Tuesday, June 17, 2008

No Tip?

After spending several years as a server and bartender it is really hard for me to get used to the notion of not leaving a tip. However, in Singapore (and Malaysia), it is not something you do. It's also really weird to see people in the restaurant industry not working really hard to make their tables happy. Customer service takes on a whole new meaning here.

Whenever you go out to eat in Singapore, it takes about 15 minutes before the server will even come up and take your order. No jokes. You may even have to flag someone down to let them know that you're ready (it's perfectly acceptable to do so here, but I still can't). Then after they take your order, you'll be lucky if they come back to fill your drink....ever. We've even brought bottles of water with us into restaurants because they suck at it. You have to flag them down and wave your empty Dixie-sized cup at them. Then once your food comes, you might as well kiss your server goodbye forever. They rarely ever return. Everytime we dine out, we have to grab someone walking by to retrieve our bill and I don't think it's ever been delivered by our original server. Then the person will stand over you as you sign your credit card receipt. There's also nowhere to leave a tip. Often times though, a service charge of 10 percent is already added in.

After comtemplating how nice it is to not have to worry about tipping, I thought "Screw that." In America, servers are usually eager to practically wipe your mouth for you to earn that tip. I remember days of dealing with jerkoffs and granting their every ridiculous wish in restaurants as I earned my way through college. People in American restaurants really suck, but that extra cash from the good people made those hellish nights much more bearable.

Now that I'm on the other side of things, I'd much rather trade the inconvience of tipping for the better service. Not that I blame the servers here. I'd be a crappy waitress too if I wasn't working for a better tip.

It's a really weird concept for both Aaron and I to get used to. He was a server too. During the times we get good service, we really want to tip. We've even tried to leave tips and gotten turned down because it was against the restaurant's policy.

Extra FYI: The taxis also don't accept tips. (This is really nice.)

No comments: