Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Credit cards aka Using Plastic

Plastic. Of any payment sort. Let me share a few things that are bugging me.

1. Listen you friggin' morons, I know how to do my job, my competency is high. Therefore, I'm only going to say this to you one more time. YOU CAN'T ADD A TIP UNTIL YOU GIVE ME YOUR CARD TO RUN IT FIRST. On an almost weekly basis, I get lip from someone on this subject. Crawl out from under your rock you Neanderthals. This is basic credit card operation here. Do I need to smack you on the head with a ball-peen hammer? Did you eat paint chips as a child? You give me the card, I run it through the gizmo with the fancy lighted screen that doesn't show Nascar, and then you'll get a slip of paper to add your tip. Don't get pissy with me if you are unable to understand this world-wide practice.

1a. I don't need your card a second time to add the tip. Really. We've got a system established for that.

2. Sign your credit card slip there slappy. I'm quite clear when I present you with the credit card slip that I need you to sign a copy. I say that very specifically. I'll often gesture. If you are dinosaur old, I'll even "X" the appropriate line if you need. Furthermore, don't sign the check itself. Don't sign in the tip line. Don't sign on the line at the top of the credit card slip. On virtually every credit card slip on the planet, you sign at the bottom. How is this so hard to understand? I could train a seal to do this.'s not rocket surgery.

3. After you've signed a copy, leave me a copy. I say this every time I present you with a credit card slip, but yet some of you are unable to follow simple instructions. Perhaps that's why you wear Velcro shoes, ya' know with all the complexity of the shoe strings and all...

4. Just because the check presenter has only one of AMEX/Discover/Visa/Master Card pictured on it, it does not mean we ONLY take that card. We take Banamex, Diner's Club, and dozens of other cards. Just about anything short of your library or gym card will do.

5. If I come to tell you that the bank won't approve your card, running it again isn't going to put money into your account. Let's cut the crap. I was trying to couch this in a nice and simple way without embarrassing your broke ass. NSF. Non-sufficient funds. The bank doesn't just randomly bust your balls there buddy. I'm not the credit Nazi either. I don't care if you just bought your hooker a new handbag to carry your pot in with it 20 minutes before you came here. It's not working. Give me something else. Bitching to a manager won't make the card run either. And no, we're not letting you "run down to the ATM" so you can skip the bill. If there isn't any money in your account on my computer, the ATM isn't going to magically cum cash out it's butt to bail you out.

6. Take your card with you. If you leave it, I'm not going to chase you down to give it to you. I am honest, so I'll turn it into a manager, but it's your responsibility to track it down. I'm not sure the number, but we get at least 3 cards a day minimum left behind. And few ever come back to pick them up.

7. Honestly, we do still prefer to be tipped in cash, if and when possible.

8. If you use a gift card and a credit card, make sure you tip off the bill total, and not off the total showing on your credit card slip. If you used a $50 gift card on your $125 check, then leaving me a $10 tip (on a credit card slip showing $75) is a shitty tip. That's 8% you are tipping, not 15% you schlub.

9. You don't have to write "Cash" in the tip line if you are leaving us a cash tip. Simply total your bill and sign it. If you're worried I'm going to write myself in a big fat tip in the tip line, then just put a -slash- on that line, and total it. You could also use the creative -0- on that line. But by totaling the bottom line, it's pretty obvious.

10. Learn to add. I understand that you went to public skewl. But this is simple addition. SIMPLE. ADDITION. Rarely does a night go by when some cretin is unable to figure out their tip. Worst case, ask your server, many of us are pretty good at math. Especially when it comes to figuring out a percent like 15% or 20%. We'll gladly help you with that. That is a service we're happy to provide.


Jack Weber said...

As a former server, I put cash on the line if I leave a cash tip, and I appreciated my customers doing so--it let me know when someone else took the cash off the table before I got back for the presenter, or if I took the presenter before they were ready to leave, let me know to come back for cash once they left instead of just thinking they were cheap assholes or there was some problem with the service.

The only thing I can figure about the tip is that people are used to eating at Sonic or some place where the tip has to be added to the total first (or, often when I was asked to add a tip of a certain amount, it was older people who had trouble doing a lot of writing or mental math).

The Troll said...

I agree 100% with Jack Weber and write "CASH" on the tip-line for the same reasons.

Steve the K said...

I have no doubt that #5 happens frequently with #10 and #8 close behind.

But I'm skeptical about #4, #2, and definitely #1. Unless it is someone's very first credit card and their parents never had a credit card, then surely they've experienced or at least witnessed the process.

As for #7, if I have exact cash and coins, maybe. But it easier to calculate 20% and add it in on the CC slip than asking to break a larger bill for small bills and change. Too much work for me = reduced chance of decent gratuity.

The challenge of #3 is *which* slip goes to whom.

Granted, I may come close to doing #6, and do #7 on occasion, but I am glad to say I have not done any of the others.

Anna-rchy said...

Hmmm, what exactly is rocket surgery? Sound hard.

OK but seriously, I agree with everything you are saying here. People are idiots.

mrclm said...

Didn't rocket surgery come from a SNL mocking of President Bush? LB care to confirm that?

I honestly have 2-3 credit card slips a night that go unsigned, and I probably average 12-15 credit card transactions each shift. That's 20-30% who aren't listening when I specifically say "Please sign and leave one of these two copies before you leave." I even had a guy's wife take both copies (after he signed them) two nights ago, and then 2 hours later he came back in with the signed copy. That was a first for me, I was nearly floored that he bothered to bring it back in (that way I got the tip!). So kudos to that guy!

Big Chris

Lobster Boy said...

Big Chris,
I really don't know where that phrase came from. I know I picked it up from a brother of mine who says it pretty frequently. But you of course have to include his "stupid voice" when you say it to get the full effect. It's pretty funny.

shannon said...

i didn't know that there were people out there who didn't understand how restaurant credit card transactions worked. i guess one of the "perks" of being in the serving industry is that since everybody eats, you get to see all kinds of stupid.

i will be bookmarking this blog!

Sethamphetamine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sethamphetamine said...

i also work at RL. the stupid i see. . .
my personal favorite with CCS is when the guests are obviously too inept to add whole numbers with decimals so they leave the tip line blank and roumd up to the nearest ten. classy. (i.e., $54.63 check charge total $60. . .almost 10%)

and i hate hate hate when they don't charge a tip and leave the two bucks in their pocket for a tip. whoppin 5% if that. i'd rather they stiff me. two dollars, as a sign of gratitude for the hell you put me through, is a slap in the face.

Wegrit said...

You're not quite accurate on the point of not having to run the card a second time to add a tip. I live in Prague and everywhere in the Czech Republic and in a good portion of Europe, you do need to run the card a second time if you want to add a tip. Of course, if you live in the US, you should know that's not how it works there.

Jeanie said...

yes, seriously, as an Olive Garden (sister to RL) employee, I can confirm that I have a couple of unsigned credit slips every night, and #4 is asked about at least once a week - and yes, this is from people of all ages. And at RL and OG both, there is no "store copy" and "customer copy", both slips are exactly the same, yet despite that fact that i say "you keep one and i keep one", people have been known to walk off with both, even if they were witnessed writing down a tip before shoving both slips in their wallet.


NewsletterGuru said... I just found your blog a few days ago and it's taken me some time to "catch up." Here goes: Not sure about your store, but if the customer CAN'T ADD correctly, the tip goes in their favor. For example, if the check is $46.27 and the guest writes in a $7 tip (which, yes, is not the greatest), but then "adds" and the bottom line is $51.27 - we get screwed. We end up with a $5 tip and no amount of arguing with any of the managers is going to change that. This is one of the most ridiculous "rules" of all. I have seen servers lose up to $20-$25 because of stupid guests who can't add. Thank you...I feel better now.

D.P. said...

Don't ask for the check, then give me a coupon for $4.00 off and tell me to bring you the new bill. It's $4.00 off and you ask for the new total? Really? I look at them, look at their bill, *smile* and subtract 4.00.

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