Thursday, March 20, 2008

NCAA Liveblog 7: The waitress' view

My waitress here at Jocks & Jills is a lovely woman named Teri. You think you pull long hours? She signed up for a double shift today to make a few extra bucks. So productivity is down in offices all over America because people are watching the games, but on the other hand, waitresses get a windfall. So maybe it's a wash.

My mom was a waitress, which means two things: 1) I'm a big tipper, and 2) when I was in high school, my allowance was always a stack of dollar bills. I was the only 14-year-old in town fully equipped to go to a strip club.

Anyway, I watch waitresses. Teri is good. She regularly checks in but she never hovers. She'll tell you what's good on the menu and what's not. And she always calls you "hon."

She normally works the night shift because day-shift customers are stingy tippers. She pulls out a ticket that came to more than $50 and looks at the tip: $4.53. "At night the tip would be twice that much," she says. "We routinely get 15 or 20 bucks."

It's almost 3:30 p.m. and the crowd has thinned a little but it's still fairly crowded -- way more than a normal Thursday afternoon. Even better, Duke plays tonight. Big tips await.

Score updates: Marquette leads Kentucky by 2. Purdue leads Baylor by 2. UNLV pounding Kent State, 18-6. Pitt up 2 on Oral Roberts.

In case the games get boring, here's a diversion: my good friend Joe Posnanski's greatest screw-ups. Everyone in the newspaper business has some of these stories. Maybe at some point I'll devote a post to the greatest headline in Charlotte newspaper history. It involves the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile.

UPDATE: I can't believe I didn't ask Teri the key question of the tournament. But she came back around and I had a chance for the follow-up.

So who tips better, Carolina fans or Duke fans?

"Carolina fans," Teri says. "No question."

10 comments:

Charles said...

Thanks Tommy...I love waitresses also....however.

They must understand they are not entitled to a tip. A tip is earned.

Anonymous said...

What'd she look like Tombo? C'mon, you knew sombody was gonna ask. What's the matter with you?

tommy tomlinson said...

Agreed. But the tip doesn't just say something about the waitress. It says something about you.

My inclination is to overtip a little most of the time, tip a regular amount if the service is mediocre, and leave a note for the waitress if the service is just awful. Even then I leave a little bit of a tip. She could just be having a tough day.

But that's just me. What do the rest of y'all think?

Anonymous said...

I was a waitress...so I always overtip. Back in my day, sometimes mistakes were my fault, I might have been having an off day, but most of the time it was the kitchen's fault. You don't have control over every aspect of the meal and waitresses will always get the blame......

Anonymous said...

Come on...you can't leave us waiting about the Weinermobile headline.....

Anonymous said...

Ok, so am I the only one who knows people (especially journalists) should not call people waitress? Try server instead, more PC.

Gary O'Brien said...

I remember that headline... a clip was on Fred Wilson's locker in the photo lab back in the day.

Anonymous said...

Charles is a good example of why I hated being a 'server'. A tip should be assumed unless the service is poor. That is why common etiquette is 15%. Outstanding service should be more, poor service should be less (and I agree that it should be service, not quality of food or speed that it was prepared). He sounds like a good example of someone who looks down on servers as beneath him but who himself doesn't have the class to follow common rules of etiquette.

Charles said...

I guess what I was trying to say is this. I also overtip most of the time. But on numerous occasions I have felt like the waitress knew she was going to get a tip so why not just be ho-hum. I like energy and excitement. No hula jumps...just act like you appreciate my business. Too many places for me to go...I like the ones that really stand out.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I think everyone should try being a waitress/waiter for once in their life to see what it's like..and then they will realize that half the time the kitchen is to blame. Occasionally, there will be a waitress who just doesn't care about her job or her customers and if that's the case then she should only get a 15% tip if not 10%. BUT she could just be having a bad day, and if she's atleast trying to be nice and you can tell she's doing her best, or that she's overwhelmed and busy give her a break! Don't we all need a break sometimes? All I'm saying is that waitresses are humans, they're not perfect. If you can tell they're doing their best leave them a good tip, make their day. We could all use some mercy and kindness once in a while. You never know what someone else is going through.