Actually, I think “saint” might be an understatement. I’ve heard plenty of stories about grade-A-asshole bar patrons, but this one may take the cake. I’m surprised only that you didn’t bounce this fucker’s ass out hours earlier.
As for tipping in general: I’m constantly amazed by the fact that so few people — or, rather, so few who haven’t ever worked in a bar or restaurant — fail to grasp the concept that despite them being labeled as “gratuities,” tips comprise the vast majority of nearly every American bartender’s or server’s earnings. Newsflash, people: their federal minimum wage is $2.13/hour! You are not “treating them a lesson” when you give a server a crappy tip; you may literally be preventing them from being able to put food on the table for their families.
Yes, the overwhelming majority of American restaurants and bars adhere to this policy and pay their servers only the $2.13/hour minimum (plus, obviously, tips). Yes, this system is totally fucked up. And yes, America is the only part of the world where it’s commonplace. Even in other countries where tips are customary for certain services, the recipient still earns a decent wage without them. And then there’s the matter of what percentage of a tip a patron should provide … but that’s venturing off-topic and into an all-around clusterfuck of a potential argument.
The good news is that the system is at least starting to change:
P.S. I notice it’s been a month since this piece was first published (and I’m not entirely sure how it ended up on my daily Medium feed, but I’m glad it did). Any updates on Mr. Drunken Douchebag?