Sometimes the best tips are accompanied by a nice note extolling your virtues as a server and a person. They make you feel all warm and happy and glad to be alive.

Sometimes the worst tips are accompanied by a nasty little note telling you how awful a person you are for getting out of bed and coming to work and how you should be fired. They also make you feel warm, but it’s due to the rage (and bile) rising up, angry at an unjust god for creating this unjust world full of unjust people.

I’ve gotten plenty of both. In fact I have started saving the good ones in an album so that I can preserve the good karma. My favorite one is a drawing this really cute little girl drew on the back of a sushi menu. I’ve got a special place in my heart for the little ones who aren’t afraid of new foods. And I’ve got an even bigger, more special place in my heart for younglings that insist on eating sushi on their birthdays.

The one that means the most to me though is the one left by by favorite regular, Lori. Lori is this incredibly sweet chick who comes in a lot and just ((( radiates ))) positive energy and good cheer. The epitome of charm and gentility, she literally has the power to lighten the moods of everyone around her, like that Jasper kid from Twilight. Yes, I have read Twilight, so what? We’ve all done things we aren’t proud of. If I could figure out her method I would own the world of table waiting. She brought me all this information about talent agents because she thought I might need one. As soon as I figure out what my talent is I’m definitely going to look into it, but it really makes you feel good when other people believe in you more than you believe in yourself.

A note that I wish I still had was written by Nancy, the manager of a Snow Cone shop I used to play at. Yes, I have played at a Snow Cone shop. So what? We’ve all done things we’re not proud of. You can’t always headline the main stage of the Punchline. Nancy wrote me a note one time that said ‘We miss your silly songs and your crazy apron’. Someday I’m going back.

THOSE are the kinds of notes that go in my album.

If you go out to eat and your server rocks it out and adds to your dining experience, then by all means write them a nice little note telling them how you feel. It could really make their day.

If, however, you are an angry, pompous hypocrite who wants to use your political or religious beliefs as an excuse to demean someone who can’t say or do anything about it for fear of getting fired, then I would think twice about writing that note. You just might get famous for it.

Speaking of which, an Applebee’s server put a great note her coworker got recently on reddit. If you haven’t seen it you owe it to yourself and yourself’s children’s children to check it out. A ‘pastor’ of a storefront church in a strip mall went out to Applebee’s with a party large enough to trigger the autograt, which at Applebee’s must be parties of 30 or more at least. The (not so) good pastor felt this gratuity went against her beliefs (meaning her belief that servers should work for free in this case). She then marked through the service charge and wrote a zero in its place, and the words ‘I give god 10% why do you get 18?’ and signed it Pastor Alois Bell. That’s bad enough on it’s own, but then after she got Internet famous for this heinous act of bullshittery she was moved by the spirit to call the restaurant and demanded that everyone (including the managers) be fired off their ass. Because Jesus I guess.

I won’t go into too much detail on how I feel about this because there isn’t much I can add to the discussion. Obviously ‘pastor’ Bell is a silly slunt of the worst kind. If there’s a just god in heaven then her fifteen member strong congregation will figure out what a fraud she is and they will seek out greener pastors. When she’s looking for a new job I really hope karma kicks in and she has to apply for restaurant work. Wouldn’t it be awesome if she applied at the very same Applebee’s that she helped to put on the map? I would love to be there when that happens to throw just a pinch of salt in that wounded pride.

And quote some scripture.

‘Pastor’ Bell is a kind of punch line now. I’m sitting at my local neighborhood Applebee’s while writing this and asking people if they know Alois Bell. The servers are more than happy to joke about it, but the one manager I asked just walked away in disgust. I can imagine they are tired of taking flack for someone else’s mistake.

So I guess my advice on the matter would be to not write shitty, sanctimonious notes to your server in lieu of a decent tip. Because in the age of the Internet you will be called out on it.

Chelsea you are my hero. I hope you find a new, better job somewhere, and soon. Getting fired for that was an inevitable injustice but you can at least hold your head up high as you charge to the front of the unemployment line, proud in the knowledge that you struck a blow for truth. Also, you exposed a charlatan in the process and that’s not a bad day’s work when you get down to it. I’ve gotten far less accomplished the many, many times I’ve been fired.

Wherever you wind up, I hope they treat you with . . .

Dignity and Respect

Me, The JerBear


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2 responses to “Notes

  1. I have some amazing customers like that, who are so bright and positive. I feel about 10 times lighter the rest of my shift after dealing with them.
    Notes are funny- I once got a long involved note from a highschooler (who came in with a group of punks all wanting milkshakes) about how I seemed like I didn’t like my job, when I was working at the worst restaurant in town, a 24-hour diner. Thanks for noticing kid.

  2. Ah Jeremy!! I knew I was right about you! You are the kind of server that always makes me think, “This guy won’t be here one day.” Anyone who reads your words, or has a conversation with you beyond a drink order can tell that you are a talented, bound for greatness sort of person. It’s not just me being crazy. I appreciate your kind words and, more than that, the real attention that you and some of the other servers there offer me and Olivia when we come visit. In a way, THAT’s what I’m willing to tip a person more for – the acknowledgement between server and client that we are both people with whole other lives outside of the table. If I radiate anything, it’s gratitude for the million cups of green tea, the extra broccoli and the snarky grin of a friend when I walk in for dinner. Thanks thanks thanks. Lori

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