I was still eating when the couple at the table next to me got up to leave. As they were about to walk away from the table, the woman asked the man, “What about the tip?” The man didn’t stop.
“I don’t live around here,” he said. “I’ll never see her again, so it wouldn’t do me any good to tip her.”
The woman said nothing and they walked away. I presume he planned to pay for their meals at the front counter instead of sneaking out and saving his cash.
I hate everything about tipping. It’s a terrible system. I wish servers were just compensated by a restaurant — as is the case in most of the world — and the cost were included in the price of the meal.
But that’s not the way the system works here. Servers make most of their pay in tips. If you refuse to tip a server — without very good cause — you are stealing from the worker. And that says something about your character.
I can’t be sure of the relationship between the man and woman I saw having that exchange, but it certainly appeared to be a romantic relationship. And it made me wonder — again — why so many people tend to ignore this sort of red flag in relationships.
If someone treats service workers poorly, that behavior is almost certainly going to show up in the way he (or she) treats you. But I’ve heard people defend a partner by pretending it doesn’t matter.
“Yeah, he can be a jerk to a server sometimes,” she might said, “but he’s never treated me that way. So I can ignore it as long as he’s sweet to me.”
But this shortsighted view ignores the simple fact that a manipulator can treat anybody well when he’s trying to get something from the person. If someone wants a relationship with you, he’s probably on his best behavior for awhile.
But the way he treats people who can do nothing for him tells you who he really is.
If a man cheats a server — especially on the excuse that he’ll never see that person again — it tells you very plainly that he’s willing to treat people decently only when he can get something from the other person. It tells you that he has no interest in doing the right thing simply because it’s the right thing to do.
If a man will cheat a server, he will eventually cheat you in some way. Maybe he’ll wad you up and throw you away when he no longer needs you. Maybe he’ll cheat on your when he believes you have no choice but to stay with him.
The kind of person you want is one who has an inner code of conduct that requires him to do what’s good and honorable whether it does him any good in the moment or not.
Those people can be hard to find, but they’re worth holding onto when you find one.
If someone mistreats those who are powerless to help him — and powerless to hurt him — you’re seeing a preview of how he will eventually treat you. Because this is who he really is.
Run away from this sort of person. He’s not worth having in your life, no matter how much you think you need him in the moment.