Sunday, December 18, 2005

One good thing, one bad thing

Good thing: I went to see "Brokeback Mountain" today, as part of a birthday celebration for Ed. I was wary of the film because of all the buzz, but I can say I really enjoyed it. A simple story (as I believe most good stories are), but it was quite affecting and well-acted. I've never seen Heath Ledger in anything else, but he impressed me here.

(BTW, those of you who don't know Ed are missing out. He's super-smart, and knows a little bit about a lot. If I were a Westerosi lord I would definitely want Ed as my maester.)

Bad thing: After the movie, we got Chinese food. The service was so-so; they kept us waiting a fairly long time to order, and the server just wasn't very good. Accordingly, we tipped only 10%. Well, the guy who took the check with the money actually came back to the table with the change and - get this - informed me that a standard tip is 18%. Unable to believe what I was hearing, I asked him to repeat himself to make sure I understood. Is that gutsy or what? I don't have to leave a tip at all, and if he'd wanted more he should damn well have treated us better. At that point I wanted to take the 10% and walk about, but Ed and Mike persuaded me that it was kinder to leave it. I bowed to their judgment, but that is the last time I'll go to that place.

I will admit I'm a bit of a Nazi about tipping. I don't buy into the conventional wisdom that a server is due a tip regardless of the level of service. Of course, I am often told, "Well, if you had ever worked as a waiter you'd feel differently." Maybe I would and maybe I wouldn't, but I'll tell you this much: I don't expect to be rewarded when I do a crappy job. Nor should anyone waiting tables.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Which place was it?

- Mike V.

10:12 PM  
Blogger TrackerNeil said...

It was Pagoda, which is next to the Ritz East. I had been there before and thought it was OK in terms of food, and it still was. The service however...well, I'll not soon forget it.

11:26 PM  
Anonymous Feanor said...

Wow. I've always had good service and a good meal at the Pagoda. That's too bad.

10:11 AM  
Blogger Yagathai said...

I had some indifferent service there once, but never any service I'd actually qualify as bad.

4:52 AM  
Blogger TrackerNeil said...

Trust me, it's not the quality of service that will make it unforgettable; it's the fact that they told me my tip was insufficient. Man oh man...I still can't believe it.

10:44 AM  

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