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A Note to Waitstaff – Take the Gender-Neutral Approach to Checks

April 10, 2011

On Friday night, several colleagues, Joel and I went out for margaritas to say goodbye to a staff member who is leaving us for a new job.

He and I clearly ordered together, and were brought one combined check without being asked. That was okay, but I was a little grouchy that the waitstaff put the check directly in front of Joel (not in the middle, as was possible). That’s happens all the time and is a minor annoyance, but the woman continued in a way that made things worse.

When she came to pick it up, I directly handed the woman the little receipt holder thing, with my card with name on it inside, and made eye contact.

And when she came back, she tried to hand the whole thing back to Joel. Which required reaching over the table (not necessary to return it to me).

I understand that it was busy and she might not have been able to keep track of this “minor” detail. Taking the neutral approach would have eliminated the need to keep track, and eliminated the suggestion of any gendered assumptions about who pays. It also would have resulted in a larger tip.

Relatedly, Joel thinks she might have been trying to give it to him because she was expecting a larger tip from a man. That doesn’t exactly make it better – and she should have taken the clue after I handed it back to her.

The margaritas were good, though.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Tracy permalink
    April 10, 2011 5:29 pm

    Ugh. You know what makes this worse? It was a woman perpetuating this, not a clueless guy. And the margaritas looked good. Will definitely have to go back for another happy hour soon. 🙂

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