What is it with foreigners and tipping? We all know that the tipping culture in the United States is vastly different than in Europe. I agree that the amount of tipping in this country is overwhelming. Really? The kid at Tasti D-Lite expects me to tip him? And so does the girl at the grocery store? But I would think that every guide book that is sold in Europe has a section on tipping in restaurants, yet so many tourists play dumb when it comes down to paying a few extra bucks. Observe the $181.76 credit card receipt that I was given a few weeks ago and see the big fat nothing left in the tip line. And no, there was no cash tip. And no bus boy took it. She was French. But what gets me is that she has lived here in New York City for who knows how fucking long and she is still trying to use that tired old “I’m not from around here” excuse.
When the lady handed me her Black American Express card, I knew she was rich. The requirements for those cards are staggering: a $2,500 annual fee, $5,000 initiation fee and then you have to spend a minimum of $250,000 a year on it and there is no limit. This lady could go buy a jet, an island and if she knew the right phone number to call she could even purchase a small child who will do most excellent work in bathroom cleaning and laundry. I swiped the big heavy metallic card and took the receipts back to her table. I few minutes later when she got up to leave, I walked by the table to pick up the merchant copy. On the table was her copy, my copy and the original receipt. There was no signature. And no tip. I found her in the lobby.
“Excuse me, ma’am. I think you forgot to sign your credit card copy.”
She spun around and hissed at me. “No I deed not. I signed zee copy.”
“I don’t think so,” I said as I held two blank credit card receipts.
“Well, I signed somezing, I deed.”
“No, I don’t think so. There’s no signature on either one of these receipts.”
“Yes, I deed sign.”
I looked at the itemized receipt that had a scribble on it. “Is that your signature?” I asked pointing to the chicken scratch that I thought was just that doodle that we all do to get the pen to start writing.
“Yes! See? I deed sign somezing.”
“Oh, I see. Well, I need your signature on the credit card receipt.”
Why? Does this bitch expect me to think that she has a fucking Black American Express card and she doesn’t understand that she has to fucking sign the receipt when she uses it? I inhaled. “Well, I need the signature on the receipt that has your total and your credit card information on it. So if you could just sign this one-”
She interrupted me. “Well, what are you going to do wiz zee one zat I already signed??”
In my head I said, “Bitch I don’t care what you do with the fucking itemized receipt that you scrawled your chicken scratch ass signature on, it’s yours. Just sign the fucking credit card receipt and put a goddamn tip on it.” In actuality I said, “You can keep that one for your records, ma’am.”
She grabbed the pen out of my hand and signed her $181.67 credit card receipt and skipped right over the line for a tip. She put it into my hand. “Is zatokay??”
I looked at the empty line where it should have said $36.00 and said, “I guess so. Good night.”
She spun back around completely fine with stiffing me even though I gave them perfectly fine service and never an ounce of attitude. Well, not until the very end anyway when it became clear that she was a royal French rich bitch who had no intention of tipping me in the first place. According to the name on the credit card she used, she’s a bank. I guess the rich stay rich by saving 20% every time they go out to a place that has servers. Just think. If she goes out every night and stiffs a server on a check for $181, she can save $13,140 a year. Hopefully she uses that money for something good like the annual dues on her black fucking Am Ex card.
I sucked it up and accepted that I made no money from her rich ass. And no, I did not just add a tip. I may sometimes hate being a waiter but you know what I hate even more? Getting fired and then arrested for credit card theft and having my ass sent to prison where there are mean people who make The Bitchy Waiter seem like a sweet old lady. Plus, I don’t know if there is Internet in prison and that would totally suck.