Friday, March 20, 2009

When NOT to Bring Out the Calculator

So, I've never been a waitress. I've worked at ice cream shops and coffee shops before, though, so I know a little about how to treat customers. One thing I would NEVER do if I were a waitress would be to bring a calculator over to a table who I thought had tipped me too low.

Somehow, though, my waiter at Locke-Ober last night thought this was perfectly acceptable behavior. True, we tipped on the Restaurant Week price and not typical menu prices (although we never even saw a regular menu, so I had nothing to base that on), but a calculator? And he kept saying "I'm sure you meant to tip me well, but..." like we were a bunch of children in school who had done our math homework wrong.

Thanks, but I deal with enough pretentiousness without it being fed to me with my dessert.

Locke-Ober on Urbanspoon

16 comments:

Adrienne said...

Yeeeowch. That is a ballsy move.

ttfn300 said...

omg, that's crazy! honestly i wouldn't have thought to look up the normal prices...

Dish This! said...

WOW that is crazy. I waitressed for many years and that would've gotten me fired on the spot. Really inappropriate.

Melody said...

ummmmmmmm please tell me you're joking. that is absurd!!

Erin said...

This is so unacceptable I don't even know what to say about it. If he had done that to me we would have had words and then he wouldn't have received any tip at all. Seriously. Who does that?

Don't be afraid to link to that restaurant in this post or Yelp about it. It's really poor form to treat customers like this. Restaurant week or not.

Pam said...

Yeah, not joking at all. I was incensed that he had the audacity to do that!

Christina Kim said...

At Locke-Ober of all places! One would think Lydia Shire's folks would be a bit more classy and tactful than that. Appalling!

Anali said...

That is outrageous!! Wow. Just stunned.

Suzy said...

I can't believe a waitperson would do such a thing, especially in this economy. You should have let the manager know...I haven't been there yet, but this has turned me off!
Thanks for sharing!

adele said...

*boggle*

It wouldn't even have crossed my mind to tip on regular menu prices. Wonder if he whips out the calculator when he gets tables who don't order three courses, too?

If he has an issue with the way Restaurant Week works, he should be talking to the restaurant's management, not taking it out on the customers.

Susan said...

Wow, that's a bad move.

Pam said...

Thanks for your comments, guys. I'm still amazed that this even happened. I can't imagine this happening at a place like Applebees, let alone a place like Locke-Ober.

I emailed the manager over the weekend and have yet to hear back.

John said...

Wow - that's a new one! But I have to say, my one and only experience at Locke-Ober was also marked by really obnoxious service. It started right away too. We were not just kindly asked "would you prefer bottled or still" - our waiter recited a list of "bottled selections," clearly selling. When I said, "thanks, but still would be fine" I got a dirty look and a condescending "Sir, perhaps you'd like to reconsider..."

Ugh! It only got worse from there! Maybe it was the same waiter. Still, that was it for Locke-Ober as far as I was concerned.

But my experience is that LS's places all have a bit of attitude, and I think i comes from Lydia. We dined at Excelsior a few times, and I found my entres over-salted, as did my dinner companion, a chef and a real foodie. The waiter asked how everything was, and one of us politely said that "we really enjoyed our meal, but felt the chef was a tad heavy-handed with the salt ; had he heard that from other diners?" In 2 minutes Lydia Shire was at our table with giving us quite a lecture on how "sophisticated palates" approach spices, and that our meal was NOT oversalted.

Yikes! We listened politely and waited for her to leave. Then we laughed - what a jerky thing to do!

That said, I admire her and all she has done for food and dining in Boston. Just sorry that my some of my weirdest restaurant experiences have taken place in her restaurants!

Julia said...

holy smokes, that's awful! For that type of rude behaviour, I'd say the server probably deserved a small tip.

John, I used to work with Lydia at Biba, and we definitely were heavy handed with the salt. Though I would say there's a fine line between perfectly salted (where both the salt freaks and salt phobes are happy) and oversalted... and it's very easy to cross the line.

Pam said...

Thanks for your comments, John and Julia. Lydia came into the dining room a couple of times during the evening, and she definitely seemed like a character - and not in a good way.

angela said...

You should've asked for the receipt back, as if recognizing your mistake and wanting to fix it, and then crossed the tip out altogether and left that shlub with nothing!