Customer service can be an exhausting profession, especially when you’re waiting tables. Not only do you have to wait on people hand and foot, but you have to do it will a smile. When interacting with kind people, it can be a breeze, but when you’re dealing with people who aren’t respectful, it can be a nightmare.
Many people don’t realize that when you tip your waiter, they don’t get to keep the whole thing. They are required to leave a percentage for the helping staff like the cooks, runners, expos, and even the bartenders. It’s how restaurants keep things running smoothly and maintain a team mindset.
When one server was having a rough day and receiving chump change for his best service, he started to feel defeated. However, a few days later, an incredible gesture would change everything and restore his faith in humanity.
Reddit is a great community for people to share their stories and personal experiences, which is exactly what the user Seminole did. Seminole is a career server who knows that there are hits and misses when it comes to tipping. He doesn’t expect everyone to leave an insanely high tip, but he also deserves compensation for his time and efforts. After all, he’s a good server, and despite what people may think, wages aren’t that high, and he was struggling financially.
The hours are generally long and full of physical labor, which can leave your back and joints feeling terrible. Regardless, he always wears a smile and tries to give the best service he can to every customer. As things were starting to look up, he noticed a note left on one of his tables.
He instantly felt nervous, as this usually meant it was a complaint.
Luckily the note wasn’t a complaint, but his home life was about to get a lot worse. Seminole lives in Miami, Florida with his girlfriend, living the dream. Besides work issues, life was good. The couple decided to adopt a dog to expand their family, and they couldn’t have been happier. Wanting to share his new pup with friends and family, he uploaded pictures of the smiling pooch.
Before he knew what was going on, the police knocked on his door.
Apparently, it’s illegal to have pit-bulls in the area he lived in, and someone had reported him. The police were there to confiscate the pup and his whole world felt like it came crashing down. He was fined $500, so now, he was really in a tough situation. He had to keep it pushing and return to work to make enough to cover the ticket.
Another Rough Day
The moment he got to work, everything got worse. He had a customer from hell, relentlessly giving him a hard time. They were rowdy, drunk, and overstayed their welcome. Not only was he heartbroken, but he was simply worn out. He needed a win, but it wasn’t going to happen any time soon.
Another Day, Another Dollar
The next day was uneventful until he got a group of teenagers that were celebrating homecoming. Now, if you’ve ever been a waiter, you know a big group of teenagers is never a good sign. They’re usually impolite, messy, and terrible tippers.
However, this group was genuinely well behaved and respectful, so he didn’t have a problem waiting on them with the service everyone deserves. After all, it was their first time eating out without their parents, so he wanted them to enjoy their night.
They did require extra work, however, because they were a little unsure about dining etiquette. They also need a lot of help ordering, as they usually had help from their parents. They had him running around, soda refill after refill. That was just the beginning of it.
Allergies on Allergies
One of the teenagers seemed to be allergic to everything, so Seminole had to take a lot of extra time to point out what she could safely eat, taking time away from his other tables. At this point, he was running around like a chicken with his head cut off. When they were finished eating, everyone seemed really happy and content, until he checked the bill.
They paid in cash and when he went to give the change back, hoping they would add a few bucks to the pot, they were gone. Then he realized the change was his tip–only $3.28 on a bill well over $100. It was so frustrating especially after everything he had recently gone through.
But a few days later, he received a letter.
When he got into work his manager let him know they had a letter at the front desk waiting for him. He was a bit shocked, as he wasn’t expecting it, and he didn’t know who it was from. When he opened it, he was even more surprised when he realized who it was from.
The envelope contained a two page thank you letter, handwritten by the teenagers. They thanked him for his thoughtful and thorough service, and they even included $18 and some coins.
They even went on to explain why they didn’t leave an appropriate tip the first time.
They thanked him and explained why they, at first, didn’t leave a good tip. It turns out, they were only 13 years old and truly had no idea what was an appropriate tip for the situation. However, they didn’t feel right after learning 18-20% is customary, so they made it right.
He was grateful that the teenagers were kind enough to send the letter and the additional tip, he couldn’t believe it in fact. Although it was one simple act of kindness, it made his situation a lot easier to deal with. He had never had anything like this happen before, and he wanted to share it on Reddit because he just couldn’t believe it.
Sharing His Experience
He shared his experience on Reddit to give people an insight into the struggles of the customer service industry, but to also remind them not to judge a book by its cover. The response was overwhelmingly positive.
“Someone’s parents are doing a good job,” wrote LtKernelPopcorn–and we agree. The letter was sweet, thoughtful, and extremely mature for 13-year-olds.
This did spark a conversation about wages and tipping, with many people from all walks of life joining in on the debate.
Wages VS Tips
There is a common misconception that waiters make a lot of money and that it’s a lucrative job, regardless of the fact that you’re serving people. Many states pay servers under minimum wage as tips are expected to make up for the difference, but they don’t. Some high-end waiters can make a decent living, but it’s more common than not that they can barely make enough to survive, even though they’re busting their butts all day long trying to provide a wonderful guest experience.
You’d be shocked to learn how much they actually make…
They Make What?
For example, in Montana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Nebraska, servers make less than $5 an hour and are expected to make up the rest in tips. Even if most of their customers do tip them well, they’re still only making around $8 an hour on average. Imagine supporting a family on less than $10 an hour. To put it into perspective, in the metropolitan areas of states like Washington, the minimum wage is $15 an hour.
So the next time you’re out to eat and you have a good experience respectful respecful and leave an appropriate tip–they deserve it!