I tip 20% without thinking. It is my standard. I may even tell you I think it should be your standard. In fact, I typically round up, so that depending on the size of the bill, I usually end up tipping 21% to 25%.
This is why I am truly sad, and sorry to relate, that as the years away from waiting tables increase, I find myself stopping to consider this tipping practice.
It's lame to bitch about bad service. It's for cheap bastards, it's for old people, it's for judgmental office automatons who have never worked a double shift on cement floors on Mardi Gras in a New Orleans themed restaurant. I don't like the idea of joining the leagues of these types of assholes.
So am I becoming an old curmudgeon who yells at the kids on my lawn? Or is it that I keep running into bad, bad, BAD service?
This past week: brunch in a very un-busy place where 25 minutes passed without a server checking in with me. And I define "checking in" as including a slow walk-by, where I can choose (or not) to seek eye contact. If I don't make it or don't need you, that's OK; you've checked in. You've made yourself available. The 25 minutes of side work you just did about 15 yards away was the 25 minutes in which I decided I needed neither dessert NOR another drink (both of which I would have ordered) and asked for my check instead.
On which I rounded down, to 17.02% as a tip. I felt awful about it.
But I didn't feel awful enough to not do it.
So should I tell servers to watch out? The times they are a-changin'? Or was this a one-time-super-cranky-weekend kind of thing?