweight children. I am overcome with sadness when I think about the future of these children, who will most likely develop a form of depression that doctors will ‘cure’ with the latest anti-depressant drug… a chemical dependency that will give the child a false state of content. Therefore, I feel the need to help this child in any way I can to prevent that future from unfolding. I start to fill their bottomless sugar-packed soda with half water. It may not seem like much, but after the fifth soda, I have saved that child almost 78g of sugar and 275 calories! It doesn’t happen often, but if the child can ever taste diluteness of the soda, I apologize and offer to grab them a new one–as the soda tap must need to be changed!

  241. I just wanted to point out something about the example of substituting the dairy for soy in the original post: my best friend is deadly allergic to dairy, to the point that even small amounts of contamination will cause zem to begin projectile vomiting.

    If someone did that, and killed or hurt my friend, I am a violent, angry, and not-authority-cocksucking person to take your face and introduce it to concrete. And on top of that, I’d be absolutely justified in doing so, and you’d deserve far more than that.

    Mind, both of us do our damndest to treat service staff nicely; as a general rule, if we don’t have enough money to give you a 50% tip, we don’t have enough money to eat out that week. And if you’re going to take the time to check the ingredients for said friend, bless your soul, that’s extra.

    Mostly I just wanted to state that because it made me feel physically nauseous – and because my friend is vegan on top of that, lots of carnists find it “funny” to slip zem dairy. Which is an unrelated point, but I find it hilarious how vegans are so intolerant and horrible and human-hating, but nine out of ten times a carnist and a vegan get into a row, the carnist started it.

    Don’t do stupid things, kids.

  242. Since the tipping comes at the end of the meal I don’t see how it would be possible to “mess” with the client’s meal. However, If I recieve a bad tip, wether cash or on a credit card reciept I return it to the table and say thank you very much. They always look at the bill like why is she returning it. They know why, but they always pretend they don’t and leave.

  243. Cassie, what’s the gratification of giving people their lousy tip back? They might reduce it even further or complain to the manager. Risking your job is not worth it. There are other, more subtle and successful ways of dealing with bad tippers. The computer can always close a check correctly-you just have to choose the right button. The only time this is impossible is when a check is paid in cash, but you don’t pay tax on tips in cash, so it can’t be a big loss. There are other ways, but I’ll stop here. In general, hurting the customer in any way is useless. Treat them like royalty, and if they don’t appreciate it, then it’s their loss.

  244. Hey! I’m a waitress. I’m 22, and have been waiting tables since I was old enough to which is 18. Maybe not that long, but long enough to know how the system works. I have never, in any of the like 10 restaurants I’ve worked in, seen people fuck with food in any kind of nasty way. Like one poster above said(forgot who), it’s just below our ethics, well anybody I’ve worked with atleast. Intact the closest to touching food inapproriAtly I’ve come in making the presentation look better by movng food around or picking chives out of pasta because I didn’t read the ticket that said NO CHIVES. Hnestly, out of the all the restaurants I’ve worked in we would be immediatly terminated if we were caught doing some of the things posted in here. And it’s not hard to hide what you are doing to food so I don’t believe half of you. But this shit is pretty hilarious! I would love to hear more stories, true or not and hey of you’re still doing a book you can interview me!!! =-] -Natalie

  245. @ Post 252:
    I had an experience similar to this. I had a girl at my table run me around, complain about everything, ask me for free shit, and basically just act like a rude bitch. Then she left me a 6% tip. The kicker is that she’s a SERVER, and I know where she works, and I know a few of her coworkers. I went to her restaurant on a day she was working, sat in her section, and did everything that I know servers hate. Then I paid, stiffed her, and wrote “Karma’s a bitch” on the back of the check. I heard later that she was FUMING over it.

    Anyway, I’ve waited tables for six years, and it’s rare that servers mess with the food. However, I’ve worked in places where there was that ONE person who would. More often servers would get retribution by spilling on customers, letting them burn themselves on hot dishes, or just ignoring them.

    At the first place I ever worked, we had a couple that came in regularly. The guy was a dick and always got too drunk, but his girlfriend, Anne, was a sweetheart. One time the guy came in to our place with some other girl hanging all over him. He proceeded to get drunk and obnoxious. My coworker went to his table and asked innocently, “Oh her where’s Anne tonight?” The girl proceeded to ask who Anne was, while the guy just glared at my coworker. The guy and girl got in a huge fight and she threw his beer all over him. Served him right.

    Another time at another restaurant, a coworker had a large rowdy party in her section. She served them for a full hour, at which point they decided they no longer liked her. They called her names (dumbass, bitch, etc.) and demanded a new server. Mind you, they took up her ENTIRE section. A new server had to come in and take over, but with the restaurant being full for the whole night (sports bar = no turnover) she couldn’t really get any more tables, and ended up making something like $17. Even after someone else took over, they were still yelling at her whenever she walked by. She was in tears. After this party had been there for hours, they asked for us to bring out their huge birthday cake. My friend gathered together four other servers, and all of them spit into a cup. She then stirred it all up with a knife, and glazed the whole cake with it, while sprinkling dirt on top (it was oreo or something). Then she dunked all their forks in the dirty dishwasher. We all watched them enjoy their cake, and it put a smile right back on her face.

  246. As a college student, I worked as a cocktail waitress/bartender for a temp agency. So basically, I did a lot of special events, and as we all know, special events do not have specific floor plan. There was this one table where the guy ordered his drink as follows, “so all of this has to be in glass cups, no plastic cups because that affects the taste so all of this has to be in glass cups; so first, my drink is a gin and tonic and the lime has to be fresh, I want you to watch the bartender cut the lime so it’s fresh and then it has to go in the glass first and then the ice, did you get that? First the lime, did I mention it has to be fresh, and then the ice and after that the gin and tonic. Now next, we need a…”

    He ordered 10 drinks in similar fashion. I got all of them correctly and delivered them and received payment. Whereupon he told me to keep the change (as a tip, I presume). Five cents…

    Luckily, his table was one set up specifically for the holiday rush so it was half in my section, half in the other girls. I think we both got him one service and them left him to fend for himself. Later saw him up at the bar to order drinks…

  247. I’ve worked on the East Coast in a few cities, and I’ve crop dusted late tables, put up chairs around late tables, and turned the music off and the lights up for people staying an hour and a half past close on a Sunday night. The best thing we did was once we had a large group of women run the server ragged. They took up her section and took their time leaving. Finally, after refilling the prison diet (bread and water) all night for them, a group of fifteen barely had a $100 check, and after staying an hour after we closed, left a paltry $5. They also left their camera with graduation pictures on it, which promptly got deleted.

  248. I was a trainer at a large steak chain restaurant maybe about 4 months ago. For the most part am I really good server. I have my days when dealing with a guests attitude and my own may be a hassle but I do my best to never let it show. I mean people never think that a server has a life to. I go to school full time work at this shit hole full time, part time job on the weekends, oh and my maybe is biology. On this particular day through the week we were very busy. I was a trainer and I had a new server following me. I was trying to lead by example and run other servers food/salads when they were in the weeds. I grabbed the first salads I saw and to my dismay it was everyones least favorite employee, lets call him DICK. DICK was the bosses favorite. Dick and my boss, who we’ll call Ass, played golf together on the weekends, they regularly hung out, and talked all the time. Dick was a jerk from the moment he walked into the restaurant. He received the best sections with four tables, and the most seats (two 6 tops and two 4 tops all with table extensions that could seat up to 30), all the special attention(including fraternizing with the 17 year old hostess, he was 26…). Dick’s alcoholic drinks were voided after we were told that managers were no longer allowed to void server drink and that servers would have to pay for them. I digress, I grabbed the salads and lead my trainee to the table, huge smile plastered on my face. I try not to auction off food but DICK never uses his seat numbers so while slowly pushing the salad in someones direction I called out “house salad with…” “THATS MINE!” a rude lady who resembled a tree yelled out before I even got VINAIGRETTE out of my mouth. Her daughter then alerted me that the other salad I was holding was hers. I placed the salad in front of her and before I could even ask if there was anything else I could bring them she said “WHAT IS THIS?” pointing to her salad dressing. I said “That is our vinaigrette dressing.” SMILE. “I ORDERED ITALIAN!” FROWN. I replied sweetly “Oh no biggie our vinaigrette is the same as Italian dressing we just prefer the difference in name, would you like to try it first?” She proceeded to dip her finger in the dressing and then shoved it toward me “THIS IS NOT ITALIAN!” FROWN. “I WANT RANCH!” I forced out a smile and tried to keep my eyes from rolling and said ok. Instead of finding DICK and letting him handle the situation I was going to fix it myself to let the guest no that “BITCH YOU DON’T SCARE ME!” SMILE.

  249. I walked back to the table to face tons of complaints. I lost it and found DICK. Long story short…they (a party of 8) left $2 on $200. The lady emailed corporate office saying that I told her to just “eat it” and walked away. The manager showed me this email which had her name, home address, email, and phone number.

  250. Tip, how can you expect a good tip for bad service? If you take care of them, they’ll take care of you, that’s my motto. People leave happy and come back, so you make more $$$. Also, there is automatic gratuity of 20% for parties of 6 or more in most restaurants, so why didn’t you add it? Did you REALLY think and party of 10 whose order was messed up completely would thank you accordingly? As my manager says, work smart, not hard.

  251. I’ve always preferred to slighty “embarrass” anyone who gives me a hard time.
    Talk to me like shit? Then you might hear me chirp in, just loud enough for the whole table to hear :

    Actually sir, That piece of meat comes from the lower spine, not the ribs.

    Followed up soon with :

    No sir, the grape is 100% riesling.

    It may sound silly, but some people hate nothing more to have they’re “knowledge” shot to the ground.

  252. I am finishing up my senior year as a college student and working at Rocky Rococcos. My college is in a small, conservative town where people tend to see their servers and objects. A means to getting what THEY want without restricting their appetite for expressing power-hungry arragance. I do not make the pizza. I work the registar and gives free smiles to customers (or so it says on the menu, but I tend to glare more than smile). I am not mean to douchebag customers, I suck it up and do what I must to…what I do really isn’t hard so I don’t really care. But when my last days of work roll around (as I graduate college, quite Rockys and get out of Nowhere Town) I am going to let my vengence soar. When a snippity customer asks me why their food is taking so long (3 minute wait, goodness thats obscene! j/k) I will look at them and say ‘Does it look like I have the all seeing all knowing third eye. Do you think my goal in life is to cater to your every desire? Did your mom raise you to be a total f*ckhead or is that how you were born? You are in my domain so sit the f*ck back down and I will give you your damned pizza when I feel like it!’ I just want to tell all those good-for-nothing pompus pricks to stick it where the sun don’t shine and things of that nature. Man, will it lift a load of cynical distrust to restaurant goers off my shoulders!

  253. @SWEET… I didn’t give them bad service because I wasn’t their server, I was just doing their server a favor dropping off their salads and I did so very sweetly and even tried to fix their “salad issues”. Gratuity at this particular restaurant is for parties of 8 or more. Their server choose not to add gratuity which is why he received $2 on a $200 check. And their order was not completley messed up they just got the wrong dressings not a reason to leave $2 on $200.

  254. I am lucky enough to be passionate about what “we” do. Interacting with thousands of people each month gives us endless opportunities to do the right thing, to deliver what people have come for and if “we” are lucky we can exceed the guests expectations and thus increase loyalty & bla bla bla ….

    The point is, we spend plenty of hours (actually way to many) in this industry, keep passionate, keep possitive, have fun!, the moment your mission is to ruin someones elses experience regardless of their attitude, it makes you a bitter person and puts you at their level.

    Rude guests, cheap guests, guests with terrible kids will come and go, but they are why we are here and because of them we and our staff get our paycheck every week/month… And specially in these difficult times, a dollar is a dollar, and we cannot afford to loose any revenue or loose any guests.

  255. my daughter waited her way thru college and would tell me the most awful stories about bad tippers. Usually they were the most troublesome or rudest.
    I’ve always detested bad or non tippers and if I eat with them I will berate them if they don’t tip.
    I always tip a minimum of $2.00, but never tip more than 15% unless I get very good service. Don’t worry, if I don’t get good service, I’m likely not going to be visiting you again. There are too many choices to waste time on either poor service or food. So I guess that makes me evil. I have tipped as much as 25%. I’ve read that you should only tip 10% on alcohol.

  256. For Scotts:
    Here is an updated price list:
    Good service…20% or more
    Average service 18%
    Spotty Service 15%
    Terrible service…10%
    Wine is a part of your meal-we serve it for you, as we do with your food, so tip is always on the whole bill not on food only.Example: your bill is $100. If your wine is $20 and you leave $10 tip(that’s 15% on food only), then you’ve left 10% tip which translated to a slap in the face. Were you ignored all night, got the wrong meal, wrong temperature, felt rushed, waited for drinks half an hour etc? Less than 20% on the whole bill means to me you were not happy.

  257. Tip/#272: So you saw the email address, etc. Your point is…? Plus the server not adding the gratuity is gambling, which some servers love to do. I don’t. And he gambled on you taking care of his table, which I wouldn’t.

    JDB/#278: You sound like a manager. Server’s don’t get pay checks where I come from. I wasn’t in the industry to put up with rude, obnoxious people and children. Think about that the next time you fly somewhere. Glorified servers in the sky don’t put up with the crap that we do. If you can’t afford to lose any guests, then you better rethink your strategy as it’s a losing management style.

  258. Wow! I try to eat eat out once a month i don’t go to the same restaurant twice in a row though! Here are my rules on tipping! If you are polite and steady you will get a good tip, however i am Canadian and don’t do the % thing i round up say the bill is $31.5 i will just give two twenties and let the server keep the rest! However if i receive bad service i will not leave you a thing and will not come back to receive the same poor service! I always say please and thank you to my servers as just like at home i would say the same to family! I don’t make a scene in a restaurant and ruin everyone’s meals. I am the customer that will leave you no tip and no explanation. However there was one occasion i had to be upset and did call the manager over! I went to a very nice establishment for a anniversery dinner and was able to be seated on the patio by the hostess. We waited along with fellow patio patrons for a server to bring us a menu and ask us for drinks for approximatley 30 minutes finally i went into the resturant and asked the hostess if there was wait staff on patio as all the patrons out there were still waiting. Approx 5 min later a greasy 15 year old boy came and threw our menu’s on all of our tables (by then most of the patrons left) and informed us that he was busy inside and to hurry up and make our fucking minds up! I told him not to worry with our orders we would just like to talk to his manager. To say the least he was fired on the spot our meals were free and the manager gave us 2 for 1 coupons for the next visit! She got a very nice tip! our meal would have cost us $40 instead we gave her the $40 as a tip!

  259. My first ever job was at this pizza place in the mall. It wasn’t my idea but this guy I was working with, who was a couple years older than me, decided he was going to mess with the dough. Our manager had gone to walk around the mall since it was a pretty slow night. He pulled me in the back and asked me to watch the door. Meanwhile he starts spitting in the dough until I see him zip down his pants and start peeing in the dough. Then he cooked the dough and we rubbed it all over the kitchen floor.

    I didn’t eat pizza from there for like a month.

  260. I worked concessions in an event arena when I was in high school and we would deal with drunken jerks all the time. Usually we would just deal with them but one particular night a person’s chicken fingers weren’t up to par for them. Instead of kindly telling the cashier about it he through it over her head in me and the other cooks direction yelling that we need to learn how to cook food. As I was apologizing the other cook took his new platter of food in the back and proceded to wipe it on his genitals (they were hot chicken fingers too. OUCH!) and put pubic hairs under his fries. At the time I thought hell yeah cruel vengeance but now I realize we’re lucky we didn’t lose our jobs. Still don’t throw food at me or I’ll put my dick in your ranch sauces.

  261. Everyone needs to calm down.
    I’m 28 and have worked FOH for 13 years. Most places and people won’t “donate DNA” for vengenace with bad tables…now we would like to do it MOST OF THE TIME with lame tables but nothing ever happens.
    Every good server has the mental fantasy about what they would do or say to a bad table but we are trained. And don’t like to be proved wrong.
    I would rather talk about you and how lame you are than leave any part of me for you to enjoy

  262. I work at a restaurant in the airport so I get little to none regular customers, so my “revenge” is not due to them being bad tippers. What I usually do to deal with rude or annoying people is not really revenge… it’s more of a way of handling such tables. I have never “contributed DNA” into any customers food. To me, that’ pointless, it doesn’t achieve anything and potentially can cause serious harm. For me, the point is to let the person know they are being rude, annoying, etc…
    For example, we have a hostess. Yet, some people just ignore the whole hostess stand, walk right by it and decide to seat themselves wherever they want. If the table is in my section, I usually walk up and say, “oh, the hostess didn’t give u a menu when SHE sat you here?” or if they have a menu, “Oh, the hostess sat you on DIRTY table?” Most people get the point and apologize and tip well since there was no rudeness involved. If you are one of those people who seat themselves, just so you know, this creates problems. Most places have several servers on the floor and we take turns seating tables so we all have an equal amount of tables. This is important for you to get served on time, if I am loaded with 10 tables, and you seat yourself on a dirty one, I’m not gonna have time to clean your table let alone take your order.
    Another thing that is annoying, when I’m at a table talking to a customer, another table nearby starts waving frantically and yelling “excuse me” as I’m talking to someone else. WAIT! CALM DOWN you rude mofo, you will have my full attention as soon as I’m done with this table. How would you like it if I was taking your order and all of a sudden left everything I was doing to take care of another? I bet you wouldn’t. What ever happened to common sense? I usually ignore them til I’m done and let them know how rude they were.
    Another favorite is “I have a flight to catch” Yes, I know. You are at the airport, so does everyone else, so no I can’t rush your order for you. You are just gonna have to wait like everyone else. Too bad, you are gonna starve on a 2 hour flight to Seattle if you don;t eat right away. I just look at them and go “Really? You got a flight? I thought this was Amtrak” most people laugh, some think im rude.. but whatever, i feel bad for the ones who dont have a sense of humor or dont get sarcasm.
    There are proabably more things that annoy me but these are the top 3

  263. Here is a story of good service/bad tip at the end. The first serving job I had (in Alabama) a few years ago, I work the lunch shift. For some reason, the the owners would not schedule you on night shift early on (unless they ‘liked’ you). Well, one Saturday, the 4pm’s were all late and I was the lunch closer. I had a two-top walk in around 4 pm. So, naturally, I started to serve them. They seemed cool. The young lady was very friendly and talkative, although she seemed a bit on the stuck-up side of things. The older man was more reserved, but still somewhat talkative.

    Finally, a the late 4pm servers began to show. And, since I had only serve the couple a few glasses of wine, I simply wanted to transfer the table because they were ordering from the dinner menu. NO server would pick up the table from me and NO manager would make them (well, i didn’t squeal on them though). So, I served the table. Gave them everything and mean every nitpicky thing they asked for. I even traded emails with the young lady.

    Their tab was about $100; so, I expected about $20 tip right? WRONG!! I got $5. They said thank you and asked to sit on the patio to finish their wine. Here’s where it gets interesting:

    My co-workers THEN began to tell me why they wouldn’t pick up the table. They said the couple comes in a lot and never leave a decent tip and they are high maintenance. Before I left, the couple stopped me on the patio for further conversing. Baffled at their tipping behavior and new to the biz myself, I cut in and asked if they received bad service! Then, I explain that standard gratuity for good service was at least 15 to 20 percent.

    The older guy grabbed my hand and quietly lashed out at me telling me how I didn’t have to be so brash with him in front of all those ‘white people.’ Then he slapped another $10 into my hand. I thanked him, but I sat and explained to him that no one else would serve them because of their attitude and tipping behavior.

    I didn’t understand that I am never to question a patron about their tip, but I ended up becoming best friends with the young lady. She told me that she never knew that the older guy was always leaving bad tips because she typically would double the tax and leave that as a tip, but admittedly did not know it was a 20% standard. Well, she NEVER did it again and would make sure that the older guy (who was not her boyfriend, but a close constituent) always tipped appropriately wherever they ate out.

    As for the other servers, they never got to see how well the couple would tip because the young lady would only choose a few people to serve her or any of her guests when she came in because she felt that they took the wrong attitude for something that she sincerely was not aware was happening. BAM! Respect should always be given to guests. And the good karma will come back to you.

  264. I work as a bartender in a trashy college dance bar. It’s widely known as the dirtiest/roughest bar in town. Most people only go there after they’ve already done some heavy drinking elsewhere, and it doesn’t start to pick up until 11:30 or so even on the weekends. As one of my coworkers succinctly put it, “We get the fighters, fuckers, and pukers.” It’s that kind of place.
    I do my best to be polite and personable with everybody, regardless of tips. I’m friendly and work my ass off to get things made as fast as humanly possible, so not getting tipped generally isn’t an issue anyway. People that come in regularly and NEVER tip tend to get on my nerves, but I make enough in throughout the night that the odd random cheapskate doesn’t bother me at all. You won’t incur my wrath for not tipping, but you’ll probably find yourself waiting longer to get service. I’ll still even make your drinks strong.
    If you start acting like an asshole though, you might as well not bother coming back. Working in a dive bar, our boss gives us a LOT of leeway when it comes to dealing with drunk jerks. I get to do things I only dreamed about in other jobs. I only bother exacting revenge on people who are either outright mean or outright obnoxious, but if you piss off one of the bartenders you’ll likely be paying for it somehow. And it won’t be subtle.
    We do all the usual stuff: let them wait for 20 minutes while we serve everyone around them, then tell them they’re not going to get served; pretend we don’t have what they want; overcharge for drinks; etc. I don’t mess with ingredients because I’m aware that allergic reactions can kill people, and have never added any DNA because that’s just going too far.
    I get to do all kinds of other fun stuff though too. I’ve sprayed people down with water from the soda gun on multiple occasions. I’ve cut people off after a couple of drinks simply because they were assholes. “Sorry buddy, you’re cut off. Oh, you’re not drunk? Well, if you act like this sober, I don’t think it’s a good idea to give you any more alcohol.”
    The fastest way to to get on my shitlist is to come up to the bar during peak hours, when there are already five or six groups ahead of you, and start bitching before I’m even through two of them. One night this ugly, annoying, 40-something fatty (who comes in regularly, never tips, and always orders something with 5 or more ingredients when we’re slammed) came up to the bar during just such an occasion. I had been keeping track of who got there in what order, and was serving accordingly. I finish the first order and ask the next people in line what they want, hearing the little harpy yell “Oh my god!” as I do. I finish theirs and move on to the next people in line. Again, she has some kind of outburst. I get to the next group, and she starts throwing a mini tantrum (still behind 2 or 3 other people). As I take the next order she starts yelling about how she’s “been waiting for twenty minutes.” At this point it had been, maybe, five minutes. I had decided I was in no hurry to serve her after her first outburst, but after that “twenty minutes” shit I decided to really torture the woman. I completely stopped listening to her, and never made any sort of sign that I was aware of her presence. After about twenty minutes or so had passed of me serving people around her, I tried to serve a guy standing right next to her, to whom she had apparently been bitching pretty hard about the lack of service. He looked surprised, then backed away and motioned towards the woman, trying to give up his turn for her. As she began ordering, I laughed, never looking away from the guy, and said “No, what do YOU want?”
    Her voice became this shrill hyena noise and she said something along the lines of “Oh, so you’re just not gonna take my order?” I looked at her for the first time throughout the ordeal and calmly said “Stop being a bitch and I’ll serve you,” then went back to serving everyone around her until she went away. That felt awesome.
    Unfortunately, she still comes in pretty much every weekend. I really can’t understand why. She and her sister are known among the bartenders as “those bitches that come in every weekend and never tip,” and as a consequence they’re always waiting forever for drinks. She usually doesn’t bother trying to get drinks from me anymore though, which makes me happy.
    Most of the time if you’re mean I’ll be mean right back, like in the above story. I did do something kinda gross once though.
    There’s one particularly trashy bitch that comes in a lot and whom, on multiple occasions, I’ve heard talking shit about me when she thinks I’m out of earshot. Normally I wouldn’t really care, but this girl acts SUPER fake nice to my face, and has an insane case of narcissism. One night she was being extra annoying, yelling at me from another bartender’s section of the bar for a jag bomb. I ignored her for a while, assuming the other bartender would help her, but he apparently had the same idea as me. We had run out of small plastic cups and I didn’t feel like running into the back to get more, which made me even less inclined to help her. I probably would have gone on ignoring her, but I noticed we had one small plastic cup left which we were using to store all the quarters from tips. I opted to just dump the quarters and make her drink in that cup instead. That may not sound terribly gross, but these are bar quarters. I consider counting quarters at the end of the night one of the grossest parts of my job.

  265. Ya know, I’m thinking someone could mention “if tipping isn’t your thing, you could just drive through someplace and get your meal in a paper sack”.

  266. As a barista, I deal with some real jerks. However, I would never, EVER, purposefully substitute anything on a drink for revenge. If some rude customer orders soy, I’m not going to make their drink with milk – what if they’re lactose intolerant? They could die in my shop; not ok. The worst I’ve done is probably “accidentally” forget the whipped cream on a drink or maybe poured them a cup of the least fresh coffee we have brewed.

    The bottom line here is simple: if your customers suck, you can’t expect them to get better by treating them like crap. You kill more flies with honey, people.

  267. I have read nasty things here, now i’ll tell you one: I worked at a Buffet in the south, cheap ass customers, pissed me off every day but I never got revenge at least not directly, just by witnessing the main cook handle the food was enough of a disgusting sight to feel that the customers got what they deserved, he only had like one and a half teeth and those were the nastiest things covered in brownish stuff and doughy stuff, he stunk, he openly admitted that he only showered about once a month and by the smell I believed him. So he would make the mashed potatoes dip his lovely finger in them to taste, added some more salt dipped the same nasty finger again just to male sure it tasted right. Never ever washed his hands after he used the bathroom how do I know? because the sink was outside the bathroom, we all knew he was nasty so we stuck to the cold food items, and managment was aware they just did not care. Place went broke. BTW two cheap ass old ladies decided to take 15 friggn toddlers to eat one night all the kids drinking punch eating rice corn beans any grain available to make my day even worse, I gave them very good service took care of the kids mess etc. guess my tip? FIFTY CENTS!!! and 1 hour worth of cleaning their mess I still hate them bitches. I hope I never have to serve tables again. It was a really bad experience for me and the worst thing is I gave great service. Love this blog, it brings back memories.

  268. So it seems like everyone is on the side of the “guest” here, what you need to understand is that this does not happen often but hey it happens. Unfortunetly a few years back people got the idea that they could come in on their worst day and just take their negativety out on a server, because they have to take it. So be it. There are definetly tables out there who are way out of line and deserve whatever they get. Basically treat your server like you want to be treated, and yes I have witnessed many terrible things done to peoples food, and they all had it coming

  269. As as server, I don’t mess with people much. If they tip badly and then sit all night so I can’t get another table, I ignore them. Ask me for another refill? Sure. Then I “forget.”

    The only revenge I ever got was years ago. I worked at the call center of a big bank. I always would refund anyone’s fees if they were nice to me. If you yelled at me, I wasn’t willing to help. Simple. One guy called up and was angry because he was on vacation in Europe and noticed that every time he used his debit card, there was a few cents charged by the bank for a conversion fee. It was a new thing, but all of the banks were doing it. Of course they sent out letters to notify people, but no one reads those.

    I happily refunded the charges as a courtesy (which amounted to maybe $1.50) and explained that there’s no way I can stop them from coming in again. The guy called me so many filthy names, said I was a moron, all kinds of things.

    Turned to my co-worker. Told him what happened. He cancelled all of the guys cards. All we had to do was note that someone called in and found his wallet. When that happens, we cancel the card. I hope he enjoyed the rest of his vacation.

  270. I’ve spit in food once. One time. It was NBA All-Star Week, I was waiting on arrogrant, demanding, sun-glassed, prick who was practically fingering a girl at his table.

    I spit all over his sandwich, fries, pickle, in his white zinfandel refill. He left me a %100 tip.

  271. When I have a particularly obnoxious, poorly tipping customer, I’ll write down their name from the credit card, google them and their picture, and make a facebook post detailing everything they did wrong, and tag ever person I know in it.

    I’ve used the magnet on the back of my nametag to erase someone’s credit card.

    The best, though, is when some gauche trashy assholes come into my fine dining establishment with full fucking go-cups of drinks from somewhere else (in New Orleans it’s legal to take booze drinks to go)… I’ll bus them off the table, full, when the customer has gone to use the restroom. If they have the gall to ask me for a glass to put their go-cup drink into, I’ll make a special trip to the way back of the kitchen and get them a dusty mason jar.

    If a customer who throughout the meal has been a complete asshole asks for salt (like most nicer places, we don’t keep salt on the table and the chef considers it an insult when a patron asks) I’ll put a few drops of water into the saltshaker and shake it up before giving it to them, ensuring no salt will come out.

    If somebody orders a bottle of wite zinfandel, I refuse to do wine service. I just pop the cork, purposefully loudly, stick it in my apron pocket, and pour to the men first… I feel like ordering trashy wine deserves trashy service – you get what you pay for. They never notice, but it makes me feel greeeeeeat.

    Oh yeah, and if I’ve got an especially obnoxious large party drinking wine, once they’re drunk enough not to notice I’ll bus half-empty bottles off the table, share the wine with coworkers, and ring them up another bottle and bring it out.

    Don’t fuck with us.

  272. NoLady, you work at such a classy place that they don’t offer salt, but you sell White Zin? Darling, you have no idea what a nice restaurant is. Also, learn something about food. Your wonderful chef may think something has enough salt, but he obviously doesn’t know that salt is subjective. The more salt a person eats, the less they notice it. Apparently his palate is the only one that matters? Get real. You’re a terrible server. You deserve all of those awful patrons.

  273. ALL NIGGGGEERS ARE DEAD BEATS, THEY NEVER PAY THEIR BILL, AND THEY ALL HAVE BAD CREDIT, THESE NIGGGGERS NEED TO GO BACK TO AFRICA, THE SHIETHOLE, WHERE THEY BELONG, DIRTY LOW LIFE NIGGGGERS!!!

  274. I bartended for a few years in the “hipster” part of Seattle at a little cocktail lounge. On weekends, we would get the most annoying clientele…douchebags and douchebaguettes lined up my bar. If you didn’t tip or you left me a shitty tip, you waited in line at least 20-30 minutes. And I don’t need to say that not tipping after ordering 6 mojitos, 2 caipirinias and 4 long islands is not okay.

    Also, if you were a real c-u-next-tuesday, I’d put eyedrops in your drink. It isn’t physically detrimental, but it definitely gave you a wicked case of the runs the rest of the night.

  275. I’ve never contributed DNA and would not do that, I just could not but, believe me I’ve got my ways.

    The worst customer I ever had accused me of “keeping an extra” twenty when I was ringing up his check as a hostess claiming two had been “stuck” together. Despite having it calmly proven to him that nothing of the sort happened. He screamed so loudly about it all the customers could hear him. The manager KNEW I’d not stolen from him and I having not dealt with many of his type quite yet was mortified out of my mind nearly in tears at so low an accusation. I think I had done restaurant work for about six months then. I was really seething underneath too because this guy had been a total jerk to the waitresses, the manager, the bus boys…no one was immune to his snotty remarks and demands.

    He was simply trying to get out of the check. What he didn’t know at the time though was that I knew he owned a shoe store not far from our restaurant. When the story of his abusive disgusting behavior got back to my friends well, let’s just say he got a taste of his own medicine for a while.

    Every friend of mine for the next YEAR would arrive in his store and make his life a living hell. Running him off his feet, trying on every shoe in the store and buying nothing and all manner of shenanigans.

    I didn’t feel sorry for him one tiny bit. Do NOT get abusive with wait staff or restaurant staff! Honestly, people wait staff WANT to please you but, they are not your servant or your dumping ground for every inadequacy or every bad day you have. If you cannot act like a polite adult in public then stay the hell home!!

  276. I used to bartend in the Florida Keys where yearly, we were plagued by an obnoxious breed we refer to as “snowbirds”. Besides never tipping, pensions or retirement funds be-damned, they were the most demanding and rude crowd for the most part.

    Many would complain there was no liquor in their drinks. Servers would bring them back, and I would just pour cheap booze down the straw, so the first sip they got was straight liquor. Not too many complaints after that.

    I cocktail waitressed for a while before I made bartender. I had A LOT of Friday night regulars, and not all good. One guy would “sneak” 3 bottles of Bud in his pockets, and thought ordering one would make up for it. One night, carrying a huge tray of about 20 drink through a packed bar floor, I needed him to move so I could get through to the rest of the floor. He looked at me and laughed. I asked again and no… wouldn’t budge. Another guy saw me trying to get by and tried to get the guy to move for me, tray suspended above my head, and rude regular guy “accidentally” bumped me, and the tray went down…….. after the shock wore off, I took the remaining liquid on the tray and slung it in the guys’ face and told him never to come in again.

    Empowering? Yes. Deserved? I’d like to think so.

    I don’t condone the DNA deposits, as I like to go out and eat, and be waited on myself.

    I think the key to server/asshole relations lies in the scope of a “reasonable request”. Yes, we are there to serve you, but our primary goal is to make money. If you realize that you are high maintenance, pay a little more to be taken good care of. You don’t buy 89 gas for a lambo………. You don’t put Prada in the spin cycle.

    Take care of us, and we’ll take care of you.

    AND lastly, yes, it’s disappointing if we have a wonderfully nice table that compliments us, takes personal interest, etc, and we don’t see a tip….. but I’d take a nice person that doesn’t tip over an asshole that makes me want to cry and leaves a decent one any day!

  277. A friend of mine had a pretty rude group of teenagers that told her, and I quote, “We’re not going to tip you because we pay taxes.” (I’m still not sure how they thought these were related.) So when the girl in question ordered a Vanilla shake, my friend decided to substitute the vanilla syrup for ranch dressing. The girl drank every drop of it.

    The worst I’ve done myself is to a guy who came in for breakfast every Saturday morning. He threw a FIT if I didn’t remember his order exactly, even though I rarely work the Saturday morning shift, right down to me not bringing tabasco for his eggs. So I made a habit of making his coffee, taking a dirty cup and rinsing it out with water, and pouring the coffee in it. Thank you, sir, come again.

  278. One day at work we got hit hard with a rush and we were completely understaffed: three servers on the floor and every table in the place filled. When it finally calmed down a little bit, our less popular tables (actual tables, as opposed to the more popular booths) had been sitting for hours when a group of 12 came in the door demanding a spot at a big table and refusing to split themselves between booths. They waited for a good 20 minutes and were mad as hell.

    Finally, the tables left, and they were free but not yet bussed, since where I work the waitresses act as host, waitress, food runner, AND busser, and we were still relatively busy.

    As SOON as the tables left, the mother of the waiting party marched up to me–WHILE I was taking the order of another table–and demanded they be sat. I apologized to my table and told the woman sweetly that we would get on it as soon as possible. The woman and several of her teenage children marched over to the dirty tables and started picking up the dishes and carrying them to the kitchen. I could not BELIEVE how rude these people were, and it lasted through their visit.

    Needless to say, all the Cokes were mixed with Sprite, the waters were put in dirty glasses, their fries were “double dipped” (taking old, cold fries and dipping them in the fryer again to make them hot–they’re gross that way) and their waitress waited ten minutes after taking their order to put it into the computer.

    I’ve never SEEN a more rude table.

  279. When I was eighteen, my younger brother went to jail for three months because someone he had beef with successfully framed him for robbery.

    I was waiting on a table at work one day when I happened to discover by eavesdropping that one of the guys at my table was the one responsible for putting my bro in jail. Not only this, but he’s sitting at this table with his friends and bragging about pulling off this bit of trickery on my brother. Now, I had never met this guy before so he had no idea who I was.

    The diner I worked in was famous for its great milkshakes, and when the time came for desserts, guess who orders a milkshake! I was so excited I got nervous and antsy waiting for the rest of the table to order their dessert.

    In this place, we servers made the shakes and cut the pies and such ourselves. So I go back to the prep area and start getting all the desserts ready for my table. When I got to the milkshake I looked around to make sure no one was nearby and worked up the biggest piece of phlegm I could and spit it into his shake before stirring it in nicely for him.

    Walk to the table, smile and say “Enjoy!”

    I’ll never regret that moment in my life. I actually regretted for a few months afterwards that I hadn’t thought to go to the walk-in and deposit some semen in it instead.

    I’ve seen steaks dropped on really filthy floors, food sent out anyway after hair had been found and removed from it, mixed drinks made by pouring a glass of coke and then splashing just enough alcohol on top to make it taste legitimate.

    At the same time, I’ve seen customers piss on the bathroom floor, leave bloodied/snotty napkins lying on the table, leave shit and blood all over the bathroom walls, grab female employees in very inappropriate ways, etc.

    You work long enough in this business and in enough different locations, and you’ll find that just about anything can and does happen just about anywhere, regardless of how upscale the establishment may or may not be.

    Bottom line -and this really should be common sense, folks- you don’t fuck with people who handle your food. You should never ever bite the hands that feed you.

  280. I have never personally left DNA in anyone’s food or drink (although I’ve been tempted on more than one occasion), but I did see a coworker urinate on a man’s steak before serving it when I worked at a steakhouse back in Florida.

    At an Italian restaurant that served bread and tapinade to each table, it wasn’t uncommon to “recycle” the leftovers between tables.

    Finally, I had a server who’s table was completely unruly and left her no tip (party of 10 that came in 5 minutes before close). She waited at the door for them to leave, then told them that God would make sure they were reimbursed for their actions. While she was fired on the spot, I can’t help but think it must have been worth it.

  281. One time, a guy and his wife came in for a Saturday lunch with their two young, noisy, and messy kids. We all know these tables, I don’t even need to explain in detail. Well, the couple was aloof and rude (and I think some kind of foreign…they all blend into each other now), and left a $3 tip on a $30 bill. Happily, they also left their cell phone behind. On my break between shifts, I threw the phone out of the window of my moving car into the middle of a cornfield. On my way back for my dinner shift, I’m walking down the long hallway into the joint when the guy comes walking past me. He says,”You were my waiter earlier today, right? Did you see a cell phone by any chance?” “No, sir, and the busboy didn’t see anything either.” A shit-eating grin has never felt so satisfying.

  282. i worked in a very elitist private club for a while and the members were horrible. they were so used to being served that most of them wouldnt even say thank you when you brought them a drink. once a jewelry company was having a meeting and were talking about some pearls and the speaker pointed at a female server exclaiming, “even she could afford this!”
    i usually killed the bad customers with kindness but one thing i and most other servers enforced was the 5 second rule on dropped silverware when setting up a dining room. i have a feeling its extremely common. also i will admit ive used steam from my breath to shine a knife or two its slightly gratifying when you know the person using the floorfork or the steamed knife is probably going to be an unappreciative self entitled douche.
    one time a lady said to me “hey little guy, can i get some more bread?”

  283. I’ve read through a few of the postings here on this subject and would like to first say that the biological attacks, although a powerful cautionary tell to the customers, is one of the least imaginative of responses. My personal form of vengeance would be the use of the tried and true water torture techniques.

    Now honestly there is no use of water in my method but it does prove that insanity is a lot like gravity, all people need is a little push. Case in point let me paint you a sence: Kids Eat Free Night!

    Now I can understand the marketing uses of this particular night (Get the families in with a deal on Monday, show em a good time, and get em back for Saturday at full price) so I shrug my shoulders at the bad tips/screaming kids and use it to hone my craft of service and vengeance.

    Our subject: Kids Eat Free regular, one woman, two kids. After a few weeks I figured out the dad works late on this particular night so the mother is on her own. I’ve gotten use to this lady coming in, all her pillness included, with her kids and all the things that they don’t like.

    Our Dialogue:
    Me: Hi, how ar-
    Lady: Where’s our bread?
    Me: I can be back with it in just a minute.
    Lady: No no, you’re going to take our order now.
    Me: Kid’s mac and cheese, light sauce on one, two kids apple juices with half water for less sugar, and a mixed greens salad for you with the dressing on the side. One glass house white. Just like last time.
    Lady: Good, you know us then. (waves her hand at me ushering me away while fighting her always screaming kids)

    She is constantly rude, a poor tipper, overly demanding (even at times running up to any server she sees demanding her food less then 5 minutes after she orders), and refuses to tame her screaming children. This lady is asking for it, this lady is going down.

    Let the torture begin.
    Step 1) She wants Apple juice to be cut with water to lower the sugar level. Looks like the kids are getting sprite with apple juice. Let the sugar high begin!

    Step 2) One Crazy Bitch Cocktail: half glass cheep chardonnay, add water, small squirt of apple juice, TA DA! Most people can’t tell the taste as long as they can taste anything alcoholic.

    Step 3) Kids food comes out on time but the salad mysteriously takes longer due to our salad chef being “very backed up”. The kids wolf down their meal right when the mother gets her salad, but sadly she has no time to eat now that the screaming kids have to be entertained again. So sad.

    Step 4) Like most parents she attempts to take her children to the restroom before the end of the meal so she can pay and go. Upon their return the children find two children deserts waiting for them.

    Now any waiter that has served a family with small children knows to always make sure the parents WANT their kids eating the balls of sugar that come with the kids meals, lest the pissed parents chose not to tip you after they have to pry the forks from the kids hands.

    Damn those lapse in memory of mine….

    After the children scream her ear off and the tackle match begins with her children, I lean up against the door way watching my handy work. She is still hungry, bitter because she’s got no buzz, and now is having to drag her kids (Still screaming “I WANT IT! I WANT IT! NO NO! GIMME!) out the front door.

    Now I would never have attempted this on a Friday or Saturday night. But on a Kids Eat Free night, who’s gonna notice two more screaming children. I collect the buck and change she usually leaves, who knew sanity came at so cheaply a price.

    Although one patron of mine commented “She needs to teach those children a lesson”

  284. People out there should know whatever tip they leave, unless it’s in CASH, goes to IRS. We servers lose 35% of our income because of people who leave a tip on CREDIT CARDS! Tip your server, NOT the IRS-they didn’t serve your food. Thank you.

  285. First off I am not a waiter/server, never have been, and probably at my age, never will. I appreciate the stories and comments, and make it a habit to over tip. This habit annoys some friends and family, why I’ll never know. In fact I sometimes linger when leaving so I can add to a tip if the person paying the bill is known for stiffing waiters. Hey I may want to eat there again. But let me tell two stories from the other side and how being a nice person does pay off in the end. The first happened when my car broke down at 5 p.m. on a Friday. I called for a tow and got a call back from the driver. He explained that it was Friday, it was rush hour, and it would be over an hour, probably more, before he got to me. I told him I understood, traffic was bad, and I would see him when he arrived. No fuss or muss, nothing he or I could do about it. Half an hour later the driver pulls up. I looked at him and kiddingly asked what happened? He told me that he had one call ahead of mine, but that guy was an asshole and so he decided to pick me up first. It seems that after he got off the phone with me he called the other driver who procided to scream and curse at him demanding that he be picked up now! My tow guy decided at that point to bump my car up to number one, basically because I had been nice to him when we talked. I asked him how long he thought the other guy would wait. He estimated he would pick the other guy up in a couple of hours, depending on traffic. It was a leisurely tow home at which point I thanked him and gave him a tip. Oh and he took the time to back my car into my garage. The second time happened on our honeymoon in the Bahamas. My Bride and I flagged down a local cab, actually a limo, to head into Nassau for dinner. In the cab was a German couple, who were not pleased to share the cab, eventhough there was plenty of room, and made some unhappy sounds about this. Our cab driver dropped off the less then friendly German couple then gave us a short tour of Nassau. As he drove we asked him a few questions about Nassau and he ended up giving us a quick history lesson and a couple of great local resturantes to try, this thrilled my Bride. When he finally dropped us off I asked him what we owed him. He gave us a big smile and said that the other couple had paid for our ride. Turns out the German couple had been rude to him. My Bride and I had been nice to him, we asked questions and listened to his answers. He liked us. We thanked him, and gave him a tip, and had a great honeymoon. Oh, and if there is a German couple couple reading this, that had been in Nassau in late 1992, and shared a cab with a pair of honeymooning Americans, thanks for the ride. The message, be nice and the German couple pays for your cab. Be an asshole and you are the German couple.

  286. Oh You Beggars , you contradict yourself. You state by “whining” about tips that servers do not want to work and get a government handout. If servers expect to get paid for their work, how does that equate to wanting a handout? A tip is a server’s wage. Most server’s paychecks are void. After taxes and if lucky insurance, there is nothing left to get a check.

    I’d also like to venture a guess that you are either Canadian or British. Your use of the superfluous u in favor gave you away. Are your feelings hurt because people point out that your countrymen do not know to tip?

  287. I have a large family (9 children) so when we go out to eat we always have to pay the “service fee” (unless its a small, family restaurant). I can plop down $85 to over a hundred dollars to feed my family and because, i believe, the waiters know their is an automatic fee attached to my large party i get crappy service.

    usually in the form of being ignored, curt responses, etc. I and my family are polite, we never send food back, we give courtesy at all times and yet we still get this kind of treatment.

    this is why i never sit in a restaurant where the “gratuity” is guaranteed for the waiter. the service is always crap.

  288. I have seen a busser stick unwrapped straws down his pants before depositing then in the drinks of some especially horribly rude repeat offenders. Can’t say they deserved all that, but I fully understood his need for retribution.

  289. bty for Wow! Waiting on families of nine is a hard task. It is a neverending line of refills for bread and drinks, weird request and trying not to step on kids the crawl under the table then into the aisle. You cannot realize what a hard-working server does to help parents with there kids. It seems as if when people take there families out they forget that they still need to watch there kids. Besides, a frugal family of nine has about the same check as an average party of three or four adults but with four times the work. Try and get a regular sever at a place you enjoy, Tip them even a couple of dollars extra and theey will help you every time cause they will feel appriciated. Your sevice will only get better as they get to know you and your families needs better.

  290. I had a party of seven, a Mexican family of five who spoke very poor English with a 30-something white couple. The white guy definitely was at least drunk, if not high as a kite on something. He started off from the very beginning telling me I would be ‘handsomely rewarded’ and he was going to take good care of me, so I was already wary of the tip. Everyone sucks their drinks down like camels, asks for six refills on two baskets of rolls that I had already doubled up, and then got their food. They all needed sauces and extra this or that, but none of them let me know at the same time. The man even told me that they were running me to death. He had ordered a steak medium well and it came out well done. I told him I could take the well done back and bring the med well out shortly, but he said he wanted to keep it because he’d get nauseous if he didn’t keep eating since he’d already started. When the med well gets done cooking, I bring it out to him with a fresh side and the entire well done is eaten and he’s sitting there staring off into space and drooling. I literally watched it pool onto his lap. He eats half of the new steak then they’re ready for the bill. To my surprise the Mexican family springs for it, and I watch the Mexican lady put down 10% on the table in cash, then the guy says that it’s too much. She keeps saying “No, no, it’s good, it’s good.” He had three dollar bills in his hand to put in its place. They finally get up and leave, and the first thing I do is scan the table for my tip. I look under dishes, cups, sugar caddies, and in the book, and there is nothing. Not even a penny. Furious to the point of tears I start bussing the table and find car keys under the table at his seat. I slip them in my apron and head to the kitchen with all the dishes. I wash my hands after emptying them, then reach in my apron, take the keys and wrap them in my paper towels and toss them into the trashcan. They called later asking about them and I had no idea where they possibly could have gone. Sweet sweet satisfaction.

  291. Anyone who doesn’t add gratuity to parties of 6 or more is really an idiot. Please don’t complain, it’s YOUR mistake. A professional server always grats large parties no matter what. And waiting on big families with screaming kids is a torture. Can’t they just stay home and save us the aggravation? Even with the added grat, it’s too much frustration. We recently had a party of 15 with 5 kids, running everywhere, knocking over expensive drinks, staring and disturbing other patrons, flashing infrared lights in their eyes…such a mess! If you have kids under 10, STAY HOME!!!This way you’ll have time to teach them some manners. It’s totally inadequate to order soda for your kid:it’s just chemicals and sugar with ZERO nutritional value, leads to diabetes, obesity , teeth decay etc. Please take care of your children, preferably at home. Thank you.

  292. Back in the day, before digital camaras, I’d cut the heads off of people who had the nerve to ask me to take a picture after tipping me crappy. Of course, we can’t do that anymore, but I still get satifaction thinking of the morons getting their vacation pictures back and seeing the headless pictures.

  293. I am a waitress in family restaurant and we literally kiss our customers butts just to make them happy-that’s what my boss wants.
    I am naturally very friendly and go out of my way for anybody but we have this black couple coming in every couple of weeks and they are a pain. The lady asks many questions even thou she already knows the answers, then they order drinks and I tell them about soups etc. After serving drinks I go to check on my other customers and this lady starts to wave and me asking “are you going to bring our soup”? Even thou they did not ordered it! So I ask them which one they want and bring it to them. They also order extras and special order and don’t want to pay extra. At the end they leave 2 dollars. Nobody wants to wait on them! In the first couple of times I was friendly and when I saw them I would stopped and say hi but it still got me and everybody else 2 dollars. Now I ignore them as much as I can. My boss gave me permission to ask them if everything is O.K. b/c of such a bad tip so next time I might attack them.
    Now reason why I mentioned black couple is I have a gentleman also black and he always asks for me and always leaves 15-20 dollars. The other day he showed up w/two friends and I bought his drinks b/c he is so generous. He left me 50 bucks.
    I once had grandma,mom and two little kids age abour 3 years and 10 months.The ladies were not friendly since they got in. And the kids made mess everywhere. Mashed potatoes on the table, carpet, olives on the floor and crackers too, the little 3 year old jumped in the booth and on the floor making even bigger mess by stepping in everything. I kept cool and friendly, was polite, wrapped everything for them when they were ready to go. They left me less then 8 percent. I run out in parking lot to ask them if there was any problem that somehow maybe I missed something and I’d like to know so I can improve. They said that our hostess wasn’t friendly.I said I was sorry and asked if that was the reason for the low tip.
    They said they we gave them impression we don’t like to have kids in. This is bull b/c we have crayons and coloring books, animal rackers and toys for our tiny customers. So I said that it is not fair taking it on me b/c I have to clean all the messes now. I hadto remove the rug and wash the floor, clean whole booth etc.I told them at least they could say “I’m sorry” for the mess, but not even leave a decent tip is nor right. After they said they will not come back, I told them I’m happy, we don’t need customers like that.I was shaking, could not imagine ever talk like this to customer.
    Later when my boss came in I told her what happened and she said not to worry. Other than that, I don’t spread my DNA or drop things on purpose. I just ignore or forger the cheap and shitty ones andsmile at the end.

  294. I would like to add my voice to those that have never seen someone ‘gift their DNA’ to a bad customer. I worked in the industry for many years and never saw it or heard of it happening in the places I worked. Sure there were always stories about other places where it happened, I’m sure some had some truth but most were probably urban myths. Even those were rare.

    The worst things I saw were what the chefs got up to and did, waitstaff had nothing on them.
    As I live in Australia it was never about tips, but jerks and self entitled pretentious types would get de-caf instead of regular coffee, especially at the end of the night. The worst thing I ever did was at a members club. Normally the members were lovely, treated you like a person and were usually understanding (great place to work) But sometimes there were special event nights when they might bring in friends and family, not normally a problem but some of them would suddenly want to show off and pretend they were big shots, ordering you around, getting drunk and rowdy, asking where their drinks were 30seconds after ordering them, then complaining that the service was slow. One of these nights I had one of these groups when the members friends started to think they could order me around unreasonably too (BIG nono) so when they all called me up and asked for some port “not that galway pipe stuff something nice.. what have you got?” We stock a huge variety of mid to top end everything (wine, beer, spirits, fortified, cognac etc) it would be impossible for me to know them all but getting the list for him is too hard (I offered) and clearly I’m an idiot for not knowing. They tell me to get the barman to pick them something nice. The barman knows how much hassle they have been giving me so he gives them the Most expensive port we have, by the glass. 16 glasses later (they had re-fills) there is a lovely addition to his bill (probably a company expense account sadly) its a shame we don’t get tips.

    Tips, no tips doesn’t seem to change much from reading this. At the club the members that were nice and understanding and treated you like human beings would get the servers bending over backwards for them, not always adding that extra scotch to their bill or charging for a bottle of wine instead of by the glass if they had enough glasses. Assholes were charged for everything they ordered exactly, and were attended to no more than they had to be. Even at the commercial restaurants I worked at it was the same. To all those worried about going out to eat, if you say please and thank you, are understanding and treat your waitperson like a person, then I cannot fathom any reason why they would feel the need to exact revenge on you. If you are in the States then add in a decent tip or else you will probably get less than stellar service. Its not hard, I’m certainly not worried. I have gotten nothing but great service in the states (we tipped 15 – 20% 6 years ago when we went).

    As for refills, the ONLY place you MIGHT get free refills in Australia is at a buffet or some fast food joints, always a serve yourself basis. When I go out to eat I rarely order more than 1 non alcoholic drink, so I don’t suck it down, how can these people drink so much sugar!! It makes me laugh when they complain about refills. Here you pay a minimum of $2 EACH for a small glass, maybe a big glass at some places. If its freakin free I can wait until the waitstaff has time to come around with a refill. These people that want 3 glasses to start with because they drink alot, here you’d be charged for all three and every refill after that buddy, and no, no-one would tell you because that’s the standard over here, everybody knows. Free bread? There’s another novelty. Not totally unheard of but very rare. You are pretty spoiled for service and value for money when eating out over there in the states (we were amazed at how much cheaper food is on the whole) so I find it amusing to read all the bitching and complaining some people put up.

    Waiters of the world, I salute those of you who do your job well (and don’t pass on your DNA, find another way to vent)
    Waiter Steve, thanks for giving us a voice and a place to rant, even about past events.

  295. couple years ago, a customer (yuppie blonde upper east side type) left some spare change for a tip on my bar, with a condescending attitude. i busted my ass to make their pretty girly martinis while i was slammed and did it with a smile. i threw the change at them, and told em i didnt want their fuckin pennies. i still work at the same place, and my shift manager took my side. god bless my bar.

  296. A bitchy lady finds fault in everything I try to do for her!

    It was a game night. For a college town, that means IT’S SLAMMED. I have a five-top. A dad, his daughter, her sig other, and another couple (I’m guessing friends who went to the game with them-they’re well behaved, so I don’t remember them much). I’m friendly, attentive, get their order, explain that it’s very busy, and that there’s a wait on food- about an hour (which is a very long time for a Denny’s). They’re not too (visibly) upset about this. It was a good game, spirits are high, good company, good atmosphere. I make sure to keep their drinks full while waiting for food.

    The dad has a rum and coke. The boyfriend has a pitcher of BL. I card him, he’s good, I get their drinks as fast as the cooks can find time to get it for me (the owner didn’t want to hire a bartender). Eventually their food comes out. The dad comments that these are some of the best fries that he’s ever had!

    This is unusual, because we had just changed the fries we stock, and most customers hated them, while some really loved them! I figured he just really liked them. I’m happy about this, and get more drinks for them.

    I come back, and the daughter states that these are the worst fries she’s ever had. Ever. “Oh, how strange, he really likes them, and you think they’re terrible!” I’ve been friendly so far, and I don’t feel this is an odd comment to make.

    “He was just being nice.” I say, “Well, I’m very sorry about this, we have a lot of people who don’t like our fries. Could I get you something else?”

    “No”

    “Is there anything I can do to make this better for you?”

    She shakes her head.

    “Are you sure you don’t want anything in return? Some hashbrowns, or a salad? I could get you a bowl of soup, if you wanted.”

    “No, just tell your cooks that there’s something wrong with their fryer, they’re definitely not cooking right” (what does this lady know about fryers, anyways? And there was nothing wrong with the fryers.)

    I hesitate, because there’s something going on and I’m not quite sure what it is. “Miss, you wouldn’t have told me there was something wrong if you didn’t want me to make it better.”

    “Just tell your cooks their fryers aren’t working,”

    I leave, ask the cooks if there really is anything wrong with the fryers (there’s not) and let it go.

    I check back with them when I feel they should be getting ready to go, and the dad says, “I’d like to buy him [the boyfriend] a drink!” I’ve already carded him, I know he’s of age, so I ask, “Alright, what would you like to have?” He glances at his girlfriend [the daughter] and orders a double Bloody Mary.

    I have my favourite cook pour it for me, and I count while he’s pouring, it’s definitely more than a double! They’ll be really happy. I bring it out, check back on them in another minute or two, and something’s up.

    The daughter says, “There’s no alcohol in this.” I smile, and assure them that there is alcohol in their drink. She interrupts me and says, “I tasted it, there is no alcohol in this drink, it’s a glass of tomato juice, and you know it. Don’t even lie!”

    I just stop for a second, because I’ve done many things as a server, but I NEVER lie. And second, what is this lady doing drinking someone else’s drink when I haven’t even carded her! But I apologize, assure them once again that there is alcohol in their drink, but offer to have another drink made for them.

    “Well, I’m not paying for a drink that has no alcohol!” I go back into the kitchen, explain what’s happened, and my cook says, well, let’s fuck them up! (not in that way!) He takes the bottle of vodka, and pours at /least/ five shots into that sucker!

    I drop it off, and refuse to serve them anymore.

    She didn’t even finish it, she took like, two sips from it! And left me like, 30 cents, on a $15 tab!

  297. There was a point when I was just starting to write for the local paper (op-eds, so I wasn’t yet getting paid, and still had to wait) and these complete ASSES come to dine with us.

    They were 19 years old, and asked to be served alcohol without showing I.D. that stated otherwise. We did the predictable and explained to them that it would break multiple laws and could therefore not serve them drinks.

    Acting like asses to their waiters, they left a $1 tip on a bill that was $110.07, and left us a note which read;

    “Here’s a tip: never question someone who wears a jacket that costs more than you make in a month. You are exactly where you belong in life; servng others.”

    After we discovered this, he’d already left, and had tried to bribe the owner on his way out.

    The resteraunt had and still has a great connection with the paper, and we collaborated, publishing the note, and an editorial by yours truly on the second page.

    The kicker? A regular wrote in the next week to make fun of the asshole. The owner still keeps a laminated copy on the wall.

    On a more petty level, different day, different people, I’m almost in tears.
    I have a guy grabbing me by the wrist and asking me how the hell was I keeping this job if I didn’t even split their checks correctly.

    Okay, I get you’re irritation, because that was my bad. DO NOT lay hands on me. Do not touch me, and we’ll be fine. But he continues to yell at me until he lets my arm go and sends me to fix it. I’m crying a little, and I fix his check. I bring it back to him, and tell him to have a nice day before I ask one of thte backers to kindly retrieve it for me, because I might harm this man if his breath doesn’t kill me first.

    I took the springs and ink out of the pens I gave them. My boss, being the greatest guy alive, allows me to clock out just as the man looks up at me, angry. He can’t do anything about it now. I give a little wave and exit through the kitchen.

  298. Some of these stories crack me up.. #260 Smith.. I don’t think i’ve laughed that hard in a long, long time..
    I’ve been a waiter for the better part of 5 years. Unfortunately, my regular teachers salary doesn’t pay all the bills, so I have to wait to supplement my income.
    I have never, ever donated my DNA to anyone, no matter how horrible they are. And also, I don’t try to exact my revenge against people who don’t tip well. Its an “eh what can ya do” moment and then move on.
    It is people who cop an attitude or try to act elitist with me. We have a regular couple come in (She is lovingly referred to as the “crazy salad lady”). This lady’s appearance is comical, over 400 pounds made up worse than a beauty show contestant. She will sit there counting the number of walnuts in a chopped salad just to make sure she didn’t get stiffed. Her husband, another 400 pounder, is usually tanked off of his ass, begging us for just one more draft Bud (we don’t carry it on draft anymore just to piss him off.. ha ha). One day when she came in, I sat her at a table I knew to have a wobbly base. It was hilarious watching her count the walnuts and cranberries with a wobbly ass table, jiggling everywhere.
    One thing that really hasn’t been touched on here too much is interactions with other servers. We have one who has been with the company for way too long. She pretty much can do what she wants. Yelling racist comments, berating servers in front of their customers, it all happens. Until we figured out the magic of writing letters to the corporate office about her. My favorite day ever was seeing her in tears, wailing “why??” as she was escorted out the door.
    But, there are good people out there. I was working a busy Friday shift, and was doing a great job with one table. The lady asked me if I was going to school (I had just graduated), and I proceeded to tell her about my hope to get a teaching job. Luck have it, she was the principal of a school and three days later hired me because of how well I had treated her at the restaurant..
    Keep up the good work, y’all!

  299. i worked in fast food for several years. i never left a DNA sample in anyones food. i did get revenge in little ways though. sometimes i would stick my finger in a drink before serving it. if a customer was being especially nasty, id make the sandwich really messy. id only do these things on really bad days. normally id kill people with kindness and know that one day, the asshats would get bit by karma.

  300. As a bartender,I would just give bad customers the cold shoulder. Try to act like a ‘big man’ in front of the ladies by acting like you own the place, yell at me 50 times repeatedly HEYHEYHEYHEYHEYHEY, push other polite customers aside, or, my absolute favorite, SNAP YOUR F***ING FINGERS AT ME and say ‘yo, dude’ or something equally obnoxious. Congratulations! Everyone else is now getting drinks before you- hot chicks maybe more than once.

  301. My revenge was psychological. I would get obnoxious hosts who would try to impress me with the same-old jokes. I’d get idiots trying to explain things when they clearly didn’t know what they were talking about. I’d get snobs and bitches. When this happened, I would swap from friendly servant to snob. I’m much more articulate and knowledgeable than the people I served, but I hid it to make people more comfortable. But some people deserved the awkwardness. I’d refuse to fill awkward pauses with the usual waitress buffering. I’d look at someone’s forehead while he or she talked to me. I’d fix pronunciations on the repeat-back. Once I was serving a douchey guy who was pouring several rounds of the lovely blue Adios down his date’s throat. When he went to the bathroom, I asked her if he was planning to order another round. When she responded, I said “You really want to go home with this guy?”

    No one expects a server to be a snob. As a service worker, people are lined up to treat you like furniture, to show you how little you deserve, and to belittle your intelligence. Then, you’re supposed to let the guest be right, laugh at their bad jokes, and treat the universe like it is dictated by the guest. Don’t believe in gravity? It’s ok, I’ll hold down the table while you eat. Destroy that facade by being something else and you will scare the shit out of people without actually doing anything. I never needed to adulterate food. I could inject the whole evening with a serious dose of awkward simply by breaking social rules.

    Oh, and to address a pet-peeve of mine. Different restaurants have different policies for service. For example, one restaurant chain I worked at would try to get you to join a points club. I know people didn’t want to hear it and it went against my personal values of good service. But for the few who get inordinately excited over a liquor-sauced burger pimped by a peroxided prick, I had to follow the rules and offer it even when it was clearly unwanted. So before you complain on forums about annoying servers who spam you or upsell you or check back too much or not enough, realize that most of us are acting under the direction of a bunch of corporate morons whose unrealistic bullshit and desire to separate you from your money has forced its way onto your dining table.

  302. I totally agree with Beenthere#126!!!
    I never send food back. While I personally have never done anything disgusting to food for revenge, I’ve seen chefs do some pretty sick stuff.
    I, too, just don’t eat it. If the server asks what’s wrong, I’ll tell her, have it removed from the check, but I won’t order anything else.

    I would never blame the server if the food is bad, but having been a server off and on for most of my adult life, I also expect the server to check the food before it leaves the kitchen.
    If the steak is supposed to be well done, but shows up on the plate dripping blood – don’t serve it. If a guest orders sauce on the side, make sure it’s not on top, etc.
    You can’t avoid every complaint, but little preemptive measures go a long way.

  303. If we are talking about bad tippers, I always pray that that particular person pays using card. Once I get the card, i can add some extra amount to the already written tips. I make sure its atleast 15%. But you guys know there are ways to compensate for those tip bad. I do bartending when I am done with my waiting shift and make sure some purchases of the drinks end up in the tip box, yeah we all share the tips. I dont know how many of you guys do that.

    But as long as rude and asses are concerned, I just break out because I work for my uncle’s restaurant and can do pretty much what I want. Most of the time, customers behave better once they get a piece of me. Some of the regulars, after getting drunk, would come up to me and apologize about how they behaved few days back.

    A very funny thing happened. I was serving two tables, both booths. One of the tables was being all crazy for not giving them a bigger plate, which I should have, but I had forgotten somehow. But instead of asking, they just started shouting and I made a whole story about what they were eating was an appetizer and we give out smaller plates for appetizers and also lied about the free rice when it came with that particular food. I got all mad and shouted at them and they, instead of getting more mad, started apologizing to me. But the funny part is, the other table I was serving also, was witnessing all these. It was very uneasy to suddenly turn into a smile mode but I did anyways. I was all smiles for that table while all frown for the other one. Afterwards the decent table had tipped me 40% and I just started bursting out laughters coz I really thought they got the impression of not messing with any of the servers though they didnt do anything wrong. But I was sure the rude table would leave couple of bucks but to my surprise, they tipped a little over 15%. Thats why I love my job. If I dont like a customer’s behaviour, I let them know what I think about them. But if the diners are nice, I do my best to give them a service worth the money. We dont even serve ice screams but when nice costumers request one, I will pretend that we do serve ice scream and get it from the next door store.

  304. Wow, some of these stories are fantastic (some are also gross, lol).

    Some stories of intellectually enacting revenge from a server friend of mine who works in a dessert/wine/coffee restaurant:

    -A guy orders a latte, he gets it and proceeds to talk to his date for 45 minutes! before drinking said latte. To his shock, his latte is cold! He stops my friend and says, “Miss, my latte’s cold”. Her reply was (and genuinely) “I’m sorry, was it cold when you got it? or…?” Man: “Um…no” Her: “Ok, but it’s cold now?” At which point the man realizes the futility of his statement in getting another latte out of her and just gives up.

    -Some one gets an alcoholic drink at the table, waits until they’ve drank all but a few sips and then complain to my friend that they didn’t like it, would like something else, etc. And her trying to be the best server she can be wants to know what’s wrong so she can do her job and fix it, right? (And again, this is all in the genuine delivery) Her: “So what was wrong with it? It’s seems like it was really good up until that point…”
    Or a similar situation with a dessert complained about with one bite left. Her: “You didn’t like it? I’m sorry. It seems like you had a really hard time holding off on that last bite though.”

    -Lady tries to be passive aggressive about needing something. My friend asks if there’s anything she can get the two ladies at the table, if everything’s okay, etc. They say they are fine. My friend is still at the table… Lady to her friend in a hushed annoyed voice: “I wish I had [insert whatever she wanted- napkins or sugar or more dressing or something] though”. My friend is still there! She asked if you needed anything! If you need something you can just ask her instead of complaining to your friend and making a snide comment! My friend: “You know, again anything you need I can get for you. You know, I’m here to serve YOU so if you need anything, anything at all, all you have to do is just ASK” (All with a great big smile on her face”. The lady wanted to speak to her manager- her argument was “She told me she could get me whatever I wanted. Anything!” Needless to say, it didn’t hold any clout.

  305. well, i never did anything on purpose *angel’s halo pops out* BUTTTT…when i served at a retirement home restaurant, they were mostly old bats and grouches that were SOOO horrible that i didn’t mind it after a while that i had to pick up the breadsticks with my bare hands. in fact, i wouldn’t wash my hands at all after i used the bathroom and then went to work.
    Heh. but i did see other servers spit in people’s soup and the chef lean over so his dirty bloodstained apron rubbed all over ready plates. Heh.
    I hardly ever go out to eat after what i’ve seen. lmao

  306. I notice a couple comments about Canadians not tipping, and I’m worried about this. I’m Canadian, and *shock* I tip. Absolute minimum 15% for decent service, up from there if service was even just a bit special, and down from there if service was shite. And I’m not rich.

    Anyway. Besides the classic Americans vs. Canadians rivalry illustrated above (e.g. “and they were canadians!”), I don’t think your problem is Canadians. I think it’s tourists. If a tourist, no matter where they’re from, knows they will never, ever come back to this establishment, they might be tempted to not leave a tip, since revenge is practically impossible. I don’t agree with this, but I think it makes more sense than the “Canadians don’t tip” undertone that was running in some of these posts. It’s just tourists.

    Remember, we’re Canadian. We’re real f*ckin’ friendly. Heh.

    I mean, “Eh.”

  307. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyhow, just wanted to say great blog!

  308. Real professional servers are ALWAYS wittier than an obnoxious guest. I had a four top one night, all suits and spenders. One of the four was a finger snapper and interupter. It was obvious his guests were uncomfortable with his behaviour. At the end of their meal, he asked for an after dinner drink menu (the others just ordered like men) and opted for a Cosmopolitan. After a few sips, he bellows out how good the drink tastes and asks me if a lot of people order them. With a straight face, I answered loudly enough for surrounding tables to hear, “A lot of women do, sir”. His guests exploded into laughter.

  309. 1Russian=6Americans. I work with Russians, I’m half Russian… Forget going into public with Russians. Had a party of 18 (They made reservations for 12, kids don’t count?) this past Thursday and thank goodness we were not that busy. Everything had to be out on the table within the two minutes that they order it, we’re talking med-well done steaks! The children were wild, the mothers were YELLING at them. It becomes clear that the kids really didn’t the the chairs and extra tables we put together. Had a toddler drop of a mushroom at another guests table. MORTIFYING! Mom just snatched the child up by her arm causing the mushroom receivers to apologize! We don’t have a kids menu which I’m sure is frustrating but we really are willing to make any substitutions or to create whatever your child wants. Maybe once a month we get people with kids. The kids were great eaters all having a lamb tartar and an order of duck gnocchi along with countless bread sticks, sodas, milks, dropped silverware. In the end, parties over 8 get an automatic gratuity added. I promise I earned the entire 18% of that ticket. I Assume they didn’t notice that I had drawn a line through the tip section of their ticket only because they left me a note stating that although the service was great they couldn’t afford to tip. :/ thank goodness for that gratuity button…

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