Do we all know who Miss Manners is? It is the pen name of etiquette expert, 78-year old Judith Martin. I guess she knows everything, like which fork to use first, how early to send out a “save the date” for your stupid fucking baby shower and how much to tip your server if you puke all over the restaurant and your server has to clean it up.
This week, someone sent in a question asking for her advice:
Dear Miss Manners: I was out to lunch today with my girlfriend at a fairly nice place, when I happened to get sick at lunch and vomited, not in the restroom, but in the dining area. The wait staff was incredibly pleasant, remade our meal and cleaned up the puke. I realize that most people leave 20 percent to 22 percent when they have had superlative service. We tipped about 30 percent. Is that sufficient, or should we have tipped equivalent to our bill?
Well, what percentage of the meal was actually returned? Miss Manners assures you that a 30 percent tip is generous. While not a pleasant task to perform, cleaning up is unfortunately part of the wait staff’s job. And surely anyone could imagine being in your position and sympathize. If not, no amount of money will probably erase the memory.
Umm, sorry Miss Manners, but 30% is not enough for me to clean up that biohazard that just shot out from my customer’s deepest intestines. Nope. Uh uh. Fuck that.
While I do sympathize with a customer who throws up, I don’t want to clean that up for 10% more than I was going to get if I didn’t have to mop up puke. Let’s say the bill is $35.00 and the service is excellent so they plan on leaving me $7.00. But wait, now they just projectile vomited Funyuns, Eggo waffles, Shasta Cola and Twizzlers all over my section and you think an additional $3.50 is going to cover it.
That is not enough, especially if the customer is well enough to stay there and have us make the damn meal again so he could try to force it down his gut again. If you’re well enough to eat again, you’re well enough to put on a pair of rubber gloves and clean up your own vomit. Or make your girlfriend do it. If you are going to expect the waitstaff to clean up your puke, you better dig deep into your pockets and produce something more than an extra 10%.
Miss Manners may know a lot about some things but she is off the mark on this one. I say to anyone who has a question regarding restaurant etiquette, do not bother with her. You ask me. I will tell you what’s right and wrong and a few extra bucks for cleaning up after you just burped to the nth power is more wrong than asking for Ranch dressing for your pizza.