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Where’s Harvey Keitel when you really need him?


reservoir dogs

Chapter CCLXVI in Tales From the New Gilded Age:

A banker left a 1% tip in defiance of ‘the 99%’ at a Newport Beach restaurant the other week, according to his dining companion and underling who snapped a photo of the receipt and posted it to his blog, Future Ex Banker. (Update: the blog is now offline.)

In posting the photo, the employee gave some background on his boss and the receipt:

Mention the “99%” in my boss’ presence and feel his wrath. So proudly does he wear his 1% badge of honor that he tips exactly 1% every time he feels the server doesn’t sufficiently bow down to his Holiness. Oh, and he always makes sure to include a “tip” of his own.

The “tip” of his own in this case was to tell the server to “get a real job.” Pleasant.

The whistleblower’s Future Ex-Banker blog (now offline) included additional background on his boss, and some insight into why he would out his gross behavior, likely resulting in an employment status of current ex-banker:

I work in the corporate office of a major bank for a boss who represents everything wrong with the financial industry: blatant disregard and outright contempt for everyone and everything he deems beneath him. On top of that, he’s a complete and utter tool. At the same time, I’m still cashing paychecks, an admittedly willing—albeit reluctant—cog in the wheel of this increasingly ugly industry, so I’ve created this blog as a confessional of sorts. It won’t entirely clear my conscience, but hopefully it’ll help. I’m sure I’ll get fired eventually. Until then, enjoy


This is more proof, if any were needed, that tipping is an obnoxious social practice, whose primary purpose is to reinforce class differences. It reminds me of this passage from Homage to Catalonia:

This was in late December 1936, less than seven months ago as I write, and yet it is a period that has already receded into enormous distance. Later events have obliterated it much more completely than they have obliterated 1935, or 1905, for that matter. I had come to Spain with some notion of writing newspaper articles, but I had joined the militia almost immediately, because at that time and in that atmosphere it seemed the only conceivable thing to do. The Anarchists were still in virtual control of Catalonia and the revolution was still in full swing. To anyone who had been there since the beginning it probably seemed even in December or January that the revolutionary period was ending; but
when one came straight from England the aspect of Barcelona was something startling and overwhelming. It was the first time that I had ever been in a town where the working class was in the saddle.

Practically every building of any size had been seized by the workers and was draped with red flags or with the red and black flag of the Anarchists; every wall was scrawled with the hammer and sickle and with
the initials of the revolutionary parties; almost every church had been gutted and its images burnt. Churches here and there were being systematically demolished by gangs of workmen. Every shop and café had
an inscription saying that it had been collectivized; even the bootblacks had been collectivized and their boxes painted red and black. Waiters and shop-walkers looked you in the face and treated you as an
equal. Servile and even ceremonial forms of speech had temporarily disappeared. Nobody said ‘_Señor_’ or ‘_Don_’ or even ‘_Usted_’; everyone called everyone else ‘_Comrade_’ and ‘_Thou_’, and said ‘_Salud!_’ instead of ‘_Buenos días_’. Tipping was forbidden by law since the time of Primode Rivera; almost my first experience was receiving a lecture from a hotelmanager for trying to tip a lift-boy. There were no private motor-cars,they had all been commandeered, and all the trams and taxis and much of the other transport were painted red and black. The revolutionary posters were everywhere, flaming from the walls in clean reds and blues that made the few remaining advertisements look like daubs of mud. Down the Ramblas, the wide central artery of the town where crowds of peoplestreamed constantly to and fro, the loudspeakers were bellowing revolutionary songs all day and far into the night. And it was the aspect of the crowds that was the queerest thing of all. In outwardappearance it was a town in which the wealthy classes had practically
ceased to exist. Except for a small number of women and foreigners there were no ‘well-dressed’ people at all. Practically everyone wore rough working-class clothes, or blue overalls, or some variant of the militia
uniform. All this was queer and moving. There was much in it that I did not understand, in some ways I did not even like it, but I recognized it immediately as a state of affairs worth fighting for.

Update: It appears this incident didn’t actually take place. As penance, I will root for Real Madrid in the Champions League this season.

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  • Wow, what a jerk. On the other hand, I’ve now been reminded that I haven’t read Homage to Catalonia. I will have to correct that error.

    • wengler

      It’s a good primer on how as Atrios says ‘we are ruled by monsters’.

      There’s a really good critique on liberal republicans selling out to the Communists rather than joining the anarchists. This preference of hierarchy and a rigid class system over equality and democracy is something I’ve seen in our political system for a long time.

    • Richard

      Homage to Catalonia is my favorite of Orwell’s books. A great book, not only about the revolutionary spirit and about war but about the perfidy of the Communists.

      • Beauzeaux

        The perfidy of the Stalinists.

        He liked the Trotskyists a lot more and the book is clear on why.

        GREAT book and an excellent read.

  • Barry Freed

    Aw, he’s not such a bad guy. He just likes extra spit in his food.

    • c u n d gulag

      It’s not just spit.

      The body has many fluids.
      Rodent’s and cockroaches bodies do, too.
      The kitchen has many chemicals.
      And if the sauce isn’t too hot, the (illegal?) immigrant dishwasher’s dick can stir it, if you tell him it’s for a good cause.

      Now, I’ll grant you – not every human or rodent/cockroach bodily fluid, dick-stirring, or kitchen chemical, is lethal, or will make someone sick.

      But, that does nothing to lessen the enjoyment of knowing that it’s in some MFing uber-rich asshole’s food!

      “How was your meal, Sir? Good… (smirk)… good…
      Oh, no… NO tip required! (heh… heh… heh…). I hope you’re coming back soon… (I’ll leave a dead rat to ripen…).”

      • Barry Freed

        True that. I’m sure he’s had a few cars keyed too.

    • Ken

      That was my first thought. Definitely a man who needs to watch Fight Club.

      • Ben

        “Tyler Durden is the ultimate entrepreneur. Starting with nothing but the raw materials of labor and his genius for organization and leadership, Durden starts his own gym, a boutique skin care firm, and a fraternal network built around the enthusiasm for his endeavors. He rapidly expands and franchises his efforts; in a short time period, it seems like every major city has legions of men devoted to Durden’s brand.

        However, this is not a portrait of a unique titan but a chilling warning to all of us. Tyler is eventually defeated by a shadow part of himself, the weak part, the part that questions his genius, that part that is unwilling to do whatever it takes to succeed. Therein lies the lesson: no matter your talents or success, weakness can completely disarm you, even as you are on the cusp of witnessing your greatest triumph.”

  • JupiterPluvius

    This is a man who is intimately familiar with the taste of strangers’ spit and other bodily exudations, whether he knows it or not.

  • Every passing day, the French Revolution makes more and more sense to me.

    • JupiterPluvius

      Ah! ça ira, ça ira, ça ira
      Quand l’aristocrate protestera,
      Le bon citoyen au nez lui rira,
      Sans avoir l’âme troublée,
      Toujours le plus fort sera.

      • rea

        Ah! ça ira, ça ira, ça ira
        les aristocrates à la lanterne!
        Ah! ça ira, ça ira, ça ira Ah!
        les aristocrates on les pendra!

        • We are normal and we want our freedom.

        • JupiterPluvius

          Streetlights are just too high now, alas.

          • Spokane Moderate

            The Streetlamps are Too Damn High Party 2012!!

            • c u n d gulag

              “In Michigan, the streetlamps are just the right height. And did I mention the trees?”

              Yes, you did. Now, STFU!

  • Conrad

    “Tipping was forbidden by law since the time of Primo de Rivera; almost my first experience was receiving a lecture from a hotelmanager for trying to tip a lift-boy.” Umm doesn’t the fact tipping had been prohibited by a former dictator kind of diminish your point a bit? I dimly remember Orwell somewhere else recounting how waiters would return tips with disdain, but that’s not in this passage.

    • Richard

      And the dictator Primo De Rivera was no reforming leftist. His son went on to form the Falangist party. And it was the monarchy’s support for Primo De Rivera that led to the creation of the Republic which, of course, was later overthrown by the Falangists with the help of the Army and Germany.

      That said, I think tipping is a bad practice but, in this country, failing to tip has only one result – stiffing the waitstaff.

    • Warren Terra

      I’ve never read Homage To Catalonia, but I read Down And Out In Paris And London a long, long time ago. Long stretches of the book are about how to survive on terrible pay in the service industry; I’m guessing your recollection about Orwell depicting responses to tipping, in the context of a culture that permitted tipping, might come from that book.

      As to tipping in Spain: I don’t know anything about it, but until very, very recently Spain’s entire modern and near-modern history has been one long catalog of abuse and misrule to an extent that would be implausible and even comic if it didn’t involve actual human lives. Without recalling anything of the gentleman, I’m sure any turn-of-the-20th-century Spanish Dictator was terrible in many, many ways; that doesn’t mean that a people struggling for whatever scraps of dignity they might have couldn’t remember fondly one of the few progressive reforms he achieved, as they prepared to be ground under the heel of Franco. And moving away from a system where a worker’s livelihood is dependent on their receiving voluntary tips is absolutely a progressive reform.

  • pete

    Weasel can’t even round properly — he left $1.33 on a check of $133.54.

    Reminds me of the time, long ago, when a cocktail waitress of my close acquaintance successfully accidentally spilled an entire glass of red wine on a similar self-identified gentleman. The manager made a big show of “firing” her but she was back the next night, to a standing ovation from the rest of the staff, including the manager.

    • Ken

      Imagine what could be done with crepes flambe. Or even a steak knife.

      Not that I’m condoning violence, oh no. I’m just mentioning our Second Amendment rights.

      • DocAmazing

        A well-regulated Kitchen being necessary for the preservation of a free State, the right of the people to souse and ignite Crepes shall not be infringed.

        • Bill Murray

          you spelled creeps incorrectly there Doc

    • Jager

      He simply “rounds” down. In his favor, of course.

      A few years ago waiting for the valet to bring my car around (I hate the way that sounds)a black Bentley rolled up and out stepped a guy who owed my company $168,000. Being the asshole that I am, I called him out in front of the 5 or 6 couples waiting for their cars. he got flustered, but it probably didn’t bother him too much. His wife was visible shaken and literally ran into the hotel. One of the guys standing next to us called him an asshole. The next thing we knew he was in a “managed bankrupcy”. He left debts of well over 10 million behind. I saw him a couple of months ago, he is driving a new Bentley GT.

    • Bighank53

      My favorite nasty customer story. Features an appearance by Alan Dershowitz, though he’s not the nasty customer…

      • John

        Who would think that a Saudi prince would be an asshole?

  • Murc

    This is more proof, if any were needed, that tipping is an obnoxious social practice, whose primary purpose is to reinforce class differences.

    This is true, but it bears pointing out that absent the presence of a revolution, you should still tip anyway, and tip well.

    • pseudonymous in nc

      Specifically, it’s to reinforce master/servant relationships.

      And you should tip well while advocating for minimum wage/benefit laws that undermine the need to tip.

    • Paul Campos

      Right. Come the revolution waitstaff will be paid living wages but until then — 20%.

      • NBarnes

        I don’t see class, so I nominally support living wage laws, but in practice I vote for Mitt Romney and don’t tip. Because I don’t see class.

        I don’t see race, either.

  • mike in dc

    This is why a lot of restaurants add an automatic 18% gratuity to large orders, to avoid precisely this kind of crapola.
    Needless to say, that banker had better never return there. People tend to remember stuff like that forever.
    I suppose we could get rid of tipping if wait staff got paid a living wage instead.

    • Warren Terra

      I rather assume the gentleman never patronizes the same establishment twice.

  • Lawrence L White

    “and he always makes sure to include a ‘tip’ of his own. The ‘tip’ of his own in this case was to tell the server to ‘get a real job.'”

    So when everyone has real jobs, who delivers your meal?

    Someone has to do the dirty work. If having to do those jobs is a moral failure, it’s the system’s failure, not the workers.

    • And if the guy who needs a “real job” was unemployed, I’m sure the 1%-er/asshole would ask “well why doesn’t he go wait tables or something?” What a prick.

    • Anonymous

      See also Friedman, Tom.

  • Honorable..BOB

    This is like listening to a bunch of old ladies carping about someone that isn’t there.

    And let’s discuss the hypocrisy of this blogger for not having the balls to quit.

    So who’s the asshole here? The boss or this blogger?

    It’s a pick ’ems.

    • Warren Terra

      I’m sure Bob would quit any well-paid, interesting job immediately upon discovering that his immediate boss was a blowhard asshole.

      • Honorable..BOB

        Thank you for telling me what I would do, ‘Kreskin’. Your second sight amazes us all (not).

        Really, are you some old lady that just carps about others??

        Truth is, I *am* the boss.

        But, thanks for playing, anyway!

        • Furious Jorge

          Truth is, I *am* the boss.

          And yet you have endless hours to troll this blog.

          Truth is, you ain’t shit.

        • joe from Lowell

          Truth is, I’m a p0rn star who can fly.

          • Halloween Jack

            I don’t fly so much as I pole-vault everywhere with my penis.

        • Warren Terra

          So do you have a massive hypothetical employee problem? Or are your hypothetical employees hypocrites who lack the gumption to quit?

          • Warren Terra

            Er, massive hypothetical employee turnover problem.

            Submit in haste, repent at leisure.

            • joe from Lowell

              I think he quite clearly has a hypothetical employee problem.

              He’s only hypothetically a boss, and only hypothetically has employees.

              • Honorable..BOB

                Four ‘hypothetical’ employees…of which I pay ‘hypothetical’ wages and, of course, employment taxes.

                How many jobs have *you* created?

                • Delurking

                  Bless Honorable Bobby’s heart, isn’t he sweet with his little stories?

                • Walt

                  I’m impressed by the cleverness of the “job creator” rhetoric. Like the jobs would never have existed if the job creator hadn’t created them?

                  You always see this rhetoric among the least important business owners, like dry cleaner owners, or car dealer owners. Yes, if it wasn’t for you no one else would have been able to clean clothes or sell cars at that location. You are truly vital, sir!

                • Honorable..BOB

                  It’s not too surprising that liberals have little experience with any kind self-employment and find it difficult that others are not tethered to the government teat as these teachers are.
                  On the other hand, it ain’t easy and when the money’s tight, the “boss” is the last to get paid if there’s anything left.
                  If I were really going to lie about my occupation, it would have been a much better story than some small time self-employed persons struggling in the Obama economy.
                  I’m not getting rich, that’s for sure!

                • Walt

                  Dude, I’ve started my own company. I’ve also been self-employed as a consultant. But I’ve never deluded myself that I was somehow vital to job creation. It’s always the most marginal businesses that have the owners with the most delusional sense of self-worth. There are probably 20 engineers at Google more important to the US economy than all of the dry cleaners combined. But it’s always the dry cleaners who are telling me how vital they are to the economy.

                • Honorable..BOB


                  “Worth” seems to be a subjective measurement in you mind.

                  Try going without clean clothes and then tell me how employees at an advertising firm that steals and misuses your infomation are so important.

                • Four employees?

                  He mows lawns.

        • gocart mozart

          Honorable..BOB’s immediate boss is also a blowhard asshole.

    • joe from Lowell

      So who’s the asshole here? The boss or this blogger?

      1. The boss. He actually hurts people.

      2. The guy who thinks that not giving up the livelihood that one uses to support one’s family is a question of “balls.”

      3-1.7 billion: None of the above.

      1,700,000,001: the blogger.

    • Furious Jorge

      The boss. He’s the asshole. This should be obvious, even to you.

      • JupiterPluvius

        This does seem to be a challenge to the “takes one to know one” hypothesis.

  • So who’s the asshole here?

    Here? Now?


  • Reilly

    There’s an asshole (or holes) in this story but it looks as if it may not turn out to be the Ogre of the Financial Class as depicted in this too-pat narrative. Here’s the update:

    On Monday evening, True Food Kitchen in Newport Beach released an official statement based on their investigation (described above) into the authenticity of the purported receipt showing a 1% tip. The restaurant’s statement reveals that their hard receipt copies do not, in fact, match the photo (shown above) that was initially posted on futureexbanker.wordpress.com (since taken down). The complete statement from True Food Kitchen:

    We’re glad to respond to the news stories about a tipping incident at True Food Kitchen in Newport Beach.

    Our first concern upon learning about this situation was our staff. We are very fortunate to have employees that are talented, bright, and undoubtedly, some of the best in the business.

    However, we would like to report that there is misinformation circulating about this situation. The dining receipt that was originally posted on the blog, Future Ex Banker, and then republished by various websites, was, in fact, altered and exaggerated. We’d also like to assure people that the receipt was not posted and altered by anyone on behalf of True Food Kitchen. We respect our guests’ privacy and take it very seriously; we would never share personal information.

    But at least it provided yet another opportunity to invoke an Orwell quote, without which we would wander the blogosphere morally and intellectually lobotomized.

    • Ben

      Hmmm. If I was a corporate rep for a restaurant that catered to that clientele and had a 1% tip incident that went viral, I would issue that press release too. And I would make it clear who I’m concerned about: “We respect our guests’ privacy and take it very seriously; we would never share personal information.”

      It’s not like there’s any proof here. I think the best you can say is “blogger took a picture, corporate chain with vested interest in picture not being real disputes picture’s reality.”

    • RB

      It occurs to me that the amount of the tip and the personal message might both be present on the physical paper slip, yet the press release could have been composed to misleadingly suggest that those were the ‘alterations’ when what they were actually referring to is the redaction of personal information.

      • Theres an odd word, tho: “exaggeration”

        Not a word you’d use to describe a redaction, which limits information.

        My best guess? The “boss” is an asshole who spends freely at the restaurant. He probably does undertip. The receipt does not appear altered, altho admittedly the “1” on the tip line looks suspicious. The other numbers do not, but it’s hard to tell from a second hand copy of a .jpg (presumably) uploaded to a WordPress site.

        I tend to think it’s a legit story, if perhaps a bit overstated for dramatic effect.

        It is curious that the original blog was taken down, tho.

        • Woodrowfan

          Kerners are go!

    • Warren Terra

      The Smoking Gun claims to know a bit more than is in the HuffPo update; specifically, they claim the “get a real job” note is fake, the actual tab was ~$34 not ~$134, and the actual tip was a generous ~$7.

      • ajay

        All based on what the spokeswoman told them. Absent from the HP update and the Smoking Gun: the actual copy of the receipt.

        • Anderson

          Check the kerning!

        • Let’s assume there is no way that the tip would be 7.33 – nobody leaves tips like that. That means that all three lines on the receipt have been photoshopped, not two digits.

          Also, the cheapest entree on the lunch menu is $13, the cheapest drink is $4.00, and meals tax in Newport Beachis 7.75%, so a meal for two is unlikely to be less than $36.63, pre-tip.

          Now, that “real amount” of $33.54 means that the pre-tax amount was $31.13, even though none of the menu items have pennies in the prices. And if the real amount is what is listed, then the base price is a whole dollar amount ($124.00), as implied by the menu.

          Now, it still could be a hoax, but it does not seem obvious one way or the other.

          • A bill that ended in $__7 with tax would create a total that ends in $0.54, give or take a few pennies.

            • I see what you did, but your math is wrong – while this works with $7.00, it does not at $17, $27, or so on.

              • You’re assuming the tip was altered. I’m assuming the bill was, if one assumes there was any alteration

                He goes in, buys a $7 soup, tips a $1.33 (why? cuz he’s a 19%er, I don’t know) and the receipt gets altered later to reflect the scenario above.

                And you’ll note the alteration merely requires adding figures and lines, not changing existing ones.

                • Yes, but the restaurant says the real bill was 33.54, and the real tip was 7-something. So the soup scenario is ruled out.

                  1) To get a real bill of 33.54 with tax, based on their menu, seems very very unlikely, as something would need to end in pennies, while no item on the menu ends in pennies. To get a real bill of 133.54 with tax was easy – 124.00 plus tax.

                  2) If that did happen, then either a) the tip was 7.33, which seems to be the sort of math humans never do, or b) almost every number on that scan was photoshopped, and not just the 1 and 7.

                • Where did the restaurant mention an exact figure? Last I saw, they said the photo was exaggerated.

                • Oh. I didn’t see that TSG had linked to the “original” receipt

                  Which looks even more Photoshopped than the “fake”

                  The signature, for example.

                  Hey wait! It’s NOT the original receipt!

                  It’s the Guest Copy!

                  Back to square one…

                • Read Warren’s link:

                  The amount on the actual receipt is $33.54, [restaurant spokesperson] Reagan said, not $133.54 as seen on the altered receipt. And while the tip on the online receipt claims that the server was left $1.33 (or one percent of the bill), the actual tip was $7 on the $33.54 tab.

                • Anonymous37

                  Hey wait! It’s NOT the original receipt!

                  It’s the Guest Copy!

                  And? Every other number on the Guest Copy is identical to the Merchant Copy: the 222/1, the 8/80035, the date and time (down to the minute), etc. Have you ever seen a Guest Copy receipt with a different amount than the Merchant Copy?

        • Sebastian Dangerfield
    • Maria

      Paging Peter Gleick…

    • wengler

      This whole story is actually pretty funny. It isn’t the same receipt so we have no clue.

      Luckily, we don’t need evidence either way in this case to determine that the 1% is full of assholes. We just need to read just a little bit of world news.

  • Galt is evil

    Higher social class predicts increased unethical behavior by K. Piff, Daniel M. Stancato, Stéphane Côté, Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton and Dacher Keltner
    PNAS doi: 10.1073/pnas.1118373109 February 27, 2012

    Seven studies using experimental and naturalistic methods reveal that upper-class individuals behave more unethically than lower-class individuals. In studies 1 and 2, upper-class individuals were more likely to break the law while driving, relative to lower-class individuals. In follow-up laboratory studies, upper-class individuals were more likely to exhibit unethical decision-making tendencies (study 3), take valued goods from others (study 4), lie in a negotiation (study 5), cheat to increase their chances of winning a prize (study 6), and endorse unethical behavior at work (study 7) than were lower-class individuals. Mediator and moderator data demonstrated that upper-class individuals’ unethical tendencies are accounted for, in part, by their more favorable attitudes toward greed.

    Galt is very evil

    • DocAmazing

      To become rich, and to maintain that wealth, requires a certain mindset.

      Specifically, that of an armed robber or an embezzler.

  • David M. Nieporent

    I am shocked — shocked — that Campos fell for an obvious hoax, and that nobody in the liberal circle-jerk that is this website’s comment section actually considered that possibility.

    • I am shocked – shocked – that Nieporent has never considered the possibility that some people really do leave crappy tips, which is the only way he could believe this to be an ‘obvious hoax.’

      • Warren Terra
      • witless chum

        I thought it was a little dubious when I read the original anecdote. Leaving a 1 percent tip seemed a very neat and poetic a bit of assholery. Which is suspicious.

        But neat and poetic doesn’t mean untrue, or antigay Republican politicians wouldn’t be such an endless source of amusement with their whacky, gay sex having antics.

        But I don’t necessarily take the restaraunt’s word. They’ve got nothing to gain by corroborating the story if it really happened. Even if they’re caught lying and trying to cover up something embarrassing to a fancy-pants diner, the message they send is “We defer to your reality, rich asshole. Please patronize our establishment. Order the steak.”

        Why Nieporent thinks it’s an obvious hoax is known only to Nieporent.

        • Furious Jorge

          Why Nieporent thinks it’s an obvious hoax is known only to Nieporent.

          It’s because it fits in neatly with Nieporent’s world view and his need to feel superior to liberals.

      • David M. Nieporent

        Of course some people leave crappy tips. Sometimes they’re jerks, and sometimes the crappy tip is actually commensurate with the crappy service. But leaving a 1% tip at a random restaurant as a political statement with a (nonsensical) insult on the bill crossed that line between everyday villainy and cartoonish super-villainy.

    • mark f

      Reilly at February 27, 2012 at 9:54 pm:

      There’s an asshole (or holes) in this story but it looks as if it may not turn out to be the Ogre of the Financial Class as depicted in this too-pat narrative.

      Warren Terra at February 28, 2012 at 12:55 am:

      The Smoking Gun claims to know a bit more than is in the HuffPo update; specifically, they claim the “get a real job” note is fake, the actual tab was ~$34 not ~$134, and the actual tip was a generous ~$7.

      David M. Nieporent at February 28, 2012 at 7:15 am:

      I am shocked — shocked — [. . .] that nobody in the liberal circle-jerk that is this website’s comment section actually considered that possibility [that this story is untrue].

      Italics mine.

      • Walt

        Shit, that’s pretty embarrassing for you, David.

  • Jason

    Technically, it was Big Joe Cabot (Lawrence Tierney) who forced Steve Buscemi to leave the tip. Just sayin’

    JOE: (to Mr. Orange) Shut up! (to Mr. Pink) Cough up the buck, ya cheap bastard, I paid for your goddamn breakfast.

    MR. PINK: Because you paid for the breakfast, I’m gonna tip.Normally I wouldn’t.

    JOE: Whatever. Just throw in your dollar, and let’s move.

  • Icarus Wright

    Mr. Pink: I don’t tip because society says I have to. All right, if someone deserves a tip, if they really put forth an effort, I’ll give them something a little something extra. But this tipping automatically, it’s for the birds. As far as I’m concerned, they’re just doing their job.

    Mr. Blue: Hey, our girl was nice.

    Mr. Pink: She was okay. She wasn’t anything special.

    Mr. Blue: What’s special? Take you in the back and suck your dick?

    Nice Guy Eddie: I’d go over twelve percent for that.

  • I’ve long believed that tips should be paid before a service is rendered. It’s the free market solution to prioritizing service, and makes a lot more sense than sitting in judgement of the service you do get.

  • Halloween Jack

    Not only do hard cases make for bad law, of course (assuming that it’s not bogus, which it may very well be), but it’s kind of hilarious to use a quote out of context from Orwell, whose severe disillusionment with what became of all of that heady egalitarianism is more than well-known.

    I’d like to hear what people in non-tipping countries do on the occasion of truly shitty service, aside from writing snotty one-star Yelp reviews.

    • mds

      Use EU policy to destroy the entire country’s economy?

      • Kal


        On first read I missed the suggestion that being able to do something about “truly shitty” restaurant service – beyond, don’t patronize the restaurant – is more important than that people in the service industry be able to rely on dignified treatment and a living wage.

        I wonder what industry Halloween Jack works in, and whether he’d be ok with having his clients or customers choose whether or not to pay him half his wages, after he’s already done his work, based on purely personal whim?

    • Kal

      Orwell, whose severe disillusionment with what became of all of that heady egalitarianism is more than well-known

      Well-known in the same sense that it’s well-known that “climate change is a hoax!!1”, perhaps. Orwell considered himself a democratic socialist, hostile both to capitalism and to Stalinism, when he wrote Homage to Catalonia, that hadn’t changed when we wrote 1984, and it didn’t change before his death. As others have mentioned in this thread, Homage to Catalonia contains plenty of criticism of the Spanish Communist Party. But that criticism comes from a left-wing, egalitarian point of view.

      I’m sorry to puncture your pat “person matures, loses illusions, becomes conservative” story. That story does seem to be very important to people on the right.

      • witless chum

        No, George Orwell repudiated his socialist views sometime in the early 2000s while he was in the process of supporting the Iraq War. Ask Andrew Sullivan.

        • Wait – when I was assigned 1984 as a high school senior (in, coincidentally, 1984) we were told that Orwell was an anti-Communist, and Erich Fromm, who wrote the Afterword, was an ex-Marxist. This implies that high school teachers might distort the truth in dealing with their students, and that is unpossible.

          • dave

            He was anti-Communist, in the sense that he was a democratic Socialist. It’s really not that hard to understand.

        • Hogan

          I’m so old I remember when Orwell repudiated his socialist views in a Norman Podhoretz article in the ’80s.

      • Halloween Jack

        Sorry, you haven’t punctured a thing, you’re just trying to put me in a pigeonhole that I don’t fit into, as with your reaction to my honest question above.

  • Woodrowfan

    having worked in restaurants while in college I could easily see this happening. This receipt may be fake, but I’ve seen some real asshole customers. My favorite was the RW “Christians” who liked to leave Chick tracts instead of money as a tip.

    • witless chum

      Some waiters have even claimed to have received Christian leaflets that look like $20 bills from afar. Because the Good News of Jesus Christ is better than any amount of money.

      I’ll remain very skeptical about these stories so David Nieporent will approve of me.

      • Warren Terra

        I’ve seen blog posts with pictures of those fake-currency-Christian-tract “tips”. Probably all photoshopped, of course.

        • Woodrowfan

          I don’t remember seeing one that looked like money, but I have seen Chick tracts left as tips. If you wanted to see tiny tips, even for really good service, nothing beats a crowd of elderly church goers….

      • Furious Jorge

        I have in fact received a couple of those, back when I used to wait tables at a shitty chain-style restaurant (think big after-church crowd) in a mid-sized southern city during college. They exist. Some asshole actually thought it would be a good idea to have those printed up, and then went and did exactly that.

        It’s a big part of what drives my distaste for religious people in general.

        • Halloween Jack

          I’ve seen those left in bathrooms, and I’ve always wished that they were printed on a softer, more porous type of paper.

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