Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Two completely unrelated experiences that separate my life from the lives of my contemporaries.

I love the supermarket. Really. So many things and so many people. Our supermarket sells LCD televisions. Really. I'd love to be there when someone buys one. It must be like seeing a total solar eclipse. I bet the manager comes running out peeing himself, screaming "We sold a TV!" That would be like Best Buy selling cereal.
What I get mostly are the ass-end of banal conversations while waiting on line. Tonight was a highlight. The guy in front of me with four totally unrelated items was curiously looking around the crowded store while fumbling for his debit card.
HIM: [to the cashier] Why are you so busy tonight?
CASHIER: Um ... it's Thanksgiving.
HIM: Oh. [obviously he was recently dropped to Earth and just now needed groceries]
CASHIER: Gobble gobble!
The customer walked away, seemingly enlightened as to the ritual purchasing of food in advance of a holiday. These instances invariably make me shake my head and mutter, "men."
ME: [to cashier] Even I knew that. He probably goes to Florida over the Easter holiday and wonders 'what's with all the kids?'
Now, I find myself wondering if I'm a nice person or a dumbass. This afternoon, I treated myself to a nice lunch outing at the local Applebee's. I like to sit and look at odd crap hanging from the walls while I'm eating.
Among the various difficulties I have on my frequent dining-alone excursions (outside of a total lack of conversation) is that I have trouble getting served. I think there's a common misconception among wait staff that single diners are lousy tippers.
Today, I waited nearly ten minutes for a waitress before I finally got up and approached the hostess and said, "I still haven't seen a waitress," which was a bit of an exaggeration, because I had seen plenty of them - just none at my table. The place was crawling with them.
She apologized, because they're trained to apologize, and sought out my waitress. A few minutes later, one appeared.
Eventually, I was served a fine meal and a check, which came in a much more timely fashion than either the waitress or the ensuing food. They're trained to do that, too.
The dumbass or nice guy debate came in the form of the tip I left. I left $18 on a $14.21 check, which was well in excess of the 15% we are trained to leave and even more than the 20% that borders dumbass.
That either makes me nice for leaving a tip after receiving questionable service or a total dumbass for leaving anything at all.
I reminded myself that tip is an acronym for To Insure Promptness and left wondering about my place in the world ... alongside the dumbasses.


kimmyk said...

i love applebee's! haven't been in forever though....i use to get this oriental chicken roll up and their fries are yum! i'm hungry now.

you're a good tipper, and thats nice...i try to be..jamie on the other hand? if they suck...they know about it before we leave.

i'm usually in the car by then.

susan said...

I was a waitress, and yes, it's true about single people at restaurants, sorry to say it.

Your supermarket sells TVs? Never seen that at my Stop and Shop.

Anthony- it's not for nothing, you are my favorite NJ blogger.

Have a good turkey day, and AMEN to your Thanksgiving prayer.

Anthony said...

Kimmyk: It's even worse at bars. I over-tip PLUS being drunk.

susan: I'm out to prove the stereotype wrong, but sadly I'm never around to see the results.

Thanks for the compliment.

susan said...

Anthony, it's a huge round oblisk thing in front of the house with cats all around the rim.

I have a picture somewhere in my hard drive I will have to find it

Firestarter5 said...

Applebee's......never seen one.

I also go grocery shopping at the SuperStore where you can buy your frozen orange juice and underwear at the same time. I have yet to do that.