When you work as a server you have to deal with some really awful people: people who hate their food and request something else but don’t want to be charged, people who order things that are clearly not on the menu, people who want the deluxe burger but don’t want lettuce, tomatoes or bread (?), people with weird food allergies and people who are passive aggressive about the whole dining experience in general.
You don’t make a career out of serving because the hourly pay is way too low. You do it because you need a job that’s sort of flexible and that will pay you a fair amount in tips in the shortest amount of time. On a typical night at the Japanese restaurant/bar I work in I can easily take home $200 a night in tips, and that’s just a typical night in a 5 or 6 hour shift. On a really, really good night I can take home twice as much or more. It’s great because I can work four nights a week max and be pretty set with just enough time left to focus on school and working with my band.
I don’t think there’s any way to not be floored when someone goes out of their way to leave you a $2,000 tip. The guy who left it seemed like just a regular schmo: early 40s maybe but cool, an artsy type and he played on his iPad and took calls during the whole dinner. He flirted with me a lot, which I’m used to, but I just kept it cordial, as I always do.
This dudes’s total came to right under $100 dollars. Just so you know, you’re supposed to take the first two digits of your total and double it. That’s a 20% tip — more than enough — and it makes you look like a generous person and puts excellent karma in your favor. So borrowing that logic I was sort of expecting a $20 tip, give or take.
When I got back to the table to collect his receipt I opened the little folder and saw that he’d left a $30 tip in cash, a check for $2,000 made out to no one in particular and a note that said “You’re beautiful. You should really model. Use this money to have some professional photos taken.”
I was literally floored. I’ve never thought about being a model before, though everyone seems to think I should try. Girls ask me all the time if I model, and people have asked to take my photo before. And if I’m being honest, people always tend to tip me a little more than other people and I think it’s because they find me attractive. I’m not trying to be a jackass, it’s just that I’ve gotten so many receipts and napkins with numbers on them that by now I’m sort of used to it. And it’s why my boss always schedules me at primetime because he knows the ladies and I guess some fellas want to see me.
Tipping someone extra because they’re attractive or more attractive than everyone else is just part of the game I guess. YES I WILL TAKE YOUR MONEY. But now I’m sitting here with this free $2,000 and I feel excited because I could really use it, but I also feel sort of dirty, too, pimped out in a way. Like, I got all this money just because someone thought I was really hot.
Not sure if I’ll ever have those professional photos taken but I’ve since cashed the check and it is real.