Many years ago, I wrote a blog post about what to tip when the service is bad. As a server, I always want to leave a good tip but sometimes that’s hard to do when the server seems to not care or even try to do a decent job. The post brought up a lot of comments and when I recently reposted it, it brought a whole new bunch of opinions. One comment in particular stood out like a straight guy in the audience of a Sunday afternoon showing of La La Land. Chris Evans had this to say:
One time when I got really terrible service at the cheesecake factory I just tore a 20 dollar bill in half and left half of it, took the other half. I think that conveyed everything I wanted to… No, I am not just cheap… yes you would have received a good tip if you weren’t such a terrible waiter.
Leaving a nominal tip without saying more will usually only verify what the waiter was probably thinking about you when he was giving terrible service… that you were cheap and weren’t going to tip him well anyways… creating a cycle of bad service.
Really, Chris Evans? Was it so important for you to prove your point that you felt justified in ripping apart prime currency? Are you that petty that you want to waste twenty dollars? If the service is bad, leave a tip that reflects it. There is no need to try to teach your server a lesson. You may think “that conveyed everything” you wanted them to know, but I am here to tell you otherwise and I will get to that shortly. You also believe that leaving a nominal tip would only confirm what you think the waiter was thinking about you: that you are cheap. Leaving half of a twenty dollar bill did nothing for anyone and now you’re out twenty bucks. And in case you are wondering what the server thought when he found that half of a twenty dollar bill, this is pretty much it:
What an idiot. I realize I didn’t give them the best service, but I got weeded and things spiraled out of control. He was a dick anyway from the second he sat down. I can spot a bad tipper from three booths away and he fit the profile. By leaving me this ripped up twenty, is he trying to prove a point or something? Like he wanted me to know that if I had done a better job I could have had twenty dollars? Umm, okay, thanks for letting me know that, but hey, asshole, now you don’t have the twenty dollars either. The only thing this is proving to me is that you’re fucking stupid. I mean, that was pretty apparent when you decided to have dinner at The Cheesecake Factory, but ripping up a twenty dollar bill to try to teach me a lesson just confirms your idiocy. You know what I’m gonna do with this half a twenty? I’m gonna frame it so it can always remind me of you. And whenever I think I am dealing with the dumbest bag of hair possible, all I will have to do is look at that frame to be reminded that I have already dealt with the King of the Dumbasses and I will know that I can get through anything. So thank you for that. And I thought the stupidest person on the planet was the one who came up with the name “Craig’s Crazy Carrot Cake Cheesecake” but now I know that is the second stupidest person in the world. The first is the Chris Evans who tore a twenty dollar bill in half to prove a point.