Just The Tip

« February 2013 »

Memo to Dining Dipshits: CUT IT OUT.

It's like the saying goes - once is a coincidence, twice is enough of a trend to hang a column around. So, what happened twice? Cheapskate dipshit assholes trying desperately to turn their cheapskate dipshit assholery into cheapskate dipshit virtue.

Guess what? Nobody's buying it.

The first was back in early January. At a California restaurant, a waiter found a pre-printed note where his tip would normally be. In place of a tip. Explaining why they gave no tip. Which sounds bad already, I know, and you haven't even read the note yet. Although as I'm sure you've figured out based on my usual approach, you're about to. ACTUAL NOTE TIME!

"As a direct result of Proposition 30 and President Obama's insistence that I pay 'MY FAIR SHARE IN TAXES' I find that I must cut back on discretionary spending and gratuities. I wish it didn't have to be this way for both of us."

Now, you're arlready performing some rudimentary asshole calculations in your head. You've got the gratuitous mention of Obama, whose tax increases affected people making more than $400,000 a year and had somehow cost this guy maybe a week's worth of slightly increased top marginal tax rates by the time he left this note. And you've got the classic abdication of responsibility.

He must, you see. It has to be this way. For him and for the waiter for whom minimum wage laws don't apply because they get tips from most non-assholes. It's not his fault, it's Obama's tax rates and the dreaded Proposition 30. What is Proposition 30, you ask?

Prop 30 raised the sales tax in California by a quarter point and added marginal tax rates of 10, 11, 12, and 13% on incomes of $250,000, $300,000, $500,000, and $1,000,000 respectively. In other words, if you make $299,999 a year after deductions, your taxes would go up somewhere around $5,000. Which is a lot, but if you're making $299,999 a year after deductions, being out $100 a week is not going to cripple your finances.

And even if that hundred bucks a week represents a serious hit to your disposable income, taking it out on the server is a deliberate, premeditated act of assholery. Even without the evidence of a pre-printed note, which just pushes it over the top. If you don't have the money for what you'd normally get plus 15-20% for a tip, a decent person either orders 15-20% less, or goes to motherfucking Burger King.

Still, there are worse excuses. Well, maybe not worse excuses, but certainly worse justifications for it. I mean, Wealthy Republican Skinflint at least knew he was doing a bad thing and blamed other people for it. The following note, left on an Applebee's receipt, makes a fascinating theological argument instead:

"I give God 10% why should you get 18" - this was, by the way, coupled with a deliberate crossing out and rejection of an automatic 18% tip on the bill.

Well, you give God 10% so that he won't send you to a dark, fiery pit where you'll be tortured for all eternity. Which is fine, if that's your belief system, although it seems odd to blame an Applebee's waiter for the fact that you worship an extortionist.

But if you can't give a waiter 18% because that's the commonly accepted rate in your society, and because a whole lot of wage and tax policy counts on you doing so, you should still give 18% for the same reason you give 10% to God. Because waiters have secret invisible power over you, and can perform the miracle of transubstantiation by turning all sorts of unpleasant things into your Cheesy Fajita Skillet.

The broader point is this. It's bad enough for you to champion and espouse policies and beliefs that hurt the working poor on an abstract level. There's no need for you to extend that harm to individual people in a specific way. Even if you are an asshole.