It’s All a Matter of Principle…or Quarters


CATASTROPHE. WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN. MADNESS! That’s right folks…I’ve been challenged yet again by the man. It’s almost as if I’m looking for him…Anyway, I made a decision based on principle last night to fight the man while out to dinner with some friends. However, the decision sparked a high level of discussion. Which is why I pose these two questions to you:

(a) is 50 cents too much for Ranch dressing at a restaurant? and

(b) is saying “does that make sense” to a waitress demeaning?

Here’s the evidence (from the only side—the RIGHT side). May it please the court of public opinion…

Myself and four other co-workers/friends appear at a well-known brew-pub in our area for a hand-crafted meal and hand-crafted beers.  I order a “Smokey BBQ Chicken” wrap. The food comes in a timely manner as we’re enjoying our craft brews and everything looks great.  I take a bite into my wrap and it is tasty. And a little spicy, which was expected, but spicier than I thought. I decided to ask for a small cup of ranch dressing to balance out the spice (about 2 oz. is what the table determined was served to me).

We finished the meal and waited for the check. Enter said check: .50 ….. extra Ranch dressing. What?! Nobody told me that I was going to get robbed a half-hour of parking for 2 oz. of ranch dressing. Nobody explained, “sir, that’s one of the ways we rip you off here—would you like to take it sitting or bent over?” Nothing, just tack it on to the bill. I polled the table—all agreed–50 cents is way too much to just “tack on” to a bill for “extra” ranch dressing.

I decided to ask about it, explaining that I did not receive some kind of warning about whether or not I want to get screwed. I believe I did say that it’s “kind of ridiculous” and the waitress agreed. She spoke with the manager, surely explaining, “some dipshit is complaining about 50 cents” and the manager simply agreed to take it off. No fight. End of story.

Not so fast. I had a gift card. And obviously I wanted to give the tip in cash as I’m a genuinely kind and upstanding gentleman. All I had was a five and a twenty. I gave the waitress the gift card, followed by the five dollars. Then, said (apparently repeatedly) “just bring a dollar back…from the cash – that’s your tip…does that make sense?”

Now I have a pretty level head on my shoulder and see nothing wrong with what I said. But my table overreacted about how I treated the waitress. “You pretty much told her that she isn’t worthy of the five dollar tip.” “What do you mean ‘does that make sense,’ what is she, an idiot?” No, I just wanted to make myself clear.

Apparently sometimes I can come off as condescending or demeaning to those simplistic, common-folk. I mean, really, don’t over-react.

Okay…back to the questions: (a) is 50 cents too much for Ranch dressing at a restaurant, and (b) is saying “does that make sense” to a waitress demeaning? C’mon now…nobody knows me to be demeaning.

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  • Jen July 23, 2013  

    I guess since the waitress receives tips several times a day, multiple times a week, 4 weeks out of the month, and 12 months out of the might be a little demeaning to tell her “this is your tip” when she most likely gets the point. I’m sure that wasn’t your intention though. Happy eating!

  • Katt Kasper July 23, 2013  

    Can you bring another napkin, if that’s not too much to ask?
    And another fork, if you can manage?
    Oh, and take this five and bring me back a one, you understand?
    Demeaning? I don’t know…

    Y’know what I’m sayin?

  • snebbu July 23, 2013  

    Preaching to the choir, Katt. Some people just overreact to everything. ‘Nah mean?

  • MaryAlice July 24, 2013  

    Does that make sense sounds demeaning to me. I’ve been trying to pinpoint those little remarks and revise them. Maybe, “am I making sense”, which to my mind throws it to me instead of the waitperson.

    Any add-ons are too much, usually. Asking for another steak might warrant a charge, however.

  • ML July 24, 2013  

    I always get annoyed when they inform me that something costs more. It’s irrational, but I want what I want, and if I’m at a restaurant, I’m going to pay to get it.

    Although I can’t say I’ve ever been charged for a side of dressing…

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