My wife went out to dinner with her family Wednesday night. My father-in-law probably picked up the check because that's the kind of guy he is. I hope in this case he put a big zero on the tip line when that bill came.

My wife got there after her parents and brother and sister-in-law. But it didn't matter because the waitress had still never come around to take even drink orders. It was another 25 minutes before that happened. All she was going to take was a drink order but someone spoke up and pointed out they'd been there way over half an hour so they were more than ready to order everything. This vapid server didn't seem to take the hint that this was an unacceptably long wait and just dismissively said, "Yah, it's really busy."

My wife said no, it wasn't that it was busy. It's that the server was truly awful at her job. They waited another 20 minutes before the drinks even came. Then another 25 minutes before any food came. Total failure. She watched the way this waitress worked. When you're a server, you need to survey the dining area as you make your way through doing other tasks. You're supposed to look around to allow people to make eye contact with you if not actually looking to see who didn't get the food order you put in 40 minutes ago. She did none of this. My wife said it was almost as if she purposely avoided eye contact so as to not be bothered. The order probably was placed to the kitchen late. Also, this excuse we all hear about being "really busy"...doesn't a restaurant want it to be busy? Isn't that how they make money? She was simply pathetic at her job.

Just this week a story made news that Millennials tend to be the worst tippers. And older folks the best. I'm neither, but I've always been a decent tipper. I start at at least 20% for even average service. I've sometimes tipped 50% for great service if I can swing it. Only twice in my life have I stiffed a server. Once because they were so completely rude and sucked at their job, and once because the waitress when bringing me my change shorted me on purpose saying she was keeping the coins "towards her tip." A tip she never got.

I believe in tipping well, but I don't believe in being used. When the service is absolutely atrocious, it's perfectly acceptable to leave nothing.

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