Our stomachs were full with noodles and curry. We just finished dinner at one of the 33 Thai restaurants on the Ave.
As soon as we got to the counter to pay our tab, several people walked into the restaurant. There was also one girl waiting before us, mind you. The two waitresses seemed to have gotten really busy serving their seated patrons because it took a few minutes for one of them to return to the counter.
One woman finally came to the counter and took care of the girl who was waiting before us. Then, two guys (who walked in the door after we were already waiting) somehow ended up being helped next. They were ordering takeout and wanted to pay separately. Fine, we waited. We weren’t going to be rude, but we knew that we were supposed to be next.
I quickly walked straight up to the counter after the two guys paid for their takeout and backed away. But, two other girls who had walked up to the counter during the guys’ transactions weaseled their way ahead! Instead of being a proper waitress and asking who was waiting next, the woman took care of the other two girls. Alex and I exchanged looks. We were getting irritated.
When she finally let us have our turn and told us our amount, we gave her our credit cards — and we were both now very irritated.
You see, I’m a “good tipper.” My rule is if it’s lunch, I’m tipping you 15 percent and if it’s dinner, I’m tipping you 20 percent. You’d have to do something really bad to get any less from me. Even if the service wasn’t extremely good, I won’t knock the tip down. I’m a giver.
Not this night.
The total was $9.84 and instead of leaving absolutely no tip at all, I rounded to the highest whole number (10) and paid $10. Little did I know that Alex, standing right beside me signing her own receipt with the same price, was doing the exact same thing.
Alex handed the woman her receipt first and the woman handed it back while saying something to Alex. I wasn’t really paying attention and just assumed Alex made a minor calculation error.
When I handed my receipt back to the woman, she looked at it and handed it back to me. She pointed to the bottom of the receipt where the “cheat sheet” of already calculated tipping amounts were listed. There was an amount for 15 percent, 20 percent and 25 percent.
“You didn’t tip 15 percent,” she said in a matter-of-fact way to me.
“I know,” I responded, making little eye contact and barely grasping the words that were coming out of my mouth. (I’m not a jerk in real life).
“You don’t tip 15 percent?” she blurted. (Note: These may not have been her exact words, but you get the gist).
“I don’t want to,” I replied. (Oh my God, will this woman let up? Can we just leave now? You’ve kept us waiting at this counter more than long enough!)
Just when I thought our conversation was over, you know what she had the audacity to say? “Next time, takeout.”
Alex and I walked out. As soon as the door closed behind us, we exchanged a bunch of “Can out believe its?” and “Who do they think they ares?”
Tipping is not a right. It’s a privilege. It’s not mandatory. And now that you told us to get takeout next time if we aren’t going to “properly” tip, you can bet your bottom dollar that we’ll take our service elsewhere!
Did I mention that this place also charges an automatic 18 percent gratuity for parties of 4 and more?! Four people is the number in an “average-sized” American family, not a party!