So the two of us went to dinner.
Chinese restaurant we go to about once a month.
New waiter we had never seen before.
Tonight the service was slower than usual, but also as usual, the food was good - had Kung Pao Shrimp and General Tao chicken, with two ice-teas; total with tax came to $31.24.
Waiter came to pick up check and I put two twenties ($40 for the math impaired) on the table.
Without missing a beat, the waiter said, “Do you want change?”
Now mind you, I am a pretty generous tipper - but $8.76 on a $31.24 tab? For mediocre service to boot?
“Yes, I want change.” I said, equally quickly.
He gave me a look like I was some cheap-ass, low-life from the street.
That little prick pissed me off.
Why ask if I want change?
Is the 15 steps to and from the cash register too far to walk?
Was the calculation of change going to be too difficult to do without a Pentium 4 computer chip?
Was his bookie waiting for $8.76 in the back alley?
Or did he think I didn’t look at the check and would just wave it off?
I left him $4.76 - a little less than I normally would have left him, but not the overly generous tip he seemed to feel he deserved.
Now I almost wish I had just left him $1.00 - enough to show I didn’t forget, but enough to show him I didn’t like his sly maneuver to snap up the entire amount.