The Night I Left A 155% Tip

I’m think I’m like most people when it comes to tipping, in that, I generally always tip right around 20%.  If I receive truly poor service or rude service, I will definitely lower my tip.  Normal service generally constitutes the 20%.  If I’m having a good day, I might slip a 21% or 22% tip.

Last night, Lloyd and I had dinner at one of our favorite restaurants.  In fact, we go there so often, that one waitress in the bar recognizes us and even knows what I like to order.

When she came to greet us last night, her eyes were puffy and red and she looked a little sheepish compared to her usually vibrant self.  She apologized for our wait (which was pretty much non-existent) and then apologized again because she was “having a moment”.  I didn’t really grasp what she was saying because she asked us what she could get for us so quickly after that.

After she left, I realized she was having a bad night.  Whether it was an asshole customer, a bad bout of PMS, or a jerk boss, I’ll never know.  But what I do know is that I’m a girl and there is absolutely nothing worse than having a “girl moment” at work.

I’m no stranger to those once-a-month spells when I’m on the verge of tears whenever someone doesn’t smile back at me or when I get a dumb e-mail forward of a dog that adopted a little orphan piglet.  (Did you guys SEE that e-mail?  Geez, get me a tissue.)

I was so impressed that our teary-eyed waitress even tried to make small talk when she checked on us.  Our water glasses were never even half empty before she would come top them off again.  She was having a bad night and her service or attitude didn’t show it at all.  That’s pretty much nearly impossible to pull off when you just bawled your eyes out.

Lloyd and I normally go dutch, so my bill was a paltry $6.48.  She must have really tugged on my heart-strings because I left her a $10.00 tip.  That’s right, I left a 155% tip.

I may live my life on a budget and life below my means, but sometimes it’s better to make someone else’s day than your own.  Turns out, it ends up making your day anyway.  When I left the restaurant I was filled with just a small glimmer of excitement that my little gift of generosity may have made that girl’s night and ended whatever moment she may have been having.


  • She sounds like an awesome waitress to be able to pull that off. I’m sure you made her day!

    (Although it if was “one of those days”, and if it was me, you probably would’ve just made me tear up again with a gesture like that, hehe.)

    (And no, I haven’t seen that email! lol)

  • I also teared up at that dog/piglet email. 😉

    That was very sweet of you – I’m not sure I would have done the same – maybe a 50% tip – but not a 155% one for sure.

  • Maybe it was PMS, but as a waitress I can think of 1,000 reasons why a server would be on the verge of tears on any given night.

    Good for you for helping her out. 🙂

  • My mom and I did a very similar thing for a girl at a restaurant once. We overheard people at another table yelling at her for things that were not her fault. So we left her a 30 or 35 percent tip on our bill. As we were leaving she ran after us, in tears, saying that we had left her too much, and we assured her that she deserved it. I hope it made her feel better!

    Another great story: when I was a kid, my mom, dad, brother, grandparents, and aunt were all out to dinner. At the end of the evening, my dad asked for the check, and the waitress said that a lonely old man sitting in a booth in a corner had already paid the entire bill, and told her to tell us what a lovely family we seemed to be! I never forgot that.

  • That was really nice of you to do, I’m sure she really appreciated it! I always tip 20% but sometimes 25%. My husband likes to leave at least $5 no matter how much so sometimes it’s even more than that!

  • I can tell you right now, coming from a server, one nice person can make your night! Where I work, there are a lot of people who are rude and just don’t understand tipping. It is common for me to get $1.50 on $100 bill., and that can ruin your night because you feel like you failed. But when a table tells me I did a great job and tips well, it makes my night, and makes me realize, that some people do appreciate me running around to serve their every need, and well… some don’t.

    From a server, Keep up the good tipping 😉

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