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Bigun
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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 9:53 am    Post subject: Waitress Tip Forging Reply with quote

I'm conflicted guys, wondering if this has happened to you or what you would do in my situation.

I eat out maybe twice a week during work, and I usually tip between 15% to 20% if the service was decent.

Tips are usually written in on receipts and then signed for. Sometimes a typo can happen, but it only changes the total by a few pennies, no big deal.

This week, I had a lunch that cost about $15, and I tipped $3, just balanced and saw she tipped herself $4. Not a large amount of money, but it's getting me irritated enough to maybe go and say something. Principle vs. common sense I guess.
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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is, at the end of the day, theft.
It's also hard to go back and scream at them when they tend to be just scraping by. But if you must, ask a manager or simply stop going to that restaurant for improper behavior, theoretically they should not debit more than the total you wrote...

However, since they also get docked the credit card fees and there is record for this to be taxed (I wonder how many waiters report all of their tips to IRS?), they feel they are shortchanged too (contrast to a cash tip that can be neatly swept into their pocket...)
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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I understand the principle of it, I mean left unchecked entirely where would it go, right?

However, sanity check.

How much money is your time honestly worth to you? If you had dropped a dollar, and somehow realized that it was there in that restaurant waiting for you where no one could see it, would you make a special trip to retrieve it?

Don't let your emotions (which include morals) get the better of you.

Personally if it was a place I frequented I might keep a closer watch on future transactions and if it became a trend would either stop going there or mention the trend to the management.

IMO, one event does not merit the amount of time you've already dedicated to it. That's just me though.

I agree, it is absolutely theft. There is no question.

True story: I replaced the dishwasher in my home about a year ago (do my own work, so there wasn't anyone else to haul away the old unit) and over the weekend before I could call in a "large item pick-up" with the city solid waste service someone actually stole the damned thing out of my side-yard. Absolutely theft without any question. Did I call the police? Should I have? I honestly didn't have the time to play nanny of the city/neighborhood/world. It was good for me, while I admit idealistically bad for the neighborhood to have unreported crimes of that nature. I was just relieved I didn't have to make the call, it actually lightened my work-load. I understand your story and mine vary wildly, but the point is don't blindly act on principal in self-destructive ways -- think things through in addition to feeling your moral compass pull you.
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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 8:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Waitress Tip Forging Reply with quote

Bigun wrote:
I'm conflicted guys, wondering if this has happened to you or what you would do in my situation.

I eat out maybe twice a week during work, and I usually tip between 15% to 20% if the service was decent.

Tips are usually written in on receipts and then signed for. Sometimes a typo can happen, but it only changes the total by a few pennies, no big deal.

This week, I had a lunch that cost about $15, and I tipped $3, just balanced and saw she tipped herself $4. Not a large amount of money, but it's getting me irritated enough to maybe go and say something. Principle vs. common sense I guess.

If she's hot, you should go back and eat there a couple more times at the same time of day. If she does it to you again, then confront her and demand a blow job or you'll tell her boss. This will teach her a valuable lesson, and you will have performed a service to society.
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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At a restaurant like that a blow job is always included.
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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A LOLUSA restaurant?
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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 12:23 am    Post subject: Re: Waitress Tip Forging Reply with quote

Bigun wrote:
I'm conflicted guys, wondering if this has happened to you or what you would do in my situation.

I eat out maybe twice a week during work, and I usually tip between 15% to 20% if the service was decent.

Tips are usually written in on receipts and then signed for. Sometimes a typo can happen, but it only changes the total by a few pennies, no big deal.

This week, I had a lunch that cost about $15, and I tipped $3, just balanced and saw she tipped herself $4. Not a large amount of money, but it's getting me irritated enough to maybe go and say something. Principle vs. common sense I guess.


talk to her.

But there is an easy work around: always use cash.
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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 3:17 am    Post subject: Re: Waitress Tip Forging Reply with quote

If you confront the issue, beware your food in the future. Whether I confronted or not, I'd probably not return for quite a while.


energyman76b wrote:
always use cash.
++

Difficult to get back into the habit.
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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I never tip unless I want to, but waitresses here are paid slightly more than there. People don't really expect tips here and if they get them they are cash in hand rather than added to the tally.

Don't wait staff get taxed on the number of customers served anyway in the US? That would mean they need the tips to balance their own finances at the end of the fiscal year.
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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sikpuppy wrote:
I never tip unless I want to, but waitresses here are paid slightly more than there. People don't really expect tips here and if they get them they are cash in hand rather than added to the tally.

Don't wait staff get taxed on the number of customers served anyway in the US? That would mean they need the tips to balance their own finances at the end of the fiscal year.


the tipping system is a big piece of shit if you ask me. Why can't they just include it in the price and pay a proper wage?
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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

juniper wrote:
the tipping system is a big piece of shit if you ask me. Why can't they just include it in the price and pay a proper wage?


++

Like most things that are backwards and broken, the answer is: "Because this is the way we do it!"
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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can't print enough ++'s to agree with the tipping system. The expected tip for any service should be 0.
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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

--

Cheapskates.
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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bogamol wrote:
--

Cheapskates.


?? Seriously? No one is advocating paying less, that I can see anyway, in this thread. We are merely talking about standardizing, normalizing and formalizing the cost. It should on the whole actually PROTECT the people you seem to be concerned that we might be wanting to "short" -- this protects them from the so called "Cheapskates."
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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sikpuppy wrote:
Don't wait staff get taxed on the number of customers served anyway in the US?
I've never heard that, but I've never worked as a waiter.

I prefer the tipping system. Absolutely perfect. Good service = higher pay. Reward good work. I shouldn't have to pay for poor service, and should be able to adjust accordingly.
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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apparently IRS makes a default tip assumption for taxes of something like 8%, which is easily accounted in CC payments. But cash tips are also subject to taxes and isn't counted. It's dollars for sales not customer count. (So please when tipping it should be percentage of meal cost and not cap it.) But I do wonder if restaurant owners are required to give a form at the end of the year that sums up all tips earned for (each?) waitstaff?

The reason why I don't like tip system is that honestly the food producers, the chef(s), and the waiter all really are one unit in my eyes. If I get crappy food, wrong food, or cold food - it could have been the chef's fault too - in a tip system, who tends to get the shaft when something goes wrong? And who knows what happens behind the kitchen doors... Maybe it was the server's fault the food was cold versus the chef not quite cooking it hot enough. Perhaps the chef miscalculated time between people's meals in a party?

I do recall this one TV show where there was one wait staff giving freebies on restaurant funds to satisfy/placate the customers in hopes to get higher tips... The tips would basically mean they are stealing from the restaurant indirectly. I find this unacceptable behavior even though I don't own a restaurant. The only person who should have this flexibility should be the owner who understands the losses incurred by doing this.

I think something like a rating card system might be good enough, something the servers can see but not modify. And let the restaurant owners deal with it just like any other business.
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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

eccerr0r wrote:
Maybe it was the server's fault the food was cold versus the chef not quite cooking it hot enough. Perhaps the chef miscalculated time between people's meals in a party?
If it was the cooking staff, then you're going to see problems independent of the waiter. If it isn't common, send it back. They're going to want to "do it right." And if you fear them blowing their nose on the food, you're eating in the wrong establishment. To be honest, I rarely send food back, mainly because I don't want to wait for it to be fixed. I only occasionally bring it up. If it becomes a pattern, I stop frequenting the establishment.

eccerr0r wrote:
The tips would basically mean they are stealing from the restaurant indirectly.
Employee theft is a greater problem than shoplifting. The employer should deal with theft appropriately. It is going to be pretty easy to determine items prepared vs. items comped. If an employer failed to address employee theft, then my guess is they'd have other problems too. And in a restaurant, they'd probably be apparent. Incompetent management isn't likely to result in a quality product.

eccerr0r wrote:
I think something like a rating card system might be good enough, something the servers can see but not modify. And let the restaurant owners deal with it just like any other business.
Not interested. I also don't fill out online surveys, phone surveys, or any other surveys. Plenty of places use comment cards, though they tend to be chain, fast food and/or mediocre quality. I absolutely hate places which take the money handling away from the waitstaff. It appears they don't trust their employees. Unsurprisingly, these tend to be chain/fast food/mediocre.

Ultimately I think it should be up to the employer. I could stand to be coerced into eating at home more often.
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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pjp wrote:
I prefer the tipping system. Absolutely perfect. Good service = higher pay. Reward good work. I shouldn't have to pay for poor service, and should be able to adjust accordingly.


++

I suspect that people who don't like the system average far less in tips than those that do, hence 'cheapskates'.
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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pjp wrote:
I could stand to be coerced into eating at home more often.


This is what happened to me, pretty much. I won't go out because the tipping methodology is so messed up.

I have plenty of disposable income but will not feed the broken system. Can't get me in the door? Didn't serve me? Yep, I didn't get restaurant food, so the food getting $0 and the tip of $0 is deserved.
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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

juniper wrote:
sikpuppy wrote:
I never tip unless I want to, but waitresses here are paid slightly more than there. People don't really expect tips here and if they get them they are cash in hand rather than added to the tally.

Don't wait staff get taxed on the number of customers served anyway in the US? That would mean they need the tips to balance their own finances at the end of the fiscal year.


the tipping system is a big piece of shit if you ask me. Why can't they just include it in the price and pay a proper wage?

The idea is that quality of such services is so potentially various and so important to satisfaction of the customer that a significant portion of the compensation for the service should be paid directly by the customer to the server and be dependent upon the quality of the service.

It makes perfect sense, but as the entitlement mentality has taken hold of people's minds from so many other socialist-run aspects of their lives, instead of having highly motivated, professional, happy, well-compensated servers, we are ending up with servers who provide mediocre service and then resent customers for not fully tipping them.

So, given the inexorable onslaught of socialism and the entitlement mentality, I think the system should indeed change. Servers should be fully compensated by their employers based on an assumption of "satisfactory" service. Customers should only tip "by exception" and to the incremental extent that service has been substantially better than satisfactory.
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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

eccerr0r wrote:
This is what happened to me, pretty much. I won't go out because the tipping methodology is so messed up.
lol

I can understand not liking the system, or that it is even inconvenient to have to do the math, but I really don't grasp the broken part. Different isn't inherently broken.
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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is a little odd. "Ttipping" per se, seems limited to a sort of underclass of menial servant-like jobs, involving very personal service. On the other hand, performance-based compensation is a very modern trend in corporations, contracting, and even government.

There is a class of very exclusive restaurant (I can't recall the name, and it's mostly French cuisine) where one actually negotiates the price of a meal with the waiter (who operates his own independent little room, which may even have its own entrance) after the meal is over, and the server negotiates the price with the kitchen, and the margin is his profit. I don't know if these still exist in France, but there are some in New Orleans.

Kings used to give small amounts of wealth to subjects as rewards for specific deeds of bravery or loyalty (gold rings are mentioned in Beowulf and coins, oil, and beer are mentioned in Mesopotamian pottery shards, for example). In the days of feudalism and as late as the class hierarchies of aristocratic Europe, it was expected by nobles and landed gentry that commoners would scurry about easing their way and performing little services (e.g., opening doors, clearing the path, fetching what is needed). The gracious and generous might reward such behavior with a coin when it was above and beyond the call of duty or particularly welcome.

Is our system of tipping a carry-over of such class-based traditions and out of place in a modern, egalitarian society? Or is our system of tipping an effective, modern, incentive-based system of compensation? I think maybe it's both.
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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have problems with tips as measures of performance:

* The fact that there is this "de-facto" number around that we should be paying 15-20% means that most servers will get tipped this much as people will be starting with rule of thumb. If you do crappy or behave poorly, you will get less, but realistically speaking, most will do the job just fine - so the badly behaved ones will get weeded out fairly quickly. I would believe most people, if they get their food/drinks at the right time the way they want it, would get the full amount, whatever that person would normally give (subtractive system - full amount if you didn't screw up, less if you did.) And based on how much theft the wait staff does to the restaurant when the cooks leaves you empty handed - that extra wine "on the house" will earn you more tip while the cook that screwed up does not get punished(, which is another problem that needs to be somehow solved other than getting the whole restaurant penalized.)

I'm not sure how many people actually start with their initial target percentage and pay more tip except perhaps for "stolen" freebies (really, I don't know how much "extras" restaurants allocate for customer placation, else all of the servers would use all of it as soon as possible to increase chances of tips) or...

* Many times, pretty female waitresses will tend to get more tip bonuses, not due to performance but to appearance. These people tend to be able to screw things up, lie about her life to make a story, and "get away" with it - versus a well behaved, truthful, friendly, obese guy who gets everything right for all tables. This is NOT performance based rewards at all and is more of discrimination. Except since it's a customer doing it, there's not much recourse against the employer...
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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You sound angry about it :D

I've not been to restaurants and experienced the theft / freebies you have. If a mistake was made, and something "free" was given, why is it theft? Why wouldn't the owner or manager prefer to try making the customer happy so they would come back?

If the cook screws up, they'll get punished. The owner / manager won't want to see a lot of food returned for being poorly cooked. Multiple wait staff with food problems are easily an indicator of the cook screwing up. If the cook screws up too often, nobody will be happy about it and customers will decide to not return. ALL of that is manageable by a competent owner / manager.

Also, the bumbling idiot that is the "attractive" waitress is likely to receiver lower tips from other women. And women often "control" money in relationships.

I guess we just have extremely different experiences at restaurants.
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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 6:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

eccerr0r wrote:
I have problems with tips as measures of performance:

* The fact that there is this "de-facto" number around that we should be paying 15-20% means that most servers will get tipped this much as people will be starting with rule of thumb. If you do crappy or behave poorly, you will get less, but realistically speaking, most will do the job just fine - so the badly behaved ones will get weeded out fairly quickly. I would believe most people, if they get their food/drinks at the right time the way they want it, would get the full amount, whatever that person would normally give (subtractive system - full amount if you didn't screw up, less if you did.) And based on how much theft the wait staff does to the restaurant when the cooks leaves you empty handed - that extra wine "on the house" will earn you more tip while the cook that screwed up does not get punished(, which is another problem that needs to be somehow solved other than getting the whole restaurant penalized.)

I'm not sure how many people actually start with their initial target percentage and pay more tip except perhaps for "stolen" freebies (really, I don't know how much "extras" restaurants allocate for customer placation, else all of the servers would use all of it as soon as possible to increase chances of tips) or...

* Many times, pretty female waitresses will tend to get more tip bonuses, not due to performance but to appearance. These people tend to be able to screw things up, lie about her life to make a story, and "get away" with it - versus a well behaved, truthful, friendly, obese guy who gets everything right for all tables. This is NOT performance based rewards at all and is more of discrimination. Except since it's a customer doing it, there's not much recourse against the employer...

Well, you're paying not just for the protein and carbohydrates in your stomach, but for the experience. What's the difference between a server who makes it more enjoyable by being friendly versus by leaning over the table to show you some cleavage?
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