How To Get Away With Being Bad At Your Job (Service Edition)

Customer service! When it’s good it’s good, when it’s fine it’s good, and when it’s bad it can ruin your whole experience—BUT ONLY SOMETIMES.

I got breakfast on Saturday at a place that had pretty shitty service, but it was FINE because the dude was super busy and he was obviously doing the best he could. He also had a great smile and made some little jokes when he did finally circle around. ALLOWED. Would go again, sure.

Yesterday I got a bloody mary and some fries at bar in a hotel in Brooklyn with five thousand employees, five patrons (at that early hour), and shitty service. BUT, the shitty service did not come with a smile, instead it came with terrible energy because everyone was ACTIVELY, LAUGHABLY RUDE AND MISERABLE. It was like someone had given them all direction to act as terrible as possible. I still had fun because friends and also triumph of the human spirit. But that place sucks so hard that I won’t go back even if someone else is paying (big), and EVEN MORE TELLING, I was ALMOST tempted to write a Yelp review.

SO, IN CONCLUSION: You can be terrible at your job and get away with almost anything if you’re nice.

P.S. I didn’t pay for either of these outings because of a combination of generous friends (<3 you, generous friends) and the take turns rule (you get this round, I’ll get the next). But if I had paid, I would have tipped 20% at both places, because wages are set with that expectation and it’s the right thing to do. But I wouldn’t have overtipped NOPE.


29 Comments / Post A Comment

Megano! (#124)

Yeah if a place is really busy I’m much more likely to excuse less than optimal service because I have been there, and it is so hard when it’s busy. But if it’s dead and you’re not paying any attention to the customers, there’s really no excuse.

@Megano! Definitely! Plus if it’s busy that usually means its’ good!

TARDIStime (#1,633)

The guy in example 1 wasn’t actually bad at his job, though – just overloaded: the telltale sign that he’s actually good was that it was obvious he was doing the best he could.
Example 2 on the other hand… They were actually bad. You’re a better person than me for tipping them!

sea legs (#2,115)

“How to get away with being bad at your job” doesn’t really go with “service edition”, though. Because if you are bad at your job in a tipping system, you don’t get paid. That’s the agreement. These servers “got away with it” because they were lucky enough to have you guys at their table (case 1: understanding, case 2: tip a flat 20% regardless). You can’t assume that they “got away with it” with other tables/patrons. They only thing they got away with was that they avoided confrontation over their service (we assume).

Megano! (#124)

@sea legs Um, you would be surprised how many people still tip even though the service is bad, cuz they know they’re not getting paid a living wage otherwise.

s.park (#2,279)

@sea legs there is a difference between being “incapable” or “horrible bc of a lazy cruddy attitude” at your job versus being just busy. Sometimes you cannot help when a restaurant gets swamped, most decent ppl are understanding….we’ve all been to restaurant when it was slower and the server can clearly spend more time with you and vice versa (they are busy and you can tell they are doing their best)

sventurata (#27)

Please do not encourage the simpering useless people at my office to get in my way even more than usual. Encourage them instead to get a clue and do some work. Thank you.

we have a different standard in the U.S. for tipping. 10% (or less) for crap service, or just plain mean CSR. 15% for good/adequate, and a smile is expected service. 20% for a job well done and commendable.

“HOW TO GET AWAY WITH BEING BAD AT YOUR JOB” By Barack Hussein Obama hahahahahahaaa

@Cathy McKeen@facebook That’s easy… all you need is for the competition to be worse at theirs LOL.

@Cathy McKeen@facebook Or any other president over the last 30 years…

Doc (#2,247)

Unless you name names the story is hearsay. Call out the location and time of day and the servers name.

s.park (#2,279)

Can you please write an article about how to be a good diner? I have seen so many rude ppl that think they are entitled to anything and everything at restaurants (I don’t come to your house and tell me what to cook!) and also the ones that give the “verbal tips” then leave a measly 10%. I don’t care what misers say about the tipping nowadays. 15% minimum is customary. Most restaurants have a tip out system for the employees of 30-40% of that servers tips as well so stop complaining that the servers make too much. Let’s get the economy back and spend appropriately when we DO spend!!

s.park (#2,279)

I totally agree though, ppl will be understanding about anything in any business if you are kind and courteous. Hospitality is a 2-way street:) Servers appreciate manners and kindness more than you think!

Why would you tip 20% whether you had horrible service or not? That doesn’t make any sense. What else would motivate someone to improve their service or keep giving good service if not the amount (percentage) of the tip. Isn’t that how the whole system is supposed to work?
I don’t consider if service is slow (because they’re swamped) to be bad service, btw. In your first example, where the person has a good attitude and is doing the best they can, they should be rewarded. In the 2nd example, even if they were fast, I would not reward that behavior with a large tip.

most people don’t know that TIP stands for ‘To Insure Promptness’. If a restaurant is slow and you reward slow service, then you are encouraging poor service. And remember, any time you get a cold steak or burger it is not because it came off of the stove that way. Some servers are great, and others are sub par. TIP accordingly.

@Dennis Flaherty@facebook
Be critical of the service and save money!

prefacetoafable (#2,176)

@Dennis Flaherty@facebook Servers can’t control how many people come into a restaurant. If they aren’t management, they don’t get the option of turning away customers when it becomes too busy, or of calling more people in to lighten the load. So what you’re saying is that you advocate personally punishing individual servers for circumstances beyond their control.

Just ask Obama how to get away with being bad at one’s job. He has it down to an art. 3 more days before he gets his pink slip. The American people will not stand by while he fails miserably at his job. Letting our ambassador and military men to be slaughtered while he was sitting in the White House party room doing his choom gang specialties.

@Kenn Dillon@facebook ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha gop loser

@Kenn Dillon@facebook How’d that work out for ya ding dong….

acudoctor1 (#2,638)

Get a government job. You’ll have benefits, health insurance, vacations, etc. No one cares whether or not you do a good job. You will never get fired. Case in point, Barack Obama. 4 years of a terrible job and he gets to keep it thanks to a nation of losers that don’t really care about his job performance.

I agree with Dennis Flaherty and don’t believe in tipping someone 20% regardless of service. You need to earn your tip. I’ve over tipped if the service was beyond what was expected. As a server, regardless of your base pay, you are not entitled to a 20% tip if you give poor service.

Snappy (#2,708)

@Debra Ann Ippolito@facebook
You people don’t get it. You are disliked by the service industry. Walking in with a smug, higher-than-thou attitude, won’t receive stellar table service. Being waited on does not allow for poor manners and lack of respect towards the server. Acting entitled won’t go far. Most managers smell that b.s. from a mile away. One lost tip isn’t worth the heartache. The best customers are easy going and kind. Believe me, servers work for those people. I’m not saying there aren’t people with poor work ethic, but it goes both ways. Btw, what year is it? How long has tipping been apart of our culture? You’d think people have never heard of it before. Or they purposely try to create a situation where they can avoid having to tip. Real stand up move… It’s aggravating to give outstanding, attentive service and get screwed. If you can’t afford to tip, then don’t go out to dinner. But most importantly, don’t be an ass. Leave the smug entitlement at home. Odds are we make more than you do anyway.

So tell us – how did you get this job as a “journalist” in spite of the crappy grammar and sophomoric style of this post, e.g. “I still had fun because friends and also triumph of the human spirit.”

Was it because you’re “nice”?

What da what? I don’t care how big a smile or how good looking the person serving me is, if I do not get good service I do not tip and I make it a point to find their website and voice my opinion about the lousy service I got. 80% of the time I hear back from someone higher up in the company usually coustomer service and recieve an apology for what happened. I dealt with customers for over 35 years and would never allow any customer to be treated with disrespect by any of my employees. The employee got one warning, had to attend two hours of training and if it happen again they were dismissed.

Whit@twitter (#2,413)

What on earth has happened in the comments in this post??

ClausTzu (#2,775)

Still waiting for “How to get away with being bad at your job (Obama edition)”….

Um, how did the Tea Party get onto this post, exactly?

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