If there is anything that really grinds my gears, it’s when a restaurant customer bases their tip on something that has absolutely nothing to do with the server. Case in point is Andrew who went to Olive Garden and encountered one of those ziosk*/tablet thingies on his table. Presumably while Andrew was filling his gullet with breadstick after breadstick, his child used the tablet in an effort to obtain the warmth and familial connection that he clearly wasn’t getting from his father. In the course of looking for love and parental guidance, the child played a few games that weren’t free and when Andrew got his check, he was not pleased with the extra charges on it.
“What in tarnation?” he cried. “I recognize this charge for Zoodles Primavera with Grilled Chicken and this charge for Lasagna Fritta, but what are all these other costs? This is an outrage, I tell you! An outrage!”
As parents are often wont to do, Andrew found his way to Olive Garden’s Facebook to complain about the situation. (Coincidentally, while Andrews was filing his official Facebook complaint, his child was also on Facebook searching for a support group for children of disinterested parents.)
“Bit sneaky Olive garden. Putting those stupid and pointless tablets on every table. Of course kids will gravitate to them. It is wrong that these tablets are ‘unlocked’ and should your child play with it they will run your bill up without any parent permission. This needs investigation and parental locks put in place.”
What Andrew fails to understand is that “parent permission” comes from he himself and not the Olive Garden Facebook page. It is Andrew’s responsibility to monitor what screen his child is staring at, no matter how strong the gravitational pull of said screen may be. Perhaps if Andrew could have taken two fucking seconds to see what his child was doing, he wouldn’t have to expect Olive Garden to do an “investigation.” Had he taken the time to do his own investigation, he would have then had two choices: ask the server to remove the kiosk from the table or tell his kid they are not allowed to play with the kiosk.
Now, here’s the part that gets me really angry. In the comments of his post, he tells the world how he offset these unexpected charges: he took it out of the tip. Even though the server had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that this child ran up some additional costs, Andrew thinks this is a good solution. The server had to lose money simply because Andrew couldn’t be bothered to see what the fuck his kid was doing.
Here is some advice for you Andrew: the next time you go out to eat, why don’t you interact with your kid instead of letting him stare at a screen? And if you are going to let him stare at a screen, why don’t you make sure you know what your kid is staring at. Sure, maybe this time it was just a silly little game on an Olive Garden ziosk that cost a few bucks, but what about the next time they’re staring at a screen? Maybe it they could be looking at porn or reading about how to make a pipe bomb or watching YouTube videos of Nickleback.
Bottom line: Your kid. Your responsibility. To try to blame Olive Garden for this makes it look like you were being a lazy dad. And by taking that extra cost out of the tip makes it look like you’re a cheap asshole. Maybe you are neither of those things, but your Facebook comments show otherwise.
- I had originally called the tablet a “kiosk” but now I know it’s called a “ziosk.” Please forgive me.