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Subject:  Re: Out of Curiosity: On Tipping Date:  4/3/2008  2:39 AM
Author:  TMFPMarti Number:  99966 of 127753

Unfortunately my wife had to take the embarrassment for my cheapness...

I'm a strong believer in communicating with management while on the scene. How are they to know they have a problem if no one tells them? Also, I wouldn't want to stiff a server for something that was the kitchen's fault. But stiff them I will if appropriate, as it was in your case. The only difference is that she would have had no unanswered questions about how my dinner was.

It goes the other way too. I know it's hard to believe, but IRS Collection doesn't get a lot of complimentary letters. I saved few mementoes, but one is a letter from the taxpayer I called my "Fried Chicken Man," whose business I seized three times before it sank in that he had to pay his payroll taxes on time. He took the time to write, saying he wished he'd run into me earlier since he had sunk way too much money into penalties and interest over the years.

If I'm "fine dining" I expect excellent service. It's in lesser settings that I'm likely to summon the manager for a compliment. They appreciate it, and I've learned some things over the years. My all-time favorite was a Baker's Square in Oh Where, Wisconsin. The waitress, who appeared barely old enough to vote, was superb. Efficient and friendly without being cloying. I told the manager I just wanted to make sure what a gem he had. He looked sad and said he knew, and he was about to lose her as she went off to college in a few weeks. We both predicted good things for her future.

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