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The sheer nature of living off a tipped salary is like a game of roulette. As a server, you never know the financial outcome at the end of a work day, or pay period. This job requires it’s workers to be masters at the basic principles of probability and statistics. Because our salary is based on discretion of the guest, I, like most people I have worked with have learned to expect the bare minimum. (That being said, there are exceptions to this… there are customers who appreciate dining, and value the art of service; therefore they tend to compensate accordingly) In this context, I would like to provide one specific “nature of the job” story with ROC. While working at a boutique french bistro in Seattle a few years back, I was waiting on table outside on our lovely patio. The guests were so-called “industry people”, that being said I provided them with the same service as I would any one else. To start the evening off they ordered a round of cocktails and some food; light fare mostly, pate, cured salmon, deviled eggs etc. Upon inquiring if the guests would care for another cocktail, one lady in the party asked for a bourbon and soda. I politely clarified specifics, “rocks?”. “Yes”, she replied. “Any preference of bourbon?”. “No”. I went back to the bar and made their second round. Upon delivery, everything seemed ok, at least until I returned with their food. Immediately the gentleman barked and said, ” The lady’s drink is disgusting!” I immediately directed my attention to lady, and asked her if she would care for something else. Nervously, she said no. The gentleman, insisted that I serve her something else, but the lady insisted that her drink was in fact ok. At this point, I informed the guest that I would be happy to serve her something else, just to let me know what she wanted. Again, she said she was fine, so I took that as my cue to go back inside to attend to another table. Not a minute later, and all of a sudden the “gentleman” from outside comes up to the bar and starts yelling and getting in the face of the bartender, telling her that I provided horrible service and demanded that I removed the aforementioned drink from the table. He literally threw a tantrum in front of the whole restaurant. It got to a point where my loyal regulars were ready to interject. The point is, is that this guest used the excuse of a “bad drink” to walk out on his 105.00 check, which not only was stress on the dining environment, but also left me with out a tip at all. This being on a particularly slow day where every penny counted. For this very reason, living off tips can be inconsistent, and in more extreme cases impossible to guarantee, even for the seasoned veteran.