In the Weeds: Sure Fire Stereotypes
One of the earliest politically correct lessons we learn is that whole business about a book having a cover and how you shouldn’t judge it. Never mind that publishing houses spend millions each year figuring out exactly which covers will cause the “impulse buy” judgment. But I suppose the American Proverb came around sometime after someone sewed a book together and before Random House unleashed its army of Starbucks-guzzling marketing geniuses on middle America’s brains. I digress. At any rate, I call bullshit. Stereotypes exist because they are true.*
Here are the rules I can count on at work:
If you are a pack of females, you want separate checks. And I don’t mean split evenly by the number of people. I mean split down to the exact number of diet cokes with lime each person consumed. And if eight gals order a $14 appetizer to share, that needs to be split into $1.75 each. If you are a pack of females over age 55, I’m near tears. You want all of the above, plus you’re going to complain about every.. single.. thing.
If you have a European accent, you are a shit tipper. I drop check as far away from the Brit as possible. As he reaches across the table, a slow mo “nooooooo” goes through my mind. Accent = 10%. Always.
If you look like you have an eating disorder, you do. Beautifully skinny model types move their food around the plate for 2 hours, or they devour the whole porterhouse and head to the ladies room immediately.
If you are a young couple out on a date, you are going to pretend to be torn about what to order when you know and I know it’s going to be the filet (medium well) and mashed potatoes. Split.
If you order a zinfandel and I ask red or white and you look at me with an annoyed face and say, “pink”, I go tell the other servers and we laugh.
If you have a food allergy, you will talk about it in great detail and then each time I set a new plate in front of you, you will ask me if I remembered your food allergy.
If you are a woman who has climbed your way into the higher levels of corporate success and you are hosting a business dinner, you will not tip as well as a corporate man hosting the same style dinner. I don’t know why. Please enlighten me.
If you are a “friend of the manager,” you will expect and usually receive freebies like wine, appetizers and desserts. You will then tip on the discounted total only, even though we have to work twice as hard for you because the manager is hanging out at your table.
If you compliment my service repeatedly throughout the meal, you will tip 15%. Servers refer to this behavior as the “verbal tip” and each act of praise is like a tiny dagger to our hearts.
* Disclaimer: Even though I work in the most politically incorrect industry on the planet (sexual harassment training is not a quarterly meeting in the restaurant biz, it’s a daily exercise), even I fear the scorn of being labeled racist, ageist, sexist, homophobic, religiously intolerant or simply lame. So please, take this list in the lighthearted way in which it is intended.