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Not About Food 12

Let's play "Pyramid"! Here is your first subject: Gratifying Things. Go!

boagman | Dec 29, 201305:53 PM

1. "Catching The Weasel At The Table"

It's hard for me to *not* be proud of myself at this moment. I was having a birthday dinner (not mine) at Redcoat tonight for a buddy of mine, along with four other guys who I basically didn't know from Adam. They were nice enough, sure, and we got along.

Unfortunately, the whole Redcoat experience tonight was pretty sub-par, from the wait to the service to the food. They removed the offending food issues from the bill, and I successfully lobbied to have them remove the nonalcoholic beverages from the bill as well, which was a nice touch by them, and warranted as well. This went a long way toward making me happier with the experience, and it cost them very little. It also allowed me to justify leaving a higher tip as a result.

But there's always at least *one person*, isn't there? The bill came, and please understand that it wasn't separated out all came as one bill. The base menu price for a burger there is $7.65 now. This gets you the bun, the patty, lettuce, tomato, their onion mayo, and a pickle. Almost everything else you want added involves a slight-to-not-so-slight up charge. Example: I had bacon on my burger, which added $1.25 to my total, if I recall correctly. Cheese is *always* an additional charge, as is BBQ sauce, a fried egg, et cetera. Varying prices for up charges.

First guy to pay looks up his food on the bill, finds his portion, and, you guessed it: pulls out EIGHT FREAKING DOLLARS and puts it in the folder, fully satisfied that he's paid his portion. This is not a person with an oxygen-deprived brain, nor does he have any obvious mental retardation.

He passes it to me, *closed*, and I immediately open it and see that he's left eight whole dollars. A couple of things jump to my mind immediately:

A. He has basic math problems. His burger, at $7.65, also included a slice of cheese, at $.50. So far, his base total is at $8.15.
B. He's unaware of things like sales tax, and tipping the server. Before I even looked at my bill, I was getting change, as I knew my bill was going to be $12, minimum (tax and tip included). Even if his bill was only $8.15 plus tax, he's up to $8.64 without even trying hard, and that's if he *completely* stiffs the mediocre server. Even so: it's hard to argue against leaving *at least* $10 total because...
C. They've already removed his beverage cost! I mean, jeez-a-loo, what more does this guy *need*? He's getting out of there for basically nothing but the cost of his (admittedly the best things they served tonight were the burgers) entree, they've tried to pacify the problems (fairly) by comping the pops, and he's *still* only leaving eight dollars?


*Man* did it feel hyper-right to call him out on it. I didn't shame him so much as I teased him about it in a fun way, coaxing one, and then another dollar out of him for a grand total of $10, which I thought was at least passable when dealing with The Table Weasel. True: he should have been at the $11 mark, but I let it go from that point. No need to be mean about it or anything.

Everybody else ponied up correct amounts to cover their own portions. Me? I have no regrets at's *rare* that I get to catch 'em in the act.

So! I've started with #1 in the "Gratifying Things" category. Someone else needs to come up with #2, and so on.

Let's hear it, people!

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