There are all kinds of ways to convey to a server at a restaurant that you're displeased with the service: there's giving less than a 10 percent tip, there's leaving nothing, and then there is leaving your two cents -- the opinion kind, that is -- along with two actual cents.
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The following note was posted on Reddit by a friend of a waitress who supposedly received this note after serving a customer:
Don't tell every customer you're very busy to excuse your lack of serving skills. Your job is to attend to us, not make us feel like we are an inconvenience. A little bit of personal attention goes a long way in the form of a tip. Just my two cents."
Beneath the last line was ... two pennies.
The note has since made its way around the Internet, with Gawker expressing surprise that such nastiness could come out of Canada (if you look closely at the picture of the note, those aren't U.S. pennies) and Eater declaring the tipper a jerk.
This is far from the first time a story of an offensive tip has earned publicity. Last fall, a customer at a Seattle bar declined to leave a monetary tip and instead went with the suggestion that the bartender "lose a few pounds." The bartender subsequently posted a picture of the receipt in question on Facebook, along with the guy's name. But the plan backfired somewhat when she pointed to the wrong Andrew Meyer, causing an innocent guy to take heat from angry commenters before the mistake was noticed.
Cruel tipping stories have proven so popular, that some people have gone so far as to make them up. Back in February, an alleged photo of receipt with a 1 percent tip on a $133 bill that was left by a banker, along with a note telling the server to "get a real job" made its way around the Internet. The blogger who posted the picture, calling himself "The Future Ex Banker," said he worked for the customer in question and wrote the following with the photo:
“I work in the corporate office of a major bank for a boss who represents everything wrong with the financial industry: blatant disregard and outright contempt for everyone and everything he deems beneath him. On top of that, he’s a complete and utter tool.”
The restaurant later found the receipt in question and stated that the one circulating the Internet had been Photoshopped and it was actually a $7 tip on a $33 bill.
Veracity aside, servers have proven adept as getting payback in such situations. A delivery man who was tired of being treated poorly by customers started the blog "15%" so those people could be shamed publicly, initially going to far as to give out people's addresses.
Other times, restaurants take the matter into their own hands: In 2010, a North Carolina woman was banned from a Japanese restaurant for supposedly being a habitual bad tipper.
Photo courtesy of Imgur.com
For more outrageous tipping stories, click through the slideshow below.
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning left $200 in addition to the 18 percent gratuity on his bill at Angus Barn in Raleigh, North Carolina where he had a meal with his friends last Friday, <a href="http://deadspin.com/5891136/peyton-manning-leaves-insanely-good-tips-at-restaurants" target="_hplink">according to Deadspin. </a> Photo by <a href="http://www.sportshoopla.com/forums/nhl-hockey-forum-message-board-general-discussion/64542-ot-just-peyton-manning-not-cheap-bastard.html" target="_hplink">Bizzle McDizzle</a>
<a href="http://aol.sportingnews.com/sport/story/2011-08-18/tiger-woods-lebron-james-accused-of-being-cheap-tippers" target="_hplink">New Miami Times</a> ranked golf player Tiger Woods at the top of its list of cheapest celebrity tippers, <a href="http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/shortorder/2011/08/lebron_to_usher_to_sean_penn_t.php?page=2" target="_hplink">reporting</a>: "The man worth more than $500 million says it's because he never carries cash."
Lin Dakang, a delivery man for a Chinese restaurant on the Upper East Side, received $2 on a $15.50 bill for a 2.5 mile bike ride dodging traffic on a cold winter night, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/04/nyregion/for-food-delivery-workers-speed-tips-and-fear-on-wheels.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&sq=delivery&st=cse&scp=1" target="_hplink">according to The New York Times</a>. But the incident is typical. The Times reported that restaurant delivery workers peddling take-out orders in dangerous conditions receive wages and tips that can drop well under minimum wage. Photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevensnodgrass/" target="_hplink">Steve Snodgrass</a>
According to <a href="http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/index.ssf?/base/news-1/125843433282150.xml&coll=3" target="_hplink">The Express-Times</a>, police arrested and gave a theft citation to John Wagner and Leslie Pope when they refused to pay a $16.35 required gratuity for their order of wings, drinks and salad. The pair alleged poor service at Lehigh Pub in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeffreyww/" target="_hplink">jeffreyw</a>
Abe Shah and Hemang Virani, who are of Pakistani and Indian descent respectively, were charged an 18 percent gratuity because of the color of their skin, <a href="http://gothamist.com/2011/09/13/indian_restaurant_accused_of.php" target="_hplink">according to Gothamist</a>. A manager told the pair the charge applied to all patrons of Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi descent. After the two men paid their bill, minus the additional gratuity, they were followed out of the restaurant by five employees and then verbally and physically attacked, <a href="http://images.nymag.com/images/2/daily/2011/09/12_baluchiscomplaint.pdf" target="_hplink">according to court papers</a>. Shah and Virani subsequently sued the restaurant for discrimination. Photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/stephen-oung/" target="_hplink">SteFou!</a>
In one of Massachusetts' largest wage cases, a settlement required Canyon Ranch Spa in Lenox to return $14.75 million in tips denied to its employees, including waiters, massage therapists, yoga instructors, according to <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/24/us/24canyon.html" target="_hplink">The New York Times.</a>