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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Friday, April 21, 2006

Tipping Right & Commenting Rules

Two buddies and I had a debate last evening over another friend who is often conspicuously absent when the bill arrives after we've been out for a meal or a few pints.

But even when the fourth guy is present when the bill arrives he will never contribute enough to cover his portion of the bill and his share of the tip. So the other guys and I end up paying a little more to cover him and make sure our server gets a minimum 15%.

Don't any weepy types comment that we're being mean to a broke guy. We aren't. And he's not broke. Besides, if you can't cover your share during a group outing, then maybe you should be saving your money and not going out as often. It's all about priorities.

So, on to other things. I'm a pretty easygoing guy. I can take a punch - physically and verbally, though I'd rather not take a literal hit. But there are a couple of things I have little patience for. One of them is name calling, because you disagree with something. You want to describe the goofiness of an action or behavior, go ahead. That's different.

This blog is an open forum. I put my ideas out there. So I open myself up to your comments, positive and negative. But keep it intelligent. If you can't think of the right words to get your point across, rather than break down and resort to name-calling or swearing, try to think about it a little longer and then post a comment. And if you insist on taking the low road then don't do the cowardly thing and comment anonymously. And if you do use a "name" post your comment in a way that will allow people to give you feedback too. This goes out to you Big Daddy.


  • I have the same problem too. My Friends and I solved it by talking to the waitress/waiter in advance to make sure that when the check arrives, it goes straight to our cheapo friend. We did this to him about once a month, so we considered it even for all his other delinquent payments...

    By Blogger Miami Transit Man, at 11:01 AM  

  • Great scene in "Reservoir dogs" about the selfsame thing.

    I tend to overtip, because I've been in the kind of situation where I relied on tips. And if you regularly tip well, you get your food fast, your waitress remembers you, and you get great service. I show respect whether I get it in return or not, but if you do show respect you often get more than that in return.

    As far as names are concerned, I use an alias, but only because I like my privacy. Anyone can get in touch with me easily enough.

    By Anonymous og, at 11:13 AM  

  • I had a friend who absolutely refused to leave a tip. My solution was to stop inviting her.

    By Blogger Sofi, at 12:54 PM  

  • There's also the situation in big gatherings when the check arrives and the total is split evenly among everyone, so some people end up paying far more than what they ordered. So if you ordered a cheeseburger and a coke and your friends ordered champagne and caviar, you're out of luck. If I'm in a situation like that and I did the fancy ordering, and noted that someone else didn't, I politely suggest that we pay individually.

    Sometimes this works if you are all ordering basically the same, sharing dishes and it's understood.

    Also, and this is a bit odd, but when everytime I've gone to Spain alone and had dinner with friends who are married, I was never allowed to contribute one cent, even if I insisted. They are all well off but not rich. I think it's some sort of custom -- single girl gets a free meal.

    By Blogger Manola Blablablanik, at 3:02 PM  

  • When I go out with friends typically the person who invited picks up the check.

    By Blogger Andy, at 6:46 AM  

  • Usually the people who are always skipping out on the bill have other undesirable personality traits that only another male buddy could love.

    Men seem far more tolerant of jerky behavior from their friends than women.

    By Blogger laura, at 10:52 AM  

  • No, men are less fuzzy when it comes to things like that. We would never quibble over small details, we would just pay and shut up. None of those incredibly neurotic, Sex-and-the-City issues. If a friend is not pulling his weight, then we just tell him, pure and simple.

    Ditto goes for paying individually. Split the bill evenly. Those are your friends, right? then consider it a present, something to show you appreciate their company. Not to mention is a lot more work for the waiter. I can't stand when somebody starts checking who had what. Don't go to a restaurant you can't afford to begin with.

    By Anonymous gansibele, at 10:19 AM  

  • My boyfriend works in the restaurant industry, so unless the service is exceptionally poor, I always tip in the 20-30% range. it's just the right thing to do.

    As a woman, one of the fastest ways a guy can put me off him, FOREVER, is to stiff a waiter/waitress on the tip.

    By Blogger Spill The Beans, at 10:40 AM  

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