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Tipping. Don’t find my friends ‘joke’ funny, AIBU

(277 Posts)
yadayadayesokay Thu 24-Oct-19 04:29:21

A friend of mine who lives far away has come to stay with me for a few nights. We went out for a meal together last night (which she insisted on paying for at the end as a thanks for hosting her, if that has any relevance).

When we sat down I had a brief panic, thinking that I didn’t have any cash to pay for a tip at the end of the meal and rummaged through my handbag. She said not to worry as she had cash, but it turns out I had enough anyway.

We then had a conversation about tipping and she told me that she very rarely does and I was surprised, and told her I always pay at least 10% and would feel embarrassed not to. I also told her that my partner and I usually end up arguing about tipping because he is against it and when I put money down he has in the past picked some back up, saying that it’s too much. I told her this really pisses me off and embarrasses me.

Anyway when the bill comes she hands over £2 for the tip and I go to put mine down too, she raises her eyebrows and says something about it being a lot as I’m counting pound coins to put it down, so I feel pressured to match her and only put £2.50 down, the meal was £58 so this is less than I would like to tip. The service was good.

Sometime later when we are almost back to the car she says ‘you’re going to kill me’ and laughs, telling me that she picked up the tip money so we didn’t leave any. I obviously didn’t look impressed and she said she did it to annoy me and to ‘be funny’ and offered me my money back. I said I don’t want it, it was intended for the person who served us. She asked me if I was pissed off and I said yes.

The atmosphere on the way home was a bit awkward but I tried my best to just ignore what had happened and talk about other things, but I got the feeling she thought I was being humourless and there was definitely an atmosphere afterwards. AIBU to not see any humour in what she did?

Stephminx Thu 24-Oct-19 04:44:54

It wasn’t funny - you are correct. I do not see the joke either.

I’m in two minds about tipping here though in general.

The practice seems to have been adopted from USA (I travel there a lot) but the servers there are on less than minimum /living wage and have to make their living from tips. But boy do they work for it when compared to waiting staff here (bit of a generalisation I know but I’ve never had a bad server in the USA but frequently do here).

In the UK, there is a minimum wage, which is supposed to be enough to survive on (note the supposed). It’s not much though, and these employees are often young people starting out or those struggling to make ends meet. So I do generally tend to tip as I can afford to (unless service is bad).

I don’t really get why waitresses should get tips but other minimum wage jobs don’t though. Doesn’t seem fair.

VashtaNerada Thu 24-Oct-19 04:45:46

That’s horrible, I wouldn’t find that funny either.

PaulHollywoodsSexGut Thu 24-Oct-19 04:54:42

That was a twatty thing she did to you but here’s why I’ve voted YABU:

Some folk genuinely believe its better to leave 10% or nothing as leaving less makes you look like a tightwad in a way leaving nothing doesn’t. I know, I know it doesn’t make sense. £5/£58 is less than 10%.

Not everyone tips. Until i moved today London is never been familiar with tipping and I’m from Scotland so hardly a cultural backwater. It used to just not be a thing where I’m from.

Lastly, the thing I hate about leaving tips is you risk looking like the big “I am” if you’re throwing down 10% meaning the other person is left looking like a tightwad if they put down nothing, or they match your tip (through gritted teeth) and 20% is left; great for the server but not so great for friendships grin

If you’re in a situation like that again OP and the 10% can’t be paid equally in cash pay it on card. Avoids your friend doing “funny” shit like that again.

A dumb move on her part but one borne of social awkwardness I think, not malice.

PaulHollywoodsSexGut Thu 24-Oct-19 04:55:59

*until I moved to London

kalinkafoxtrot45 Thu 24-Oct-19 05:05:30

She’s a twat and in your shoes I would also be annoyed.

gingersausage Thu 24-Oct-19 05:06:31

I honestly don’t understand the point of your post. Is it just an incredibly long winded way to start a bunfight about the rights and wrongs of “why we tip waitresses but not checkout staff”? It’s been done countless times.

prawnsword Thu 24-Oct-19 05:13:41

Why did she think it was funny to take something from the wait staff that you gave them as a gesture of goodwill for their nice service ? It sounds like she has form for treating wait staff poorly. This is one of those red flags isn’t it ? Being shitty to waiters ? Because it indicates you have a big ego & think you’re above the person servicing you. I think she is a rude silly little cow

Teacher22 Thu 24-Oct-19 05:21:20

Your friend was being very rude to you and mean towards the waiting staff. There is not a scrap of humour in her ‘joke’.

That said, I am a bit torn about tipping. Now my means are less in retirement, factoring in another ten per cent on the bill is a deal breaker for me. I virtually never eat out now as it is too expensive.

But when I was younger and my mother was trying to keep my sister and myself on the wages of a waitress, her tips were crucial to her weekly wage.

Things have moved on from then and we now have a minimum wage, service charges often taken by the management, tips taxed and shared amongst the kitchen staff and all sorts of arrangements which are not clear to the paying customer who wants to reward good service.

FuriousVexation Thu 24-Oct-19 05:26:44

Wow. What a bitch.

I'd have been tempted to take the money back she offered you and return to the restaurant and speficially ask it be given to the person who served you.

I expect to tip cab drivers, waiting staff, hairdressers, physios and even if I'm skint as fuck I'll at least try to leave a token £1.

BlackCatSleeping Thu 24-Oct-19 05:28:48

She shouldn't have touched your money. That was wrong of her, but I guess because you told her your husband sometimes picks up your tip, she thought it would be funny. I'd just draw a line under what happened. If you want to tip, then tip. I don't think you need to make a big song and dance out of it. Just do so discretely.

Creepster Thu 24-Oct-19 05:33:54

Stealing from wait staff isn't funny.

Igmum Thu 24-Oct-19 05:34:34

She's appalling. This is stealing from the waiter/waitress who served you. Nothing funny about this at all. I always tip. If this happened to me I'd be tempted to walk back in and apologise on her behalf (probably wouldn't have the nerve though!)

happycamper11 Thu 24-Oct-19 05:35:51

Not funny, I'd be annoyed too as she's taken your money that you intended for a purpose however I don't share your attitude to tipping. Service charge is generally included in the uk. I actually believe you can request to have it taken off your bill, which if neber dream of doing bit I only leave extra money if service has been good/exceptional - the amount I leave will reflect the level of service not the bill amount. I'd not lose sleep if I had no cash and wasn't able though

OnlyTheTitOfTheIceberg Thu 24-Oct-19 05:36:40

Regardless of anyone’s views on tipping in general, YANBU because you’d already explained to her that tipping is a standard part of dining out for you and she deliberately did something you’d told her you find annoying when your DH does it. Why would someone go out of their way to wind up a friend like that? Of course it was going to piss you off because you’d already told her it did before she did it!

OatyGoaty Thu 24-Oct-19 05:57:53


Really? Why?

Happyspud Thu 24-Oct-19 06:03:01

Very rude of her.

I do feel like you’re mindlessly adamant about tipping. Do you know the background and reason? Have you made a considered decision to be a topper or did you just decide that you wouldn’t be one of ‘those people’ who don’t tip?

Andysbestadventure Thu 24-Oct-19 06:07:00

Almost a fiver is fine for a £50 something bill. But also tipping is totally mental. I give it for excellent, above and beyond 'waiting on' service but for every meal out? No. Staff should be paid proper wages. And 90% of the time they probably earn more than me. Why the hell should I tip them? I don't tip the woman on the till at Tesco, or the bus driver, and certainly no one tips in my job role. Should I send a cheque to the woman I spoke to on the phone for Virgin Media? Tipping was what happened when rich people were served by poor, poorly paid work staff. It is not 1920!

Honeypie19 Thu 24-Oct-19 06:16:33

Ive just had this discussion with an American friend who was over here for the first time, like a pp whenever i've visted the isa the service has been outstanding wherever i've gone - they're working for their tips which I get.

Over here we visited a restaurant - really nice steak place too, the waitress couldnt have been less bothered by us, barely spoke, slammed out food down whilst shouting to a colleague then at the end she comes over and asks would we mind filling in a questionnaire about the services she really wanted town the chance of a full day off which was the prize.

American friend remarked on her attitude and said something about her not making much money today and she was only getting a 10% tip - was trying to tell him that here 10% would still be seen as very good!

Your friend was rude but this subject of tipping in general I find weird. Just tip what you can - theres no wrong or right, ive been in a position where al ive had is £1.20, the service was amazing and I would have liked to tip more but just didnt have it so im of the variety where they should be grateful if there left something and it doesn't matter about the amount.

Ohffs66 Thu 24-Oct-19 06:17:51

That would have really annoyed me!! Do you think she was trying to prove a point? It's really not very nice, if she is against tipping in principle she could have not put any cash in herself and left you to put in whatever you want.

I always tip on the basis that waiters, waitresses, takeaway delivery people etc will often be on min wage and if everyone they served that day gave them even £1 that could make a real difference to what they take home in a week. If you can't afford to tip or the service was crap that's a different issue.

Went out for a friend's birthday once, there were about 12 of us, most of whom I didn't know. We were there for hours, wait staff were lovely, food and drinks were really good value. Got to the end and someone divvied up the bill to the penny "Sharon yours is £21.82" etc. I pointed out we should factor in a few quid extra each for a tip and was told "well if YOU want to tip carry on". Me and one other person were mortified and put in a tenner each as no-one else wanted to.

Your friend is a dick. Not because of not wanting to tip, that's her choice, but from preventing you from doing so via her 'joke'.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Thu 24-Oct-19 06:25:07

Not remotely funny, and regardless of either of your attitudes to tipping, she has basically indicated that she considers her attitude to be superior to yours and has overridden you to prove it.

Fucking rude to both you and the waiter.

MaybeitsMaybelline Thu 24-Oct-19 06:27:14

I don’t see the joke either and always tip. These days though I ask the waitress if they get their tips and then put the cash in their hand separately. You would be horrified how many independent places use it for the wages.

Mummyoflittledragon Thu 24-Oct-19 06:43:40

That was very rude of her. She agreed to pay for your meal then you subsidised it at the expense of waiting staff. However you should not have expected her to tip. She paid for the meal. You should have given the complete tip.

Oblomov19 Thu 24-Oct-19 06:45:14

I don't see the joke. Not funny.

Cam77 Thu 24-Oct-19 06:45:46

She acted like a dick but it’s hardly “stealing” as some have said. If A and B are at a table and A puts down a tip and B picks it up again, it’s not “stealing from the staff”. It may or may not be a dick move, depending on the circumstances, but it’s not stealing. It might be a case of B stealing from A (not the case here, as she tried to give it to you back).

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