Yes, that's right, I got an eight cent tip yesterday. Now, it definitely could have been worse, but all in all it still left me steaming.
I was in an interesting mental state yesterday anyway--double shift on about two hours of interrupted sleep. Regular readers of this or my primary blog will probably think I was just being a dumbass and staying up until all hours again, but that wasn't the case (this time). I actually tried to sleep this time!
So my first table of the day was a nice single lady who comes in every Sunday, so that was fine. My next table was a woman and her granddaughter. The woman was in the bathroom when I first approached the table, and the granddaughter said she didn't know what she wanted and would wait until her grandma got back. So I went around doing some other stuff, and when they were both there took their drink order--a strawberry lemonade and an iced tea. I was a little out of it, so it took me a few minutes to get their drinks--maybe three minutes. I smilingly set their drinks down and asked if they knew what they'd like for lunch. The grandmother, without looking at me, said "youuuuu're going to have to GIVE us a minute!" in this chiding, sort of sing-songy voice.
Over the course of the next thirty minutes, I checked on them repeatedly. Each time they said they weren't ready. They asked about the soup of the day, and what dressing came on a salad, and I forget what else. The granddaughter said she didn't come to my restaurant often, so didn't know what she wanted. No problem. Eventually, I check back and the grandmother out of the blue says, "We're just going to have the drinks. Can you take the money for them now?'
"Sure," I said, and waited as she fumbled with her wallet. I was trying to disguise my irritation--they had taken up 1/3 of my section during the Sunday lunch rush, asked me a bunch of questions, kept other tables waiting, and now were just having drinks? But I stayed polite. Until....
"WELL, how MUCH is it?" The tone clearly added "dumb bitch" on to the end of it.
I hesitated, but my brain couldn't formulate anything more diplomatic than "I don't know, I don't have your ticket since I didn't know you weren't going to order. It'll take me just a minute." I said this as politely as I could, I didn't snap, in fact I smiled. But what else was I supposed to say? She hadn't asked for the ticket; she'd asked if I could take the money right away.
So I get their ticket; I take it to them; the woman still has no money out, although she's fumbling with her wallet some more. I went to go grab something for another customer, and halfway back to the table, another server hands me the book that they jammed in her face thirty seconds after I walked away.
I get their change and take it back, all polite and smiley and "have a nice day". I tend to another table, and when I turn around they're gone. The book that had several ones in it is empty; next to it is a nickle and three pennies.
I just started laughing. Seriously? I mean, yeah, their drinks were only $5--but even if I weren't a server, even if I were just a decent human being, I'd leave at least a dollar for being a pain in the ass!