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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I Was Stiffed by a French Bank

What is it with foreigners and tipping? We all know that the tipping culture in the United States is vastly different than in Europe. I agree that the amount of tipping in this country is overwhelming. Really? The kid at Tasti D-Lite expects me to tip him? And so does the girl at the grocery store? But I would think that every guide book that is sold in Europe has a section on tipping in restaurants, yet so many tourists play dumb when it comes down to paying a few extra bucks. Observe the $181.76 credit care receipt that I was given a few weeks ago and see the big fat nothing left in the tip line. And no, there was no cash tip. And no bus boy took it. She was French. But what gets me is that she has lived here in New York City for who knows how fucking long and she is still trying to use that tired old "I'm not from around here" excuse.

When the lady handed me her Black American Express card, I knew she was rich. The requirements for those cards are staggering: a $2,500 annual fee, $5,000 initiation fee and then you have to spend a minimum of $250,000 a year on it and there is no limit. This lady could go buy a jet, an island and if she knew the right phone number to call she could even purchase a small child who will do most excellent work in bathroom cleaning and laundry. I swiped the big heavy metallic card and took the receipts back to her table. I few minutes later when she got up to leave, I walked by the table to pick up the merchant copy. On the table was her copy, my copy and the original receipt. There was no signature. And no tip. I found her in the lobby.

"Excuse me, ma'am. I think you forgot to sign your credit card copy."

She spun around and hissed at me. "No I deed not. I signed zee copy."

"I don't think so," I said as I held two blank credit card receipts.

"Well, I signed somezing, I deed."

"No, I don't think so. There's no signature on either one of these receipts."

"Yes, I deed sign."

I looked at the itemized receipt that had a scribble on it. "Is that your signature?" I asked pointing to the chicken scratch that I thought was just that doodle that we all do to get the pen to start writing.

"Yes! See? I deed sign somezing."

"Oh, I see. Well, I need your signature on the credit card receipt."


Why? Does this bitch expect me to think that she has a fucking Black American Express card and she doesn't understand that she has to fucking sign the receipt when she uses it? I inhaled. "Well, I need the signature on the receipt that has your total and your credit card information on it. So if you could just sign this one-"

She interrupted me. "Well, what are you going to do wiz zee one zat I already signed??"

In my head I said, "Bitch I don't care what you do with the fucking itemized receipt that you scrawled your chicken scratch ass signature on, it's yours. Just sign the fucking credit card receipt and put a goddamn tip on it." In actuality I said, "You can keep that one for your records, ma'am."

She grabbed the pen out of my hand and signed her $181.67 credit card receipt and skipped right over the line for a tip. She put it into my hand. "Is zat okay??"

I looked at the empty line where it should have said $36.00 and said, "I guess so. Good night."

She spun back around completely fine with stiffing me even though I gave them perfectly fine service and never an ounce of attitude. Well, not until the very end anyway when it became clear that she was a royal French rich bitch who had no intention of tipping me in the first place. According to the name on the credit card she used, she's a bank. I guess the rich stay rich by saving 20% every time they go out to a place that has servers. Just think. If she goes out every night and stiffs a server on a check for $181, she can save $13,140 a year. Hopefully she uses that money for something good like the annual dues on her black fucking Am Ex card.

I sucked it up and accepted that i made no money from her rich ass. And no, I did not just add a tip. I may hate being a waiter but you know what I hate even more? Getting fired and then arrested for credit card theft and having my ass sent to prison where there are mean people who make The Bitchy Waiter seem like a sweet old lady. Plus, I don't know if there is Internet in prison and that would totally suck.

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Canadianbloggergirl said...

Wow! What a beech for sure! I would have said something to her after she signed the right receipt. Kudos to you for your self restraint!


Adam Hawthorne said...

Something even more sickening that I found out about the Centurian card (from one of my husband's client who has one, so it's a reliable source) is that the minimum requirement is actually the one percent of the population that spends the most (over 250,000). Depending on when you apply Amex could review who's presently seeking credit, and say "no honey, you only spend half a million dollars a year, you don't make the cut. What are you, trash? Here's a blue card, take it Kmart, keep spending, and apply another time..."

Adam Hawthorne said...

Oh, and something funny about it that's hilarious:

Apparently they issue one alloy card per household and for your authorized users you can get duplicate cards, but they're black plastic.
The woman I spoke to said her sister-in-law (who's a fucking snob) tried to get them to send her an alloy one for her delinquent trust-fund baby child and they absolutely refused to give her anything besides plastic. They said if he wanted an alloy card he could apply for his own.
It's nice to know that you can buy an island with the centurian card, but you can't do anything to get more than one metal card.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmmm... She definitely is obnoxious, but maybe you should crop the picture a bit because the person's name is right on the receipt. But they are so big-time that when you Google search them, there are multiple hits!! Now you can figure out where they do business and HIT THEM UP FOR THAT TIP!

Noelle said...

Isn't it clever how she acted liked she doesn't know how to use that card. Acts like she lives in a hotel and just signs a room charge. What a pain.

ChiTown Girl said...

That's just ridiculous!! Zis beech deserves a slap!

Anonymous said...

I have found, in my 30 years in the biz, folks w/ the Black Amex are notoriously cheap!

Little redhead said...

What a bitch! Even if you don't have tipping in your country, if it specifically says tip and an empty line to fill out then you're doing it on purpose. You can't blame forgetting or not knowing then. And if you're filthy rich; it's just downright rude. It's obvious what a condescending snooty French lady she is. Hope she doesn't come in again!

The Empress said...

What a cheap twat. Just goes to show that some people are probably rich because they major penny pinchers ...who do rude and inconsiderate things like rip-off hard working wait staff.

Mary A. said...

So American Express convinced someone that their card is SO valuable that it is worth $7,500 in fees just to carry the card?

What do they do, give you a handjob every time you pay your bill?

She's cheap. And pretentious. And STOOPID.

Aunty Pol said...

This biotch is just another reason I actively celebrate Bastille Day !

Jamie said...

Hmm... I think I would have added a tip.
I'm having an issue: I'm working for my boyfriend's parents at their summer home in the Republic of Panama. They pay us less than we would be making back at home, expect us to work beyond the 8 hrs a day that we initially agreed upon and generally take every ounce of our free time while theyre swimming in their pool instead of working. They told us we'd be here for a vacation and to help a little with their new business. I want to quit, but I can't- and I can't go home until september 1st! What do I do?!

Anonymous said...

I don't steenk..i don't STEEENK.

L.Voss said...

PINCHE! thats just some BS. I hated dealing with "nationals" when the would come up for the holidays, they spent too much were RUDE and left shit for tips

Rachel said...

It seems that French bankers have been in the habit of fucking service people over, lately. Do those people ever wonder why no one likes them?

Anonymous said...

I always added in my tip to hell with people. If you were too stupid and left the tip blank and didn't put in the the amount at the bottom and left all your receipts eff you. I didn't take like a big amount but I would take 10% so it wasn't like a huge tip it would always be under $5 that's what you get for trying to stiff me and being a dumbshit!

Gallo said...

Quelle salope! Bitch! Sorry Bitchy,here in Canada they kill you if you do not tip, even if the service SUCKS! yes, it is that bad!

I had a similar experience having friends and in laws from Europe visiting, because THEY WERE OUTRAGED they had to tip. No matter how much I explained it to them.

Suck it up, it ll come back to you 10 times better.

Anonymous said...

I would have said something about the tip when you asked her to sign. Foreign ppl KNOW they have to tip they just choose not to. And for the people who say they would have added a tip, don't do it!I had this table not too long ago who tipped me 3 on a 73$ check so i decided to add an extra dollar, yeah, shame on me. Anyways, the bitch called a week later to complain about the extra freaking dollar!!!so when my GM called me in the office to asked me about it i just acted like i didn't do it on purpose....I will never do it again!!

Thirtysomething said...

I had been telling people for years that "they need to fill in the tip line, even if it's zero, and the total" just to make them feel like bigger pricks and so there is no possibility that they can pretend they didn't realize. I very sweetly tell them it's for their own protection.

Now that the customer inputs the amount into the machine (right at the table) if they leave a poor tip I put their copy right smack dab in the middle of the table so all their companions know how poorly they tipped. It has worked on many occasions that the friends will slip me more to make up for it :)

Anonymous said...

I've embezzled so much money from customers credit cards, it's ridiculous. If a customer leaves both slips, I'm using the blank one to give myself a better tip than what they left. Regardless if it's a good tip or not. If a customer leaves me any room to manipulate the numbers and make my tip bigger, I always do it. I'll use a persons credit card to pay for a check that someone else already paid me cash for and I'll put a tip on that credit card slip too. Could care less if you're nice, good tippers, good looking, whatever. You give me the chance and I'm gonna take it. I even steal from the restaurant. I will charge all of my tables for two diet cokes that somebody else ordered and paid for, all night long. It's like almost four dollars for 2 sodas, and I will just separate them from the check so the sodas stand alone on their own check. Then I just combine that check with any other table that has at least two sodas on it and do that all night long. It's an extra $40-$60! My restaurant sends out mailers a lot. They're usually a 2 for 1 entree deal, and the mailers come with the Tuesday coupons that everyone just throws away. On Tuesdays I go to my apartments mailbox area and get all the mailers from my restaurant that people have tossed in the garbage. I usually get around 30-50 of them and they're good for 3 months usually. I keep a few with me every night and use them to discount checks that people pay full price for. This is ridiculously profitable. I mean sometimes I feel like I'm just stealing the money.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anonymous Embezzler, I really hope that what you wrote was a joke because if it's not you are easily the worst server in the world. And just a shitty individual, to boot. You make all of us who are in the industry look bad and you should just go kill yourself now.

And it probably feels like you're just stealing the money because YOU ACTUALLY ARE STEALING THE MONEY you fucking moron.