31 January 2020

Waiter tips

 Ignorance of a culture can be expensive.
Consider the American who's chosen Paris to retire, a move, she is convinced, that will make her the envy of those she left behind. A hulking "Emily In Paris" she knows it all, yet much to her consternation things aren't quite going as planned. For one, the large tips she's been leaving at cafés and restaurants she frequents are not always yielding the “special” service - freebies, little extras, fawning attention - she's come to expect. Or even better service. Likewise, her boorish chattiness towards waiters, whose first names she duly notes off the check or, more likely, asks them for in bad French, leering, is not producing the results she’d counted on. Au contraire.
Unless it's a tourist hotel bar, no one is falling over themselves as might happen "back home." And when predictably (and inevitably) she gets overcharged or shortchanged, she’s livid and, jowls heaving, indignantly concludes that the hapless habituée she’d been sneaking photos of while squeezing into a corner booth for months
must have been swiping her tips the moment she lumbered out the door - even though service didn't get any better when she was by herself, which was 99% of the time.
What's she doing wrong? - BPJ


Adapted from my talk:

Paris and The French: A Unique Culture

- This post has been updated -

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