Tuesday, 26 August 2008

A wedge like a salami and a brain like a pea....

It wasn't just Grandpa Charlie that was guilty of speaking without first engaging his cranium maximus at the weekend, there was this old duffer too....

"That was just lovely" says he as I bring him his bill. He was an affable enough sort of chap, decent line in customer to waiter patter - wine, the rising price of beef, and weirdly enough the new iPhone which he clutched throughout the meal. I crave all three so I was right in tune with his line of thought. He and his extended family were easy to serve if a little boisterous for my liking. What ever happened to slow, lazy Sunday afternoons?

like that
but money....


"Now lets see the damage then shall we" he says as he unfurls the little receipt. He fakes a look of horror. I responded with suitable amateur dramatics. If I had a pound for every time I have to do that I'd be minted. But I don't so I'm not. Bad acting completed he stood up to pay me away from the table. Men of a certain age prefer to handle such monetary affairs away from women and small children. No seriously they really do. It's so they can stiff the waiter in private but mainly because they like acting the big fella. I knew it was coming, or not as the case may be, the stiffing that is. I can always tell when I'm about to be shafted, my ass twitches a bit and pockets rattle a little.

He produced a fat roll of crisp notes and counted them out very precisely. Then he looked up and turned to me and said, and remember waiters don't lie,

"Now then young sir, you must be too old to be expecting a tip eh?" The sneaky fucker said it low but firmly so that no one else would hear him but me.

"Excuse me sir?" I heard him alright I just wanted him to say it again incase I was dreaming or stuck in some sort of bizarro drug induced nightmare where people ask ridiculous questions, like The Weakest Link.

"You must be too old to be expecting tips from people. That's for the young 'uns" he says as he stuffs his fat roll, honestly it was like a salami, back into the pocket from whence it came. Funny that, I thought, it was only but a moment ago he was calling me "young man". Which is it you tight fisted old goat?

"Sir, tipping is entirely at your discretion." I wore a look of barely concealed anger and constrained dislike. Much like Anne Robinson. I mean how did he expect me to take it? Eh?

"It is indeed and I only tip youngsters who need a little extra pocket money. Old pros like you don't need any extra." He even winked when he said it. Winker.

Yes "old pros" like me are rolling in it. I take a champagne bath most evenings and eat caviar and fois gras like most people eat toast and jam. It's a Kings life for us "old pros". I mean I only turn up to work when it suits me, I'd rather be playing quoits on the deck of my weekend schooner. He shook my hand, told me I'd done a great job and then turned to rejoin his table.

Fuck.

You.

Not only had he stiffed me, which I can live with, he was justifying it to my face. Which was a new one, even on an old pro like me. So just to clarify, there are no waiters that are too old, too young, too rich, too skint, too fat, too thin, too comfortable, too busy, too hungry to accept a tip. If you want to tip then tip, if not then keep you cash in your pocket and shut the fuck up. I need not listen to your ball achingly poor excuses for not tipping.

Tipping is indeed discretionary and so is letting you and your family into the restaurant on Sunday afternoon without a booking. Or I'll let the non-drinking vegan new start deal with you the next time. Ha!

Old pro my ass.........

29 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

Medbh said...

A vegan and a non drinker?
Wow.

Yes, men like that conduct monetary transactions on the side because we wimminz can't deal with money.
Grr.

Manuel said...

medbh: yeah and surprisingly she makes it through the shift without falling down.....

Silverstar said...

It may be discretionary in Northern Ireland, where you have at least won minimum wage. Unfortunately, here in the good old US of A, such is not the case in most of the country. If you don't tip, you are cutting into your servers wages.

I confess to being a non-tipper before I found out it paid part of the wages. Since then I probably overtip. Except for the bitch in the mini-skirt the other morning who could barely be bothered to take my order, since I was female.

Manuel said...

silverstar: yeah but minimum wage is no excuse to be a dick a things.......like all us minimum wage workers are living it big time.....

hey sometimes I don't tip and sometimes I tip like Donald Trump....but I always tip when it's deserved....

Anonymous Boxer said...

I was laughing at this:

"I can always tell when I'm about to be shafted, my ass twitches a bit and pockets rattle a little."

because I couldn't imagine that he'd truly screw you on the tip. And I think he did this all privately because his family has jumped all over him in the past for being such a wanker.

You are a true gentleman.

He was an old ass.

Manuel said...

boxer: one day, one glorious day, my last shift ever, I'll call some one for shafting me......I'll call them right out there and then......that will be sweet......

bendersbetterbrother said...

manuel, in situations like this you need to think on your (sore) feet.
Your retort should have been that the tips are pooled "to make sure the young 'uns get" and held out your hand.
That would have removed his wiggle room and put him firmly on the spot.

Manuel said...

bbb: you got an old uncle per chance? no, no I don't beg/haggle......no negotiations of any sort....

savannah said...

you handled it well, sugar. he would not have listened to anything thing you would have said anyway! xoxox

(tell me this, did he order for the little woman, too? ;-)

belfastyouthworker said...

You should have punched him! Or at least discreetly tripped him up

Flirty Something said...

Perhaps he thought you might put out?

Manuel said...

savannah: I don't believe he did but most communication was passed through him to me......

byw: i'm not one for violence but I will just knock him back the next time he arrives without a reservation......it's the only thing a waiter has....

flirty: well he didn't so I was gonna either......obv

boy_wonder said...

You have a huge downer on old people my friend. What gives?

Manuel said...

boy_wonder: not strictly true.....i like to think I share my dislikes and downer evenly over all age groups from young to old....

Jill said...

Should have scundered him in front of his family.

T cup said...

old people (not all i'll grand you) seem to have this god given right to be assholes cos they've lived through world/civil war, the recession in the 80's the 80's themselves, catholic ireland, a magdalen laudry italy 90, etc...

*remembers an asshole giving out about the price of a block of ice cream, "and i suppose the wafers are extra!"

MJ said...

This arse-twitching condition of yours...

Tell us more.

Native Minnow said...

The nerve of some people will never cease to amaze me.

Lottie said...

I think these guys do it away from the table for precisely he reason of stiffing the waiter.

"He produced a fat roll of crisp notes and counted them out very precisely." Some might say that's how the rich stay rich. I wouldn't know.

Shieldmaiden96 said...

What the hell? 20% at the absolute minimum or your ass shouldn't be warming a chair in a restaurant, regardless of the server or the wage scale.

Just my $0.02. (or 2p, if you like)

B said...

I love bastards who try to justify the cheapness.

Al Gore said...

I invented Age Discrimination.

Ali said...

Wow. Just, wow. That dude was begging for strangulation. I'm awed at your ability to maintain compusure. That bastard.

Sniffle&Cry said...

Sad fuck was on a deluded power trip. Showing off in front his family.

In a more deluded way you may be luckier then his family, you could walk away.

Tough gig.

Laurie said...

wow. what an asshole!

BusBus said...

You weren't asking for candy on Halloween, you were working! What nonsense- too old for a tip.

If you ask me, the customer was too old to feign "tip ignorance".

Lonely Waitress said...

I have been stiffed more times than I wish to count, but never have I had someone tell me I was too old to appreciate a tip! That is the poorest excuse for not tipping I have ever heard. You handled it well. I'm not sure what I would have said.

purplegirl said...

Wow. That guy wins the DOUCHEHOUND award.

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