Serving up a good attitude is a fine tip at restaurants

In the grand scheme of things that you can be hated for, being a bad customer is probably avoidable. Sometimes you can’t avoid being hated. Sometimes you just produce a knee-jerk projectile-vomiting reaction from people, because they find your personality atrocious. I can’t help you there.

But in the grand scheme of things, you can probably avoid being a jerk to the person serving you food. This isn’t new information. I’m not going to get on a high-horse here and declare that all members of society must have some rudeness-to-servers-genetic-malfunction, that I – the most delightful customer in the world – was blessed to be born without.

But – for whatever reason – people with the best intentions sometimes lose those when food is concerned.  When people go out to eat, they expect the best service, ever. Even if they are going to, say, a T.G.I. Friday’s – which is just like the billions of other T.G.I.Friday’s in America – they expect exceptional service – like it’s the Ritz. If they don’t get it, they get angry or they tip badly.

This is just absurd. Restaurant chains aren’t there to give people whatever they want. They are there to give them slightly overpriced pseudo-ethnic noodle dishes in kitschy atmospheres. Hopefully you’ll relax a little and get away from the stress of life. But there’s no reason to get so angry just because things something go a little awry.

Being nice to waiter or waitress won’t necessarily make things better, but not throwing a fit won’t make things worse. Let’s say you go to a restaurant and you have a pretty bad experience. In the long run, it won’t really matter.  You’ll probably survive it, unless your waiter is a serial killer, or something. And if that’s the case – and your waiter kills you – you won’t be able to tip at all. And that will show ‘em.

But if it’s taking forever to get your food or your server is a bit of a bumbling idiot, you’ll probably forget about it in like two days. But if you’re a real jerk to your server, they probably won’t forget you. It doesn’t seem like it’s worth it to be remembered as a jerk. If you want your legacy to be jerk, at least let it be over an issue that really matters, not the quality of your burger.

And let’s say your waiter or waitress is really rude to you. Maybe you’re not even rude back to them. Maybe you just chat with the manager. And that’s pretty legitimate. On the other hand, you might just be getting someone in trouble that’s having an off day. Most people don’t go out of their way to be rude to other people. You might say that person should put that aside for work. But you have days where you wake up feeling miserable, and one thing after another goes wrong, and you just wish somebody would cut you some slack. Well, that’s probably how they feel, too.

TESSY PAWLOWSKI

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