I’m the kind of person who places emphasis on good work (and value on the people who do it). That said, I want to say it here and now, plain as day: Tip your goddamn servers (or your bartender, or anyone else assisting you whose livelihood depends on tips), no matter what—regardless of how dissatisfied you are with their service or how crappy you feel they were. The fact is that their job is probably more difficult than yours.
I’d like to be able to sit here and tell you that every drink you ever order will be made as perfectly as you like, or that every meal will come according to plan, but that’s simply not how life works.
There will eventually come a day when the person you trusted to bring you food or booze will screw things up. They might forget your utensils. They may have accidentally forgotten to request sweet potato fries. Hell, they may get it wrong entirely. Nonetheless, tip them.
When I was a kid, my folks always taught me to live with empathy for others. When people are acting out or looking sad or being defensive, there’s most likely a reason for it. Well, it’s important to extend that courtesy to your servers when they’re having an off day.
Think about it like this: What would happen if your boss docked your pay every single time you came into work on a bad day? What would you do if after every Monday morning eye roll or Thursday afternoon yawn your boss walked by your office/desk/cube and said, “Oh no, no—not with that attitude”?
Yes, everybody has bad days. Rather than make theirs worse, practice a little empathy and do right by your fellow human.
Oh baby, I can feel the “this guy’s out of his fucking mind” comments coming. I know you’re probably fuming just reading this, but it’s important to remember that nobody is perfect. You want to have a couple of words with your server to see what’s up? Fine. Hell, I’ll even agree that sometimes having a couple words with management is in order. But don’t not tip because of it.
These peoples’ livelihoods depend on those tips, and they probably pool them with other servers, bus boys, bartenders and others who had absolutely nothing to do with your order. Stiffing your waiter means stiffing them, too.