Blogbath Erupts Between Seattle Republican Activist Stefan Sharkansky And Waitress

So up until a few seconds ago I had no idea who “Stefan Sharkansky” is, or that Seattle had any Republicans in it, but apparently they do and you don’t want to be a waitress pissing ‘em off by helping anonymously pen a partially facetious blog complaint that they let their child loudly run around the restaurant and then only tipping 10%…

UPDATE: In response to a storm of criticism, Sharkansky has posted a new rebuttal.

After probably getting a Google Alert that someone mentioned the Republican activist online, Sharkansky unearthed the waitress’s real identity, made repeated requests for her to delete her post, conducted opposition research, dredging up all sorts of personal information about the waitress, and posted it on his blog, then sent a relative down to the restaurant to get her fired, then tried to make trouble for her at her temp job with Amazon. Only after taking down her original post and making a public apology did the Sharkanskies stop their campaign.

Thanks to the magic of Google cache, you can still read her original post here.
And Sharkansky’s post, here.

Now, it’s probably not a good idea for a waitress to complain about a specific customer online. Then again, you don’t go to a restaurant to become the source of your waitress’s blog post. And there may be extenuating circumstances on either end that we don’t know about. Was the child really misbehaving? Did they actually undertip? Was the waitress just blowing off steam using a local celeb that blogging Seatllelites make a sport of taunting and baiting? Who knows. But posting the collection of personal and embarrassing information he found on his well-trafficked site was overblown, and there was a number of ways to seek resolution before going to the lengths he did, not the least of which include contacting the manager, hello?! Meanness begets meanness.

Eventually everyone took their blog posts down and went home to lick their wounds. Undoubtedly, the Sharkanskies are not longer regulars at the Fremont Classic Pizzeria & Trattoria, just like the waitress is no longer a waitress.

ORIGINAL POSTS:
Steffany Bell (nee Steffany Anne Hirte) [Sound Politics]
Sharkansky: Blogger, Cheapskate, Monkey father [Meet The Stress]

OTHER BLOGS THAT PICKED UP THE STORY:
End of story [Sound Politics]
Stefan Sharkansky has jumped the… nah, too obvious [Metroblogging Seattle]
Sharkansky: Shitty Tipper, Vindictive Jerk [The Stranger]

(Photo: SeattlePI)

Comments

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  1. Melov says:

    ron paul 08!

  2. mordie says:

    and politicians are meant to represent people?

  3. chili_dog says:

    “undertip”?? Give me a break, if the service by the wait staff in most places didn;t have such a bad attitude, trying to get laid while working or just plain pissed off they have to work there, 20-25% would be easy.

  4. crnk says:

    well, he acted like a douche, and then acted like a douche again.
    Everyone knows what they say….it looks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck, it must be a duck. I’d say calling him something offensive like a douche just isn’t fitting enough for how revolting his actions were…

  5. Lordstrom says:

    “Only” 10%. Way to encourage our increasing entitlement society.

    Why would 10% be good in 1984 but not now?

  6. skrom says:

    It shouldnt be a percent at all. If I order a hotdog or a lobster tail the waitress/waiter does the same amount of work. Why should I have to tip more just because I ordered a more expensive dish? It should be a tip based on the level of service I receive.

  7. hypnotik_jello says:

    @skrom: By your comments, you clearly haven’t worked in the service industry where the federal minimum wage for waitstaff is pegged at $2.13/hr

  8. haroldx says:

    Whenever the topic of tipping comes up, say on Chowhound, I’m dazzled by the invention of people trying to stiff a server — I didn’t have enough money; figuring the tip on the bill minus alcohol; the bill minus tax; etc. — when, ultimately, a couple of percentage points is usually less than a couple of dollars.

    Be a big man (or woman): tip 20% of the whole check, minimum. It’s easy to figure (take ten percent and double it), and your date will be impressed.

    And if you don’t like your meal…is that the server’s fault? Take it up with the manager, right there, where your complaint might effect some good.

  9. cde says:

    @hypnotik_jello: By your comments, you clearly have no idea how the minimum wage for waitstaff works.. The waitstaff is paid atleast 2.13 p/h from the resturant (more depending on the state) with the rest being a tip credit. If the waiter earns past both the federal and state minimum wage, then the resturant only pays the 2.13 or whatever per hour. But if their tips do not equal the minimum wage, the resturant pays the difference. So you earn 4 dollars in tips per hour, 2.13 minimum wage, yet your state minimum is 7.50? Then your paycheck has an extra 67 cents.

    Then you forget the states that make the minimum paycheck amount 5+ dollars per hour, and the other states that don’t allow tip credits. Either way, the waiters get paid atleast minimum wage with the ablility to earn alot more.

    Also, because of inflation and rising food prices being reflected in menus, 10% is still more then reasonable for a tip.

  10. hypnotik_jello says:

    @cde: I’ll keep tipping my 20-30% thanks. You’re free to tip your 10%. Agreed? To each his own, and may your food be free of spit.

  11. dbeahn says:

    @haroldx: “Be a big man (or woman): tip 20% of the whole check, minimum. It’s easy to figure (take ten percent and double it), and your date will be impressed.”

    I tend to agree with an earlier post – why is it if I get great service in a pizza joint where my total bill is $25 would I be tipping that waitperson LESS than if I got so-so service at a steak house where my bill was $125? Are you saying that the waitperson in the pizza shop DESERVES less because they work in a pizza joint?

    I’d love to hear what your justification for that “20 percent of the check” thinking is.

    Furthermore, I don’t care if my date is impressed by the amount of my tip. If you’re a gentleman and have class, you take and sign the check and add the tip without your date ever knowing what the total bill was. I prefer my date be impressed by my humor, personality, education etc etc. But hey, if you need to show her the check and point out how much you tipped…

  12. pine22 says:

    i was a waiter for a few summers back, and i always made at least $11 an hour after i got my cut of the tips. i got paid 3.75 an hour plus tips. going the extra mile, and being more friendly really can make a difference.

    most people would at least tip 15% which isnt all bad, but some people would be horribly cheap with tips and barely give 10%. if you are a chronic low tipper and you frequent a certain restaraunt, don’t expect great service.

    if you wanna complain go ahead, if your food sucks its not the waiters fault (we just bring it out), its the kitchens fault and rarely do they get penalized for it. tell management and dont take it out on waiters. but, if you are getting bad service then you may lower your tip.

    10-15% lunch
    20-30% dinner

  13. infinitysnake says:

    Someone’s getting spit bagel for the rest of his career…wouldn’t want to be that guy.

  14. haroldx says:

    As I said in my earlier post: people will go to an awful lot of trouble to justify being cheap.

    Twenty percent is a rule of thumb. I’d never tip less than $1.00, even when I’m just having a cup of coffee.

    I think you’re just being argumentative here; you can’t really believe what you’ve written. But for those who think you’re serious: that $125 steak is served in much nicer surroundings than the pizza, most likely, and a 20% tip is just $25 — not a big deal to such a big spender.

    Less in a pizza house (or Denny’s, or whatever — I don’t tip in takeout places) isn’t really fair. The person serving your pancakes and eggs may be working harder than the one serving that steak, but tipping more than the cost of the meal is more than anybody would expect.

    The bit about impressing a date was a joke (if you’re unfamiliar with the term, look it up); I tip the same whether or not I’m solo. I feel better being a bit generous; if you get off on stiffing the waitstaff, well, that just makes me look like the Second Coming.

  15. Consumer-X says:

    New Zealand is a great country. Great people, great food, great drinks and NO TIPPING!

  16. dantsea says:

    Wow. And to think it wasn’t very long ago that people were talking up Sharkansky as the great new hope of Western Washington Republicans. And now any time his name is brought up, this story is going to follow within minutes.

    Oh my.

  17. seanSF says:

    I like to tip. It is by no means an obligation or a means to avoid spit in my sandwich. It’s an appreciation for being served well and an acknowledgement that working food service is a bitch. 20% unless the service (not the food) was crappy; $5 minimum, no matter the bill, if I sit down and get table service.

    Being frugal and counting your pennies is something to be admired, especially in such an era of conspicuous consumption. But this is one place where spreading your extra couple dollars around a bit will bring back more than just good karma and hot soup.

    As for our Seattle Republican’s response: Yikes! (Though, to be fair, the waitress’ original posting was totally out of line.)

  18. FranktasticVoyage says:

    While this Sharkansky guy is clearly a d-bag of major proportions, it worries me that a waitress can just post this kind of “one-sided” view and “out” this guy like that. He’s a borderline “public figure”, but still… Although, I guess that’s the nature of the internet.

    And it bothers me further that “politics” are involved here. I doubt that the waitress would have done the “interview” had Sharkansky been a Democrat.

    End of the day, this guy clearly brought this to the forefront himself and is an idiot. The waitress is a little off kilter and kinda bitch-y.

    and yes, you should never tip less than 15%…

  19. Squeezer99 says:

    tipping is optional.

  20. EtherealStrife says:

    I tip based on the service I receive, and not on what society expects of me (aside from actually tipping 99% of the time). I’ve left a $5 tip for a $1.85 cup of soup, and I’ve left nothing on a $50 meal. If you’re going to be a pita with me while doing your JOB, don’t expect to get anything additional (except maybe a complaint to the manager).

    Sharkansky: Spare the rod spoil the child. Both children, in this case.

  21. bagelche says:

    It’s always amazing what the topic of tipping brings out in people. It’s also amazing what just being a customer in a restaurant brings out in people.

    I’ve worked as a waiter for over a decade and have dealt with plenty of customers, good and bad, and waitstaff, good and bad. There’s a great deal of presumption about what’s involved in waiting tables by folks who have never done it. It is hard, exhausting work (I say this as someone who also worked in construction simultaneously for 7 years). I see far too may customers who treat waitstaff as servants rather than servers. I think it would do people well to work in a restaurant for a few months.

    It’s true that the minimum wage for waitstaff is quite low, obviously varying state by state, but that is generally offset by the tips received. Waiting can be great money and I’ve worked in places it was, but often it’s a keep-your-head-above-water job whose pay is unpredictable and fairly arbitrary. Most tippers have already decided how much they’re going to tip independent of the service actually received and quite often what shifts a tip amount is based on personal preferences/proclivities/quirks of the customer that are unknown to the server.

    It’s also worth noting because of this pay structure that the government taxes a server on presumed tips so when someone like squeezer99 spouts off about “tipping is optional” they’re being a tool. If you don’t tip in a restaurant the server is literally paying for the pleasure of dealing with you. You don’t change federal tax policy by taking it out on your waitress.

    Regardless of the details of the specific numbers, much of being a good tipper is being a good customer, which generally means a person with manners and a bit of human empathy.

  22. miborovsky says:

    Most Republicans may be idiots, but it doesn’t mean that all Republicans are idiots. Likewise, this guy is a jerk, but it doesn’t mean all Republicans are jerks. I’m sure I can find a person who undertips, creates a mountain out of a molehill, and votes Democrat. But I won’t go as far as saying that all Democrats are jerks who undertip and blow things out of proportion.

  23. shades_of_blue says:

    If the service was lousy, or all she did was get his family a refill, 10% is perfectly fine. And I don’t see how his kid running around has anything to do with the tip, I’ve never heard of an ‘inconvenience tip’ before.

    What is not fine, are his actions against this women. She should have sued, for invasion of privacy. She did not threaten him in anyway, nor his family and he is not an officer of the law. So how is he allowed to do a ‘random’ background check on her? Sounds illegal to me, and grounds to sue.

  24. Ben Popken says:

    I always tip at least 15%.

  25. shoegazer says:

    This is why I am glad to live in a country where servers are paid a decent, realistic (if low) wage and not have this social minefield come up on a regular basis. Some restaurants in England will add a “discretionary” 10, 12.5 or 15% service charge. Unless the service was extremely bad I usually pay this and a little more extra in cash if the staff was nice.

    America, dear sweet land of entitlement, where going out for a meal can become a source of stress and lawsuits: you can take your 20% tips and shove them where the sun don’t shine.

  26. shoegazer says:

    on topic (not about tips, I promise): While I don’t condone what “The Shark” did by any means, and it’s only fair that any politicianbot be held accountable for their behavior in public, I wonder why *some* people seem to think it’s OK to slander their customers in a thinly veiled manner online? Do they think it won’t come back to them somehow? I enjoy the stuff on [www.waiterrant.net] as much as the next guy, but Ben’s point is valid – meanness begets meanness. You don’t get love/tips by giving snark. And my hunch is that the waitress in question probably gave 10%-tip service as opposed to 25%.

  27. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    Nice to see how many people know EXACTLY how tipping works and are so helpful to explain it to the rest of us. So you shitbags who tip exactly 10%, you are the ones looking for the cheapest ‘help the hungry’ grocery bags over the holidays, right?

    And Republicans are much like lawyers, it’s that bad 99% that gives the other 1% the bad name.

    This dweeb fuck who got her fired? Stick his nuts in a food processor and then put them on his next pizza.

  28. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    @shoegazer: So you think you should be able to go out in public and anonymously abuse people as you wish, but GOD FORBID they call you out on it??

    Anyhoo, it’s NOT SLANDER if it’s true. I wasn’t there, and you weren’t there to make THAT call.

  29. Jon Mason says:

    The problem with the whole “tip is up to you, but MOST people tip 20%” or whatever, is that over time, an ‘acceptable’ tip becomes more and more. I remember when 15% was the “suggested” amount, now some people on here are saying that is not enough and they “always” tip 20-30%. Well, either you go to places with some awesome wait stuff or you aren’t basing your tips on the service you receive. I will not be overly picky, but they will only get a good tip if they do the job they are supposed to: take my orders in a timely manner, bring me the food as I ordered it and be helpful if there is a problem.

    I will tip around 20% if the service was pretty good with no problems (if it was awesome I will go higher). If it was poor it will go down to 15, bad will get them 10%, if it’s been horrible they will get a derisory amount like a dollar and if they have been an ass they will get 0%.

    Probably 80-90% of the time I tip the full 20% and I have only tipped 0 once. We were in a restaurant just to have a drink and a dessert – our waitress introduced herself and said she’d be right back, we sat there for 20 minutes with no service. We eventually grabbed another guy who took our orders, the other waitress was surly and unapologetic when she returned, was sarcastic and unhelpful when trying to work out a problem with one of the drinks, and was slow and unfriendly all night. Her service did not add to my experience, and actually detracted from the evening, so I felt fully justified writing a big fat ZERO on her tip.

    The problem is, wait staff like this surely don’t realise they are being an ass and just think their customers are cheap – rather than that on some occasions, a low tip is a reflection of THEIR performance. For the people talking about low wages meaning you should ALWAYS tip, well, that’s because waiting staff’s pay is performance related. And if someone is going to serve me a $50-$100 meal with the same level of service I get in a McDonald’s they deserve to be making the same wages as McDonald’s staff.

  30. shades_of_blue says:

    EDIT: after viewing the original blog she posted, he sounds like a stingy prick. 10% all the time, well that’s…nice He should be lucky that the waitresses have not taken to spitting on his food or worse. Personally, I’d rub his steak dinner on the kitchen floor. No saliva traces. LMAO

  31. Snakeophelia says:

    Stephan always struck me as the decent, honest, and persistent sort back when I read him (a great deal in my blogging days, since he did cover the Washington State educational scene). Perhaps the persistence in him took over here. Good to know that the bloggers can do their research, but this is one research project I probably would not have bothered with.

  32. captainpicard says:

    i didn’t read this waitresses blog or other information that was listed online but it looked to me as all he did was a simple google search and find information about her. Where does it say that he did a background check and what not. When you put your private personal information online for everyone to see guess what, it is no longer private.

  33. dbeahn says:

    @haroldx: “Less in a pizza house (or Denny’s, or whatever — I don’t tip in takeout places) isn’t really fair.”

    So you agree then that using a percentage of the cost of the meal isn’t a good way to do it.

    So now explain to me why it would make me “cheap” to reward the server at the pizza joint with the same $10 tip I leave at the steak house? If both servers work equally hard, I spend about the same amount of time, etc. etc. According to you, if I leave a 45% tip in the pizza shop and a 8% tip at the steak house, I’m cheap. Why is that again, exactly?

    By your same logic, we should hire more women because we can pay them less to do the same jobs.

  34. mrmysterious says:

    The reason that the socially acceptable tip has went from 10% to 15% and now 18-20% is that the amount restaurants pay their wait staff has not went up. They pay them the same flat rate and raise their food prices and count on the customer to give the employees their cost of living adjustment.

    It’s complete and utter BS.

  35. Alpine75 says:

    Did you people read what she posted on her blog? Sorry, but this really is crossing the line.


    Meet the Stress: How old would you say their child is?

    Blogger/NW Restaurateur: 5 years old

    Meet the Stress: When we talked last, you described the scion of these two as “a problem”. Why is that?

    Blogger/NW Restaurateur: Quite simply, the kid is Damian from the Omen. Might as well be a monkey. The kid did everything except reach in his pants and throw feces on the wall.

  36. yellojkt says:

    At a fancy restaurant the waiter has fewer tables and slower turn-over. They also tend to be more professional and informative about the food. In bigger places the waiter also has to tip-out the cook, bus-boy and hostess. A low tip can cost a waiter money.

    I would prefer just adding 20% to everything and being done with it, but that’s not the way it works. Sure, be a big tipper and leave a fiver for a 10 dollar Denny’s breakfast, but don’t think your doing anyone a favor by tipping a ten for hundred dollar fancy dinner out.

  37. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    @hypnotik_jello:

    No doubt. Obviously someone has never watched the movie “Waiting”.

  38. nctrnlboy says:

    I tip based on service. Its JUST THAT SIMPLE folks! Mandatory tipping is BULLSHIT!

  39. scoobydoo says:

    I hate them both. Her for bitching about her tip AND posting about it in public.

    Him for being just another whiny republican with a blog and too much spare time.

  40. OT (not about tipping):

    It’s probably a bad idea to go after someone powerful, like a politician, by name if a) it’s easy for them to find out who you are and b) you work someplace where the management isn’t going to back you up when someone wants you fired.

    It’s probably a bad idea for a public figure, like a politician, to get someone fired for talking about them on the Internet. At best you end up looking like an ass who’s just sore someone had the gall to be honest about what you and your family are like. At worst you’ve provided excellent fodder for your competition about how you’re against working people.

  41. FlownOver says:

    Interesting – this Sharkansky character uses his position and influence to make life hell for a truth-telling working mom, and y’all want to argue about rationalizations for a small tip.

  42. synergy says:

    He may not have liked what she said, but doing a background check is on the crazy side. Plus, going after her kid which has nothing to do with the situation at hand is downright dirty, regardless of the history of the kid. And on top of that effecting her job at a totally different place that also has nothing to do with the situation at hand?! This guy is an asshole.

  43. burgundyyears says:

    @masonreloaded: What you said!

    @mrmysterious: Doesn’t the rising price of food automatically increase the nominal value of tips, even if the % does not change?

  44. Emmanuel Goldstein says:

    Hey Stefan Sharkansky, yo’re an under-tipping douche!

    If I ever meet anyone who knows you, I’ll tell ‘em your a bad parent…I bet several others on this board will do the same.

    Oh wait…we’ll all have forgotten your name in 5 minutes, and a more interesting republican douche will present themselves.

    You could always offer to blow a guy for $20–that might help.

  45. WV.Hillbilly says:

    It’s not like it’s skilled labor or anything.
    They’re lucky to get 15%

    With this bitch’s attitude, she should have been grateful to get 10%.

  46. davebg5 says:

    “I have serious issues regarding: men, children, relationships, food, sex, politics, religion, and authority.”

    Oh yeah, she sounds like a really stable person who would never exaggerate what really happened.

    Plus, you’ve just got to love the mother of a child who threatened to blow up his school then turning around and commenting on the parenting skills of others.

  47. Kwummy says:

    That’s some serious Internetting.

  48. Jon Parker says:

    @lorddave: I don’t know what you’re smoking, but a tip is not an “entitlement.” It’s payment for service received.

    I always start at 20%, with a minimum of $5. It goes up from there for exceptional service or if the waitress is super hot.

  49. bhall03 says:

    @BURGUNDYYEARS: yes, the rising cost of food will offset some of the pay differences between a 10% tip in the past and a 20% tip today.

    Didn’t read all the ancillary posts, but did see that the waitress initially said in the interview she only waited on him once. Then later, said “The first time I waited on them…”

    Looks like the pot calling the kettle black about childrearing.

    Couldn’t find anything where he did a background check but if he did that was wrong. However, if he just found out who she was based on what she posted, then I don’t see anything wrong with that. If you post on the internet, is it realistic to expect to always remain anonymous?

  50. bhall03 says:

    @JON PARKER: Yes it is payment for service rendered. BUT, if the service was bad, then the tip will reflect that.

  51. fluiddruid says:

    Tipping is (nearly) mandatory. If you’ve received terrible service – not just someone forgetting something, then correcting the mistake – you have the right to tip nothing. However, you should note that waitrons DO get paid less than the minimum wage, and DO get taxed based on what the government assumes they will be tipped, not based on actual tips.

    If you consistently stiff waitrons for little or no reason, the establishment will be forced to raise prices to raise the wages for their workers. That means you will no longer get the flexibility of tipping nothing, and custom will likely still dictate a tip nonetheless.

    Don’t be a fucking jerk. Tip your waitrons appropriately. They work damn hard.

    I’ve never been a waitress, but I just have some sense and human decency.

  52. @shades_of_blue:
    No, not an “inconvenience tip,” but they should have left their little monster at home if they haven’t taught him how to behave in a restaurant.

  53. enm4r says:

    @bhall03: Agreed. If he used the intertubes to find out who she was, based on her posts, awesome. Same way I could track you down, or someone could search my username in google…(I have never actually done that, but will after this post.) If he used his position to gather otherwise unobtainable information, that deserves to be investigated.

    And on tipping, flat percentage is ridiculous. A horrible waiter deserves a horrible tip. Someone mentioned above, and I typically do the same. Start at about 15-20 (depending on rounding, I like clean amounts on the cc bill) and it’s up to you to lose it. If I sit there for 20 minutes without a refill, or you say you’re say you’re coming back in a minute for the order and it’s really 15, you’re probably going to lose some. All within your control, so just do a decent job (I’m not even asking for exceptional) and you’ll get a nice tip. If not, then I have no sympathy.

  54. OKH says:

    Good to see the blame the victim people are in full force here. It’s good to see that this waitress was held accountable for her words. Mess with the bull, get the horns.

    Though I wonder if the victim’s name was Zúniga, would people so quick to blame him?

  55. Mr. Gunn says:

    WV.Hillbilly: “It’s not like it’s skilled labor or anything.”

    Your nick is appropriate. Try going to a restaurant that doesn’t have peanut shells on the floor just once and then come back to this conversation.

    Look, if you want good service, you should tip. If you don’t, not matter how convoluted your justifying logic is, you’re cheap.

    What smart foodies know is that cheapskates all like the same kind of places. The whole service industry knows what places these are, and their reputation. So no one who’s any good would ever work there, and no one who knows food would ever eat there. Those places justify the nasty attitudes of both the staff and the patrons, and that’s why the cheapskates here feel so justified.

  56. bohemian says:

    Nobody seemed to notice what was written as his parental behavior. If even half of it was true he needs to be publicly humiliated. The one thing that will irritate me to no end is out of control and ignored children in a restaurant. I have kids, controlling them is possible. If they are totally out of control one can always just leave.
    I have no patience for people who let their kids run around a restaurant.

  57. Mr. Gunn says:

    Oh, Yeah, and dbeahn: Your date will find out your cheap, no matter how much you try to hide it. Generosity is a state of mind.

  58. Paul D says:

    @lorddave: Seriously?

    Your homework: learn the definition of “inflation”

  59. junkmail says:

    Wow, this is funny. Because the guy’s a Republican, he’s automatically a “douche”, right? Love the Tolerant Left.

    While I know nothing about the story other than the info contained in the above blog posts, it looks to me like; A. the guy didn’t post a single bit of info that wasn’t public knowledge, (the waitress’ own blog posts), B. did NOT personally attack her child, in fact just repeated her own words, and C. did not defend or rebuke her comments about himself, rather her attacks on his wife and child.

    The waitress ADMITTED she was wrong (lied?), but still refused to remove the posts. As far as I’m concerned, the Shark was completely vindicated in doing what he did. I don’t think I would have left it at that.

    So to the folks that are seeing the word “Republican” and automatically grabbing the torches and pitchforks, try reading the story first, yeah?

  60. shoegazer says:

    @doctor_cos:

    So you think you should be able to go out in public and anonymously abuse people as you wish, but GOD FORBID they call you out on it??

    Did you miss my point entirely on purpose? Hell, I’m not averse to a little anonymous abuse myself, it’s what the Intarwebs are all a bout. I wouldn’t be dumb enough, however, to insult someone who is a regular customer at my place of work, is a politician (a Republican! which in your universe automatically seems to mean they’re evil, 99% of them), and bring their family into it too.

    You’re right, I wasn’t there, and neither were you, and yet somehow I doubt that someone who gleefully calls their customers’ kids “Damian from Omen” and “a monkey” deserves my sympathy.

    Blogger/NW Restaurateur: Quite simply, the kid is Damian from the Omen. Might as well be a monkey. The kid did everything except reach in his pants and throw feces on the wall. His parents just allowed it, which said to me:
    A.) Parents allow it all the time
    B.) Parents beat him all the time (except in public)

    WTF? Is that how Miss 20% treats all her regulars? Fuck her then.

  61. @bohemian: A couple of people mentioned it in the tipping argument.

    The restaurant should have thrown them out for causing a disturbance.

  62. OKH says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation:A couple of people mentioned it in the tipping argument.

    The restaurant should have thrown them out because we don’t agree with their political views.


    Fixed that for ya.

  63. Because the guy’s a Republican, he’s automatically a “douche”, right?
    a Republican! which in your universe automatically seems to mean they’re evil, 99% of them

    @junkmail, shoegazer: How does this have anything to do with him being Republican?

  64. gc3160thtuk says you got your humor in my sarcasm and you say you got your sarcasm in my humor says:

    From certain posts I have read by the waitress in another forum, she was pretty much forced into rescinding her words due to his attacks on others around her. I emailed him at like 4am and here was his response. I don’t think he has realized yet how huge this has gotten now :) I think I’m about to inform him. Hehe.

    My email to Sharkansky:
    I just want you to know I think you’re a troll for what you did to that waitress. OMG your a public figure, can’t you take some criticism? Apparently not because you made her have to quit her job, tried to sabotage her other job and dredged up all sorts of past info about her. I bet your proud of yourself. Loser.

    Julie A ******
    ***********, South Carolina USA

    His reply to me:
    Excuse me, but where did you hear these things that you’re accusing me and how do you know that they are true?

    My final reply to Sharkansky:
    Are you kidding? This is all over the internet across the whole US now. You might try issuing a public apology and salvaging what little respect the public has left for you? I’m just saying…

  65. @OKH: If by “fixed” you mean “changed it to fit my false assumptions” whatever.

  66. justelise says:

    I don’t really care about the whole tip conversation. I tip on the basis of the service I get. I was more interested in the part of the interview about the child’s bad behavior and the parents not doing anything to stop it. As I grow older it seems that parents have forgotten (or never learned) how to discipline their kids much less taught the kids any manners. This mother/wife tag team of lackluster parenting and general laziness should be lambasted publicly more often. The kid had his run of the place and neither parent tried anything to stop him from acting like an idiot. I don’t care if it’s a family restaurant or not, if you can’t control your kid you shouldn’t bring them to public eateries. This is why people cheer when we read stories about families getting ejected from planes by airlines and why we complain to the management of restaurants when we have to sit through a meal surrounded by kids running up and down the aisles and babies screaming as if to expel all the tidal air from their lungs. When did it become acceptable to let your kid act like a flying monkey in public?

    I am not in agreement of this waitress making assumptions about the kid being beaten. That was crossing the line. However, it is clear that discipline is a word the parents are not familiar with. Unfortunately the waitress lost any credibility by complaining of a tiny tip (which it is safe to say is the cause of her tirade). I think that if more people pointed out the bad behavior of their children to the kid’s parents, we might have to suffer through less of it in general. However, in this case any good that could’ve been done (educating the parents on how their child was perceived) was overshadowed by the bitterness of the waitress.

  67. alk509 says:

    @junkmail: You must’ve been reading a different story… This one is about a guy being called a douche for his behavior at a restaurant, not for his political affiliation.

  68. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    Oh my god, you’re all missing the point. This has little to do with the tips he left, and everything to do with the RIDICULOUS amount of vengeance this guy sought.

    I see no difference between this guy and a 5 yr old who’s mad that his sister stole his Spiderman action figure, so he goes and pisses in her closet all over her Barbies. None! He was immature and absolutely, shamefully, utterly ridiculous.

    Obviously he’s never heard of taking the high road.

  69. WilliamBlake says:

    Well that’s conservatives for you, crushing the workers at every opportunity. Aggressive to women, coward, bully and a shitty tipper. What a dreamboat. He’ll be Attorney General before you know it.

  70. Falconfire says:

    @shoegazer: I bet you she was a sweetie to them. My fiance constantly was a angel to people she waited on to get big tips while she went home and would rant and rave at how fucking stupid and evil the people she waited on where. she had a beeper THROWN AT HER HEAD being considerate to other people because a family missed their name AND the beeper going off and after 15 minutes the policy was you missed your spot. And guess who was supposed to be fired because of following that policy despite being assaulted?

    Even the nicest waiters and waitresses hate you if your a disgusting individual and in my experience from her years working at a restaurant (that thank god she will never have to do again) a good 60% of people who go out to eat should be shot dead at the table or castrated to prevent reproduction.

  71. enm4r says:

    I just went back and read both of the blog posts in entirety. They’re both acting like 5 year olds by seeing who can throw the bigger tantrum. Neither one of them is more “right” than the other, because they’re both acting (did act) like idiots.

  72. nequam says:

    @pinkbunnyslippers: Like father like son, it seems.

  73. superbmtsub says:

    What a naive Repuglican!

    That Sharkansky was asking for it. If you’re a regular at a restaurant, you want to make sure you leave with a good impression. Cooks will spit in your food if you treat the employees bad.

    I know it sux but that’s jus how things go.

    Another thing I’d like to add is if you can’t control your 5-year-old in public, don’t take him out to eat. Kids only learn through direct reciprocity which is why I don’t get why there are parents in this country wanting to treat their lil twirp like an adult.

    Go Steffany!

    PS: Funny. Stefan and Steffany.

  74. OKH says:

    You guys are right – the has NOTHING to do with politics. Apologies, really.

  75. Constantine says:

    The reason that the socially acceptable tip has went from 10% to 15%…

    Waitwaitwait.. when was 10% ever an acceptable tip? Even in 1984 (mentioned above) the standard was 15%.

  76. shades_of_blue says:

    @captainpicard: read this part:
    [quote]
    They did opp research, searched public records, got everything they could on her, like the trouble her kid got into; some profane old online rantings about boyfriends and husbands past, and posted everything on Sound Politics. They also found out she worked a 2nd job temping at Amazon.
    [/quote]

    IF he did not perform a background check, how did he find information about ‘the trouble her kid got into’? Your juvenile record is not part of your permanent record, so that would not be public information. The only way you would know that is to do a FULL background check. There’s no way in hell you’re going to Google someone’s juvenile record. His actions sound ILLEGAL to me. But what do I know, I’m not a lawyer.

  77. itsgene says:

    Gosh… a Republican activist who uses tactics of personal destruction to batter and take down someone who is exponentially less powerful than him… who hoards his money and shrugs when confronted with the realities of sub-minimum wage workers… whose child is a spoiled brat with no training in manners or acceptable public behavior…

    Who’d have believed it?

    The blame doesn’t lie only at his feet. People are jerks, plain and simple. And when one works in such a service position one sees the parade of asses all day, every day. It can certainly build up, but one has to learn to let it slide off or get buried. Complian and comiserate with co-workers and friends; but the unique new 21st century phenomenon of posting public excoriations of private people has got to stop soon.

  78. ogman says:

    Sharkansky’s nothing more than a bad joke now. He has been shown to be a cheap, whiny, bullying idiot. Taking him seriously is now about as smart as boarding your dog at Michael Vick’s kennel. Come to think of it, they have about the same moral character.

  79. samurailynn says:

    The stuff he wrote about her on his blog doesn’t sound all that defamatory. I mean, who wouldn’t be frustrated about their kid saying he wanted to blow up the school? So what if she cussed while letting off steam. And she had an abusive husband so she was filing for divorce? Good for her!

    Oh, and I can pretty much tell you that every single waiter and waitress out there complains about the customers at some point. Seriously, none of this was all that bad.

  80. JustAGuy2 says:

    @Paul D:

    Really? Your homework is to learn the about percentages. Unless restaurant checks have risen more slowly than the CPI, of course.

  81. vladthepaler says:

    I don’t think that the point of a tip is to compensate for badly behaved children. Rather, it’s meant to be a reward for good service. It’s entirely possible that the service he received only merited, in his mind, a 10% tip. It is not the customer’s obligation to tip.

  82. mrjimbo19 says:

    The fact that he is a political figure means he should be used to comments being made about his every move, it seems to come with the limelight he paints himself in of being in the “elite”. I can understand him being upset about his child being bashed but when you let your kid run free it seems to be you open yourself up to being judged by everyone.

    He just went way overboard when he sent family to the resturant to have her fired then attempted to have her removed from her second job. The articles may be painting her the victim and him the bad guy but anyone who goes that out of their way to hurt someone with a family is a vidictive )*@#$@+ and needs to be put in place.

  83. snowbored says:

    I thought this was a consumer protection site? Wouldn’t that mean, you know, speaking out for people not being abused by employees of, say restaurants? Seriously, it’s on thing to talk trash about your customers to yourselves, but to publish it online? It’s the difference between, say, writing an email ripping on someone, and, oh, accidentally sending that email out to become public, like a certain airline employee did. I seem to recall the consumerist thought that that was a bad thing? Is it because of the politics that you are now agnostic on someone publishing that they think a customers child is one step short of a monkey slinging crap being a bad thing?

  84. markwm says:

    I have a couple of questions regarding tips, for those saying they’re ‘practically mandatory’ or that wait-staff are taxed on ‘expected tips’.
    I know we’ve gone ’round and ’round with this topic in another thread, but, how can it be mandatory when it’s supposed to be a reflection of my opinion of the service I received? If the service was extremely poor, I will complain to management and leave no tip. To leave a tip because it’s mandatory or practically mandatory would be counterproductive to the complaint.
    As to the discussion about what the appropriate minimum tip is, if a waiter is truly taxed on the ‘expected tip’, as has been stated, I should think that the appropriate minimum tip would be the percentage that the IRS uses to figure the ‘expected tip.’ Ie., if they tax at an expectation of 8% tip per ticket, then 8% should be a reasonable minimum tip for standard service.

  85. Buran says:

    @Jon Parker: A tip is a thank you for a job well done. It is not payment (that’s the employer’s job) nor is it obligatory.

    If the waitress got a tip that was less than she thought it was, why do we assume that it’s his fault and not hers? We weren’t there. We don’t know the circumstances. We should shut up and not be judgmental. Maybe the service was subpar. Maybe it was’t. We don’t know that.

  86. Buran says:

    @vladthepaler: Thank you. Your comment was short, concise, and got it right. Wish more people would realize that it’s not our obligation to pay the staff but to encourage them for doing a good job. I tip. If it’s deserved. Usually it is. If it’s not, I don’t. And I’m sure some “blame the victim” moron will come along and tell me that it’s my own fault.

  87. Sasquatch says:

    Having waited tables for 4 years, I’ll chime in here. Standard tip, if you’re a decent human being with an ounce or two of empathy for working people, is 20%. If someone gives sub-par service, 10-15% is about right. If someone gives god-awful, rude service, I don’t see the problem with not tipping at all. I’ve done it, and nothing will make a waiter realize the error of their ways faster than being tipped nothing, or almost nothing. Whenever I received a sub-par tip, I was man enough to admit that it was probably my fault (or the customer was European). It just made me work that much harder on the next table.

    At my last waiting job (it better be my last, anyway), we had to tip out 5% to our bartender and 2% to our bussers and food runners. That means if someone tips me 10%, I get about 2% of that. If someone didn’t tip me, I actually lost money.

    I’m not saying you should always tip 20% regardless of service. But if someone does their job, tip them accordingly. If you bring your hellish children with you, and they trash the place, tip 30%, because that waiter/waitress is going to lose time and tables while they’re cleaning up after your demon-spawn. The $2.63 an hour that waiters make (in Massachusetts, anyway) doesn’t really cover that.

    And remember, good tipping is good karma.

    And by the way, Squeezer99, tipping is not optional. It’s the way that people who bring you food you’re too lazy to make yourself can afford to eat and have a roof over their heads. I hope you end up in a job where the decency of strangers determines your income someday.

  88. Phuturephunk says:

    I tip alot. I mean, I obscenely tip. I’ve been known to double down on the bill if the service was good enough and I’m having a good week.

    This guy sounds like a total jerkoff.

  89. DearEditor says:

    After six months of regular visits to a popular late-night resto near home, tipping 20%, I would find myself pulled out of the waiting queue and shown to my table as my drink arrived. Results may vary, but you can buy better service as a regular.

    Just tip 20%; it’ll make a stranger happy, or a friend friendlier.

  90. Notsewfast says:

    @JustAGuy2:

    Here is how it works, it is a little confusing if you don’t really think about it…

    In the 70’s 2.13/hr constituted about the same amount as the federal minimum wage, so any tips in excess of thata base wage could be totally performance based. However, since the minimum wage for wait staff has not risen, it takes an incresing percentage of a meal to cover the spread between that minimum wage and a livible one.

    So lets use 1984 as an example. In ’84 the federal minimum wage was $3.35. The difference needed to bring the server’s wages up the the minimum is $1.22 per hour. The problem that arises is that something that used to be performance based is now built in and “expected” because the waiter’s wages are lower.

    Fast Forward to today, where we are closing a $5 gap per hour, and you can see that my 10% tip on a 30$ meal only covers part of that gap, whereas in the 80’s that tip on the same meal (approx. $15) covered the entire gap.

    This is not to say that waiter’s don’t exceed these wages, and obviously they have more than one table per hour, but even before taking taxes into account, you can see how the gap has widened, and the rise in food costs don’t totally help cover cost of living increases.

  91. Lordstrom says:

    @ereusch: You did not “lose” money, you were still paid. When you people spew garbage like that it kills your credibility.

    “I lost money”, I mean really, just stop it.

  92. chalicechick says:

    FWIW, my grandmother was one of those old people who hates waiters and waitresses for no apparent reason.

    She would scream and yell at them for the slightest infraction, like not warming her plate.

    But sometimes, you want to take an old lady out to dinner with her family.

    Thus, the inconvience tip. Between 30 at 50 percent, depending on how much of a scene she made and whether she actually threw anything.

    Why wouldn’t the parent of an unruly child do the same thing?

  93. Buran says:

    @Paul D: Yours: Review hiw percentages work.

  94. Sasquatch says:

    @lorddave: It’s actually the truth.

    Example: Your bill was $50.00

    You don’t tip. I still have to pay my bartender $2.50 and my busser $1. That means $3.50 of the crap pay I made for that day now is now gone. The $2.63 an hour that waiters make goes almost primarily to their taxes. Most of my actual paychecks were in the range of $0.30, and i was working 40-50 hour weeks.

    You’ve obviously never waited tables or known anyone that did. I’d say you should do your homework before you post here and come off like a jerk-off, but coming off like a jerk-off is obviously not a huge concern of yours.

  95. This one is about a guy being called a douche for his behavior at a restaurant, not for his political affiliation.

    Yeah. I think the republicans on this thread are getting a little jumpy. No one said anything in the post about his political affiliation being the reason he was singled out – the Republicans on this thread just took it into their own heads to get offended about it.

    I guess if you’ve been defending D-bags for long enough, it gets to be habit.

  96. chalicechick says:

    @lorddave: If he has to pay the bartender 5 percent of the bill and he doesn’t get tipped, how is he not losing money?

  97. FrumpyinFremont says:

    First time commenting, but as a long time reader of Stefan Sharkansky’s so-called blog, I can confirm that he often acts like an unmitigated, uninformed, aggressive, and petty ass. This ‘stunt’ of his only goes to show how incapable he is of hitting any note other than personal outrage when discussing local Seattle politics and how his mountain-out-of-molehills antics have made him a laughing stock in Washington State. He should be taken to court for what he did to that waitress. Of course, if found guilty, he would just blame the ruling on liberal activist judges and claim that the system is discriminating against him.

  98. randombob says:

    I’m all but married to a waitress, and YES, they DO get tipped on “presumed” tipping, so essentially their wages are DEPENDENT upon tips (otherwise they make paltry salary). The problem is compounded when you tip crappy on credit card tips, as well.

    How crappy are you that you’re going to force the wait staff to PAY TAXES on a tip you didn’t even leave? BAGELCHE is right about this one.

    Funny my last blog post was along similar lines

    [www.randombob.net]

  99. markwm says:

    @CaliforniaCajun: Actually, I think it’s posts such as Doctor_Cos’ (“And Republicans are much like lawyers, it’s that bad 99% that gives the other 1% the bad name.”) and others who hone in on him being ‘Repuglican’ or conservative who are making them feel this is political.
    Add to that that the original, deleted, post contained the lead: “Stefan Sharkansky – Greenlake conservative (island on an island), Rossi sycophant, and NW Blogger extraordinaire – evokes many a reaction in this neck of the woods. Far removed from his EWA brethren, he lashes out in the midst of enemy territory, hoping to gain a foot-hold – or a city council seat?” before going into what is supposed to just be an interview about a bad tipper.

    As far as those who say waiters live off tips because they are paid so poorly, the restaurant is still required to pay them the Federal minimum wage or state minimum wage, whichever is higher, if their exempt minimum wage and tips do not total this.

  100. Lordstrom says:

    @ereusch: Knock it off. As others have explained, the restaurant is obliged to cover whatever tips don’t make up. Otherwise I would hope you wouldn’t be stupid enough to work at a place where you lose money. Your post is very misleading and it’s incredibly dishonest to fool people into tipping more based on a false sympathy premise.

  101. chalicechick says:

    @lorddave: The “restaurant makes the money up if you don’t get minimum wage” point isn’t relevant as I don’t think ereusch meant that one table that doesn’t tip would mean he lost money for the whole night.

    What he meant was that it would cost him a few dollars to wait on the table because he has to pay the bartender and the busboy whether he gets tipped or not. Now that money would be made up for by the money he got from other tables, but that one table could still be a loss.

  102. WV.Hillbilly says:

    @Mr. Gunn:
    I stand by everything I said.

    BTW: Stereotype much?
    Do you think you’d comment to someone that had a black sounding name,”Try going to a restaurant that doesn’t have watermelon rinds on the floor just once and then come back to this conversation”?

    I don’t think so.
    Bigot.

  103. Sasquatch says:

    @lorddave: If only it were that easy. Restaurants don’t care about living up to these regulations because they don’t have to. Unhappy with your pay? You’re fired. You’ll be replaced within minutes. You think a waiter has the time, money and inclination to sue over this while they’re trying to find a new job that requires them to live hand-to-mouth? I’m not trying to illicit sympathy. I’m just trying to outline the facts so people’s decisions to tip or not to tip are a little more informed than the selfish, ill-informed rantings of an indecent neanderthal like yourself.

    It’s obvious you’ve never waited tables. I have. I know the situation, while you’re just trying to come up with another rationalization for being a cheap d-bag.

  104. Lordstrom says:

    @chalicechick: Not getting as much money as he wants =! losing money.

  105. XopherMV says:

    Local celeb? I live in Seattle and this is the first time I’ve heard of this guy. The only bloggers who come close to being celebrities up here are the guys who run Penny Arcade. Even then, most people don’t know who those guys are. This Sharkansky guy is NOT a celebrity.

  106. Lordstrom says:

    @ereusch: So it’s not sympathy you’re going for, it’s sheer guilt. Yeah, that really makes me want to tip more now.

    When you quit insulting tippers and spreading misleading information, then people will take you seriously. But for now, all you’re doing is throwing a temper tantrum at not being paid enough.

  107. Kurtz says:

    @Consumer-X: There’s no tipping in NZ because food is so expensive there (around US$15 is the norm for fish & chips or something similar). If Kiwis were expected to tip they would probably never go out to eat.

  108. Lordstrom says:

    @ereusch: While I’m at it, let me ask you this. Since 10% isn’t good enough anymore, what is the barrier? Will we have to tip 30% regularly at some point? 50%? 70%?

    Please, enlighten us as to what decent people are obligated to pay for the rest of our years, on top of the menu prices. I need to budget accordingly for waiter welfare.

  109. infinitysnake says:

    @dbeahn: Your logic is poor. One does not tip in takeout houses because a) they get paid a full wage, and b)they are not expected to pay taxes on tips. Not to mention c) there is no personal service, just a simple transaction.

  110. infinitysnake says:

    @lorddave: Whatever the IRS makes them pay taxes on. it’s quite simple, really.

  111. gc3160thtuk says you got your humor in my sarcasm and you say you got your sarcasm in my humor says:

    or LORDDAVE you could do all the waiters and waitresses a favor and eat at home. I’m sure they won’t miss your pissant tip and your nasty attitude about tipping :)

  112. Lordstrom says:

    @thegcinfo: I normally tip 20%, so shove it :)

  113. bbbici says:

    Yes, people who work in expensive restaurants deserve to earn more than people ringing up your Big Macs.

    High-end servers need to develop wine/liquor and food knowledge, maintain hygiene and physical appearance, maintain clothing, and provide smiley competent service under sometimes extreme pressure.

    Waiting is a career for many people. Compare the quality of service and food at a restaurant with high employee turnover versus one with career employees.

    Is it fair that in society we only tip certain professions? No.

    Is it the workers’ fault that it has ended up that way? No.

    So just tip and factor it into the price of your meal, or stay home or eat at McDicks. Too bad.

  114. Sasquatch says:

    @lorddave: “Waiter welfare”?

    Please. If the restaurants included the tip in the bill, you’d probably whine about that too. Why don’t you go one step further from THECGINFO’s suggestion and just not leave the house. And make sure to tip your delivery driver. Wait, you wouldn’t want to participate in “Delivery Driver Welfare” either, I bet.

    Just admit it, all of this is just a rationalization from you to get away with tipping less without feeling like a miser about it. You have no amount of sympathy for people who have to work a crap job to make ends meet (which is better than getting on welfare, wouldn’t you agree), and literally have to depend on other people’s decency and generosity to get by. Do the world a favor and eat at home if you can’t handle the ever-so-laborious task of forking out an extra few dollars to make sure someone can eat, or go to school, or have a home while they’re doing the humiliating and self-debasing work of kissing your a** while bringing you your meal. Why don’t you try thinking about someone else for a change?

  115. Lordstrom says:

    @ereusch: Sounds like you don’t have much respect for waiters. Wow.

  116. Sasquatch says:

    @lorddave: I did it for four years. It can be good work, but it can also be pretty debasing. Especially when we have to deal with clowns like you.

  117. Lordstrom says:

    @ereusch: Clowns like me that tip 20%? Thank god no more customers have to deal with your angry pompous attitude. I wouldn’t be surprised if you were fired with that attitude.

  118. chalicechick says:

    @lorddave:

    OK, let’s try putting this in another profession.

    I am a paralegal.

    I spend half of Thursday putting together documents for client A. I spend the other half doing research for client B.

    Let’s say my firm charges each client $400 apeice for my work on Thursday and pays me $100. (A rough reflection of reality.)

    And let’s say it costs the firm $200 to pay rent for my office space, pay the partners their cut for recruiting the clients in the first place, and other daily overhead. (That number was totally made up.)

    Normally, the firm clears $500 for Thursday, yes?

    But let’s say client A skips the country and never pays his bill.

    They make only client B’s $400. But they still have to pay me for a full day’s work ($100) and they still have to pay the other overhead ($200).

    So they made $100 for the day.

    But they lost $150 on client A.

    So yeah, if you don’t tip the waiter, and the waiter is required to tip the busboy and the bartender, the waiter might not lose money for the night, but he loses money on you.

  119. markwm says:

    @chalicechick:
    Your analogy is flawed. Client A entered into an agreement, either written or verbal, that if your company provides its service, he will give you X dollars. When he jumps ship, he has broken that agreement.
    When a person goes to a restaurant, they enter into a verbal agreement with the establishment to pay X dollars for the food and beverages consumed. If I choose to tip the waiter or waitress, it is because I feel they deserve it, in addition to whatever their agreement is with the establishment for money in exchange for their service. Their agreement with the establishment as an employee, and my agreement with the establishment as a customer, are not related. They merely overlap in terms that their agreement is to serve me, the customer, on behalf of the establishment.
    Just as in the last thread that came up about this, no one is saying “I never tip” or “tipping is wrong.” Our argument is now, and has always been, tipping is voluntary and a reward for good service. It should not be expected as a mandatory compensation merely because you served the customer. If you served the customer poorly, then there will be no tip.

  120. Sasquatch says:

    @lorddave: I was actually a model employee, doing a lot of part-time management work for my bosses, whom I respected and who respected me. This “attitude” you seem to think I have is in reaction to some moron (you) who gives inaccurate information to the people who are still on the fence about the whole tipping issue. I left the job when something better finally came along, which is what most non-career waiters do. I respect the people who have chosen to do it as their profession. It was just never the job for me.

    But again, I’ve done this job, while you haven’t, which is the point you seem to be repeatedly forgetting. I post as someone who has had to feel the sting of being tipped badly while having to suck it up and put a smile on my face. You post as a pompous, greddy jerk-off who doesn’t understand anyone’s plight but his own.

  121. killavanilla says:

    Sweet lord!
    Why is it that any time ANY post contains ANYTHING remotely having to do with a waitress/waiter/tipped employee MUST this silly debate over tipping rage?
    Explain it to me.
    Because this isn’t a story about tipping, it is a story about defamation on a blog by a woman who stepped over the lines and got smacked around over it.
    So please, save you stupid tip comments for somewhere else.
    It is the SAME PEOPLE who raged the great tipping flame wars of 07 here on the consumerist what, a week ago?
    Jeebus.
    Seriously.
    STFU. No one cares what you tip or why. No one is interested in the way you perceive the industry. No one will take your views into consideration next time they go out to eat. They will either tip or not. Some will tip well for bad service and some will tip poorly for awesome service. This is neither the place nor the time to discuss you personal views on the matter.
    Furthermore, this conversation always boils down to exactly this:
    1) People who used to be in the service industry always tip better and ‘get it’
    2) People who have never been in the industry like to interpret what they thing waiters think about tips. (see ‘entitlement theory’)
    3) Some people wrongly argue that because restaurant employers are obliged to bring up the wages of servers to minimum wage, they don’t have to tip or can tip poorly regardless of service.
    4) no one learns anything or even comes close to changing their minds.
    So please, stop the mental masturbation over tips. Some don’t tip because their omnipotence allows them to judge others as thinking they are ‘owed’ a tip. Some tip because they want to and others because they don’t.
    Enough already. This is so incredibly stupid.
    Back on topic – I’m glad this guy called this girl out. She went beyond the pale by mentioning him by name and making defamatory statements about the individual.

  122. silverlining says:

    @dbeahn: I figure that even the best-compensated executive would probably break a sweat doing the job that hospitality workers do. I couldn’t do it. Hence, the tip.

    If you don’t like tipping, make your own damned sandwich.

  123. killavanilla says:

    @Kurtz:
    Not to add to the *ahem* off topic ‘debate’, but this is not unusual or unique to NZ. It happens in Ireland and a slew of other countries.
    The difference is that in those countries, workers are paid a much higher wage.
    That’s why it costs $15 for fish and chips where the same meal is under $10 in the US. The difference is that the restaurant adds money to the cost to pay the waiters salary, which is pretty decent.
    It is certainly a reasonable system too. However, doing so in America would bring the worst out of us. There are SOME restaurants who include the gratuity as part of every check and many many more who add 16-18% gratuity to parties over 6. As a former GM of a restaurant (or three), I can tell you that this causes two distinct problems:
    1) Some people object to the tip being added because they don’t like to tip or feel that it is unfair. Every single time I took the tip off of one of these checks, no additional tip was left for the waiter (or, sometimes, they left a few dollars on hundreds).
    or
    2) People who WOULD have tipped more, don’t.
    So I stopped removing it from checks altogether.

  124. Tzepish says:

    Don’t have the time to read the whole thread, but just wanted to mention that servers can and do lose money on tables that don’t tip enough, since they have to tip out their bussers and bartenders and such. I’ve had roommates and friends who’ve worked at restaurants and this is quite standard practice. A friend of mine lost his entire hourly wage for the day on one table. He still made money for the day on tips, of course (which is more than 50% of his income), but it was crappy money for the day.

  125. markwm says:

    @killavanilla:
    While we don’t agree on the tipping thing (but I think I got you to at least see my side of it last time, and I do understand yours), I do whole-heartedly agree about him calling her on this.
    I really wish the Consumerist would have first posted a generic write-up about this, something along the lines of “Waitress berates customer by name in an online interview, patron retaliates by posting tidbits from waitress’ blog which are less than flattering.” then give a synopsis of her side, a synopsis of his side, then the big reveal in a follow-up story.
    I think this would’ve allowed us to if more people take his side. As soon as they put the political affiliation of the consumer out there, I think a lot of blinders went on. I also think they could’ve helped fend off some of the tip controversy had they not put it under the head ing of “Bad Tippers”.

  126. Amelie says:

    Silly me, I thought the comments on this post just might be about the subject at hand instead of the dead-horse tipping debate that comes up every time the word “waitress” or “waiter” is mentioned.

  127. cde says:

    @bagelche: Show us where the IRS taxes on presumed tips, because I can’t find it.

    First, this is why waiters and restaurants are required to keep accurate records of tips. Second, this is why any place where tips are pooled, in conjunction with the first thing, have to make sure the waiter keeps 80% of the tip they received, then they are taxed on just that. Third, tip credit works so if you didn’t get that tip, the restaurant pays the difference to minimum wage and you pay the taxes on minimum wage.

  128. killavanilla says:

    @markwm:
    Totally agree with you on that.
    It seems like people tend to be very polarized when it comes to politics and refuse to go beyond that sometimes.
    I guarantee that some people saw this guy was a conservative and decided at that moment he was a dick.
    Which is sad, because in this situation he was justified, albeit admittedly over-the-top.
    And look kids, here is an example of two people who disagree, but can still be civil towards each other!
    It’s a crazy grown up world out there!
    The consumerist has it’s moments of greatness – this isn’t one of them as I see it. It has a limited relation to ‘consumers’ and is more an example of the employee being a putz. And it is definitely not about ‘bad tippers’, but I can only assume that this is what happens when the consumerist doesn’t tag properly.
    This story isn’t about ‘bad tippers’, but rather about crappy people slandering others on a blog.
    Good on ya, markwm….. Enjoy your day.

  129. theodicey says:

    Now that he’s been publicly shamed after getting service in a restaurant, I can understand why Republican blogger Sharkansky is overreacting– he’s worried he’ll be shamed after getting service…in a public bathroom.

    /rimshot

  130. killavanilla says:

    @theodicey:
    Couldn’t resist, could you?
    Okay, then I’ll tell my favorite joke about liberals and we can be even.
    Sound fair?
    What is the difference between a liberal and a puppy?
    A puppy stops whining after it grows up.

  131. Youthier says:

    Everyone involved in this story is a douche, on varying levels.

  132. markwm says:

    @killavanilla:
    Heh, I actually think there’s just as much we’d agree on as we disagree on. We just seem to only comment on the same threads when we are on opposing sides. But I will say, you do a pretty good job of actually discussing the topic at hand (or the off-topic topic)without getting personal about it. I wish there were more posters, on both sides of the stories, like that.

  133. Xkeeper says:

    @lorddave: I think the idea is that you not tipping actually lowers the overall gain, instead of just adding nothing. In short, if this person had a $5 sirplus, your little non-tip stunt would lower it down to $1.50.

    Basically, you would need to tip $3.50 for this person to “break even” and gain nothing.

    So while, yes, the overall gain in the end doesn’t matter if it goes below a certain threshold, you’re punishing above-and-beyond tipping $0.

    (But that could be blamed on a crappy system with forced staff tipping based on bill percent and not tip percent)

  134. protest says:

    @CDE, i’ve worked at 6 restaurants/bars in the past 5 years (college), and i have never, EVER been compensated to the minimum wage ($6.50 at the time) by the restaurant if my tips didn’t bring my hourly up to par. i’ve also never met a waitress/bartender who has. most restaurant owners don’t even want to know how much you’ve made in tips at the end of the night because then you don’t have to pay taxes on it.

    bottom line on this stefen douche: you’re a politician who probably makes a decent living, and you went out of your way to get a single mother fired from her low paying waitress job, and then tried to get her in trouble at her new job after you left her a shitty tip for basically babysitting your out of control kid (something i have also been forced to do by asshole customers). f*ck you!*

    *i will be sending this to the douche in question.

  135. Xkeeper says:

    @markwm: I’d also like to note that I fail to understand how getting this person fired from one job, trying to get her fired from another, unrelated job, and then acting like this is at all acceptable.

  136. markwm says:

    @Xkeeper:

    Sorry, I got so wrapped up in the tangential conversation that I forgot to speak my thoughts on that part. I think that going after her second job was excessive on his part, but I can understand his frustration at her, and wanting/getting her fired from the job that caused all of this.
    She had no right to run and give an interview about him as she did, and for that she should have been fired. In other industries, such as banking, she would have been fired as soon as her supervisor found out she had done it.
    It does not matter if he is a ‘local celebrity’ or not. The fact of the matter is she said some things that were pretty offensive toward him, basically saying he has either no parental control or he beats his child in private, etc.
    As an employee of the establishment, she represents it when she speaks about happenings at the establishment. This means that, whether she likes the guy or not, whether she thinks he’s the worst father on the planet, whatever, she should have just bit her tongue and moved on. Or given the story in such a way as to not identify him. She said elsewhere the restaurant seems a haven to single-child families using it as daycare. Tell your tale of woe without singling him out.

  137. Trick says:

    @hypnotik_jello:

    @cde: I’ll keep tipping my 20-30% thanks. You’re free to tip your 10%. Agreed? To each his own, and may your food be free of spit.

    And that is why so many people laugh at the crybabies serving food. You all show up demadning to be paid $75 and hour and 95% tips for just showing up. And if you don’t get it, well maybe we’ll mess with your food then… Who knows, huh?

    Wink. Wink.

    If you don’t like the pay you receive for bringing out some water and asking if you want a piece of pie with that turkey-mash combo, look elsewhere. I’m sure with your aspiring talents, Tom Cruise will make you his next sidekick or Bill Gates will hand over Microsoft to ya…

  138. killavanilla says:

    @protest:
    Um. He isn’t a politician, waitress jobs aren’t necessarily low paying, and he got her in trouble for slandering him.
    See, certain laws are in place to prevent defamation. For instance, lets say your real name is Bob Smith. I can’t go on-line, display a photo of you, and say that Bob Smith likes to have sex with goats. That is defamatory. It can have a negative impact on your reputation, your career, etc. So that’s why he made an issue over it.
    Remember something – we got HER side of the story. I actually went out of my way to get HIS side of the story. Did you?
    Or are you one of those people who assumed he was wrong because:
    1) You like to side with ‘the little guy’
    and/or
    2) You don’t like people who identify as conservatives?
    Settle down, protest. Sending this to him will only illustrate that:
    a) you don’t know what you are talking about
    b) you didn’t read the story
    c) you only care about one side of the story, and it isn’t his.
    However, I do agree that he may have gone too far with it. In his defense (and again, I actually read his story), she admitted that what she had done was wrong but refused to remove the defamatory story OR his name and photo. So it would seem that she brought this upon herself.

  139. andrewsmash says:

    I always find it interesting that the only people who seem to understand tipping are those who have worked for tips. As for the blogger’s expectation of privacy – he blogs under his real name, so that makes him a public figure. As a public figure, he is therefore a fair target for satire. Kind of like that lady in Texas who tried to drown her son, but no matter how long she held him under water, he just wouldn’t die. What was her name? Oh, yeah, Barbara Bush. See, since she is a public figure, that isn’t defamatory – it’s satire. (unless the majority of reasonable people believe it to be true.)

  140. markwm says:

    @andrewsmash:
    That’s just it, while your supposed satire (which, that’s not satire) is obviously untrue, her comments were in such a way that a reasonable person could accept them as true.
    And regardless of whether or not he is a public figure, there are standards for professional conduct. When I worked at a bank, we had some famous customers. Had one of the tellers even disclosed to someone outside the bank that any of them were customers, by name, the teller would have promptly been severely reprimanded. Had the teller said anything ill about a famous customer, in public, she would have been fired. And while this never happened with a public figure, I saw several let go for discussing customers in a public setting and word getting back to management.

  141. clarient says:

    Waitstaff work their asses off. I earned money for college last summer by waiting tables and it is a HARD JOB. You are on your feet for hours, at the beck and call of people who are often rude to you simply because you’re providing them with a ‘service’, and waiting tables is NOT the only thing you do – there are tons of non-service responsibilities that waitstaff often take care of.

    Seriously, don’t go out to eat if you’re going to be stingy. That extra dollar means a lot to me and you probably wouldn’t notice it if you we’re scrutinizing your bill in an attempt to be as cheap as possible. It baffles me how people are willing to spend the big bucks on the expensive plates and then scrimp when it comes to tipping. DON’T BE ASSHOLES! Gosh!!

  142. andrewsmash says:

    @markwm: Ah, but that was at a bank. As someone who is handling Other People’s Money, your bank relies on a certain standard of decorum and trust which it then repays through wages, promotions, and benefits. The bank also protects you from abuse in cases where the person offering the abuse is of less value to the bank than you are. A teller has access to a person’s most intimate financial data. This woman was a waitress at a local, family eatery. She brings people food and runs credit cards. Her impact on his life was far, far less. Standards of professional behavior are determined by position, pay, trust, and responsibility, and punishments should be handled at the same level. This situation says more about the blogger’s need to punish those who offend him than it does about an appropriate punishment.

  143. markwm says:

    @andrewsmash: Actually, if you read his update, he appears to have been more even-handed than originally thought. And while a teller at a bank may have access to privileged information that a waitress does not, the position of a teller is comparable to that of a waitress. Her impact on his life would be less under normal circumstances, but when she grants an interview and singles him out specifically, with admitted falsehoods, that is defamation, and grounds for termination in any profession I know of, except possibly journalism.

  144. Jiminy Christmas says:

    Forgive me for not reading this entire thread, but I just want to say this to all the cheap douches posting here:

    1) If you think tipping 15% or more is such an injustice do everyone a favor and either stay home or don’t patronize restaurants that offer table service.

    2) If you insist on disregarding suggestion #1: Do yourself a favor and don’t patronize the same restaurants with any regularity. Things will get nasty if the staff recognize you as ‘Mr. 10%.’

  145. andrewsmash says:

    @markwm: His update reflects his views on the matter, and I am sure, in his mind, he acted in an entirely appropriate and fair manner. Regardless of his words, his actions speak to a man who was vindictive and petty. After re-reading all of the articles, I believe that even more. Her initial (anonymous) interview was definitely tongue in cheek, and even though it was harsh, it was no different from a thousand others. But he didn’t go after the person who posted the story, but the source. His response was posted 3 days after the interview. How much reasonable effort did he make to address the situation in 3 days? He didn’t post a rebuttal to her charges, but instead “outed” her by placing all of her information online, leaving her (a private citizen) open to harassment. He claims that he didn’t open his wife and child to public scrutiny, but again, by posting under his real name, he exposed them to scrutiny. It was his choice to respond to her criticisms, and he chose to do it by attacking a woman who is about as close as you can get to the bottom rung. He held the upper hand, and instead of being magnanimous, he chose to be petty. He deserves what he gets.

    As to your comparison of tellers and waiters, I have never needed a security check or a drug test to get a serving job, and it never offered the chance to move up to a desk job.

  146. killavanilla says:

    @jrford8:
    To be blunt, it was better before you read the rest of the thread.
    take my advice on this one, sir:
    Telling people who don’t tip or don’t like the idea of tipping or have a problem with tipping not to go out to restaurants simply fans the flames and brings out more anger.
    Also, making veiled threats about what happens when you become known as ‘mr. 10%’ isn’t a good idea either.
    Professional waiters (that is waiters who act professionally) wouldn’t even consider messing with someones food.
    Only morons think playing with food is okay. Besides the very real risk of physically hurting (or even killing someone), is it worth getting fired because someone didn’t tip/doesn’t tip?
    I am all for tipping.
    But even I can’t stand this type of incredible stupidity.
    To everyone else – yes, tipping is great. Please tip. It is appreciated. It encourages waiters to treat their customers even better and work to improve their service.
    Hence, part of the tipping practice encourages good behavior from servers. It doesn’t matter if you think they think they are entitled to it. What matters is that if you do tip, know it reinforces the importance of good service.
    So it is almost always a good investment.
    On the other hand, if you experience bad service, don’t tip – but tell a manager specifically why you are unhappy so he can work to fix it.
    Now, that said – how can we be sure that:
    a) This guy really is a 10% tipper
    and
    b) That this waitress only got 10% because she did a crap job and showed loads of attitude?
    Riiiiight. No one even considered that….
    The reality is that many times, people will reflect the level of service they received in their tip. So it is completely possible that the service given by this woman, or all servers at that restaurant, is consistently bad.

  147. killavanilla says:

    @andrewsmash:
    The interview she gave could not be construed as tongue in cheek. I certainly didn’t read it that way.
    And he claims to have contacted her and asked her about it.
    According to his story, she acknowledged that she was wrong but then refused to take down the content or remove his name.
    Yes, he blogs. Yes, he is an activist.
    But what he tips is his choice. He doesn’t deserve to be made fun of publicly, using his real name and photo, over a tip.
    And his kid and wife are NOT public figures.
    Maybe that’s my issue here.
    The things she said about the kid were inappropriate and judgmental. The things said about his wife were as well.
    But perhaps the thing that is making me upset about this story is the fact that people seem to want to villify him and forgive her for essentially doing the same thing to each other. In my opinion, he was reacting to her defamation. Granted, two wrongs don’t make a right, but why is it okay for this *poor* *defensless* woman to post what he tips and make nasty comments about his parenting, but NOT okay for him to give his side of the story and print her name?
    I ran restaurants for 10 years.
    If ANY customer told me that one of my staff so much as confronted them about a tip, they were suspended without pay or termed on the spot.
    But to give an interview about that person? Fired. Without a question.
    I used to serve some pretty famous people – from NFL players to actors. If any of my staff gave an interview about their tipping, behavior, or parenting without consent, they would have been fired immediately.

  148. MudMt says:

    Although things went to far… In reality, tips aren’t required, and waitresses still get paid by the hour to work. Fine, most people are nice enough to tip, but to most managers, if you complain directly to the customers about tips, you WILL get fired.

    Sound mean? If it makes you feel better, I worked as a server for a year, and most waitresses are spoiled lying B*tches about tips. Tell them that they’re supposed to share 10% of their tips with other cooking staff and they flip out, to hell with that there are other people working min wage there too!

    Don’t give more sympathy then needed here. You deface a specific customer and you’re asking for something.

  149. The Bigger Unit says:

    @shades_of_blue: Read the blog entries, fool. The waitress herself wrote about all that stuff in her own freaking blog (abusive husband, her own kid threatening to burn down his school, etc. etc.). Any nitwit could’ve looked it up online.

  150. cde says:

    @protest: Then you are paying taxes on money you never received, and your boss is getting away with illegal labor practices. By not properly reporting your tips, you are also committing tax fraud.

    @killavanilla: Slander is spoken, what she did is libel. Second, he commit a crime as well, blackmail. Saying do this or I will defame you fits into blackmail.

  151. drjayphd says:

    @andrewsmash: Dunno if I’d hold up your example as satire. A better one would probably be on Bullshit!, where Penn and Teller pretty much have to refer to people as “assholes” and such so it’ll be understood as satire (seems “fuckhead” doesn’t carry the same weight as “fraud”).

  152. drjayphd says:

    @killavanilla: (files “Tipping Practices” under “Things That Must Never Be Discussed In The Gawker Media Banana Republic”, alongside “Getting Out Of Speeding Tickets” and “Beer Good, Wal-Mart Not So Much”)

  153. acambras says:

    While it was disingenuous for the waitress to rant in such a traceable way, it sounds like Sharkansky is a vindictive bully.

  154. superbmtsub says:

    Killavanilla. Are you Sharkansky or what? You put so much effort into saying what she did was wrong but what he did was okay. Would you want to consider that maybe they both overreacted and are in the wrong?

    Her actions in regards to his problematic child and constant poor tipping. And his retaliation by going all creepshow on her and uncovering every little info on a private entity.

    Mind you, Sharkansky is a willful public figure while Steffany is not. He dragged her into this so that’s a big problem. She’s a disgruntled waitress and he’s a creep. Why do you only defend the latter?

    I agree on your views of the conduct of a “professional waiter” but that’s a rare breed these days. Unless Sharkansky’s an idiot or he works for the FBI, he should be giving her between 10% to 20% tips jus cuz he’s a regular.

    That’s the real world unless you live in NZ as someone mentioned above.

  155. killavanilla says:

    @cde:
    We disagree.
    Blackmail is trying to get something and threatening to do something if it doesn’t happen.
    In this case, it isn’t blackmail – it’s proper.
    He requested that she take down the material, and she refused after admitting that it was improper.
    If instead of threatening to make a big deal out of it, he threatened to sue, is that still blackmail in your book?
    Blackmail is defined as:
    “Blackmail is threatening to reveal substantially true information about a person to the public, a family member, or associates unless a monetary demand is met. This information is usually of an embarrassing or damaging nature. As the information is substantially true, revealing the information is not criminal, the crime is demanding money to withhold it. …

    So where was the demand of money again?
    Sorry CDE, I think your analysis is incorrect on this one.
    What happened here was a person was publicly defamed, named, with photos printed and personal information (his wife and kid were both attacked as well).
    He made no demand for compensation and made no threat to do anything but expose the relevant information, while not demanding a red cent.
    In my opinion, and I’m almost sure you won’t respect or accept it, this was a response to her accusations.
    The fact that he was able to easily find her own writing that showed her in a bad light (bad parenting skills, bad attitude, bad marriage,e tc.) was never part of the threat. What was said was more likely along the lines of “Please take down the defamatory information or I am going to investigate you and post what I can find in an effort to clear my own good name and restore my reputation.”
    She ADMITTED to doing wrong, but refused to make it right. Had she been smart, she would have complied with his requests.
    Had he been a little more measured, he would have slapped her with a lawsuit that she would not have been able to win. And it would have likely bankrupted her.
    Perhaps he took that into consideration and chose to go after her himself in the hopes that she would smarten up and remove the defamatory information.

  156. killavanilla says:

    @superbmtsub:
    I am not Sharkansky.
    I don’t even know who he is beyond this article.
    Both overreacted, but I think his reaction was more reasoned because SHE defamed HIM.
    As for your idea that he ‘should’ be tipping 10-20% just because he’s a regular – well, I agree. And he DID tip 10%, per the article, so what are you trying to say- that he did right or wrong?
    I just don’t understand what you are trying to get across here. He didn’t stiff her and he didn’t walk out on the tab, he just didn’t tip as well as she wanted. His reward for being a regular and leaving a 10% tip on what was likely problematic service? Having his name dragged through the mud, his wifes parenting skills called into question, and his son railed on.
    So yeah, he may have overreacted, but posting her name, place of employ and his rebuttle isn’t part of that. She defamed him over what amounts to a personal decision. He defamed her over her defamation of him, but nothing he posted about her was judgmental in nature save to say that as a waitress, she probably shouldn’t have said anything about it at all.

    NZ??
    That poster was discussing tipping practices in another country, which I commented on because their practices are different than those in the states.
    And the ‘real world’ is a place I’ve been involved in. I ran restaurants for 10 years. Your assessment that ‘professional’ waiters are the exception, not the rule is so far off that it leads me to believe you don’t participate in the real world.
    Don’t confuse bad service for not being professional. As people progress in their career, they either get much better and behave professionaly, or they burn out, don’t make any money, and leave.
    I’ve dined at restaurants from dives to fine dining in cities across the US and overseas. Most of my experiences have been with professional, courteous waiters trying to do their jobs well. It would surprise me if 2 out of 10 viewed customers the way this lady did.
    And I will say it again – in every restaurant I’ve run, the rule was that if you confront the customer over a tip, you are gone.
    So I refuse to defend her for publicly posting his information. She could have made the post about an anonymous person, but CHOSE to mention him by name.
    I’ve waited on celebrities before: David Schwimmer, Fred Savage, Richard Dent, Bernard Berrian, Several white sox and cubs players, to name a few. I have seen great tips and not so great tips. But I would never, EVER post public information about any of them save to say that they were nice, quiet, and had a great time.
    But then again, I was a pro, not a disgruntled angry single mother who clearly chose to go after a guy because:
    1) he was conservative
    2) he tipped 10%
    3) his kid annoyed me.
    Have I been annoyed by kids in the past at work? Sure.
    But that’s just part of the job. Deal with it, without defaming anyone.

  157. Jesurgislac says:

    LordDave, why is it that everyone with direct experience in working as waitstaff agrees that if customers don’t tip 15%, the waiter is financially penalized because they’re taxed (and have to tip out) on the presumption that they are tipped at 15%? While the people who claim that’s not so are all referencing what the law says restaurants must do for their employees, not speaking from any direct experience of working in a restaurant?

    I suspect it’s because what a restaurant is supposed to do and what the restaurant manager actually does are two entirely different things: and that most waiters are living a marginal enough existence that (if they’re aware of their rights at all) they don’t dare complain.

  158. cde says:

    @killavanilla: Blackmail is also defined as: Verb

    S: (v) blackmail, blackjack, pressure (exert pressure on someone through threats)

    S: (v) blackmail (obtain through threats)

    [wordnet.princeton.edu]

    Also:

    Blackmail is the act of threatening to reveal information about a person, or even do something to destroy the threatened person, unless the blackmailed target fulfills certain demands. This information is usually of an embarrassing or socially damaging nature.

    In a broader sense, blackmail is an offer to refrain from any action which would be legal or normally allowed, and is thus distinguished from extortion.

    [en.wikipedia.org]

    Money is not required. It’s the threat of action if the demands are not met. Under your idea, threatening with going to to the cops with incriminating photos unless a girl sleeps with you wouldn’t be blackmail.

    And technically, yes, threatening a lawsuit would be considered blackmail, except for the legal protection given to legal action.

  159. jeffjohnvol says:

    I tip 20% of the bill amount (pre-tax). If the service is bad, a little less, if they go above and beyond, or I require more service (kids, in-laws etc) I tip more.

    If its a buffet and they just bring drinks, 10%. If I have a large party and they charge gratuity of 17% of the pretax amount, then I don’t tip more. They screw themselves on that one since I would have tipped 20% anyway.

    It also has to do with how long I tie up their table.

    I did tip zero just last week, first time ever for a guy that was totally useless and made me waste an extra half hour of billable time, which costs me money.

  160. jeffjohnvol says:

    Its a nice gig as a server since 90% of people do tip well, and typically they only claim a portion of their tips in taxes, I know I was a server in college. Also, when I tip, if paying with credit card, I will try to tip in cash to help them.

  161. mconfoy says:

    @skrom: @lorddave: @cde:

    You should all watch the beginning of “Reservoir Dogs,” Tarintino’s first movie. Then ask yourself if you really want to be known as Mr. Pinks. This is the Consumerist site, not the cheap ass, stingy site.

  162. probablyawkward says:

    As @yellojkt and @EREUSCH said waiters often have to “tip out” their bartender, bussers, and in the case of the restaurant where my boyfriend works, the barrista. He ends up keeping 67% of whatever the total tip was. So a lunch tip of $6 nets him $4 and a dinner tip of $21 brings him $14, etc. etc.

    What needs clarification is how taxes and wages are calculated at most larger restaurants now: Basically, the touch-screen machine that the waiters use to place orders spits out a bill for each table at the end of service and a “chit” for the waiter with the amount of tip he or she is expected to receive (in his case they estimate 18% on every bill). This tip is put in the cash register and he receives his tip minus 33% at the end of the night. If a tip is over or under the estimated amount they are required to enter this into the computer. If the tip is significantly under the projected amount the server may need to get the manager’s approval to prove that they aren’t under-reporting tips.

    Their wages, including tips, are recorded on their W2 forms. If, in a two-week period, their total earnings fall under the amount they would have made at minimum wage, their paycheck is adjusted to reflect the difference. This means one bad night can really screw up your weekly earnings.

  163. FranktasticVoyage says:

    seriously, I don’t how anyone can defend EITHER of these immature, petulant individuals.

    Assuming you take both accounts of the situation with a grain of salt (since, you know, no ones gonna admit that they’re a totally vindictive bitch or that their child is incredibly annoying and their wife is controlling), this seems like a bad situation made worse by BOTH parties.

    You’ve got to have a pretty skewed view to defend either of these people for what happened originally in the restaurant or their latter more hideous actions.

  164. freud99 says:

    Admittedly, I didn’t read ALL the comments here, so this might have already been pointed out, but the blog that set Sharkansky off wasn’t written by the waitress. It was written by a guy named Nate Gerard. The guy over at gamelyn.com says that Nate even made up some of the stuff that got blamed on the waitress. With friends like that…

  165. Anonymous says:

    Not only is there a tip credit in many states, but federal law states that tipped employees must report 100% of their tips to the IRS so that they pay taxes on them out of their paycheck. This is not to say that most employees actually report 100%, many report the minimum 8% of their total sales. So if you are tipping under 8% of your total bill, your server actually has to pay tax to wait on you and serve you food.