These servers definitely didn't deserve a tip. They truly put their guests through the wringer just to have a simple dinner, often escalating things into outrageous fights. These poor guests didn't have any clue what a nightmare their experience would turn out to be. Content has been edited for clarity.
"At Ruby Tuesday, my mom was eating some delicious potato salad and found a thumb tack in her mouth. We mentioned it to the waitress, who immediately freaked out and called over the hostess, rather than the lead server or a manager. The hostess proceeded to accuse my mom of bringing the thumb tack in herself as a scam to get free food, because they didn't use those particular type of tacks there. After asking to speak to a manager several times and being refused, I just got up and walked into the kitchen. This got the manager's attention, despite the fact that nothing else had. Apparently, he'd been standing easily within earshot of the discussion, and he came to our table.
He came back with the same speech about not using that type of thumb tack in the restaurant. My mom asked where in the kitchen they made the potato salad, and he explained that it comes pre-made in large tubs. To which my usually very sweet mother replied in an ever more disturbing tone, 'So, just perhaps, the folks who make this potato salad for you use this type of thumb tack?!'
The manager then offered my mom her salad bar at 10% off. 'What? No!'
So he offered her 15% off. We eventually got all four meals free. Putting thumb tacks in food must be a serious scam that the Ruby Tuesdays around here are desperately trying to get under control.
"We took my wife's father out for birthday dinner one night. He chose the Olive Garden, so my parents and the in-laws met us there and we were seated at a big round table in the back of the restaurant. Our waitress came bouncing up and introduced herself, asked a few questions, and figured out that it was Bill's 60th birthday. I noticed that she seemed to pause when she heard this, but she took drink orders and off she went.
Dinner progressed, but at some point she came back and dropped a bomb on us: her own father had just died two weeks prior at age 60. We were all a little flabbergasted, but we offered our condolences and she turned it around a bit by reminding us all how precious we should be to each other.
Not 5 minutes later she came back, and proceeded to fill us in on HOW he died: battling aggressive cancer for a year. He died a long, slow, and painful death. Very sad. Again, birthday dinner and all, we managed to console her a little and ordered desserts.
Desserts come out, and she brings an extra-happy surprise: a printout of an email that her father sent her. You see, during his time in hospice, he sent her multiple emails daily telling her that he loved her, even writing poetry. She saved them, leaving them all unread to go through after he passed. She proceeded to read this poem to us, which was very sweet I'm sure, but I could barely hear it over the blood pounding in my ears out of sheer embarrassment. I was staring at my plate by this point; I can honestly say it was the most embarrassed I have been since middle school.
As she had brought out the desserts, a bus/run guy had come through to clear a booth from the now empty section of the restaurant. About two lines into the poem, he stood up, looks over at her and said, 'You're kidding.'
I glanced over at him and he gave me the most sincere 'Oh Jesus, I am SO sorry' look.
She finished the poem, we paid up, left a decent enough tip (probably around 20% because the service-grief aside-was good), and went home.
The next day, my wife gets a call from a manager. He asks if we had had any issues with our waitress the night before, and my wife very kindly explained that the woman was obviously still grieving and just happened to get a table that rang her like a gong. He explained that it was her first shift back since taking time off to grieve, and that we were her first table of the night.
The manager refunded the meal to us and sent us a $50 gift card."
"One time my fiancée and I went to eat a pizza place in NYC. The hostess set the two of us at a four-top table, and proceeded to get us drinks and some bread to snack on. After a few minutes, the waitress came over accusing us of moving to the four top, and started moving all of our stuff to a two top next to the door. I never had the chance to explain to her that the hostess sat us there. It was a cold day, and I told her I didn't want to go there. She didn't care. She picked up all of our stuff, including my fiancée's purse. Ended up spilling my drink on my fiancée's coat.
She never refilled our drinks, even though I asked her multiple times. I ended up getting another waitress to refill my drink. When I asked for extra napkins, she told me I should, 'try to be less messy when I eat.'
When we got the check, she put an automatic gratuity of 25%! I told her I would not pay that much gratuity, because I didn't think she deserved it. The manager came over and told me that I had to pay it or he was going to call the cops. I handed him my cellphone and told him to go for it. I told him that if he didn't take off the automatic gratuity, that I would pay with my credit card, then immediately call my credit card company and say it was stolen.
After him raising his voice, two other tables said that this same waitress was horribly rude to them also, and that they wouldn't give her 25% either. The manager ended up taking it off and I tipped her $1 (in dimes) on a $40 tab. I wish I could remember the name of the place. It was somewhere near Times Square, on a side street."
"My father and mother went to a popular Chinese restaurant in DC one Friday night. This was a fancier-style place. My dad was in his Naval Officer's uniform, and my mom was in a nice dress. When they went in, the host showed a bit of disdain for my parents and sat other people for almost 20 minutes before finally getting them a table. When they got the table, it was a cramped table in the corner next to the kitchen. The waiter that took care of them also was pretty rude and dismissive throughout the night.
At the end of the night, they got their leftovers to go, and my dad paid the bill. My dad gave him a decent tip, even with the poor service - 15%. My parents, however, were staying at the table and finishing their drinks. Meanwhile, he sees the waiter talking with the host, and gesturing angrily at the bill. The host comes over, and asks if there was something wrong with the service. My dad tells him that the service was not good, but felt that he tipped decently regardless. The host explained 'sweetly' that it was customary to tip 20% at the minimum in their restaurant. My dad offered to change the tip on the bill, and reached for the credit card slip. The host jerked the slip back, and said that would not be necessary, and left.
My dad saw the host go back and argue with the waiter. He then gestured towards them, and my dad guessed that they were going to try to take the leftovers back. My dad palmed the fork from the table, and waited to see what happened. The waiter walked by and leaned towards the table, and my dad growled, 'Try it, and you'll walk away with a limp and four holes in your hand.'
The waiter made a quick about-turn from the table, and my parents left a few minutes later. My dad is awesome."
"I went to a wing joint that was a bar/restaurant with plenty of TVs for sports, to watch a Stanley Cup playoff game. I'm there with 5-10 people, all eating appetizers or entrées and drinking. My wife was drinking when she felt something funny go down, and she still had a piece of it in her mouth. She took it out, and it was a piece of glass. We talk to the manager and tell him that there was glass in her drink (impossible to see by the way), and he offers to replace her drink. I then try to explain that she swallowed glass, and after some talking and comments from him like 'you'll be fine' (to which my wife replied 'have you ever swallowed glass?'), we managed to get him to comp our meals and drinks. But only for just what we ordered, not for my friends, mind you. He acted like we should be grateful for him for getting a free meal after my wife swallowed glass. My wife was furious at the manager, who was completely unresponsive to any complaints, and this totally ruined what turned out to be great hockey game.
Within a couple of days of all of this happening, my wife started having some slight stomach pains that weren't going away. I wasn't sure if it was related to the glass, so we went to doctors to be sure. After they weren't sure what it was, she told the doc about the glass incident and they did a few more tests. They concluded that she passed the glass, and on its way out, it probably made a minor cut in her intestines. Awesome. The good news was that it would just take some time to heal, and nothing extra was needed. I can't stand the fact that my wife had to go through some very uncomfortable tests, because this restaurant had pieces of glass in their cup and the manager was extremely unapologetic.
After all of this, I went back to the restaurant and tried to explain to the manager how much difficulty he put us through, and he still tried to pass it off as inconsequential. I proceeded to tell him to get lost, and that I nor anyone I knew would ever come to his restaurant again.
This wasn't the first time I had been given grief from the manager either, but the other offenses were minor compared to this. And the worst part is that all the wait staff there are great. They all realize that they have one of the worst managers ever. The wait staff has apologized to me for their terrible manager in the past."
"I had a bar-back chase me out to the parking lot and take a swing at me over a misunderstanding concerning a bill and a tip.
Way back when, when I lived in Orlando, FL, my friends and I had gone out to a popular bar. We were celebrating having completed bar tending academy (poetic, if you ask me), and over the course of six hours, had rung up about a $350 tab. There were four of us, and my three friends all handled the bill one way: they just put it all on a card then added a (roughly) 20% tip after they signed. I, on the other hand, used a card as well, but had been tipping the bartender on a PER DRINK basis all night, and about 20 minutes before we left, had slid her a $10 tip and a 'thanks for taking care of us tonight.'
So, given that I had tipped in cash WELL in excess of my share of that $350, when I got my card and bill back for the actual price of the drinks, I just drew a happy face in the 'tip' section, and wrote 'thank you again'.
So, my friends and I are quite wasted and stagger out to the parking lot (don't worry everyone, we had a designated driver). As we're chilling out and having a smoke, I hear this huge engine on what can only be described as a true-to-life authentic monster truck roaring through the parking lot, and it slams to a stop in front of us. Out of it steps a 5'4" guy in backwards hat, who had been bar-backing. Apparently, he was the one that picked up the bill when I left, and he had run out and got in the truck to CHASE US DOWN, but had seen us still in the parking lot. So, he starts running his clap-trap about me being insanely cheap, all the while poking me in my chest.
At this point, I feel compelled to mention that I'm 6'1, and 300lbs of West Virginia cattle, and I was pretty wasted. So my patience and efforts to explain where the confusion had happened ran out about the third time his pencil-thin little finger popped me in the sternum. In the middle of on of his sentences, I put my hand on his face and said something along the lines of, 'If baby wants to talk, he needs to talk like an adult.'
I then slapped him.
So yeah, he took a swing at me. He caught my shoulder, and I cracked him back in the jaw. He hit the ground, and my friends pulled me over and stuffed me in the car, and we headed home. So, in conclusion, tip your bartenders well, and make absolutely sure you hand the bill TO THEM after you sign it, otherwise Son-Of-Bigfoot might poke you in the sternum."
"About 20 years ago, my family waited over one and a half hours for our food to be delivered. The waiter was rude when we asked what was up, and constantly left us with empty drinks. So, when we left, we left no tip. We all went into the restrooms, and when I came out, my Mom was standing there and we started talking. Our waiter STORMS UP and gets right in my Mom's face, less than an inch away. Now, my Mom is a tiny woman and this waiter was a big guy, and he started SCREAMING at her wondering where his tip was. I started to advance on him, but my Dad came out of the bathroom and literally picked the waiter up and threw him about five feet into a wall.
The waiter was fired on the spot, and we received free meals for a year. But we never went back."
"My friends and I went to a restaurant, with six of us altogether. This restaurant is kind of an 'art scene' restaurant, but defiantly portrays itself, and prices itself, as a gourmet restaurant. The place was not extremely busy, probably 60-70% to max capacity on a Friday night. Our waitress comes by to take our drink orders and we order two pitchers of drinks. 20 minutes later, we get our drinks. That's not a huge deal, but somewhat confusing considering they weren't that busy, but we let it slide. She takes our orders once she delivers the drinks, and its all typical stuff: an appetizer and entrées for everyone. The appetizer, which was the price of a full meal, was supposed to be gourmet crackers and cheese, but literally was club crackers and a frozen hunk of cheese. On top of that, she didn't even bring out the entire appetizer and we had to ask for it.
Then, after 30 minutes, we get ONE plate out of SIX and she just sits it in front of one of our guests. After 10 minutes of the food just getting cold in front of him, we insist he goes ahead and eats. It takes 45 minutes until we get the rest of the food, and one of the orders was extremely incorrect. One of the orders didn't even have all the listed ingredients in it. It was a cheese steak without cheese. She asked to have her order fixed the right way, and the waitress gives her this snarky look and says, 'Maybe you should go to drive-thru next time.' Everyone was shocked and offended by her remark. We had waited on our food for a little under two hours, and she is getting mad at US. So I did what I thought was the most appropriate. I wrote, 'DRIVE-THRU' on her tip."
"My wife and I once went out to eat at a restaurant near where we lived. We were both seated fairly quickly and opened our silverware while waiting for our server to arrive. I noticed my fork was slightly dirty, like the dishwasher hadn't completely cleaned off all the old food. Now, I didn't for a moment think that I was intentionally given dirty silverware. When the server came to take our drink order, I politely said, 'Excuse me, but this fork is dirty. Could I please have another?'
She smiled, said, 'Sure!' and left. She came back a minute or two later and placed another set of cutlery on the table. 'Here you go,' she said. She then put a glass full of hot soapy water on the table and said, 'That's if this set isn't clean enough for you.'
My wife and I looked at each other, got up without saying a word, and walked out."
"I was at a restaurant in Reno with some friends of mine, and we had just hitch-hiked into town. We are all moderately 'weird' looking, wearing huge back packs, piercings and tattoos, and dark clothing. We probably don't look like the cleanest people in the world. We order a huge, huge meal to celebrate getting into to town and meeting up with a certain friend of ours. The waitress is an older lady who is fairly friendly, tops off our coffee consistently, and gets our food to us promptly. We finish off our meal, leave the money on the table with a pretty healthy tip, and head outside for a smoke. As we're sitting there right outside the restaurant, the waitress comes outside and says, 'Come on guys, you gotta pay the bill now,' in a completely condescending voice. She assumed we didn't even pay. My boyfriend promptly walks inside, points to the table, and picks up the money we left to bring it to her. He asks again how much the bill was and counts it out, so she sees him put the tip back in his pocket."
"When I was younger, I was in Vegas for a business trip. I got asked by my boss to take an account out to lunch (a bit unusual, as I was young, but they were the account I was lead creative on, so not totally uncalled for). It gets to be late lunch-time, and I talk the client into heading out for food. I opt for a nice place as we're both still dressed up from the show (she in a business suit and dress, with me in my three-piece suit I normally only wear to job interviews). There are only three other occupied tables in our section, so we're seated pretty quickly.
Our waiter talks to us as he's literally hurrying by the table to say, 'I'll be with you in a moment.'
He scurries over to a table of similarly well-dressed folks, about 6 men, all winding down from their lunch and sipping at their drinks. The waiter hovers around them, literally standing just off to the side from the guy at the head of the table (who I recognized as an account exec at an ad firm out of New York, whom I'd met earlier at the convention). The waiter stands there and laughs at the guy's jokes, hurries to get one of the junior executives another soft drink, walks by my table again, and says, 'It'll just be one more minute.'
I'm a bit ticked by this, but the waiter has clearly smelled a corporate expense account and is trying to inflate the gratuity. Fine.
I sat at my table with my client this whole time. A bus boy dropped off water, then later was instructed by the maître d' to drop off our menus. When the menus come, I ask if there's another waiter we can deal with. The bus boy, not speaking English, stares blankly before leaving. To be fair, it's not really his job to answer questions from guests. We sat there, without even a drink order in, for more than 20 minutes after last contact before I pulled out my phone, called another restaurant, and got us a spot there.
We'd already gotten up from the table, gathered our jackets, and were walking towards the door when the waiter came rushing over to us, asking loudly if we'd decided on what we'd like to eat. I do my best not to raise my voice when I tell him that we're leaving and won't be dining with them. I was incredibly embarrassed, as I felt I'd been slighted for being a young guy wearing a suit too nice for him, and worse yet, they'd done so in front of my client.
The guy shrugs and mutters, 'Can't blame you.'
Not 'I'm sorry', not 'Is there anything I can do to make this alright?' It was like he was completely powerless in the whole situation. We had a much nicer lunch later on, the client was happy enough, and my boss asked me why I hadn't decked the waiter. To this day, I'm not so sure I shouldn't have."
"I've had a few irritating interactions with waiters/waitresses. I was out on a double date with the woman who would become my wife and another couple. All of our orders were pretty specific. The waiter was just listening and going 'uh huh' after every few words when I said, 'Don't you think you might want to write this down?' to which he replied 'Nah, I've got it.'
Well, surprisingly enough, he didn't have it. He brought me a dish completely unrelated to what I ordered.
'This isn't what I ordered.'
'Yes, it is.'
'No, it isn't. Perhaps you would know what I ordered if you'd written it down.'
By the time my order was corrected, my soon-to-be wife and friends had already finished their meals. Then he brought the bill, which included being charged for the original, incorrect order.
'Go get your manager.'
'Because this is ridiculous. You're charging me for my order and the incorrect order.'
The manager comes over and apologies profusely. He tells the waiter to create another ticket without the incorrect order and offers me some gift certificates ($30 worth, not bad) for the inconvenience. The waiter brings me the new ticket and I notice there's an 18% automatic gratuity tacked on. I look at the previous, incorrect ticket, and there is no automatic gratuity. In other words, this nasty waiter tagged on a tip, hoping I wouldn't notice because he most definitely wasn't getting one from me. I pointed it out to the manager, and the look on his face said everything. He took the ticket from me and said, 'Dinner's on me, sir, enjoy your evening.'
I'm pretty sure somebody got fired.
Another time, I was out to lunch with some co-workers at one of my favorite local eateries. I was trying to get the waitress' attention because I ordered a grilled steak burrito and got a grilled chicken burrito instead. The place was packed, and you could barely hear yourself think. So I called out, 'Miss! Miss!' and raised my hand in the air. By instinct, I snapped my fingers, as well.
Apparently, this is like the cardinal sin of being a restaurant patron. She literally stomped over with this sour look on her face and tartly said, 'Don't. Snap.'
I can't convey in this font the intensity of the words. 'I'm sorry,' I offered, 'It's just really loud and I couldn't get your attention and my order is wrong-'
'Don't snap,' she said as she cut me off. 'Just because I work for tips and get paid terribly doesn't give you the right to treat me like I'm your personal servant.'
'Wha...you know what? Just take this back and get me grilled steak burrito.'
I got my burrito (which she probably spit in) and didn't leave a tip."