Thursday, January 17, 2008

Film Scenes That Matter: Reservoir Dogs

Next to the building where I work is a cafeteria, which has a really great salad bar and a hot buffet. It's not great food, but it's healthy and convenient. Mostly I go there when I'm not eating at my desk, or when I have no lunch companions.

Like [ahem] most days.

I walked into the place after 1pm, hoping the lunch crowed was gone. It was. I found a table and seated myself, then hit the salad bar and poured myself a glass of tea from the pitcher beside the bar. After finishing the salad I grabbed a clean plate, picked up some food from the buffet and re-filled my glass of tea.

Reading the newspaper while I ate was relaxing.

At 1:30pm the hostess came to my table and asked if it was OK if I paid now, since she was going off duty and needed to reconcile her drawer. "Sure," I said, and handed her my debit card. I turned back to the newspaper when she said:

"Would you like to leave a tip on the card?"

What the hell?!?

Suddenly, my head was filled with this scene, from Reservoir Dogs:

"Yeah', I said. ' $3.00."


Evil Twin's Wife said...

Contrary to popular belief, wait staff do not make minimum wage - not even close and they get taxed on 8% of their sales, so.... Cough up a tip, people, even if the service is a little slow. If the service truly sucks, then leave a note and no tip.

Elvis Drinkmo said...

Agreed, ETW. I worked in a restaurant and servers bust their asses twice as hard as everybody else for like two or three dollars an hour. I won't even go to eat with people who don't tip.

I love Tarrantino's films. Where else can you watch stone cold killers and hit men discussing the finer points of life?

RedZeppelin said...

That's the only movie by Tarantino that I can stomach.

Well, I do enjoy Salma Hayek's dancing scene in From Dusk to Dawn.

The Film Geek said...

OK, before I take a beating for being like Mr. Pink: I hope everyone sees my "Yeah, $3" comment at the bottom. And that's a about a 40% gratuity at the place I was at.

The thing for me was this: in all sincerity, I didn't even see the server until she came to ask about payment. I seated and served myself. I just found the tip question odd, considering that.

Jackie said...

I say fuck 'em.* If they go waaay over and above then tip them. If not...then nothing. The way I see it is if I don't get tipped at my job, then nobody should.

*this excludes bartenders and waitstaff bringing you buckets of beer and drinks of course.

All Click said...

ooo I see. You were emphasising the fact that there was no service in which to tip!

That's a great scene from Reservoir Dogs. I would never not tip in such a tipping culture but it's taken some getting used to.

jennyville said...

I always thought the whole point of the tip-based system was to give wait staff an incentive to serve you reasonably well. And I try to encourage that because I think it's fair. If I get decent service, I tip. If the service is lacking, but there's a good reason - if the place is busy, or understaffed, or the kitchen's just slow - I tip. If the service is awful and the only reason for it is that the person serving me couldn't be bothered to give a shit, I'm not going to tip. That's pretty rare, but it has happened.

I think it's pretty rude for any wait staff to ASK you how much you would like to tip them, though.

Elvis Drinkmo said...

Film Geek,

Nevermind what you normally would do. Just cough up your buck like everybody else, you cheap bastard.

Sorry, I couldn't resist :)

Seriously, that is my one rule about tipping. I have to at least see who my server is before I leave them a tip. That has only happened once and I almost made it out the door without paying for my meal at all let alone leaving a tip.

But like Jenny said, it is pretty rude to ask how much you're going to be tipping. It's like trying to put a person- a normally generous person- on the spot and make that person look like an ass for not tipping enough. The whole debit card slip thing should provide people with a more private transaction so that other people don't have to know and see how much they are tipping.


I think tipping bartenders is a wholly different matter of pure self interest. At least, it always was for us. Throwing in that extra dollar ensures that when you finish beer number #8, you won't have to stand there and wait more than five minutes for beer #9.

They could have been indentured servants for all we cared, so long as they kept the taps flowin' and the bottles flyin' like the taps should be flowin' and the bottles should be flyin'.