Our reader Amelia recently sent us a letter detailing her recent restaurant experience raises important questions about tipping etiquette, customer service, and how to navigate conflict.

Here’s her full story:

I (30F) went out to a nice restaurant with my husband (30M) last night to celebrate his big promotion. Everything was going well until the very end, when the waitress completely ruined it with her entitled attitude.

For illustrative purpose only. Freepik

When the check came, I left a $10 tip on top of the $85 bill. As the waitress picked up the money, she sneered and said loudly, “Ten bucks? This isn’t the 1950s anymore, you know.”

I was stunned. Her tone was so condescending and rude. My husband’s eyes widened in disbelief.

“Excuse me?” I said, instantly annoyed. “I think 10 bucks on an $85 bill is more than fair.”

The waitress rolled her eyes dramatically. “It’s a standard 20% tip these days, cheapskate. Do you not know how to calculate that?”

For illustrative purpose only.

I couldn’t believe her snotty attitude. That $10 was over 11% which is a decent tip by any measure. Her entitlement really rubbed me the wrong way.

“You know what,” I snapped, losing my cool. “With that kind of nasty attitude, you don’t deserve a tip at all!”

I swiftly reached over and snatched the $10 bill back off the table. The waitress’s mouth fell open, and she started loudly berating me with insults, calling me names and causing a whole scene. Other diners turned to gawk at the commotion. My husband was embarrassed.
Finally, the manager had to come over and forcibly remove the unhinged waitress, who was still yelling at me. We ended up just having to leave without leaving a tip.

I’ll admit I probably overreacted, but her smug, condescending behavior absolutely infuriated me. After treating a customer so disrespectfully, she didn’t deserve anything extra. But I’m getting heated debates from others on whether I should have just brushed it off instead of making a scene. What do you think?

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