Tippin’ Thinkin’

Last night we went out to dinner with friends.  At the end of the meal I did a quick calculation to make sure we left a good tip.  My easy and cheesy way of figuring a good tip is take the bill, take 10% of the bill then double it.   It’s easier than trying to figure out 15% or 20% or higher.   It’s a more reliable form of math to just do it in tens.  If I don’t think the newly calculated 20% is a good enough tip we leave more.

The 10% then double it rule is quick and easy.

But last night for some reason I had subtracted $20 off of the bill before I did my calculations.   There is no logic to why I did it so I can’t explain it.   So we left a very nice tip for our server.   If the bill had been much smaller.    We handed her the tip because the restaurant was in it’s own chaotic melt down with their electronics being out of service.   When she walked away I thought I saw a flicker of something in her eye.   I caught sight of the actual bill and said to Husband, “I did that wrong I figured the tip on the wrong amount”.   Fortunately she was only five feet away.  Husband pulled out his wallet and hollered (country term) for her.   She came back and he adjusted the tip.

I apologized for the miscalculation.

All of this very mundane story reminded me of something from years ago.

I had taken my children to dinner at a buffet type restaurant.  Nothing fancy but a step up from the drive-thru hamburgers.  We had to put tables together to accommodate us.   I had five or six kids with me so some of them weren’t even my kids. I know this because I did not birth five or six children.   We had a very nice little dinner.  Our server was a male, wearing a boot cast.  The kind of boot someone wears after surgery or a broken bone, that allows them to keep working.   He was hustling.  At the end of the meal I wanted to tip him well.   But he had also been very good to the children.   I wanted him to know they appreciated his attention as well.

So in addition to my tip, by each child’s plate,  each child put out a dime stacked on top of a nickel.

I still see us being all excited about leaving little piles of tips by each little persons plate.  I always hoped that made him smile.

But I always worried that when I left a tip the server wouldn’t find it.


When I was growing up my dad used to leave tips.   Whether it was at a restaurant or in the church collection basket he did the same thing.   He would fold up the money in to the tiniest square he could and put it in the basket or hide it under the dishes, or the ketchup bottle, between two plates he stacked…   I always wondered how much money got lost, washed, tossed in the trash.   And how many servers thought this fella stiffed them for a tip when they did a good job (dad would never have done that, he liked a good joke and having fun).

I wonder how many different kinds of stories a server could tell about the tips they get.

One last tip.   Don’t go to IHOP looking for Nutella Crepes.   They no longer serve them.   But our waitress asked anyway to see if they had any Nutella hanging around to make me one.   Which is why I really wanted to give her an extra nice tip.