Summer is here, and many of you are trading in your alabaster birthday suits for melanoma here in “The Sunshine State.” Florida is known for its exotic beaches almost as much as it’s known for its Mr. Magoo-like drivers and bath-salt-smoking cannibals. And our summer months are much more than stationary traffic and skin cancer! There are also thousands of original, unique and flavorful restaurants for everyone to enjoy!
So, while you ignore all of those options completely for an Olive Garden or Applebee’s, here’s something to consider before you step out of your Honda Civic: This is not a banquet in your honor. Cool your tits. YOUR SERVER IS MAKING $2.13 AN HOUR! A “server” is not a “serVANT”. Here’s a few tips on how you can act like less of a colossal butthole to your waitstaff:
Your “tip” is intended to bring the server’s wage up to a level that’s competitive with hobo panhandlers and park mimes. Your server’s paycheck is taxed by his/her sales… including your meal. When you don’t tip, you haven’t just refrained from leaving money; you have in fact stolen from your server. You just stole from someone working at a poverty-level wage. You are garbage, and you deserve a yeast infection.
After waiting for 45 minutes at the door, you are not allowed to cast shade at your server because your blood sugar has dropped. You knew when you packed that blinking vibrator into the back pocket of your ill-fitting pleated chinos that you were in for a wait. Don’t take it out on your server.
While your hideous children are crushing Cheerios and/or vomiting on the table, please keep in mind that the 20 year-old wiping that mess up is making less an hour than your kid’s crappy diaper. Tip accordingly. Nobody owes you any special accommodations because you managed to reproduce. If a Kardashian can do it, it’s none too difficult.
These “endless,” “bottomless” and “all-you-can-eat” affairs suggest that you’ll be full when you leave. They aren’t some sort of Coney Island hot dog endurance challenge. Your desire to alchemize your O-Positive blood into garlic butter is preventing your server from attending to the tables that actually tip.
If you show up 10 minutes before the place closes, you’re just going to piss everybody off. Yes, the sign on the door says, “Open until 10 p.m.,” but the idea is that the staff will be wrapping things up shortly after that. The library is open until five, but I don’t see you showing up at 4:50PM and cracking open Tolstoy. Your preference to dine at a time generally reserved for vampires means that the staff is now forced to add another one to one-and-a-half hours to their workday, as well as the server who you have forced to work late FOR TWO DOLLARS AND THIRTEEN CENTS!
Want to make a substitution? Okay. But if your order on paper resembles the Magna Carta, you are a high maintenance hobgoblin, and you’re probably the reason your father walked out and your mother is an alcoholic. It’s a restaurant, not a hospital. If your allergies are such that you require immediate medical attention after consuming something that was prepared in the same zip code as a lemon wedge, you need to spend less time at a restaurant and more time feeding intravenously from within your plastic bubble.
Ranch dressing is not a beverage.
Asking for a glass of water and a bowl of lemons does not instill a sense of pride in your server that you have chosen their section to open up an impromptu lemonade stand. If you order a hot water kettle and fish out a tea bag from your rattan pocketbook, please know that your server hopes your children will put you in a convalescent home.
TIP 15 percent if you received your meal. Period. If the waiter was good, tip 18-20 percent. If your server was fierce, break the glass ceiling and consider how much money you just saved by not purchasing the ingredients and having some poor asshole pat your back while you yack it all up.
Look, we’ve all had a crappy server and crappy service. We all have horror stories about some hideous dining experience. Not everybody is cut out to be a server. (Though I firmly believe that everybody should be forced to do it for a month of their lives.) But it’s a thankless job. It’s physically and mentally exhausting. The hours usually suck, the uniform becomes increasingly expensive to clean, repair and replace, the benefits are usually NOTHING and the actual paycheck is so tiny that it’s hardly ever even taken into consideration. These are PEOPLE! Treat them as such, because for as many bad experiences as you’ve had dining out in your life, the number of jerks your server has dealt with FOR TWO DOLLARS AND THIRTEEN CENTS AN HOUR is too many to count on any given day.
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