Am interested in how other hounds would have handled this situation. Had a great lunch the other day in a small restaurant and my bill came to $36.00. I placed $40 on the table and was going to tip the waiter $7 after my change was returned. The owner came over to my table, picked up the check and did not return any change. After a few minutes I spoke up and mentioned to the owner that I hadn't gotten my change back. The owner said she thought the change was for the waiter's tip. Well I wouldn't leave a small tip like that so I asked her to add my change to the bills I left on the table.
This is a small incident but bugged me because the lunch was fine and the service was really good. Why do restaurants assume you don't want change back? She did not appear embarrassed or apologetic and I wonder if this is standard. I've had wait staff ask me if I want change back but have not gotten this response before.
How would others have handled this?