Ego Sum Ego

Courtney is away in Thailand for some manner of conference for the next week or so, so I am without good cooking. Left on my own, peanut butter mit jelly is downright gourmet, so I tend to go out for an eat. This evening, I went to Big City Diner, which is a new addition in my area (at least to me) and represents some of the finer cuisine on the island. The name implies fast food of a sort, which it is. They get your food to you fast, but it is most definitely not fast food.

I have come to know and accept that most people close to me consider me an arrogant motherfucker. That’s all good. I think I have certain tendencies that lead people to this conclusion and, then later, to find details of my behavior that reinforce the impression. The whole Latin/Greek/[Insert Weird Language Here] thing doesn’t help me. One of my personality traits that I think is most indicative of that aspect of my personality is how I treat waitstaff. As an example, if I have to wait at a restaurant more than 5 minutes for my drink order to be taken, I lose my shit. If my waiter walks by me after 5 minutes without introducing themselves or saying, “Sorry for the delay, but I’ll be with you in a moment,” forget about it. They can expect a 1.2% tip, if that. How this relates to arrogant markers on my personality, I know not. I just think it is one of those things.

On the obverse, when a waiter/waitress performs well, they will haul in a 30-50% tip, no shit. If they refill my drink without asking, check how stuff is going, or play well with the other diners at my table, they have entered the high tip club.

That is all a shitload of words as a lead-in to give props to Jolande, my waitress tonight at Big City Diner. Technically, she wasn’t even my waitress since I sat at the bar and she was serving as a bartender. Once I sat down, she immediately took my order, gave me a controller to change the channel (despite the fact that I had a book and was reading), and asked pardon for interrupting me when she had to ask a question, what with the reading and all. All of this with a smile, no less. Within 5 minutes, I knew she was getting a huge tip.

I got a beer (’cause Big City has nice cold drafts) and was about 3/4 done with it when I heard an exchange twixt her and another waiter. Apparently, he had asked for a reisling (wine) and she thought he said hefeweissen, so she poured the wrong drink. I asked her, with no ill intentions, what they do with mispours (is that a word?), and she plunked it down in front of me. Man alive. I told her that people wrote stories about folks like her, as I had intended to order another beer. I spoke to her a bit, and she was very nice, but never unattentive to the other customers. I threw her a 40% tip plus the cost of the brew.

The point? If someone sucks at their job, you don’t have to pay them to reinforce their shittiness. Conversely, if someone does a great thing, by God, use your loot to tell them they are doing a fabulous job! An extra 4 or 5 bones may not make a difference to you, but if more people did it, that would give a significant bump to the paycheck of people who epitomize the ideals of the service industry.

~ by kinshay on 2005-08-03.

No Responses Yet to “Ego Sum Ego”

  1. as someone who earns the majority of their dinero slinging drinks, i couldn’t agree with you more. i love to see service people come into the bar. waitresses, limo drivers, anybody who serves people and deal in cash. they understand good service ( and tipping for same ) better than most people.

    i would encourage you to become one of jolande’s regular’s. until you get back to MA of course. then we’ll have a seat at the st. james for you.

  2. Be weary the seat at the St James…

  3. Don’t waitstaff get taxed with the assumption that they are getting 15% in tips? I only undertip if someone outright insults me.

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