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Sentimental yet sardonic [userpic]

Question of Politeness

May 20th, 2005 (11:56 am)

So, hypothetically speaking, lets say you've been out with a friend for a pizza just before you go and see the latest Star Wars film. It's almost time for the film to get going, you're collecting up the remains of the pizza, and you're paying by your debit card. It's England, so you're not allowed to add service charges onto that payment. The waitress has been kind, efficent and even bought refills over without being asked. To your horror, you suddenly discover the only actual cash you have on you or your friend is a single solitary ten pence piece.

Is it ruder to leave just that single coin and thus imply she was only worth that much, or should you slink out without leaving a tip, feeling incredibly guilty?


Posted by: Laney (laney_1974)
Posted at: May 20th, 2005 04:39 am (UTC)

One of the reasons I love living in Australia is that we don't have that trouble. We rarely tip. I can't remember the last time tipping was required at a restaurant...

But, that being said, I wouldn't leave the ten pence because, really, that's probably more insulting than leaving nothing. But then I probably don't know what I'm talking about.

Posted by: txkmpm (txkmpm)
Posted at: May 20th, 2005 04:40 am (UTC)

A conundrum for sure. I think most people would shrug it off, walk out and make a mental note to leave her a bigger tip the next time they dined there. Or, one could explain the situation to the waitress, ask her work hours and promise to return with a tip. The cynic in me thinks both these answers are nothing more than a way ease your conscience as most people (sadly) will either forget or find an excuse not to return. So... it seems I haven't a clue how to rectify that situation :)

Posted by: Laney (laney_1974)
Posted at: May 20th, 2005 04:42 am (UTC)

I should also say that I rarely eat at a restaurant that's not a tavern where you order you meal at the bar and pick it up once it's cooked. So tipping might be common in australia

Posted by: In awe of sensible companions.... (wildecate)
Posted at: May 20th, 2005 04:59 am (UTC)

slink out and leave an apologetic note on the napkin!

Posted by: Wannabe Quincy (dangermonki)
Posted at: May 20th, 2005 06:41 am (UTC)

It's happened to me before. You could just explain politely that it's all you have, but if she'd be so kind as to wait you'll be right back with money from a bank machine or something. Or go back later and ask for her to be your waitress and tip her big.

But it is better to leave the tip than none at all, I think.

Posted by: Piffle, yes, but superior piffle. (hardlyfatal)
Posted at: May 20th, 2005 08:42 am (UTC)

I'd explain to her the mistake, go and get some $$ from an ATM, and come back with it. Would also give her 5% extra as compensation.

Posted by: houses (houses7177)
Posted at: May 20th, 2005 10:56 am (UTC)
Constantine Has Issues

I'm with Cin on this one. Explain the situation, go to an ATM, bring her money. It's good karma.

Posted by: Spectacularly Adequate Empress (empressvesica)
Posted at: May 20th, 2005 02:59 pm (UTC)

I'd explain. The only times I have left absurdly small tips it was a deliberate insult. And actually, I explained to the manager in those cases too.

*shrugs* What else can you do?

Posted by: Daveosaurus (southerndave)
Posted at: May 20th, 2005 07:36 pm (UTC)

I'd write in to the manager, say what great service I'd got from that waitress and how she was a credit to the company. At the very least it should give the waitress some sort of feeling of being appreciated... and if the company has things like customer service awards or something like that she'd be in the running for one.

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