Thursday, February 23, 2012

Waitress Misses Out On Tip To Hostess Who Stole Her Role

Dear Tazi:

I am a waitress, and I work very hard for my money. Like all waitresses, I have my pet peeves; the biggest being when someone does not tip me. I realize they are expressing displease for what they feel was poor service; but they have to understand that this is not always my fault.

The other day during a mid-afternoon shift, things were rather slow at the restaurant where I work; so the manager asked me to wipe down all of the tables and sweep the floors. While I was doing this, the hostess sat a single person in one of my booths for four. I figured the person was waiting for other people to arrive, so I went on with my cleaning. After about 15 minutes, the Hostess approached me and told me that my table guest was very upset that no server had arrived to even offer her a menu or a glass of water. I had no idea she wasn't waiting for others! The Hostess had not said anything to me! I apologized to the patron, brought her a menu and a glass of water and returned to cleaning. She did not seem too pleased with me but, short of throwing the Hostess under the bus, what could I do? Things went downhill from there.

Because I was cleaning, I lost track of the time and forgot that my one guest was probably waiting for me to take her order. By the time I got back to the table, she was already eating; having had already been served by the Hostess, who she had approached a second time. By the time the woman was ready to leave, she didn't even bother to ask me for the check - she just walked up to the register and asked the Hostess if she could please pay and be on her way. She then made a show of tipping the Hostess for the "all her assistance" and left me nothing!

I realize I was not as attentive to her as I should have been, but it was not my fault! The manager had set me to the task of cleaning - I can't keep an eye on my tables and clean, too! Rather than stiffing me on my tip and giving it to the Hostess (who makes several dollars an hour more than me) I would rather she have asked to speak to the Manager, so he could see that I was obviously overworked. This is not the first time I have been stiffed on a tip because people think tipping is optional, or a reward for good service. Tips are a large part of my income, and when I don't get them my paycheck suffers.

Thank you for allowing me to vent, Tazi!

She Works Hard For the Money (So You'd Better Treat Her Right!)

Dear She Works Hard...:

You did not ask for advice, so I will not offer any. However, I will take the opportunity to vent right back (because this is my column, and I can!).

As the immortal Mr. Pink (of Reservoir Dogs fame) so succinctly put it, "The words 'too busy' should not be in a waitress' vocabulary!" Now, Mr. Pink was being a real [French word for shower]-bag, but the fact of the matter is that if you are too busy to serve your tables, YOU need to be the one approaching the Manager to complain - not the guest, who is there to enjoy a relaxing meal free from the behind-the-scenes drama of your workplace.

After seating your guest, the Hostess should have approached you to tell you she was a single diner (why did she seat her at a table for four?); however, you should not have brushed her off as you did. Then, to get so absorbed in your cleaning as to forget you had a guest waiting for you? I'm sorry, sweetie, but that is just an unacceptable excuse for ignoring your primary duty of waitressing, which should be serving your customers. Your attitude gives waitresses everywhere a bad name! What happens when you have several tables to serve? If you cannot multi-task, perhaps waitressing is not the job for you.

I have nothing but the highest respect for good waitresses! They do a job that, as my Mommie puts it, "I could never do well, which is why I don't work as one!". Nobody ever said waitressing is an easy job - it is very demanding, both physically and emotionally - and from the tone of your letter you don't seem to be cut out for it. Could this be the reason you are getting "stiffed" on your tips on a regular basis?

As for the debate over whether tipping is optional, or a reward for good service...I will into get into that. If my Readers wish to debate it in the comments section, I welcome them to do so and eagerly look forward to reading their comments!

Perfunctory Snuggles,

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.


  1. She states in her letter things were rather SLOW. If she can't handle a single table as it sounds I wonder what she does with a full house. I would have stiffed her as well as complain to the manager!

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