A friend writes:
I recently had an experience at a yuppie neighborhood restaurant that seriously took me aback. I stopped in for a quick sandwich and juice at lunchtime. I'd like to stress that the two people I dealt with were both pleasant, friendly, eager to please. When I got the check, which was $10.89, I decided to be nice and pay in cash, and I put a $20 bill on the table. The change brought back to me was $9 even. I looked under the plate, around the table for the 11 cents that I expected as a matter of course to be there -- to no avail. I asked the waitress nicely where the change was. She replied something like "When it's close to the dollar amount we just round up or down." I was kind of shocked -- I'd never heard this before in a restaurant -- and said, "That's all very well when it's in the customer's favor, but you don't do that when it's in the restaurant's favor." She looked totally surprised and offered to bring the change, saying something further about their not having any change on hand. Are others out there finding that this is becoming common practice? I find it totally outrageous and tantamount to stealing or adding on some gratuity without asking the customer.