Wednesday, October 10, 2007

No Tip?

I was hoping to start writing about a number of things, but I'm a bit bogged down at work (again). Coming soon:
  • An amazing essay/letter I and many others received that we've gotten permission to post;
  • Sukkos recap, including everything from the incredible Shannon Road Ice Cream, to Pobody's Nerfect vs. Serach on a dance machine, to visiting with the Hyraxes in sunny LA;
  • Our kitchen is quickly coming into being, thank God;
  • and a few more serious posts.
  • Also, see this post by Chaim. I agree with him completely: It's nice that the Jewish Press has a blog, but this type of post is disgusting. I don't get the slamming of Chassidim, I don't get the gross claims about how Jews view things, etc. This is where I got riled up:
    Why shouldn't they exaggerate? Because doing so is false!

    This point is obvious of course. But not apparently to this ostensibly religious Jew. To him, the question wasn't why someone should depart from the truth, but why one would ever tell the truth in the first place.
Meanwhile, I was dismayed by something I saw last night that I can't come up with a good way of being dan l'kaf z'chus for: Because our oven wasn't hooked up, I went to a local Chinese place that we really like to pick up dinner. The restaurant was decently full, but it's a small place and the waitress was doing a fine job of serving everyone there. I had to wait a while for my food, and was standing near the register the whole time to do so.

There was a group of three yeshiva boys sitting at one table, talking quietly and eating, and when they were done, they came up to the register with the waitress as they were splitting the bill. The first one's bill was about $16-17, so he gave a $20 - I figured he'd give the change as tip. But he didn't. I thought to myself, "Well, I guess $3+ would be a bit high on such a bill, so he'll probably leave $2 on the table or something." The next guy also gave cash and kept the change. The third guy paid by credit card, and didn't add in a tip, either. That's all fine - maybe they're pooling together and leaving a tip on the table, right? I looked back at the table - perhaps they'd left a tip on the table? But I didn't see anything. The waitress went to the table to clean it off... and didn't pick up anything.

I don't understand. Isn't it basic manners to leave a tip when receiving service? [Note: I've eaten at this place numerous times and the service - including from this waitress, who is usually the only one there, is always excellent.] If you're splitting a bill, that doesn't mean you don't leave a tip - it means you split the tip, too. I don't understand how a group of yeshiva bochurim can go into a restaurant and not leave a tip. I hesitate to call it a chillul Hashem only because most of the clientèle in this restaurant is Jewish, and generally tip just fine; I doubt the waitress will think "Oh, those Jews don't tip" from this incident. But it's still wrong, it still might make her think that yeshiva boys don't tip, that some aren't being taught proper manners... I don't get it.


  1. I've seen this before as well. Some people think tipping is based on some level of judging the service. Of course if you get bad service you don't have to tip more then average, but a basic tip is just polite. People also don't realize if people didn't collect tips at restaurants they would demand higher pay and the restaurants would charge more anyway. So don't consider it "extra" because you'd pay it one way or another.

  2. Not tipping is just rude. Unless the food and service were absolutely abysmal, there's no excuse not to tip. And even then, I probably would just go short on the tip, not refrain altogether.

    Can't wait to read your updates!

  3. Like the old joke goes: The difference between a jew and a canoe...

  4. Chaim/Scraps - Agreed.

    G - Somehow, when I wrote the title, I knew someone would make a comment. :P

  5. I was going to write a long-ish comment but decided to write a short post instead:

  6. Of course the mohel always gets a tip.

  7. It isn't just rude, it is also depriving the waitress/waiter of their livelihood. Waitstaff (and busboys) are paid something like $1.25/hr and expected to make up the rest in tips.

    If you recieve poor service you should still tip (as you hurt many people who aren't involved, like busboys, and waiters, if the problem was cold food--kitchen's fault) but complain to the manager.