The Dreaded "Verbal Tip"
If you've waitied tables before, you know what it is. You delivered excellent service, and the table waxes poetic about your fabulousness. Surely this means a meaty tip, yes? Probably, but...
Last night was an excellent example. A young couple, probably no more than 22. They were very sweet and chatty. They were in late, after we'd already gone to closers, so they were my last table of the night. The woman intercepted me at a bus station, saying it was her boyfriend's birthday, and did we do anything special for birthdays (We don't, but that's a whole other post.) I told her I'd put a candle in the dessert of her choosing. I brought the chocolate torte, two forks, and left them alone to talk. I discreetly dropped the check (under $28 - they'd shared an app and pasta for dinner), then ran the woman's credit card. They were all smiles as they left.
When I picked up the signed credit slip, it said "Thank you so much!" with a little smiley face below the woman's signiture. No tip, though. Argh.
Not enough to ruin my night, certainly. Just amusing. The manager on duty suggested I pay my next utility bill that way...no check, just a smiley face and "You guys rock! Thanks for the awesome electricity!" scribbled on the bottom.
So, I guess that's the written form of the verbal tip: I don't intend to tip you, but let me just SAY the service was great!
And in this town, I get a lot of religious tracts left behind (as a supplemental tip, I suppose.) Mostly they're from the uber-conservative organizations that litter my fair city, but I've gotten a few Watchtowers. Someday I aspire to get a Chick Tract.