The more I think about this, the number of culprits seems to grow.
My fiance and I went out on New Year’s Eve. We had reservations at our city’s sushi restaurant, which also has a hibachi section. It’s generally a place for special occasions. There was even a wedding party there that night (which I found strange, but I digress).
Our reservations were at 7pm, but we got there early and had drinks at the bar. It was pretty crowded and the bartenders were constantly busy. One of the servers came up to the end of the bar and told the bartender she just got stiffed for a $150 bill. She proceeded to tell the bartender (both were women in their early to mid-twenties and had camaraderie) how effing pissed she was about the whole thing. She apparently explained to the customer that gratuity was not included, and he said, “Yeah, I know”.
FH and I have both worked in food service, and we immediately empathized with the server. She was about five feet away from us, so we just overheard the profanity-laced discussion. Later, we overheard the bartender say to other servers as they came up to fill drink orders, “Yeah, did you hear what happened to Jill? She got stiffed on a $150 order!”
My first thought was, “Wow, what a jerk! I can’t believe someone would do that on a busy holiday!” Having worked holidays while everyone else seems to be partying I know it just isn’t fun. A customer who doesn’t tip is just insulting. But then again, I didn’t witness the service. Maybe the server didn’t do a good job. I believe you always tip and just adjust the amount for horrid service, but not everyone shares that view. From her retelling of the incident to the bartender, it seems she was polite when she told him gratuity wasn’t included.
But here’s the part that’s getting me: it’s also not cool to swear about customers in front of others at the bar. I’m sure we weren’t the only ones who heard her, since we were lucky to snag seats in the standing-room-only area. And the bartender shouldn’t have gossiped about it in front of other customers, either. The bar is not the kitchen.
Am I right on this one, Miss Jeanne? Or do I also start down the path to eHell for overhearing the conversation? 0102-12
Some conversations are simply impossible to not overhear. Husband and I were having dinner in a small Mexican restaurant two nights ago. Normally I let things roll right off my back and rarely have much to report on Ehell. But this man was an arrogant, very loud blowhard who could be heard in every corner of the restaurant (we were about 12 feet from him) and there was simply no way to avoid hearing every arrogant, insulting, factually inaccurate tidbits of blather he was spewing. He was even making my normally passive blood pressure spike and I found myself grinding my teeth and having to make a very conscious effort to tune him out. Dear Mister, I really do not want to hear your miserably depressing, cynical, factually inaccurate opinions on life in general while I am eating. But saying anything was out of the question and one just has to chalk it up as one of those outings that doesn’t quite go as well as one anticipated.
It was unprofessional for the waitress and bartender to discuss the tipping stiffing in front of customers. While it sucks that some cad stiffed her for the tip, telling the tale loud enough to be overheard spreads the story to listeners who are neither part of the problem nor the solution. How does one know whether her unprofessional verbal indiscretion wasn’t a symptom of other unprofessional behaviors that evening?