How You Know You Won’t Get A Good Tip #3: The Teenager

In this episode of How You Know the focus is on teenagers. We all go through this stage of life and we all act like insufferable jacktards to somebody at some point. I know I sure have.

Before I was properly exposed to the culture and custom of tipping I was guilty of camping without paying rent. I would go to Buffalo’s and eat the shit out of some wings on AYCE night and study for the classes I was taking when I wasn’t slaving away in the factory. I even had a class with one of the servers and I never could figure out why she was so frosty towards me. I’m pretty sure I always tipped 15% but I camped and I never had a big check, so naturally she didn’t exactly want to be friends. I get it now but at the time I was puzzled at why she didn’t respond to my innate and most likely irresistible¬† sexiness. This was 19-year-old JerBear after all.

Not tipping well must be taught in freshmen year these days or something because the teenagers I see in restaurants act like the biggest idiots and tip accordingly, if at all. There are of course exceptions to this rule but they are so rare that you won’t believe they exist for a while. The general rule is:

YOU KNOW YOU WON’T GET A GOOD TIP IF . . . you are waiting on teenagers. Also, they will act like bigger and bigger shitheads depending on the size of the group or the presence of the opposite sex.

The other day I waited on this party of teens from a much less civilized state (and bear in mind I live in Georgia). They were mostly guys from a [bear] wrestling team and a few girls, along with a couple of parents/coaches/monkey handlers. Despite the fact that half of them showed up forty minutes after their reservation and started moving tables around so that the newcomers could sit next to their BFF, they were reasonably well-behaved.

Then one of the two [poor unfortunate] girls that were with them asked me very politely ‘Hey is there any way I can get another sprite?’

I was happy to oblige the request of such a well-mannered young lady until I noticed that her glass was still full and the fucksticks across from her were snickering like someone had just let out a fart at a funeral.

‘I’d be happy to get you another sprite–wait, why do you need another one? Did somebody put something in your drink?’ I asked her, already knowing the answer.

I thought ‘Well, I can get her another sprite, then another one after these immature little pricks figure out that there are no negative consequences to salting someone’s drink, and then another one and another one and so on until they eventually figure out that adulterating this poor girl’s drink isn’t getting them any closer to wooing her heart and start pouring salt in their friend’s drinks instead. And all the other servers that wait on this group will have to get them a bunch of extra drinks because we waiters just have to put up with it and there’s nothing any of us could ever do to ameliorate the problem.’

Then I thought ‘ . . . or I can get creative.’

So I put on my most serious face and with my most serious, worried tone I explained to these future human beings that adulterating someone’s drink is a serious offense in Georgia. I told them the story of the kid who died when one of his classmates thought it would be funny to put something in his drink and he happened to be allergic to it. I explained how it was prosecuted as attempted manslaughter and that we were required to bring local law enforcement in on it, which wouldn’t be a problem because there was an off duty officer forty feet away munching on some hibachi.

The fact that I came up with all this on the fly and that I was so full of shit I would have left stains on furniture did not in any way detract from the believability of it. It was some of the finest crafted bullshit I ever made up on the spot.

And it worked, too. I heard whispered mumbles of ‘Is he serious’ and ‘Oh god I think he’s serious’.

But one thing I didn’t hear was ‘Can I get another sprite?’

And hopefully the next poor bastard that has to wait on them won’t have to hear it either. And maybe-just maybe-that group of kids will treat that server (and each other) with just a little bit of . . .

Dignity and Respect

Me, The JerBear


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4 responses to “How You Know You Won’t Get A Good Tip #3: The Teenager

  1. Quick thinking – very impressive improv skills.

  2. Rachel

    Very nice improv! The one redeeming factor of teenagers is that they tend to believe everything they hear.

  3. Awesome! I usually suck at coming up with stuff on the fly like that.

    When that happened to me in the past, I would tell the table that the people who put stuff in their friend’s drinks would find that the tampered drink would be replaced, but their own drink would not. And if it kept happening, no refills at all.

  4. I give teenagers the stink eye during the greeting and then we don’t have any trouble after that. We have fun and they tip. I don’t look like someone to mess with when I give the stink eye.

    As for ruining drinks, I’ve had it happen during team dining. I give the ruined drink to the kid who ruined it, take his drink away and get the victim a new drink. Then I say, “If you want to act like a child, you can drink water. If you want to act like an adult, I’ll get you a new drink.” End of games.

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