Servers need tips. As soon as a table stands up, they rush over to check the bill. It's make or break time. Most customers tip 20%. That's nice. It helps supplement the $4/hour wage the restaurant forks over. But what about those that don't? What happens at the lower percentages? It's a careful dance between the customer's moral reasoning and the server's need to pay rent.
Possible Reason: You asked for ketchup and never got it. How are you expected to eat french fries without ketchup?!
Server's Reaction: God, why is it that every [select nationality/race/age group] tips terribly? Can't we just ship them to [assumed country of origin/retirement home]?
Possible Reason: The server drove you crazy, but you're on a first date and you don't want to look like a total cheap ass.
Server's Reaction: lol their bill ends in 69. But seriously, what an asshole.
Possible Reason: You forgot to carry the 1.
Server's Reaction: Six times! You make me list all the gluten free items six times and then tip like this? I'd walk out to the valet and give you a piece of mind if my manager didn't make me roll all this silverware.
Possible Reason: Your table has been transferred so much you aren't sure who your server is anymore.
Server's Reaction: My life is like hit CBS sitcom 2 Broke Girls. Except I'm ugly and alone and, actually, I've never seen that show. Whatever, I'm getting so drunk tonight.
Possible Reason: The server didn't inform you that soda refills cost money and you really pounded some coke today.
Server's Reaction: You think you can tip like this and ever come back here? Guess what, buddy? I got you on lock. Next time you're here, no complimentary bread. No dessert feature. And your water's going to have way too much ice and I'm never, never, refilling it.
Possible Reason: You meant to tip 20%, but the math got weird.
Server's Reaction: Was it something I did? I mean, why this? Does my breath stink? I bet it's my breath. In middle school they always called me Stink Mouth. I was so embarrassed. I drank mouth wash until I blacked out. Woke up in seventh period without a shirt. The guidance counselor made me go to a camp. Oh God, it's all coming back. Don't cry. Do not cry.
Possible Reason: You were taught to always tip this much and you live in the 1940s.
Server's Reaction: If I work hard enough I don't feel anything.
Possible Reason: Your bill had an extra entrée for no explained reason, and you took the difference out of the tip.
Server's Reaction: Looks like another month of paying my student loans off at the blood bank.
Possible Reason: The server spilled water on you and didn't acknowledge it.
Server's Reaction: You bring your kid in. Fine. It cries the whole time and smears banana slices all over the table and floor. Okay. You get mad at me because we don't have skim milk. Alright. You walk out the door leaving the mess and this tip? Your child isn't a free pass to act however you damn please. This isn't Mad Max Beyond Thunder Dome. There are rules in this society.
Possible Reason: The shrimp in your salad was raw and you did not order shrimp.
Server's Reaction: Well, if I add a couple zeroes to the end of this...There, that looks better. Almost a real tip, now. I can feel my urge to kill lowering already.
Possible Reasoning: The server started doing their side work and forgot about you for, like, 20 minutes.
Server's Reaction: Take a deep breath. It's okay. Someday that jerk will be serving me. Ha! Then we'll see how much he likes feeling like...ugh, who am I kidding? I'm a loser.
Possible Reason: The server keeps scratching at a scab in their ear.
Server's Reaction: I knew it. I knew it. You order a water, a bunch of sweetener and a million lemon wedges like I didn't know, but guess what? I knew. I knew all along! We call it lemonade, jackass. It's on the menu. But I didn't stop you, I just let you use me however you wanted, and look what that got me. Soliciting myself on craigslist would be less humiliating for better pay.
Possible Reasoning: The server said a joke about your weight. You're sensitive about your weight.
Server's Reaction: Maybe my mom was right all along.
Possible Reasoning: The server took your plate away before you were finished and ate a fry as they walked back to the dish tank.
Server's Reaction: I should kill myself. No, wait, that's what they want. I'll commit suicide in a socially accepted way. I'll enroll in law school.
Possible Reasoning: The meal ruined your day. Everything about the dining experience was awful. The one percent tip is a symbolic middle finger.
Server's Reaction: Everything sucks but me. The kitchen is backed up, my boss is an idiot, the bar can't pour a beer if their life depended on it, and the hosts are seating me every three seconds. But me? I'm flawless.
Possible Reasoning: You took both copies of the receipt on accident.
Server's Reaction: Your face is ingrained in my mind. My life has but one purpose: I will carve that tip from your flesh. For this, my parents will disown me, my body will rot in prison, my soul to hell, but I promise that for this tip your blood will spill.
"Really, Holmes!" I dropped into my seat, shocked. "You are remarkably tall! What are you, six foot six? Six foot eight?"
As the 19th century diver approaches a giant clam, a flash of brilliant golden light flares from within the shell. I emerge in a swirl of bubbles and do the timeless universal underwater hand signals for the following: ZODIAC KILLER, KKK, BLOOD OF YOUTH
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