Sunday, April 03, 2005

Manhattan Waiters & Waitresses (Actors & Actresses) And Tip-Giving

Restaurants in Manhattan are famously expensive places to eat. Yes, there are a lot of great worthwhile restaurants, and yes, there is a lot of diversity in cuisine. But it doesn't do you much good if you don't have the cash to part with.

And on top of the high prices, you still have the need for generous tipping. In Manhattan, as it is many other places, waiters/waitresses depend on their tips to make a decent living. There are a lot of waiters/waitresses in this city, 120% of whom want to become actors/actresses. But, you say, 120% is an impossible number, and logically nothing can reach beyond 100%.

...

Not tipping well in Manhattan looks very bad. But it doesn't have to be all bad. I imagine that struggling actors and actresses (waiters and waitresses) have to work constantly to make a living and support their lifestyle of striving to break into the industry. A job can decrease the amount of time they have to work on the acting craft. So, as a customer, why not help them out? Help the struggling actors and actresses out. Help them practice their craft right there in the restaurant.

Leave them a horrible tip. Don't leave them nothing, because that might imply that you simply forgot, whereas leaving very little something means that the particularly horrible tip you left was absolutely intended.

Don't leave. Remain seated at your table until the waiter/waitress comes to retrieve the tip. When they see the horrible tip, they will react negatively, but here's how you should handle the situation. Follow my example...


Waitress
Nice tip, asshole.

Me
Nope. Nope.

Waitress
Excuse me?

Me
I wasn't feeling that at all.
Try it again.

Waitress
What are you talking about?

Me
The whole "angry about bad
tip" routine. I just don't believe
you're really angry. You need to
sell it.

Waitress
Go to hell.

Me
That was better, but you're
a little robotic when you pick
up the empty soup bowl.

Waitress
Listen, you want me to get
the manager?

Me
Still nothing. I don't believe you're
really a waitress. It's as if you're
saying to the camera, "Hi, I'm
someone playing a waitress."

Waitress
What camera?

Me
This one.


I should probably interject here for a moment. You'll need a video camera, too. Also, I'd recommend a small crew — someone to do lighting and then another person to hold the boom mic.


Waitress
Where the hell did that come from?
Get that boom mic out of my face!

Me
Good, I like the pushing. Here's the
scene. You've just had a fight with
your boyfriend, the boom mic guy, and
now he's ready to make up, but you're
not. Go!

Waitress
Listen, I'm asking you guys
nicely to please leave.

Me
No, no, no — your boyfriend
won't respond to that. But now I
want to bring in your new lover.
Enter lighting guy. Go!

Waitress
This is crazy.

Me
Yes, good, a chaotic three-way!
Take that further.

Waitress
Guy, that light is really hot.

Me
Yes, good, hot like your sinful
desires of the flesh. Build on that!

Manager
What's going on over here?

Waitress
Hell if I know.

Me
Yes, good, enter alcoholic,
overbearing yet insecure father
figure. Go!


Okay, I'll stop there, but just know that I could very easily go on for hours. That being said, I want you to know that you should leave good tips when the waiter or waitress is deserving of it. I don't want to make it sound like I do this regularly. Because, even though I do, it's important for me to make it sound like I don't so that your undoubtedly positive impression of me goes untainted.

40 Comments:

At 2:39 AM, Blogger scribe called steff said...

Wow, I'm first!

Okay, I normally try to sound witty, but that's fucking hilarious. I'll never have the guts to pull it off, but I'd love to.

Now, this is a Canadian thing, but if you're an American and, let's say, planning to come to Vancouver, Canada for our fine dope, and you were to go out to dinner and receive bad service, this is what you could do.

We have one- and two-dollar coins called LOONIES and TOONIES. Line up whatever amounts to a bad tip-- 5 or 6 of each. Every time the service takes too long, remove a coin. Make sure the waitperson caught it before it started going down.

Slow and cruel. But maybe you could work in the camera angle thing at the end.

(Still, frickin' funny.)

 
At 2:56 AM, Blogger Andy said...

Then you tell the manager to go see the voice coach, because he should work on his diction and enunciation problems.

And just as security comes to "escort" you out, yell fleetingly over your should that you admire method-actors, and that an Oscar is around the corner if she just works a little harder.

 
At 4:51 AM, Blogger SJ said...

Hilarious!! Love your blog!!
You considering becoming a writer?

BTW is interning THAT bad?

 
At 7:34 AM, Blogger Neil said...

"But I mean, this tipping automatically, that's for the birds."

Mr. Pink

 
At 9:23 AM, Blogger grok the fullness said...

Great blog entry!

I liked the layers and dialog is always hard-to-do in a blog

Of course, starving interns dont need to tip because they'll contribute heaps later on when they're actually really wealthy. You can use that as excuse # 2 when the waitress is beating your head as you leave

 
At 10:16 AM, Blogger Danielleluvssvu said...

That was Hilarious!!!

 
At 11:21 AM, Blogger JustJunebug said...

funny you should post about tipping right about now. a friend and i were in a deep discussion about this very issue this past saturday.

i only wish now that i would not have been on "blog hiatus" last May-August when i was forced to bartend here in Houston while out of work. i now only have the stories to tell and not documented.

LOVE your blog!

 
At 2:55 PM, Blogger Ripsy said...

Scribe- They had an episode of Third Rock From the Sun where they did that exact thing. It was absolutely hilarious.

 
At 3:01 PM, Blogger Tori Fluffy-Head said...

Ouch! Poor Waitress, although I must agree it is rather amusing, however if someone pulled that stunt on me I'd be happy enough to go along with it. Simply put, waitressing and being a barista are two of (in my opinion) boring jobs on the planet. Antyhing to cheer me up would be worth the chaos.

Very nice, I've been on a date before where the services was so bad, the waitress should have gave us money! Very refreshing post.

 
At 3:22 PM, Blogger jinius said...

Hilarious. Any tips on how to avoid paying the bill altogether?

 
At 3:59 PM, Blogger jazz said...

okay my betrothed, you’re walking a pretty fine line here making jokes about tipping (or, rather, not tipping) servers here, considering i've been waiting tables on and off since my sophomore year in high school. though, to be fair, i know that it's not that hard to be a good server and i won't hesitate to leave a meager 15% if the service is awful. i don’t know that i could ever leave less than that. It’s all about karma. I think if you tip badly that it’ll come back to kick you in the head. You have no idea how many bumble fuck assholes I’ve heard say to each other, “so the tip is twice the tax, right?” which at least gets you 16% in NY but in IL it barely gets you 12%. Stupid fucks. And brits, write them off altogether! [getting off my soapbox] that said, I still thought it was a hilarious entry darling.

 
At 4:55 PM, Blogger I'm smarter than you said...

This tip trick is much more evil:

Gather up as much change as the people you are with have. Drop it all in a glass of water. Put a piece of paper on the glass and flip it over quickly so it rests on the table upside-down. Slide the paper out from under the glass. Thats it.

You now have a glass filled with water with a tip in it. If they pick up the glass, WOOOOSH.....water everywhere. The only option is to caaaarefully slide the glass to the edge of the table into a waiting bucket. This is a horrible thing to do, but sometimes they deserve it.

www.ChrisIsOmniscient.blogspot.com

 
At 5:06 PM, Blogger sarah the great and wise said...

You could also bring along a makeup “artist” and wardrobe-specialist-person. Imagine what all you could do with those two present. Oh the endless possibilities…

 
At 11:17 PM, Blogger Vetruvian Statesman said...

One waitress gave my friends and I such bad service, we left her a "smiley face" on the table consisting of pennies, dimes, and whatever spare change we could find. I believe she gave one of us food that was still frozen in the middle and/or forgot to put in our order...

 
At 1:19 AM, Blogger Dear Diary said...

Speaking as a waiter/actor, that is a great piece of writing!

 
At 10:17 AM, Blogger misslisette said...

Okay, this isn't going to start off uniquely - but I gotta agree with the above, I LURVE your blog!

I'll post something again later. Something more original next time :P

 
At 10:36 AM, Blogger el_bib said...

I eat out alot up here in cowhampshire, and I am not sure the waitresses would even notice the cameras. the lighting would probalbly help? oh by the way what is a tip?

 
At 1:05 PM, Blogger nic gibson said...

That really was funny.

 
At 1:58 PM, Blogger Corajitos said...

if u leave a good tip then the actor could think "ey, maybe with this i can travel to L.A. , after 8 months of savings, i could get a decent life while i am seeking for a great oportunity"... but then, what happens? bad actor with great tips, a lot of guts and an opportunity cames along...another tv series as bad as the one left behind, movies with bad acting because all the industry is full with crap from the restaurants of your crazy but all jolly New york, thanks man for your tip.

 
At 2:48 PM, Blogger jenn see said...

my friends & i used to build "diner towers"--great modernist architechts, we were, erecting precise structures out of forks, mugs, knives, glasses, mugs, ketchup, sugar holders, etc etc etc. the tip would be cunningly hidden throughout our creation.

seriously, these things reached heights measurable in meters. maybe.
maybe they're taller in my memory.

 
At 3:03 PM, Blogger Chronic_Roll said...

Why do I have this feeling that you are going to get a book deal out of this blog and never use your newfound intern skills. Was it the fact that your blog is effing hilarious, or the use of photoshop?

 
At 6:34 PM, Blogger Gloria Glo said...

Tipping in New York is a strange thing--my mom and I had a funny experience last time we were in New York. We had ordered cheesecake, so it wasn't an expensive bill. The waiter walked over just as Mom and I placed a cash tip. He glanced at it and then launched into this tough luck story that has never been equalled - not even in Oscar caliber film! He kept talking, embellishing (I hope - if not, the man had the worst luck in the universe) and glancing at the tip pile...Well, the end is as funny as the beginning, but I'll leave it at that for now.

 
At 6:46 PM, Blogger thesheriff said...

Your entry was awesome, I'm officially a fan.

 
At 4:59 PM, Blogger - Jimmyjay said...

The '120%' is what the watrons expect to be tipped. This doesn't jibe with the 10-15%-before-tax the Manhattan Visitor's Bureau suggests. But then again, they suggest tipping interns at 0.5% and look what you actually rake in! (To say nothing of all the method actor/actresses struggling to play interns).

 
At 12:20 PM, Blogger k said...

nice.
It's the same in Vancouver. Everyone I've talked to is a 'working' actor, which means they are extras and once in awhile do commercials (as extras) and serve in their 'spare' time.
Have you ever checked out the waiterrant blog? funny shit man.
New to your site, very fun!
K

 
At 3:16 PM, Blogger evolver said...

I laughed out loud....and I have heard it said that that is a healthy thing to do....so maybe, just maybe your missing your true calling...I think we gonna find out...

 
At 1:04 AM, Blogger lauren emily said...

Hello, Intern Andy. Can you, like, post your number on your blog? Or can you, like, at least send it to me? Or maybe could you, like, come visit Atlanta sometime? Or would you want to, you know, like, well... * I'm just saying this cause, like you didn't know, you have a 'mild'** sense of humor and are making a 'decent'** attempt at being witty.

P.S. I'm not, like, wearing any 'underwear'.***


*Inappropriate blog comment here
**The "'" is also a wonderful symbol, pointing out nuances of particular word meanings and indicating such qualities as 'sarcasm.' See?
***Sometimes people completely misuse the "'". Like me, here.

 
At 10:00 PM, Blogger ET said...

Fucking hilarious! (Are we allowed to curse on this blog?) My husband and I were recently in NY (Manhattan) and went through the tipping issue. After we finally located our waiter.

 
At 3:42 PM, Blogger Mark Pryor said...

that is too funny

 
At 3:12 PM, Blogger Aline Bottcher said...

Great idea....But the thing is...when I was an au pair (i'm brazilian ) in ny, i would never ever tip...WANNA KNOW WHY?
DID MY KIDS FUCKING TIPPED ME WHEN I DID A FUNNY DANCE WITH THEM? HELL NO. and there were 4.
So, there you go...
the unfairness of life

 
At 9:19 AM, Blogger Me said...

So funny and so true. Tipping in general has gotten way out of hand. I heard in Japan, you are not suppose to tip; good service is just expected. I especially hate those places that impose a 18% (not even the standard 15% but 18%!) gratuity on larger groups of people. Does that mean good service is then guaranteed?

 
At 5:35 PM, Blogger merkin said...

fuckin funny!

 
At 8:51 PM, Blogger JesseH said...

This is too damn funny I was so expecting you to say something along the lines of being generous with the tip. But you went with leave no tip all together just so that they can hone their craft. LOL

 
At 10:46 AM, Blogger Tom Mintier said...

Andy:
Wonderful piece on tips....I have never worked as a waiter but have tipped many over the years but never ones that did not deserve it. I once had a waiter from a Chinese restaurant follow me out to the parking lot and throw HIS tip to the pavement...I often wonder if he EVER picked it up? Keep up the great writing...you have a future there....ok maybe that is too much to hope for...give it a try. Hows that?

 
At 10:08 PM, Blogger harvey said...

I nice blog I have one too Horse racing tips galorehorse racing sandown

 
At 12:07 AM, Blogger Kevin Jackson said...

Well, this is interesting. I did a blog search for barista espresso and found your site. When I get some time I'll come back and find out where barista espresso appears and how it relates - if it even does. Take care - nice work.

 
At 3:55 AM, Blogger tom naka said...

Your blog is excellent - keep it up! Don't miss visiting this site about restaurant las vegas. It pretty much covers restaurant las vegas related stuff.

 
At 7:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Statement on the Tax Free Tips Act

by Ron Paul Oct 4, 2007

Madame Speaker, I rise to help millions of working Americans by introducing the Tax Free Tips Act. As the title suggests, this legislation makes tips exempt from federal income and payroll taxes. Tips often compose a substantial portion of the earnings of waiters, waitresses, and other service-sector employees. However, unlike regular wages, a service-sector employee usually has no guarantee of, or legal right to, a tip. Instead, the amount of a tip usually depends on how well an employee satisfies a client. Since the amount of taxes one pays increases along with the size of tip, taxing tips punishes workers for doing a superior job!

Many service-sector employers are young people trying to make money to pay for their education, or single parents struggling to provide for their children. Oftentimes, these workers work two jobs in hopes of making a better life for themselves and their families. The Tax Free Tips Act gives these hard-working Americans an immediate pay raise. People may use this pay raise to devote more resources to their children’s, or their own, education, or to save for a home, retirement, or to start their own businesses.

Helping Americans improve themselves by reducing their taxes will make our country stronger. I, therefore, hope all my colleges will join me in cosponsoring the Tax Free Tips Act.

RON PAUL FOR PRESIDENT 2008

WHAT DOES RON PAUL STAND FOR:

RESTORING THE CONSTITUTION

AGAINST THE WAR FROM THE BEGINNING

ABOLISHING THE IRS-DIDNT EXSIST BEFORE 1933 AND ONLY WAS SET UP TO PAY THE FEDERAL RESERVE WHICH IS NOT A GOVT INSTITUTION INTEREST ON THE MONEY IT PRINTS WHEN THE US TREASURY CAN PRINT ITS OWN MONEY (FIND OUT WHY KENNEDY WAS REALLY KILLED-ISSUING OF SILVER CERTIFICATES FROM THE TREASURY DEPT INSTEAD OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE-PRIVATE BANK-IT IS NOT A GOVT BANK.

SMALL GOVT MORE STATE POWERS

SAVING THE INTERNET

GETTING RID OF THE PATRIOT ACT

HONESTY IN GOVERNMENT

 
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