Thursday, September 15, 2016

Our Waitress Scored a D

Hub and I spent a day driving around town on errands, eventually finding ourselves near a favorite eatery. Our stomachs demanded food, and it was lunchtime.

Quickly seated and handed menus, the waitress inquired about drinks. We requested water.

Waiting patiently for our thirst-quencher, we perused the menu and decided what to order. We waited, continued to wait…and waited. Twenty minutes later, no water. Another waitress passed our table and we mentioned our liquid deficit.

Eventually our waitress returned, waterless and breathless, “I was busy serving other customers and then the phone rang. Sorry.” Again we requested water.

About five minutes later two glasses of water materialized. Before the girl disappeared again we ordered lunch.

Our meal showed up in a reasonable period of time. The food was delicious and portions huge, and I could not finish my taco salad. When the waitress stopped by to ask about dessert, we declined and asked for the check.

The bill arrived, not exactly in a timely manner. Hub perused it carefully, a longstanding habit, furrowed his brows and said, “How much was my fish burrito? Do you remember?”

“Nine dollars, I think,” I answered.

“That’s what I thought. It says here $12.”

“Maybe she charged for the platter, and not just the burrito.”

We patiently awaited the waitress’s return, but she was otherwise occupied. Possibly busy in the kitchen, but my guess is on a break, probably behind the building eating or smoking.

One smoke or sandwich later the waitress reappeared, but ignored us. Finally hub caught her eye across the room.

She walked over and hub said, “I thought my meal was $9.”

“Oh, well,” she began, obviously annoyed, “the menu is wrong. The burrito pescado, the fish burrito, is the same price as the shrimp burrito, $11.50. I am supposed to tell customers that, but I forgot to tell you.”

“That is not my problem,” hub states, “the menu says the cost is $9.”

Grabbing the check, she stalks off. A few minutes later she returns and plunks the revised check on the table. Hub inspects it, takes out his wallet and places cash on the table.

Our waitress returns for the last time. A scowl adorning her face, she snatches the cash, turns to leave, grabs two lollipops sitting on the edge of the table and stomps off.

“Did you see that?” I said, amused but also irritated, “I hadn’t noticed the lollipops and don’t want them, but to take them away because she is pissed at us…”

Exiting the restaurant I smile at the waitress, now behind the cash register. She turns her back to me.
Not our waitress,
but a close likeness
Hub shakes his head, “She didn’t even redo the bill right. She took $2.50 off the total, but I wasn’t going to argue. And I left a decent tip.”

“She doesn’t deserve it.”

“I know…I don’t think she’s going to last long at the restaurant." We laugh and hurry off, ready to move on. 


  1. My husband and I have had similar experiences. I usually order only water because the mark up on soft drinks is tremendous. I do not know the age of the sever,but most young people are used to being served not serving. Servers are not paid minimium wage. They depend on tips. I tip even when the service is bad. If I think the service is extremely poor ,I tell the server. Nowadays everyone needs a job.

    1. I'm with you on the water most of the time. And the server was young but not a kid - probably mid-twenties.

  2. Another reason I don't eat out often. When I do, the service is always much better than you experienced. It made for a good story, though. :-)

    1. Usually my restaurant experiences are better than this one, but I guess every one can't be great. Maybe our waitress just had a bad day...

  3. You were very kind to tip her at all. I hope her attitude or she finds another line of work, perhaps something not dealing with people.

    1. Good point - she might excel at a minimal people-contact job.

  4. Sometimes I wonder if servers think those of us who order water are cheapskates and low tippers? We almost always order water for health reasons, but we try to be generous tippers, especially if the food and service are decent. I always leave a tip, but when a server does a poor job, I leave less. This morning on the Today Show, this subject came up, and they recommended talking to the manager when you have a bad experience. Have to admit, I've never done that.

    1. I guess we could have spoken to the manager, but my guess is our comment to the other waitress and our waitress' poor attitude was noted by other employees.

  5. Good for you ... laugh it off and give her the tip. You don't know what was going on in her life; clearly it's not a good day for her.

  6. Food servers have a very hard time. All my children and most of my grandchildren have waited tables. Unfortunately, no matter how the managers or cooks screw up, or how demanding customers are, the server gets it in the neck. She probably was rushed off her feet and her understandable lapses which led to your disapproval will no doubt be taken from her meagre income. To short her tip only punishes her more.

    If she was young, she was probably a kid working a summer job. If she was older she probably had aching feet as well as other issues.

    We have learned the hard way to tip generously with very rare exceptions. Its called kindness.