A woman has questioned whether she was wrong to change her server’s tip from $154 to $4 after the restaurant employee accused her of walking out without paying.
The 34-year-old woman posted about the situation on the Reddit subreddit r/AITAH, where she explained that she and her husband, who live in a small town in the southern US, do “fairly well”. “Not well enough that we have no financial burdens, but well enough that we can enjoy nice things and like to help others when we can,” she wrote.
According to the Reddit user, one of the ways that she and her husband like to do this is through generous tips, with the woman explaining that they like to leave a “large cash tip” when “a server does particularly well or is someone we really connect with”.
In the post, the woman then recounted her and her husband’s dinner out the night before, where they went to one of their “spots” and were served by a young woman who she guessed to be in her early 20s.
According to the woman, when it came time to pay the bill for the meal, which cost $46, she decided to leave $200 in cash.
“I left the cash on the table after the check came and, not needing change, we got up and left,” the woman wrote, adding that she and her husband were then chased to the door by their server, who assumed they were trying to leave without paying and confronted them.
“Our server ran us down at the door and somewhat angrily demanded we must pay and we couldn’t just run out on the bill,” she recalled. “I asked her if she had looked at the table and she said she hadn’t.”
At this point, the woman said that she walked back to the table alongside the server, and then proceeded to adjust her tip.
“I walked back to our table with her, took the $200 and replaced it with $50. Enough to cover the bill and leave a small tip,” she wrote.
In addition to changing the tip, the woman said she told the server that she would have “appreciated” it if she’d checked the table before accusing the couple of leaving without paying the bill.
According to the Reddit user, the restaurant employee “seemed embarrassed” by the mishap.
In the post, the woman said her husband ultimately criticised her for her decision to adjust the tip, explaining that he thinks she’s in the wrong because “I could (even should) have just left the $200”.
However, she defended herself on the basis that she thinks the server “could have handled the whole situation better” and because she doesn’t “appreciate being called a thief”.
“For clarification, when she rushed us at the door, she walked right past a chest high partition wall where you very clearly could see our table and that cash was left,” she wrote. In a further edit to the post, she added that paying cash is “very common” in the area where they live, and that it isn’t common for tips or payments to go missing from tables where they live.
The post, which has been upvoted nearly 700 times, has sparked a debate in the comments, with many siding with the woman and assuring her that they would have done the same thing in her situation.
“NTA [not the a**hole], I agree with your take 100 per cent. There were multiple ways the server could have approached the situation that didn’t start with accusing the customer of thievery,” one person wrote. “Your server just received a $150 lesson in how not to deal with customers. Hopefully it will serve her well in the future.”
Another person said: “NTA, people pay with cash all the time. I don’t know why on earth she thought chasing you down without checking the table was a good idea.”
“NTA. She shouldn’t have assumed you were stealing and should have asked calmly if you paid or checked the table first,” someone else suggested.
However, others claimed that the woman was at least partially to blame, as they noted that they usually flag to the server that they are leaving and have paid, even if they don’t need change.
“At the very least, in a case where you don’t need change, you get their attention and point to the table or hold up the bill with the money and have the nonverbal conversation,” one person wrote.
Someone else said: “She’s probably just been burned before and caught crap from the manager about it. This is my guess from working crappy restaurant jobs for years.”
“YTA. You could have let them know that your payment was on the table. Then getting petty to teach a lesson? Stuck up,” another person said in response to the post.