Wednesday, February 14, 2007

valentine's day: a diatribe

when i was younger, valentine's day was fun. you'd have your little
care bears cards and conversation hearts and you'd get a valentine
from everyone in your class. and that meant that when you got a little
note from your third grade crush, you could pretend that, even though
he gave one to everyone, that he really meant it when he signed his
name to the card picturing a monkey saying, "i go bananas for you!"

and i also like the color red. v-day was always a good excuse to drag
out a red dress or my favorite red sweater.

and then i grew up. and got a job. a job waiting tables. and i got
scheduled to work on valentine's day. and you know what happens on
valentine's day? all the stupid fucks who never leave the house and
have no idea how to act in public (much less how to behave in a
restaurant) ALL decide to take their "baby" out for a "real nice
dinner" that night. however, i will point out that i was actually
working at a nice restaurant. i pity the people waiting tables at a
TGI Fridays serving people who thought THAT place was a fine dining

now, i'm not sure what it is, but the people who go out the least,
some how feel overly entitled when they end up at dining
establishments. almost like, "i'm spending my hard earned cash here at
one of my two nights out a year and so i'm going to treat you like my
slave. you're going to earn that money, bitch!"

and so it goes. the trailer-trash ordering me around acting like
they're saudi princes because they're out at a decent restaurant for
possibly the first time ever. it's a novel thing for them, to look at
me and say, "bring us more bread" and have me bring that bread. and
because it's free and they're cheap, i'll make another, oh, i don't
know, 5 trips over to their table with free bread. and then they'll
barely eat their entrees and want it in "doggie bags." or worse,
they'll complain about the food after they've ordered it, hoping to
get it comped. "um, miss?" "yes?" "i don't like this dark sauce here."
"the drizzle of 20 year old balsamic vinegar?" "yeah. can you make
another without it?"


and the woman will inevitably ask for white zinfandel. and seem
severely annoyed when you break the news that you don't carry white
zin. and rolls her eyes at you and sighs for the inconvenience when
you suggest a moscato d'asti instead. "what kind of place doesn't
carry white zin?!" you hear her ask her husband as you walk away.

and the tipping. that's the best part! i'm fairly certain that the
trash thinks that a $10 tip on a $100 check is generous. and that's if
they even remember to leave a tip.

i will forever more despise the holiday. it's commercial
faux-sweetness. it's prix fixe surf'n'turf dinners with which you get
raped on prices.

when i date a guy i expect dinner out several times a week and
frequent sex. i better not need a holiday to come around to remind a
guy to take me out and give me an excuse to get naked.

but happy valentine's day to you and yours and remember: 20% tips are
average these days. and friends don't let friends drink white zin.

6 people who played with me:

Blogger Vanderbilt Ignoble said...

20% is average? Beg to differ. Should I be giving 35%? 50%? 100%? I'd call 15% the average, cuz thats what I always hear people giving. I give 20%, but that's my limit. Lucky enough I'm playing into this irrational system we have.

2/14/2007 12:35 PM  
Blogger cadiz12 said...

valentine's day is much better spent with a nice homecooked meal and a movie. or shopping. because everyone else is wining and dining somewhere else.

2/14/2007 3:10 PM  
Blogger Former Intern Andy said...

It differs from area to area. In NYC, 20% is average because eveything costs so damn much there, cost of living, etc.

Around Kenosha, WI, I would say 20% is welcomed by most wait staffs. 20% and you're a good tipper. MOre than that and you're generous.

Also depends on how much was done. Not all waitresses make crap wages, so I tip according to how much trouble I was.

2/14/2007 5:28 PM  
Blogger The Stormin Mormon said...

I vary on my tipping like a maniac.

For bad service I will leave EXACTLY 15%. I mean to the penny...

For good service out here, 20% is the norm.

When someone goes above and beyond, the sky's the limit. For our Saturday delicious pancake breakfast, 50% is the norm and when our regular waitress was in on her birthday I left double the check for her (she actually called and asked if I'd made a mistake). But those situations are rare these days.

And White Zin is the worst thing to happen to wine EVER.

2/14/2007 8:32 PM  
Blogger Syar said...

Here, there is not such thing as "tipping". The business people decide to cut out all the iffiness and introduce this thing we call "tax". So like it or not, 5 % service tax AND 5 % government tax has to go to that TGIF waiter who's really proud of his button badge collection.

2/14/2007 10:16 PM  
Blogger Vanderbilt Ignoble said...

The thing is, tipping by percentage shouldn't go up or down based on location. It's a ratio based on the prices, so if those prices are high in the first place, the resulting 20% will be higher. In NYC, everything is more expensive, and the resulting tip will naturally be higher. That's the only thing I like about tipping, and if it's all a lie, I don't know what I'll do to myself.

OK, I'm done.

2/15/2007 9:17 AM  

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