Sunday, February 16, 2014

To my waitress . . . I am sorry


Dear Waitress,

Tonight my 9 year old son advised me that I did not handle things very well this evening at dinner.  So, I want to apologize.  

I have always said that EVERY server/waiter/waitress should be tipped, since that is how you make a living.  I have made sure to emphasize that to my son (obviously) so that he will learn to leave a good tip when he is old enough to do so.  I have taught my son to always leave a tip, no matter what.  I make a point to share with him how much I tip and to always tip more than what is the “expected” amount, since there are so many people today that don’t bother to tip at all or who leave ridiculously small tips.  I’ve even gone so far as to explain to him how unfairly servers are paid $2.13 an hour and that the tips are what make up the difference for the minimum wage and then some.  But tonight I did something that I have never done in my life. I did not leave a tip.  And I am truly sorry. 

You see, tonight I was disappointed by our service and I should have spoken to you about it.  When you asked for our drink orders and immediately asked if we were ready to order, I felt rushed because we had just sat down.  I asked for creamer for my 2nd cup of coffee, but my coffee was lukewarm by the time I received the creamer.  Our food was brought out by someone else and my son's order was incorrect, but you were so rushed that we hardly got to tell you, so when we asked for extra mayonnaise and you said "you've got two" to my husband, I was annoyed because what you didn’t realize was that we wanted the extra mayo for my son's burger, that was incorrect to begin with. 

So, I asked the manager for some mayonnaise, butter, and creamer.  When he brought it to our table, he asked if everything was ok. At first, I said it was fine. Then, he asked again, and I told him I was bothered by the way in which you had remarked that we had 2 packets of mayonnaise already, when we asked for more.  At that point, I really didn't want to bother you with any more requests.

Apparently, he said something to you about it, because after my son & husband were done eating you came by our table and very curtly placed extra mayonnaise on the table and left.  You did the same thing with the creamer.  Dropped it and left.  I don't blame you for being visibly upset.  Ironically, I am always telling my son to go straight to the source if you have a problem. And he, very graciously, pointed that out to me tonight.

You were obviously having a rough night and I should have recognized that.   I should have put myself in your shoes and recognized that you needed a smile, not a frown. . .  an encouraging word, not my thoughtlessness of not leaving a tip. . . you needed a break. 

My bill was around $30.  Please find enclosed your tip of $20. 
Again, I am sorry for not leaving a tip and for not addressing my concerns with you.  I pray that you have a blessed day and you can forgive my thoughtlessness.  

~  Kim  

To those that asked . . . Yes  *** I actually did leave a letter for our server, but it only included the first 2 lines of the above letter and the last two paragraphs. *** 

I felt that I did not need to go into detail and rehash the events, because I wanted her to know I was sincere in my apology.  I did not want her to think I was being sarcastic or begrudgingly leaving a tip.
I am HUMAN.   I made a mistake and now I have owned up to it.  Something that I am glad my son was able to witness.  So that he knows it is ok to make mistakes, but it is important that you acknowledge them, fix it, and move on. 

Servers work hard for their money and the tips we leave are not really tips at all.  It is their paycheck. 

If I had treated her with the same courtesy that I expect others to treat me, then . . .

I would have spoken with her kindly and given her a smile. 
I would have told her that I could see she was busy. 
I would have never left without leaving a tip.  

As my son reminded me . . . "We reap what we sow."

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