Humility and honesty need not be lost in the rush of service.
I was having a bad day last week. A waitress at a waterfront resturant was having an even worse day.
I got an apology. She got a tip. We both came out ahead.
Lunch went like this:
I ordered wine, an appetizer and an entrée. She brought the appetizer. A few bites into the appetizer, she told me she'd forgotten to put in my entrée order. What was that again?
Finally, she brought wine. It was red; I'd ordered white.
A few sips into the correct wine, she returned. A cook burned my entrée, she said.
My entrée finally arrived.
When she brought the bill, I noticed she'd charged me for the more expensive red wine rather than the less expensive white wine I'd ordered.
Everything got fixed, and somewhere in there she offered me a complimentary dessert for my troubles. (I demurred, as I wasn't even hungry enough to finish the appetizer and the wine.)
Lunch had eaten up 90 minutes of my bad day.
But I tipped the waitress anyway, about 15 percent.
Because every time something was screwed up, my server immediately apologized and did her best to make things right.
Like when the cook burned my entree.
"I told him, 'Look at me,'" the waitress told me. "'Do you see these tears in my eyes? I'm not going to serve that.'"
Come to think of it, I might have under-tipped.