31 January 2020

Waiter tips

 Ignorance of a culture can be expensive.
Consider the American who's chosen Paris to retire, a move, she believes, that will make her the envy of those she left behind. Like "Emily In Paris"*--only four times her size--she thinks she knows it all, but 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 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 at 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 revving, indignantly concludes that the hapless habitué she’d been squeezing into a café booth corner for months must have been stealing her tips off the table--even though service doesn't get better when she is by herself, which is 99% of the time.
What is she doing wrong? - BPJ


Adapted from my talk:

Paris and The French: A Unique Culture

* This post was updated since the release of Netflix 10/2020 series, "Emily In Paris"

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