These days, you have to be mighty careful if you want to leave a snarky note with a waitress. Because she might just post it on the internet, and the public shame likely won’t be worth the few vengeful minutes of pleasure you enjoyed.
And the mayor may just get involved, too. That’s what happened in New Jersey recently, where a student and waitress received no tip on a pricey bill but got a nasty note instead.
“Most of my paychecks are less than pocket change because I have to pay taxes on the tips I make. I need tips to pay my bills. All waiters do,” said waitress Jess Jones.
She’s a student at Rutgers University, has been in the service industry for five years, and is working at D’Jais Bar & Grill in Belmar this summer to put herself through school, the Asbury Park Press reported.
Here’s the thing: Waiters in New Jersey are paid peanuts, and as the waitress herself pointed out in a Facebook post the day after she received no tip on a $112 bill, most wait staff live off their tips. Servers in the Garden State earn only $2.50.
Meaning no tip is really a just a violent slap in the face.
On the night in question, August 17, Jess served a table of eight. Monday nights, she admitted, are usually busy because the restaurant offers a half-price menu. In other words, the family’s bill was already half what it would’ve been any other night of the week. And Jones said she made sure to let them know the kitchen would be a little slow, according to local radio station 94.3 The Point.
“They were unfriendly towards me from the first moment I greeted them.”
Jones admitted that the family waited an hour to eat. Despite that delay, she claimed they seemed happy that she kept their drinks refilled throughout the night. So when they finished their food, got their bill, and left, she was more than a little stunned when the table left no tip.
But they didn’t just leave no tip. Apparently, that wasn’t nearly enough. On the credit card slip, where one usually writes in the tip amount, they had written “LOL” next to the words “1 hour for food.”
The Point writer and former waitress Laura Cataldo argued, “Plain and simple, if you stiff a waiter or waitress for something like this, you’re a douche.”
That’s because the one-hour wait for food wasn’t Jess’ fault and therefore shouldn’t have been “punished with a lesser tip, if they are still doing everything within their power to keep you satisfied. (At that point, you should complain to a manager, who might actually be able to correct the problem.)”
As Jones said herself, “[W]aiters are mere messengers most of the time, and it’s wrong to shoot them, however bad the news.”
And apparently, “cruel and unnecessary” treatment from customers is the rule, and not the exception, the waitress confessed.
“Bad tips and harsh notes are all part of the job,” she wrote.
And so, apparently, is no tip at all.
Jones posted her story on Facebook — and it has since gone viral — because she wants everyone in the service industry to be treated better.
“I’m not here seeking any kind of revenge on this specific family. I am trying to stand up for all of us who work for just a few dollars an hour. It’s incredibly difficult to fake smile in these situations and be polite to patronizing customers who treat their servers like actual servants instead of human beings.”
Her appeal even caught the attention of Mayor Matt Doherty, who said, “If you visit Belmar please treat the hardworking men and women in our service industry with the same respect you would expect at your job. This is ridiculous.”
[Photo Courtesy Shutterstock]