The Verbal Tip

The Verbal Tipper (Viberious Tipurus) is a mysterious, but far from extinct creature.

The Verbal Tipper can be found in any gender, size, race, social status, or religion.

The Verbal Tipper is polite, somewhat needy, but never over the top. The Verbal Tipper can be hard to spot at first, but unmistakable as a meal is drawing to a close.

“Your service was perfect, the food was delicious, we could not have had a more wonderful evening. Thank you so much. No really, thank you. You have made our night. Please, get your manager so we can tell him how great you were.”

Usually around the third “thank you”, my heart begins to sink. My genuine smile turns rigid and forced. I suddenly realize the trap that I have fallen into. Not again! No, please shut up! I panic and wonder if I run away right now, will it make a difference? If a Verbal Tipper has nobody to compliment, will they still leave a 10% tip?

Instead I stand there saying things like “it was my pleasure” or “please, you all were a JOY to wait on!” I know what will happen because 8 times out of 10, IT happens. The Verbal Tipper and her herd leave the restaurant, a little too quickly. I reluctantly pick up the check presenter and mentally prepare myself for what comes next.

What do you know? Another verbal tip. Well hey, that’s just fine! A verbal tip has been known to fill my gas tank, pay my bills, and buy me groceries. A verbal tip can almost buy a bottle of wine to drown my sorrows or even a McDouble. A verbal tip is far better than monetary gratuity.

A verbal tip is a slap in the face. If you don’t want to tip me to show your appreciation, then please don’t blubber words of encouragement and affirmation, it only adds insult to injury. Simply keep your eyes averted and head down when I present the check to give me a heads up that a crappy tip is headed my way.This is the 21st Century, people. If your server is great you tip 20%. If they are ok you tip 15%. If they have left a little too much to be desired, 10%.

I promise you, no server leaves work saying “you know, that customer said the nicest things about me. I feel really good about myself so the fact that they left me $30 on a $340 check just doesn’t matter!”

The only thing worse than a Verbal Tipper is a Verbal Tipper who in lieu of a 20% tip leaves a religious tract. Last time I checked, “Are Roman Catholics Christians?” and “Allah Had No Son” pamphlets neither paid the bills nor converted anyone to Christianity. Especially a server who has nearly been stiffed. As a Christian myself, it is embarrassing when a table will leave a tract in place of a proper tip. I want to chase them out to the parking lot and scream “DO YOU THINK THIS IS GOOD WITNESSING? DO YOU REALIZE THE REPUTATION YOU ARE BUILDING FOR YOURSELF?!”

The Verbal Tipper will continue to exist and be known to servers across the world as long as restaurants are standing. The only hope of conquering them is to raise awareness. Tell a friend how a Verbal Tipper has affected you. Maybe pamphlets should be created and handed out to street folks titled “Verbal Tipping Hurts” or “Signs You May Be a Verbal Tipper.” Verbal Tipping is real. No matter the severity of the verbal tip, it always leaves a scar.

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2 thoughts on “The Verbal Tip

  1. Oh, man, this post really hits home for me since I deal with the service industry too and live off of tips. People think I’m kidding when I say that, but seriously, I live off of them. I’ve gotten that verbal tipper before. I remember one of the most memorable was this lady who had a 30 minute massage ($65) and said I was wonderful, it was fantastic, she felt amazing… and she tipped me $3. Wherever I go I tip 20%, I know how important tips are. People outside of the industry like to say it is like a ‘gift’, that it’s not required, but I say bologna on that.

    • Ugh! That is just insane. I’m tired of giving people the benefit of the doubt and saying “they don’t realize they should tip service workers 20%” It’s time for them to own up to it, they know, they are just cheap! If they can’t afford the service + the tip, they can’t afford the service.

      Thanks for your thoughts!

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