Gut Rumbles

October 27, 2003


Maybe I tip the way I do because I worked for a number of years around people who depended on tips for their living. Maybe I tip the way I do because a fool and his money are soon parted. The reason doesn't matter to me. I am generous with tips.

I agree with this post, but I also believe that poor service should be punished with a poor tip, or in extreme cases, no tip at all.

Servers, waitresses and bartenders have difficult jobs. They have to put up with whiners, complainers, bitches, bastards, drunks, fucktards, asswits and cheapskates. They are supposed to do it with a smile on their faces, too. It's tough work.

But when I order a drink in a bar, I expect my drink to be poured. I DON'T expect the bartender to get caught up in a cell phone conversation with his girlfriend and forget all about me. There went YOUR tip, butthead.

The same thing goes in a restaurant. I try always to be polite to servers. But if I catch the waitress and ask her for another glass of wine, please, and she gives me the witch face and hisses, "I'll get your wine when I get a chance! Can't you see that we're VERY BUSY tonight?" as she walks away, I'm not going to tip HER at all.

I pay for the service I receive. I thnk that's fair.


I think you'll make your displeasure known better if you leave a penny rather than no tip. If there's no tip on the table the server figures you either forgot or are a cheap bastard. If you leave a penny you've insulted them. And isn't that what you're really trying to do?

I heard tell of one old fart that used to keep a few pennies he'd cut in half. When he received poor service he'd leave one of those. How's THAT for an insult?!

Posted by: Ralph Gizzip on October 27, 2003 06:03 AM

Oooo...I like Ralphs ideas (ok i know they aren't 'techinically' his).

I agree with you Rob. I'm usually a very good tipper as my little brother made a living waiting, but like you, I refuse to reward poor service or a poor additude.

We all have shitty days but taking it out on the ones who are helping to pay your bills is a BAD idea. My brother worked his ASS off and became quite friendly with some high rollers, so he became their favorite waiter and thus made good tips. He CARED about his job. Of course it doesn't help that he shmoosed them. LOL That was in NYC, might not work as well in some truck stop dinner, but you never know.

Man I got on a tanget this morning....

Posted by: Marc on October 27, 2003 07:17 AM

A waitress actually said that to you? You should have requested to speak to her manager. Getting fired is a worse punishment than not leaving a tip.

Posted by: sugarmama on October 27, 2003 09:37 AM

Good service deserves a good tip and bad service deserves nothing but I DO like that penny idea.

My parents always told us that if you can't afford to tip then you shouldn't be eating out in the first place.

Posted by: Symph on October 27, 2003 12:00 PM

I'm with SugarMama. You should have reported that waitress for treating you like that.

Dad taught his kids that you always tipped, but he didn't believe in rewarding bad service either. I remember him leaving a stack of pennies when service was bad.

Posted by: Buffy on October 27, 2003 01:40 PM

I worked as a sportfishing deckhand out of Oxnard, California in the early 1980s. Sixty-five footer taking 25 people out to the Channel Islands below Santa Barbara. Reported to work at midnight to load bait and help passengers stow their gear.

At one a.m. the captain would take us out of the harbor. I could nap for two hours during the trip, but as 2nd mate, would have to take the helm so the Cap'n could nap 'til we neared the area he'd chosen.

Once on the fish, myself and the first mate were showing people technique, keeping live anchovies in the hand wells, unsnarling reels, untangling lines, gaffing fish, freeing sharks or seals or cormorants, watching out for the safety of passengers, etc. Then we would stand on the fantail for the five hour trip back, fileting the most or the entire catch.

If I was fast and lucky, I could finish scrubbing down the entire boat by 5 p.m. Then go home and sleep a while and be back by midnight. I got $25 a day plus tips. Our fees for cleaning catches was considered tips. $10 for fileting a limit (25 fish) $5 for just gill & gut. Captain, First mate and me split all the tips three ways.

Some days you got a group of "experienced" passengers who understood how hard we worked and I'd go home with $150 that day. They were easy to take care of, ordered all their food from the galley (Cap's wife), and were a pleasure.

Some days you got a group that barely got any of their fish cleaned, were demanding, constantly doing stupid things, brought all their own food and drinks, etc. Go home with an extra $10. Do you know how expensive it is to live in California? I would never quit trying hard to please passengers, because I just couldn't afford to take home $35, after a 17 hour day. And until you made the rounds to find out who wanted their catches fileted, you just didn't know how good or bad your day would be.

When I get okay service, the server gets 15%. When I get excellet service it can be as high as 40%. When it's bad; a quarter.

Posted by: Will Coffman on October 27, 2003 05:54 PM


I've shared your experiences aboard a 63' Stephens luxury motor yahct (1967 built, solid Mahogany) here on Galveston Bay, TX. Not sportfishing, but entertainment charters on a USCG COI vessel for 49 passengers.

The "big oil" parties were always the best tippers. Also, we once had a party of topless dancers enjoying a "girls ride" to themselves. Yes, once past the channel bouys, the Captain and I had "quite the view" to go with our duties. They tipped well just by BEING there.

Oddly, the best tip, per capita we ever received was a group of High School kids who chartered a midnight to 11 am run, for "after prom". Smart kids, they didn't want to be on the roads or with other wild groups. Even though they brought (d) of their own, they were discreet, circumspect and COOL. Otherwise, the Captain would not risk his 3000 ton "any oceans" license on 'em!

And having worked restaurants all through HS myself, I deeply appreciate the value of not only the tip, but the message it sends.

I really, really like GOOD service, and gladly tip LARGE more often than not.

It's the class thing to do.


Sloop New Dawn
Galveston, TX

Posted by: Jim on October 27, 2003 09:01 PM

I agree with Ralph, only when I'm trying to show my server I thought their service was crap, I leave a quarter. I have always thought pennies were too easy to mistake as something accidentally left on the table.

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