I got a really shitty tip last night. Like shitty shitty covered in dog poop kinda shitty. And I was so nice to these people too. Booth one was seated with two people; a blind man and a sighted man. (Sounds like a joke, right? A blind guy walks into a bar, see…) They told me they were waiting for two more people who were habitually late. The show was full and to start at 7:00, so I wanted their asses there as soon as possible. It was a busy night and I didn’t have time to deal with latecomers. Five minutes before showtime, their guests walked in guided by a dog. They were both blind. They were seated and Lonny, the dog found his home at the side of the table. Booth one is right at the front of the room and every time a server has to walk to their station, they have to pass by it. Not an ideal place for a big black guide dog to be, but we didn’t know so that’s where they sat. The dog was sweet as hell but we had to step over it about twenty times throughout the night. I got drinks for the Johnny-Come-Lately’s being very careful to place them in a way that they would know where they were. You know, since they can’t see and all. All evening they were very pleasant to me and we were talking and connecting. All was good. Until they paid the bill.
Their bill was $202. The sighted man gave me $101 in cash and asked for the difference to be put on a credit card. I counted the cash and despite it being almost all five dollar bills, it was in fact $101. I ran the card and he signed it without leaving a tip. I assumed that the tip would be in cash. A few minutes later, Mr. Sight came up to me to hand me my tip personally. “I’m sorry, it’s not very much.” He shrugged his shoulders and tilted his head while raising his eyebrows and pouting his lips. (Do that please: shrug, tilt, raise, pout. See what it looks like?) “Oh don’t worry about that,” I said. And I meant it too. Until I looked down and saw two dollars. Two. Dollars. Wait, what? 1%? One mother fucking percent? I watched him as he helped his friends out of the club and my mouth was agape. I considered the idea that since they can’t see, maybe they thought they gave me two twenties. But no. I have a blind friend who told me once that he folds each bill differently so he knows which denomination is which. I realized now that the way he said he was sorry for the tip was like “my friends are blind and have had a hard life and that’s all they can afford” kinda way. No. If they could afford a $32 cover charge and two beers each, they can pony up some tip money. My co-worker wanted me to give the two bucks back with the old “you need this more than I do” but I decided to fuck that. I kept those two damn dollars. I just couldn’t believe my eyes. After they left, I thought what a shame it was that we gave a booth that has a great view of the stage to three blind people. We shoulda put their asses at table 13 where all you can see is the back of the piano player. They wouldn’t have cared anyway. The dog was sweet though. Guide dogs are always sweet. I wonder if he could see what a cheap owner he had.
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