Customer Leaves Passive Aggressive Note Instead of a Tip

Bitch, please.

Bitch, please.

Sometimes when we servers get a bad tip, we never know what it was that kept the customer from reaching into their deep pockets with their short arms. Too often we are left wondering if it was something we did or if that person is one of those people who doesn’t “believe in tipping.” I was recently sent a photo of a note from a server who was stiffed, but his customer decided to make it a teaching moment and left him a very detailed explanation of why there was no tip.

Dear William,

We would have loved to leave you a bit (sic) fat tip as we usually do with great service. That is not, however, what we received. We found the following items on which you should improve to meet the 4-star service that guests expect.

  1. You didn’t tell us your name when you first came to the table.
  2. You often disappeared.
  3. Our appetizers took forever-you should have come to reassure us that they were on their way.
  4. My husband’s drink ran seriously low for a long time, twice.
  5. After we received our food we didn’t hear from you until I had finished.

Hope this helps. 🙂

This note is 50 shades of what the fuck and I feel the need to go over it, line by line, so I can truly understand what she is trying to say:

We would have loved to leave you a bit fat tip as we usually do with great service. Stop right there, lady. Anyone who says they normally leave a big (assuming “big”and not “bit”) fat tip hardly ever leaves a big fat tip. The people who say that are the same people who scrutinize every step of their meal in order to find flaws so they can deduct from the generous tip they were supposedly prepared to give. Any time someone implies they are a big tipper, every server worth his salt automatically prepares himself for 10% or less because that is what it almost always is. I bet the only time this woman ever got close to a big fat tip was when she was in the back seat of her car on her prom night.

We found the following items on which you should improve to meet the 4-star that guests expect. Who does this bitch think she is, Professor Henry Higgins? I know my vowels, I knew before I came. She gives me the impression that she had a little chart with her at the table that she was constantly taking notes on.

You didn’t tell us your name when you first came to the table. No, maybe William didn’t say his name because he isn’t required to. Not every restaurant makes their servers do that. Or maybe he doesn’t want his customers to know his name. I wonder if this customer introduces herself to every single server she has. Maybe William was wearing a name tag and he made the assumption that his customers could read it. This is not a good reason to stiff a server.

You often disappeared. Of course he disappeared on occasion because he was attending to other tables and going into the kitchen. Unless this woman has x-ray vision and can peer through walls, she would not see him when he was in the kitchen grabbing plates and running food, she would not see him when he was in the sidestand ringing in orders and she would not see him when he had to take three minutes off the floor to relieve his bladder. Just because she can’t see him does not mean he “disappeared.” Or I wonder if this woman expected him to stand at her table the whole time she was there so he would be able to attend to her every beck and call and help feed her and wipe her mouth for her.

Our appetizers took forever-you should have come to reassure us that they were on their way. Why would he need to reassure her that the food is coming? If a customer orders food, most servers don’t feel the need to go back to a table and say “Hey, you know that food you ordered because you wanted it to come to your table? Well, I ordered it and it will eventually be coming to your table.” The assumption when you order food is that it will come. Trust us, we want it to be there just as badly as you do. The sooner you can inhale those apps, the sooner we can bring your entree and the sooner we can give you the check so you can get the fuck out out and we can turn over the table to make more money. And what is “forever” anyway? I bet it took less than fifteen minutes but it just seemed like forever because she hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast when she devoured some Beggin’ Strips a Greenie and a rawhide bone.

My husband’s drink ran seriously low for a long time, twice. Since she doesn’t say that the glass was ever empty, it seems to me that William did his job. Twice. And if a glass gets “seriously” low, what kind of consequences will the husband have to suffer through? Swollen tongue? Dehydration? This is exactly the kind of flaw that I was referring to that some customers will look for as an excuse to deduct from the tip. Maybe the glass got so slow because he had disappeared into the kitchen to inquire about the appetizers that were taking “forever.”

After we received our food we didn’t hear from you until I had finished. Sorry, William, but I’m on her side for this point. Every server, no matter how busy, needs to make sure they do the “two-minute check back” to see that customers are satisfied with their food. It irritates the hell out of me when I am at a restaurant and the server drops the food off and does not come back to my table until it’s time to give me the check. Still, I don’t stiff them for it.

Hope this helps. ☺ We know this customer isn’t really trying to help William. And the little smiley face at the end of the note is a passive aggressive dick move if I ever saw one. The only reason she wrote this note was to justify her cheap ass not leaving a tip. There is no way in hell she did it to help William become a better sever.

Let’s hope that this customer sees this blog someday and will know what we all think of her stupid little note. Next time, lady, just stiff your server like you always do and move on. The little note isn’t going to make your waiter appreciate you or think of you more highly. Note or no note, the server will think the same thing about you: cheap bitch.

74 thoughts on “Customer Leaves Passive Aggressive Note Instead of a Tip

  1. Krista

    If she wants 4 star service (hell, why not 5 star? Does she not know this exists?) then she best be at a fine dining restaurant. If she is, then your server doesn’t introduce him/herself with their name! It’s not Ponderosa for fucks sake.

  2. hector

    well,i think if this is in fact true, the server should have kept track of drink levels, give her name upon arrival, reassure customers and check back within 5min or 2bites to check if food is to the customers liking. Sometimes appetuzers take at least 15-20min and they neex to be reassured that the server is on it and check back frequently.4 and 5 star service requires ut,this is why its more expensive at these places,i agree with the cuatomer on this one. It sucks to be stiffed because you pay out of pocket, but thats why the systembis set up as such. If you do not want to provide that kind of service then work at dennys or any diner like that.

    1. for real

      You forget to take into account that sometimes (a good portion of the time) we will give our name, most people don’t pay any attention. Also, some people INHALE their drinks, it’s insane how many times I’ll refill a drink only to turn around a moment later and it’s just a glass of ice.

    2. Sussie

      I work at Dennys..and I always give my name, check on my tables, reassure food is coming when its been a while and always refill drinks. I dont think it matters where you work these are the basics. What a slap in the face with your “work at Dennys” comment.

      1. saute satan

        actually he said applebees. and to argue over every point of the note is pretty pointless. unless one of us happened to be there that magical night. this note is completely out of context, and BW only posted it to get an opinion from us, the people in or formerly in the industry.

        side note, being a former cook the apps thing is what caught my eye. some apps ive made took up to 20 minutes from order to pickup, and most servers will warn a table about app times. i dont like to speculate about what could have happened, but im guessing it wasnt this persons first day, and im sure they were trained to let the table when they order it know if apps will take longer than usual.

      2. saute satan

        and my bad, i didnt see hectors “dennys” comment until just now. i thought you meant servers comment. ill stfu now and get back to my hole of fire.

    3. Kathi

      Excuse me. I work in a diner And contrary to your belief we are not heathens. We do keep track of drink “levels” it’s basic server knowledge to do so and has less then zero to do with fine dining. Appetizer, main course or dessert if I feel something is taking to long to come out of the kitchen I do let my guests know the status of that particular course. Never heard of the 5 min or 2 bite rule in diners it’s 2 mins or 2 bites and for us is one of the more important rules of service and doesn’t only apply to fine dining. It’s personally offensive that you think diner servers are less then fine dining servers.

    1. Christine

      seriously, hector must not be a server, but perhaps a disgruntled, miserable customer who has never worked a day in our shoes. Let us know when you’ve endured a grueling day doing what we do

    1. Melibee32

      Seriously …. does any server spit in anyone’s food? Or is it just a threat? I have been I this industry for 17 yrs and have thought about it bit have never done or seen anybody actually do it. That is absolutely disgusting.

  3. BobbyAnn

    Only the last one would make me deduct a miniscule part of the tip – if I even did.

    I think the long time apps, his “disappearing act” and low drink go to the fact that the kitchen and the servers were slammed. Think about it…and for that I ALWAYS make a concession. They can’t help it if they are triple sat and the kitchen is slammed by multiple orders.

    But does she see this….noooooooo – she just didn’t want to tip. End of story.

  4. Alison Miller

    Amen. But….im glad she left the note, so we can listen to your hilarious rant about it. Pure entertainment. Thanks.

  5. Marc

    Another clueless customer. There’s a good possibility that none of the helpful hints she has are any of the servers doings!

  6. Hippie's Chick

    Really Bitch. Really. Agreed that she probably wouldn’t know a fat tip unless it was attached to her husband. I had a group of ladies that used to frequent our pub. The one was FBI and her and her friends ordered a lot of drinks and food. Oh and they were MESSY. They were the worst tippers. My servers would argue over who would take them. I didn’t blame them and as manager I ended up taking them most of the time. I loved my servers and they were my family. To this day when I see that woman I want to tell her how the servers talked about her behind her back and to try and shame her but for fucks sake she’s FBI…..?

    1. Anonymous

      I don’t think there’s a big fat tip attached to her husband. She wouldn’t be this uptight if there was.

  7. Zach

    Everyone here is assuming the waiter was slammed and that’s why they disappeared and didn’t fill the water, etc. But that’s just assuming from your end as you say that the customer was assuming. Just my two cents

  8. Megan

    The response that I just read in regards to that so called note left behind in replace of a tip, was probably the most pathetic unprofessional thing I have ever heard, and I must say, being a retired waitress of a 5 star resteraunt for 4 years, I would NEVER treat any of my amazing customers like that! It simply disgusts me. For that kind of service, or even the defense of, warrents a penny tip. And that is just what I would leave. I demand the same exceptional service that I, myself would provide. And if I don’t get it, then you didn’t earn your money. Simply Put! Those dinners no matter where you go are over priced, and for the most part no different than a frozen dinner, but to be served, which really what I am paying for, with neglect or lack of interest in making money by earning it, I will refuse to pay! If you don’t like a tip of just change, if a tip at all, THEN TAKE PRIDE IN YOUR WORK, and give EVERY CUSTOMER they time and attention they ARE PAYING FOR! If just 2 out of these things happened to me while dining, they would have been lucky if I did not just leave a zero tip, I would have been speaking with the manager with my (average) bill of $125 in hand, informing him that the “unnamed” server was no wasy near qualified for the job, and until I hear that they have hired qualified staff, I will not be back. Thankfully where I live we believe customer service is primary. So I don’t have to worry about it often. My last server even came back and personally thanked me for the 75% TIP because her service while handling 5 other tables and made her drinks at the bar to save us customers time. She introduced herself, she was prompt with every table, friendly, informative, productive. She made sure nobody’s drink was empty or even close to, she was nothing short of amazing. It’s too bad some have never been taught what good customer service is. I can understand being clueless when they don’t get paid for CRAPPY service!

    1. Mark


      You’ve never waited tables, much less at a 5-star restaurant. If you had, you would know how to spell “restaurant.” Besides that, no one who worked as a server for the long haul would ever come out of it with your holier than thou attitude.

    2. Lex

      If ANY of my server friends did ANY of the things you just listed, I would take no time at all putting them in their place. Seriously, and you used to be in the industry? If I were to go out to eat with anyone and they acted to way you just described, I would be so ashamed of them.

    3. rach

      I get what you’re saying. I do. However,not every restaurant is five star. mine isn’t. We do the wear name tags, but I always say my name. I always inquire on any order taking longer than necessary and check in with the guest. I bring refills when a drink is half full And i make myself noticed out on the floor. As all servers should. However, you are being extremely rude here and assuming you’re the shit at serving and that you’re better than us all. That’s how I read it anyway. Who cares that you served for four years in a five star blah blah blah. No one else cares. Seriously. Did this post say it was a five star restaurant? Nope. Could have been Denny’s or applebees. Maybe next time you throw your hoity toity to cents in, you try to sound intelligent and use spell check. Oh, and keep your crappy ass better than thou shit to yourself. You tip 75% sure. Just like every guest who claims to tip that much right?

    4. Bill

      4 years means you worked in 1 place most likely (if at all based on your comments). I’ve worked in 7 different restaurants over 9 years and even though I consider myself a good server I’ve definitely had bad days or bad tables. It’s very hard for me to believe in 4 years you never had the same.I agree with everyone that the 2 bite check back was missed but everything else is either out of his hands or beyond reasonable expectations. Btw, I currently work at a 5 (5!) Star restaurant where I don’t wear a name tag and I’m encouraged by management not to say my name because the FOOD is the star of the night, not the server. Keep in mind there are many restaurants in this country that do things many different ways.

  9. Rose

    If this lady had paid her bill & left without taking the time to give a written excuse as to why she thought she shouldnt tip… SHE could have made the seat available for the next customer and possibly made herself a BETTER CUSTOMER by doing so! Eat & GTFO so the server can move on to the next customer who, more than likely will be a BETTER CUSTOMER who wont blame others for their bitchiness or lack of funds! Some people should try to be BETTER CUSTOMERS!

  10. Deborah

    Hello, I Have Served For Many Of Years, My Thing Is, With The Drink, I Have Had Customers Slam Their Drinks Down, So, Yes, While I Was With Other Customers Their Drink Sat Unfilled For A Few Until I Was Able To Get Back, And Check Back On The Take After Their Dinner Got There, Yes, Check On Them Then Go On, I Myself Don’t Like Every Time I’m Trying To Eat A Server Is Asking If Everything Is Ok, Well, Let Me Eat First Then I Will Let You No, Sorry, But Not Everyone Wants A Server In Their Mouth While Eating, But Yes, Do Go Back And Check If Everything Is Ok And See If They Need Anything, But Yes, Most People Don’t Brag About How They Are Great Tippers, Also, Was William New To His Job? Maybe Some Of Us Really Need To Remember How It Was When We First Started, God Bless And I Sure Hope That William Don’t Let Others Bring Him Down.

    1. Ed The Head Bussa

      Hahaha…. I have never seen a paragraph with so many Proper Nouns. Even my 6 yr old was like: “Why is she so excited??” Lmao
      On another note I believe that the pissy guest was just being a smart ass n didn’t want to ask for assistance. I believe she wrote the note because she wanted her ego stroked but in the end she wound up Fuckin her self cause nobody likes a Snobby Bitch.

  11. H50

    I just wish that people stopped pretending they know what serving is like and stop trying to either get free service or just sot down and piss people off. Ive had people do that a lot. Some people even take advantage of our company’s give backs and like to screw the servers over anyway caise they rhink it’s funny. People need to be better customers and stop playing with other’s jobs. I’ve been in service industry since I was 12, from catering to restaurants s, and I tip people 20 percent regardless because I know how hard it can be. If they did an exceptional job they get more than 20%. Thats the ONLY time you get to be discretionary with your tip. So screw that jerk and everyone else like her. PS- she said 4-star service in the sense that they expect a 4-star restaurant service regardless. I highly doubt that it was actually a 4-star restaurant and she’s a jerk for that reason alone.

  12. Katie

    If he never told her his name then how did she know to address him as William? Because normally people with this kind of attitude won’t ask for a servers name.

    1. #ONTHEFLY

      Actually, people usually ask for your name when their intentions (be them good or ill) are to yelp you, or report their experience to the manager. Possibly to inform them of the unsatisfactory service they felt they received by this nameless disappearing mystery server.

      1. Judecca

        Another thing is, a lot of times, at least at the 4 or so restaurants I’ve worked at, the servers name is printed somewhere on the check, I know mine is at the current restaurant I work at…

  13. Kali

    Ugh. This is why I hate people and why I hate customer service. I used to wait tables but now I work at a coffee shop and people give me enough grief to last me a life time. At least they don’t leave passive aggressive fuckery in the tip jar.

  14. Henry

    If I’m eating at a shitty chain I give two dollars, whether there is 2 or 4 of us. I know they can’t do anything because corporate is only a phone call away. If it’s a nice neighborhood place and the employees are actual people instead of robots, I will give 20-25%. That’s basically because I plan on coming back and know the staff won’t take care of me if I don’t pay their wages. If I go on vacation or I’m a couple hours from home and know I’ll either never go back or only be back like a year later and by that time the whole staff will have turned over five times by then, I tip nothing. That’s not at all fair, but that’s the system $2.13 an hour allows the customer to exploit.

    1. Anonymous

      You, Henry, are a complete and utter cunt. I want to reach through the Internet and punch you in your fucking face.

  15. J 2 Nix

    I love how a lot of you seem to know exactly how this went down and then pass extreme judgement either which way. Only two people actually know what exactly happened. None of which are you. Back off on the harsh judgement please but feel free to express a reasonable opinion as you are entitled to that.

    -colleague of Mr. William

  16. Anonymous

    I once wrote a server a note sort of like this… Only mine said “I’m sorry I asked for extra ranch, but next time you shouldn’t call a customer ‘difficult’ until they’re out of earshot.” And I still tipped, although it was only 10%.

    1. Momma T

      Ouch! Been serving a long time and I’ve got to say that was a huge dick move on the server’s part.

  17. Jennifer

    I can’t imagine leaving NO tip or leaving a note. Only a nice note should ever be left because if you have complaints, you should let the server know. I suspect it’s one of those cases where actually saying what the problems are exposes how petty you are being. No, I don’t know exactly what happened. However, I’ve been on both sides (serving and dining) and never had a situation so bad that I didn’t at least leave 10%. I think BW has a good point about the customer not always knowing what’s going on. I was with my son at Perkin’s a couple weeks ago (because I am very classy) and overheard a woman deciding not to tip because the person with whom she placed her order was not the one who brought it to the table. She assumed the first person was in the back apparently not doing his job. He had “disappeared.” If someone was rude to me, maybe I’d forget about leaving at least 10%, but I’ve not had that happen in a restaurant yet (in a bar – yes). How is it that I made it to age 40 without stiffing a server? A charmed life? Or maybe I just don’t want to be the kind of person that stiffs people for no good reason?

    1. Henry

      How is it worked out when you are dining at a classy place like Perkins or Bob Evans and the waitress come over and announces she is going home? She’s done everything, no one at the table even wants a drink refill, but now you’re supposed to tip the replacement that does nothing? I’m not advocating stiffing, but how is it worked out? Or is this simply one more reason to do away with the tip system? You can’t say it balances out because the original waitress picked up someone else’s tip when she started, perhaps she only works opening shifts and always gets stiffed on her cutoff tables…
      It amazed me to learn that these fancy places like Big Boy or Bob Evans take all the shifts in a week, add them up and divide by the $2.13 plus the take in tips, and if it meets minimum, they don’t make up the difference. What is the incentive for a waiter to work the Tuesday night kid’s eat free, or the Senior Buffet on Wednesday if they essentially work that shift for $4 an hour, but they don’t get anything added because they worked a Saturday date night and every table tipped extravagantly and brought the weekly average up? I think that is disgusting. Waiters can wind up working shifts for nothing in a system like that.
      I’ve never been a waiter and hope to never be, but I am interested in improving the way waitstaff is compensated, and as long as us customers can abuse the system, it’s not a good one.

      1. Josiah

        A lot of places pool tips, which means that you aren’t stiffing the replacement in that case, but the original server, runners, bussers, etc.

      2. H

        Actually, if your server is letting you know that their shift is done, they are probably thinking the same thing you are (that they were the one to provide service, hence the one who earned whatever tip you planned to leave). You can (in most places) request at that point to cash out – then the server who waited on you will receive the tip. They should let you know who will be in the section should you need anything else. If you want that server to receive the tip, just ask to cash out.

      3. Felicia

        It’s likely that the server who left gave up that table and the tip so they could leave and go home. The new server than takes over the bill and will most likely have to tip out based on their total sales which will include your bill so yes you should still tip.

      4. Kaos

        When they tell you they are leaving, you cash out and tip them. Duh. If the replacement server does *anything* (at all including just a water refill) for you… you tip them as well. Otherwise you are just a cheap bastard.

        *I am not a server. *I have never been a server. *I’m just not a self-centered, miserly, cheap, parsimonious asshole.

  18. Junk Chuck

    I’ve stiffed a server just once in my life–and it was one of those experiences where it honestly seemed that she was working for it, like one of those “death by cop” suicidal loons. I’ve left short tips, though rarely, and my perspective as a customer is that the chick who left the note lost all credibility–and defensibility–the moment she opted to make her fit of self-important snark anonymous. Any loser can write shit and run away–you want to lecture, own up to it.

  19. Trish Williams

    I am a server and a line cook and have experienced the best and worst of both worlds. The woman who wrote this letter is nothing more than a sadistic asshole who has nothing good going on in her life..who the fuck does this bitch think she is? I agree with the 2/2 checkback rule..but the rest is immature and uncalled for. If she really had a problem with this poor kids service, she should have spoken to him directly. She’s a miserable human being who probably does this every time she goes out! If, that is..this story is actually true.

  20. Andy

    Maybe the reasons this customer laid out are further underlying by the attitude I felt while reading this blog. Stop being a whiny bitch, and go find a job more suitable for a whiner. Like a janitor, or a Wal-Mart clerk, or god forbid, a parking lot attendant. Grow up, and stop trying to be a career server, so you can have such a self serving blog that sucks.

    1. The Bitchy Waiter Post author

      Hi, Andy. This “self serving blog that sucks” pays me about $1500 a month so I’m pretty satisfied with it. You don’t know what happens in my real life; only what I write on this blog, so you can take your opinion and shove it up your tight ass. Thanks. Buh bye.

      1. Chris

        I think Andy, Henry, and Megan have a special level of Hell reserved for them where they have to wait on parties of 12 “lunching ladies” for eternity. Good luck cutting all of those extra lemons for ghetto lemonade, splitting chicken caesars with DRESSING ON THE SIDE, and telling the demon bartender to make the NEXT DRINK STRONGER BECAUSE I COULDN’T TASTE ANY ALCOHOL IN THE LAST ONE!

        1. Catherine

          Ghetto lemonade, love it, always seem to get one of those tables a shift. I’m laughing so hard tight now, that it actually hurts.

          Extra dressing (any condiment for that matter)
          Dry salad
          Hot water (both for home brought tea and to soak utensils in)
          Extra alcohol
          Shirley Temples (25-35 yo men)
          Extra napkins

          All followed by the inevitable question “Does this cost extra, or is it free.” Ugh, typical Friday night at work. Thankfully I usually just work lunches.

  21. Kaitlin

    IT really sounds like the customer and the sever both have big egos, filled with bitterness and insecurity.
    I was a server for 6 years and now I am proud to say I am a nurse. Having worked in the industry, I encounter time and time again a sense of entitlement and an idea you should be consistently tipped more than 15-20%. No, you shouldn’t. And you don’t DESERVE anything. You work hard and part of that is observing your customers needs, each one individual. Someone mentioned some pepple suck drinks down. To deal with that, make certain you’re filling their drinks as needed- THAT SIMPLE. Quite your bitching, whining and complaining. Perhaps you should let go of the fact her note was overtly aggressive and consider maybe you did make a few mistakes.

    1. Mangler

      And I’m sure you’ve never once complained about anything you’ve encountered as a nurse. That’s all rainbows and unicorns right? Never any vomit, urine, blood, fecal matter, screaming or yelling, fights, family turmoil, death, etc.
      Since you did service for 6 years, you know servers vent as part of the job.

  22. sara

    whenever i understand that what i’m looking at on the guest check is a passive aggressive note left by a customer, i immediately stop reading it, crumple it up and toss it into the trash bin. i wish there was a way i could let those types of cowards know that their imppassioned note was all! for! nothing! in good conscience i can’t reward that behavior. grow the fuck up and actually speak to your server (novel idea, i know!) if you are unhappy about stuff. of course, if you did that, you might not have a good excuse to leave a poor tip.

  23. Frankenbeth

    What a bitch… I’ve had customers like this. Ugh. And you’re spot on about people who act like they’re going to tip you really well, they never do. I once had a customer ask me if he could be my “sugar daddy” (gross). He left 10%.

  24. Catherine

    You know I just might have to agree with the customer on this one. If she took the time to actually compose a note, then it’s possible that the service was really bad.

    When you give bad service, you take it for granted that people will still tip 15-20% anyway. Most usually do, some tip less, sometimes you get stiffed. But to get stiffed and written a note. Well, you probably deserved it then.


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