I'm a server in the restaurant business, [and] I have recently been appalled at the lack of consideration people show when it comes to two things: paying their tabs and keeping their hands off other people's stuff.
In the past two weeks, I've had two "walk-outs" at my work, when people run out on their tabs when the server's not looking. I'd like to think that people are just ignorant, that they stupidly believe the restaurant covers the cost of their meals and drinks when they sneak out the door. This is not the case. When you bail on your server, he/she covers the cost. We only make just over $2 an hour, so if you run on a $30 tab, you're taking roughly 15 hours of pay from your server's pocket, not to mention the tip you owe. In other words, you suck.
Recently, rudeness took on even bigger proportions, but under different circumstances. I was at a funk jam at a local bar. I ordered wings and fries, ate about half of them, and got up for a bathroom break. I was gone for maybe a minute. I got back to find a guy leaning over my table, shoving my food in his mouth. He wasn't poor or homeless. He was young and looked to be a student. His clothes were more expensive than mine. Perhaps he's so accustomed to Mummy making him snacks when he's busy at video games that he assumes all food within reach is meant for him. I have no idea how he thought this was acceptable, much less appropriate, but there he was.
When you run on a tab, the server is stuck paying it. You are blatantly stealing from the person who worked hard for you, just as you are stealing if you help yourself to someone's else's food or drink while their back is turned.
And to the kid that did this the other night, and others of the same rude ilk: What if I had returned to the table with my 200 pound, former Marine boyfriend? What if I'd been crazy enough to fight you? What then? If you can't show some manners, at least show some common sense and self-preservation.
— Jennifer Casey