Author Topic: Awkward Dinner Payment  (Read 3732 times)

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MissBrit

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Awkward Dinner Payment
« on: January 06, 2013, 01:50:51 AM »
Yesterday was Sage's birthday. Sage and I have been long time friends but have been growing apart over the years so we're not that close. I messaged Sage, privately, yesterday to wish her a Happy Brithday. She wrote me back and thanked me and said that she and two of our mutual friends, Kate and Priscilla would be going out to dinner and would like to come. I answered Yes and asked for the time.

So I showed up at the agreed upon time and a fun and tasty dinner was has by all. Then things got awkward. When we went to pay, Sage asked for separate checks as we normally do at events like these (usually we all pay our own way and then chip in to pay for the birthday person) but Priscilla insisted against it because she had said at some point earlier when the three of them had originally planned this, that she wanted to buy dinner for herself, Sage and Kate. Priscilla didn't know that I had been invited. Priscilla then paid the check but then at the last second asked Kate and me to contribute some money toward our dinners, which we did. I got the vibe that she asked Kate to contribute so she wouldn't end up singling me out. What do you make of this? Something about it just felt off putting to me.

Just a little background, all four of us went to high school together. Kate and Priscilla are BFFs.

Lauren

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Re: Awkward Dinner Payment
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2013, 02:46:08 AM »
I think Sage put Priscilla in a truly horrible situation. She had advised earlier that she would pay for the dinner for everyone and then Sage has invited a fourth person. I think Priscilla handled it as well as possible in trying to make you more comfortable by asking Kate for money. It sounds like Kate also behaved well by not making a big issue on it.

Tia2

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Re: Awkward Dinner Payment
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2013, 04:47:03 AM »
I think Sage put Priscilla in a truly horrible situation. She had advised earlier that she would pay for the dinner for everyone and then Sage has invited a fourth person. I think Priscilla handled it as well as possible in trying to make you more comfortable by asking Kate for money. It sounds like Kate also behaved well by not making a big issue on it.

I agree - I think Sage was horribly rude here.  You don't invite extra people when someone else is paying.  I think the rest of you handled the situation with as much grace as possible.

I know Sage asked for separate bills, but if she didn't go on to insist on paying, this sounds to me like a polite social fiction.  Also, where I live, the birthday girl's meal will always be split among the guests.

katycoo

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Re: Awkward Dinner Payment
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2013, 05:57:54 AM »
I think it was handled as best as possible.  If Priscilla had indeed paid for you all I would have discreetly taken her aside and repaid her for my meal.

Amara

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Re: Awkward Dinner Payment
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2013, 02:22:12 PM »
I was once in a situation like this. It was for my birthday.

A group of about ten friends and I went out to a lovely, expensive Italian restaurant for my birthday. The plan was that everyone would pay for herself, and I expected that. When the bill came I was horrified when one friends (who later turned viciously on me) insisted that I not pay and that everyone else chip in for me. I was so mortified. I protested twice, but she, and she alone, determinedly overrode me and collected the cash. I thanked everyone but we all kind of left in silence.

This was long before eHell and I felt terrible for a long time afterward. I didn't contact everyone to pay them back--which is what I'd do now; oh, eHell no; now I would never allow someone to hijack a dinner again and do that--and I ended up feeling deeply regretful and embarrassed for a long time, even now to some degree.

ETA: Sorry, typo. The "not" has been changed to a now. To answer: I was rather spineless and completely embarrassed. I didn't know how to handle it, and I guess I kind of "slunk off quietly." Cowardice won out over courage, I am sorry to say.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2013, 05:40:04 PM by Amara »

DottyG

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Re: Awkward Dinner Payment
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2013, 03:56:59 PM »
Wait. You would or wouldn't contact everyone now? Is the "not" a "now"?

TootsNYC

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Re: Awkward Dinner Payment
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2013, 04:06:15 PM »
I'm not sure why you didn't speak up and say, "Oh, but you weren't planning on paying for me. I'll buy my own dinner--I expected to, anyway." And without any conversation, or regardless of it, simply hand over the money.

You had it within your power to keep this from being so awkward.

I'm sure Sage forgot Priscilla wanted to treat--she asked for separate checks.
And she may have thought of this has *her* b'day dinner, and maybe she even organized it regardless of what Priscilla said about treating. So I can't blame her for adding another person in to the gathering. It's HER birthday, and she obviously wasn't expecting Priscilla to be "hosting," because she asked for separate checks.

Priscilla could also have simply asked Kate for her bill and paid it herself.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Awkward Dinner Payment
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2013, 04:15:11 PM »
Priscilla was trying to be nice, I think, by not singling you out.  But she should probably have left it at separate bills and then taken Sage and Kate's bills when they came out and said, 'Remember?  I told you last week I was going to treat you.'  And that way, you would know that this was preplanned and she wasn't snubbing you.

Or, as Toots said, you could have just spoken up and asked for your own bill, anyway, as you'd planned to pay for yourself.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
Ontario

MissBrit

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Re: Awkward Dinner Payment
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2013, 05:23:37 PM »
Two things,

1) I have seen people try to pay their own way with Priscilla and it does not go down well. Pricilla is the most stubborn person I have ever met and also not the most mature. Also, I was a little surprised that Priscilla didn't know that I would be coming because Kate knew and she and Kate not only live in the same house but also the same room and they tell eachother everything.

2) Question: When Priscilla said that she wanted to pay. The waiter came back with everything on one bill. If I had spoken up, he would have had to reprint two new bills, one with just my food and one with everthing else. (I would have paid my portion of the appetizer and dessert in cash but didn't have enough cash to pay for the drink an entree because I had planned to use a card.) Would it have been rude to ask the waiter to do this? Next time I am bringing plenty of cash so that I can be prepaired for anything (I'm just usually one of those people who doesn't like to carry a lot of cash.).

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Awkward Dinner Payment
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2013, 05:30:38 PM »
I think the point to speak up was when Priscilla overruled Sage's request for separate checks.  You could have just asked for your own bill at that point.  But asking after the waiter came back may have been more hassle than it was worth.

'I don't have enough cash on me to cover my portion of the bill so I'll need my own check, please.'

But if Priscilla is a bit of a drama queen about the whole thing, your plan to have enough cash on you to cover your own bill in the future is a good one.  It would annoy me, though, since I use my credit cards for everything so I can get the points.

ETA a missing letter
« Last Edit: January 06, 2013, 05:34:21 PM by Outdoor Girl »
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
Ontario

TootsNYC

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Re: Awkward Dinner Payment
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2013, 05:33:27 PM »
I think Priscilla is rude to overrule the guest of honor's request for separate checks.

Yvaine

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Re: Awkward Dinner Payment
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2013, 07:00:58 PM »
2) Question: When Priscilla said that she wanted to pay. The waiter came back with everything on one bill. If I had spoken up, he would have had to reprint two new bills, one with just my food and one with everthing else. (I would have paid my portion of the appetizer and dessert in cash but didn't have enough cash to pay for the drink an entree because I had planned to use a card.) Would it have been rude to ask the waiter to do this?

That's not rude where I come from. I've heard on here that there are locales where it's just "not done," but it's not a problem where I live (Midwest US). Either the waiter can split it back at the register without even printing new receipts, or else the new receipts can be printed pretty easily these days on most systems. This is a really common request in my area and no big deal.

bopper

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Re: Awkward Dinner Payment
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2013, 09:40:20 AM »
I was once in a situation like this. It was for my birthday.

A group of about ten friends and I went out to a lovely, expensive Italian restaurant for my birthday. The plan was that everyone would pay for herself, and I expected that. When the bill came I was horrified when one friends (who later turned viciously on me) insisted that I not pay and that everyone else chip in for me. I was so mortified. I protested twice, but she, and she alone, determinedly overrode me and collected the cash. I thanked everyone but we all kind of left in silence.

This was long before eHell and I felt terrible for a long time afterward. I didn't contact everyone to pay them back--which is what I'd do now; oh, eHell no; now I would never allow someone to hijack a dinner again and do that--and I ended up feeling deeply regretful and embarrassed for a long time, even now to some degree.

ETA: Sorry, typo. The "not" has been changed to a now. To answer: I was rather spineless and completely embarrassed. I didn't know how to handle it, and I guess I kind of "slunk off quietly." Cowardice won out over courage, I am sorry to say.

I would think thing to do is accept gracefully but return the favor.  Go out for everyone's birthday, chip in, and over the year it all turns out even!!

Hmmmmm

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Re: Awkward Dinner Payment
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2013, 09:44:27 AM »
2) Question: When Priscilla said that she wanted to pay. The waiter came back with everything on one bill. If I had spoken up, he would have had to reprint two new bills, one with just my food and one with everthing else. (I would have paid my portion of the appetizer and dessert in cash but didn't have enough cash to pay for the drink an entree because I had planned to use a card.) Would it have been rude to ask the waiter to do this?

That's not rude where I come from. I've heard on here that there are locales where it's just "not done," but it's not a problem where I live (Midwest US). Either the waiter can split it back at the register without even printing new receipts, or else the new receipts can be printed pretty easily these days on most systems. This is a really common request in my area and no big deal.

None of our friends carry cash so it is not unheard of for us to hand a server 3 credit cards for one check and either request he split the bill evenly amongst to tell him $22 on this card, $15 on this one, and $18 on this one.  Never seems to be a problem. 

siamesecat2965

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Re: Awkward Dinner Payment
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2013, 03:55:26 PM »
2) Question: When Priscilla said that she wanted to pay. The waiter came back with everything on one bill. If I had spoken up, he would have had to reprint two new bills, one with just my food and one with everthing else. (I would have paid my portion of the appetizer and dessert in cash but didn't have enough cash to pay for the drink an entree because I had planned to use a card.) Would it have been rude to ask the waiter to do this?

That's not rude where I come from. I've heard on here that there are locales where it's just "not done," but it's not a problem where I live (Midwest US). Either the waiter can split it back at the register without even printing new receipts, or else the new receipts can be printed pretty easily these days on most systems. This is a really common request in my area and no big deal.

NO, but where I live, NJ, near NYC, separate checks really aren't done. I don't know why, but most restaurants won't do them. They will, however, split it among several cards, so if the bill is $45, they'll put $15 on each of 3 cards.  I don't know why that is, its just the way things are done in my area.