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When do you tip low (10% or less)

First, keep in mind I'm in California where, to my understanding, waiters and waitresses make state minimum wage, not $2-3 an hour as they do in most states. One hot day in the 1980s, my mother, God rest her soul, and I were taking a walk around Westwood, which was a fashionable place to shop and dine at the time, and we decided to get dessert. We entered the restaurant, sat down and ordered cheesecake. We also requested water, which in California usually is not brought automatically due to frequent droughts. The cheesecake came before the water. I was terribly thirsty and didn't want to eat the sweet dessert before getting water so I waited and waited. The waiter walked by, I stopped him nicely and said we were really thirsty because it was hot outside, and I didn't want to start eating until I got water. He said he'd send a busboy over with it right away. A couple of minutes later a busboy walked into the eating area with a tray full of luscious glasses of water. He headed "away" from our table so my mom and I said "we're over here, hello!" And then the waiter came up with water for our table and yelled at us "I'm bringing it right now, GOD!" And I said, we didn't know that, you said you were sending the busboy and he was walking away from us. And he snaps "Well I'm bringing it!" He stalks off in a huff. The worst is yet to come. He goes over to another table of customers, talks to them heatedly, looking over at our table, and the people at that table start looking at us, and they and the waiter all start laughing at us. When the waiter brought the check, whichever one of us was paying signed it and then I wrote on the check, "Rude waiter equals no tip, have a nice day." We had our own good laugh at that. To me, leaving a tip for someone like that is like lying down on the floor and saying "walk on me some more, I like it."

Sep 29, 2012
JusticeB in Not About Food