Why do we get so insanely angry when someone doesn’t tip, or doesn’t tip enough, or tips only 15% when they usually leave 20%? Every bartender knows that eventually it all comes out in the wash.
But there are times when the low tip or the no tip is so infuriating, so insulting, so rage inducing, that it’s hard to contain one’s self. The biggest response I’ve ever really mustered was a healthy dose of passive agressiveness. “Thank you SO much for your generousity. I REALLY appreciate it.” But I’ve witnessed much stronger reactions. Let me share my favorite.
My friend, who shall be referred to as Sara, is in some ways my idol. One Saturday night a four-top consumed a large amount of steak, lobster, wine, and chocolate cake. They got their check, put the two $100 bills inside, and walked out. The only problem was that this left .83 cents for their waitress. And Sara had had enough. Were these people too tipsy to think straight? Probably. Was it an innocent mistake? Most likely. But it didn’t matter.
Sara brought the money to the bar and got change from me, down to the penny. She calmly put the bills into her black check book and scooped the change up in her hand. Then she thrust open the door and stormed out to the parking lot. The four customers were standing by their cars when Sara found them. She raised her fist high in the air. Then, she screamed. “You forgot your f*****g change you f*****g pieces of white trash! Go f**k yourselves!”And  she hurled the dimes, nickels and pennies across the parking lot and at their feet.
Their reaction? She never knew. She simply turned around and marched right back into the restaurant, quickly making the rounds in her section to be sure everyone was happy. I’m not going to judge what she did as right or wrong. But remembering her story is often all the satisfaction I need.