That Impromptu 10 Euro Tip…
…on a 20 Euro Bill
This is an incident that happened during one of my many attempts at satisfying that never-ending wander lust, the eternal quest to explore a new place time and again.
It’s the New Year’s eve.
I was in a historic little town in the middle of Europe. The urge for the bean drink made me enter a café. The place had a reputation, with many travelers and travel guides suggesting it as a go to option if someone is visiting this particular town. I saw a vacant table and headed towards it, only to be stopped by a middle aged waitress.
“Its not free,” she told me in a stern voice, before adding there is no spare table available altogether. As I turned to leave a young lady politely stopped me, and informed that one table will be available soon. She requested me to wait a bit while assuring that she will clear it as soon as possible. The middle aged waitress tried to dissuade her but the young lady did exactly as she had promised.
Within minutes she had taken my order, and in equally quick time the same was on my table. Shuttling between consuming the coffee (and the food) and looking at the messages on the cellphone took a total of about 25 minutes. Soon after I requested her for the invoice, and got busy on the device again.
“The total is 20 Euros,” said a hoarse voice. To my surprise the middle aged waitress, who had denied me entry in the first place, had come in to collect the payment. The young lady had not only done her job well but also let her senior colleague collect the bill, and the tip. While tipping the person who came with the bill was basic courtesy, in this case I believed there was a moral responsibility as well.
So, before I made my way out of that café I looked around, spotted the young lady, went up to her, handed her a 10 euro bill and wished her a happy new year. Even as she thanked me I could see that my token of appreciation had left her almost teary eyed, overwhelmed with emotion.
So was the case with me as well. It was an impromptu decision on my behalf, and probably the best possible manner in which I could have expressed my gratitude. It was not about the fat tip but about her impressive behavior. Here was a young lady who had gone out of her way to ensure the best service to a complete stranger, upholding the virtues of professionalism and customer satisfaction. Her enthusiasm was a sharp contrast to the middle aged woman’s apathy, the latter had most definitely let the reputation of the establishment get to her head.
While one of the staff members was willing to go the extra yard to make the customer not regret his decision the other could not care less. It need not be said that for a café of repute staff behavior can cause a severe dent to that reputation acquired over a considerable period.
No points for guessing which of the two staff members had on this occasion helped uphold the reputation of the establishment, and thereby merited both my gratitude and the fat tip.