Allow me to further explain. In the great state of
I do not wear a blue vest with the blazing, golden smiley face on the back. You will find no golden arches gleaming forth from my chest. What is the significance? This means there is no higher force paying me to smile at you. I am not being compensated by a monopolistic corporation to put up with rudeness and inconsideracy (I think I just made that word up). In other words, when you walk through those doors and sit at my table, you are essentially renting my services for the next 45 min or so. Which means when you walk out of there having left an 8% tip, not only did you waste my valuable time, but you also just slapped me in the face. You, by your ungenerous actions, have said that I did a poor job and my time was not worth your money.
I have heard people say that they can not afford to leave a decent tip. Well unfortunately tipping is part of the dining experience, and therefore if one can not afford to tip, then one should not go out to eat. It is a very simple concept. If you want to eat out but you can't afford to tip, goto McDonalds or Cafe Rio.
How much should one tip? Let me first clarify that tipping and tithing have nothing to do with each other. You are not paying me 10% of all of your wages, so therefore the argument that "I ain't gonna tip no more than what I pay fer tithin'" is rendered invalid. That said, the percentage one should tip depends upon the quality of services given. If you feel like your server did a good job, you should give them at least 20%. Try this: add two dollars to what you would have normally tipped. The difference between $5 on $30 and receiving $7 on $30 is huge. And honestly, in the whole grand scheme of your life, does $2 really make a difference? If it truly does, I submit that you should not be going out to eat. But $2 in that situation makes a big difference to how I feel when I receive that tip. To me, that extra couple bucks says that the table appreciated my hard work.
It is ironic that generally the most demanding and difficult tables turn out to be the worst tippers. I am more than willing to accommodate one's irksome caprices and whims, as long as I am compensated for it.
Let me present another novel idea. Servers are not sub-human degenerates, unworthy of common courtesy. If someone greets you in any given situation, do you generally ignore their existence? Of course not. Normal human beings, when greeted in a friendly manner, return said friendly greeting. Why then, 80% of the time when I greet a table, am I not afforded this common courtesy? At times I wonder if the hostesses tell my tables that I have a lazy eye, and to therefore avoid eye contact at all costs.
Lastly, please interact with me. That probably sounds like a lonely, desperate, childish plea, but seriously...your dining experience will be far more enjoyable if you simply interact with me. I can promise you that tipping is made much more pleasant when you find you actually like the server.
As much as receiving a lousy tip hurts monetarily, it is actually worse on an emotional level. My feelings for my job fall into a love/hate dichotomy . On one hand, I work with fantastic people and great managers. It is a fun environment to work in. It's nice having a job that doesn't make me want to stab myself in the chest before I go in to work. On the other hand, I have never had a job that was more emotionally upsetting, and that made me want to stab myself in the chest on my way out.
(sorry about the picture, this made me laugh for about 20 min at three am.)