I yelled at some people last night. It felt fantastic. Their expressions were an amusing blend of shock, anger, and fright. They said nothing in response. Let me set the situation for you.
The management has steadfastly refused to allow us to use any automatic gratuity on large groups, like every other damn restaraunt in the country. They think auto-grats reduce the customer's desire to spend, when all this policy has done so far is reduce our tip percentage. Numerous horrific situations occur: splitting checks 25 ways, only to receive tips of less than dollar from each; hosting 45 people and having them leave piecemeal, some leaving without pitching in, and pissing off their friends who proceed to take that out on the tip; large groups of cocky, aggressive, asshole Euro-trash hassling you all night long and waltzing out while expecting you to be pleased with the change from a dollar on a 200 dollar tab, and etc.
Management encourages the servers to be upfront with our customers if they leave less than a ten percent tip. "Talk to them, ask them why they're tipping so poorly, and I'm sure they'll tip up," they say as they leave at 430 in the afternoon. I find this to be the ultimate in Neocon Bullshit in the Workplace at the personal level. Passing the responsibility for our salary onto us, when the salary is dependent on a customer's good feeling is a perfect blame the victim. Without automatic gratuity for large tables, you encourage poor tips. There is no accountability. These managers also steadfastly refuse to spend any money on upkeep, so the place is a shithole, further encouraging poor tips. How would you feel if you had a great time, gotten great service, gotten drunk, and fucked up your math, and are then presented with a guilt trip from your waiter? I would not be pleased. Having tried this at least twice a week in the last ten weeks, it has only worked once. Cussing out bad tippers when they return a few days later works is our only recourse, and works excellently, if you're aiming for catharsis, but not so well if you want tips. Unless you scare the bejesus out of the kids.
Last night, not only did I receive a pocketful of change from a table after waiting on them for two-and-a-half hours, but a friend and nice person received a shitty tip from a jerkface asshole, after he and his friends had been drinking for several hours. He left a ten dollar tip on his one hundred dollar portion of the bill. Four of his ladyfriends left no tip whatsoever.* This server, we'll call her Rapali, politely asked if there was some way she could improve her service because she must have done something wrong to receive such a poor tip. Jerkface then proceeds to apologize, and even go so far as to say, "Don't worry, I got your back." He then changed his tip to five dollars and then they left. He also left a note about how "rude and inapppropate"** he found her question. Reading this note, I felt my brain turn off and my testosterone surge. My hands gripped an invisible beater stick, and my face...well, I'm not sure what it looked like, but the bartender shouted, "No! Chuckles, don't!" as I stormed out the door. I caught up to the group at the corner, where they well all laughing about how they had treated Rapali. I stopped ten feet away,*** and shouted, "I hope you fuckers aren't fucking planning on coming back, ya fucking douchebags!" Obama probably heard me. In Hawai'i. They stared at me in horror and astonishment while I glared, and then turned around and stalked back to my office. They shouted nothing at my back, which was the healthy choice for all of us.
It felt wonderful to give someone a deserved yelling, and I would have loved to continue screaming obscenities, but I would have worked myself into an arrest-worthy action. That would have been less than wonderful. Anyone want to take odds on me and an aneurysm? Damn, I need a new job.
* I've been told many times by different female servers that they hate waiting on predominately female tables. I have not heard the same from male servers with male tables. I have good luck and bad luck with tables and call it as such.
** Yup, he couldn't even spell inappropriate. I wonder if he can spell cobag.
*** If I had moved within arms' reach, I would probably have needed to make my one phone call. Furious doesn't begin to describe, more like Candidate for Inglourious Basterd.