Saturday, February 20, 2010

GraTRUEitous

Yesterday I got a package at work that contained a bag of gum and a little box of cards. The cards were labeled "GraTRUEities," so I assumed that they were those conversation-starter questions that are only good for ice-breakers if you are a total sociopath. "So, if you had to either take a dump once every hour or take one 24-hour dump once a month, which would you choose?"* That makes for great dentist waiting room small talk.

*That is an actual question I once got from one of those What If? books, and I'm still deciding. It really hinges on whether I can watch TV in the bathroom.

Anyway, GraTRUEities turn out to be something else entirely. They are little cards with notes on them, meant to be given to waiters and bartenders as a pertinent "tip" in addition to cash. For instance, if you got great service you might leave a 30% tip along with this:

Or, if your waiter was terrible, you might leave a fistful of pennies in the bottom of a half-finished beer along with this zinger:

Is it just me, or are these even worse than the Jump to Conclusions mat from Office Space? I mean, aren't cash tips messages in and of themselves? A 10% tip says either "You suck." or "I am an asshole." A 50% tip says "You should basically be the Emperor of all waitstaff" or "I am very rich and possibly drunk."

Speaking of drunk, some of the GraTRUEities seem tailor-made for gin-soaked mixed messages:

Seriously, what? Is that a come-on? (I know it's a song, but how and in what stage of acid trip is that a useful tip for a waiter?)

Actually, you know, some of these would be MUCH better applied to one-night stands. Assuming no cash changes hands, sex is something that people actually could use tips on.

Those really would be the gifts that keep on giving, at least for their next bedmates, since you would never see them again and might even get a special next-day delivery of black roses or dessicated turds.

If any waiters or bartenders are reading out there, I would love to know how you would react to getting a "tip" like these with your tips. My suspicion is that you would quietly copy down their name from their credit card, look them up on White Pages, and order them a "bill me later" subscription to the creepiest porn magazine you could find. Or maybe set the card on fire and start beating your chest like Tarzan until they run screaming, forgetting their coats, which you then rifle through for loose change and Life Savers?

Inquiring minds want to know.

UPDATE: Upon further reflection I must also take issue with the name of this product. If the sentiment is complimentary, then fine. I think people should be acknowledged for their work. But I can't help but imagine the following scene:

Sassy gay man* #1: Our waiter was terrible.
Sassy gay man #2: Oh, I know. He needs a wake-up call. I mean, sometimes less is less. Am I right?
SGM #1: True! When I asked for "on the rocks" I meant my vodka, not my service.
SGM #2: True!
SGM #1: OMG, I have an amazing idea...

Or am I just... ahem ... jumping to conclusions?

*Gays, please do not take offense. This product was likely created by two Curt and Ram type d-bags, but I couldn't imagine them saying "True!" to each other with the amount of sass I wanted to convey.


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37 comments :

  1. This has got to be the dumbest thing I have ever heard of. As a former waitress, I can pretty much guarantee no waitstaff or bartender would appreciate these little pearls. If one of these had ever been left on my table, I would have given it the obligatory WTF? look, and then it would have gone straight to the trash.

    On a similar note, are you familiar with this site, Pretty Bitter Stationary? Hilarious!

    http://www.prettybitter.com/default.asp

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  2. Holy shit. I waited tables and bartended for many years, and if any asshat had the audacity to leave me one of those cards, I'd have literally chased them out of the restaurant and set it on fire in front of their eyes. Who even THOUGHT of those? Wow.

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  3. Wow, those are hilarious.
    It could also be fun to just hand them out to random people at the bus stop, or grocery store. Keep 'em guessing!

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  4. I would suspect a waiter or bartender would treat these the same way they'd treat a tract - but some folks just leave tracts in lieu of tips which sucks...for how can one worry about the condition of their waiter's soul but be too cheap to y'know actually tip 'em for good service?

    Personally, I just tip with cash - 15 - 20% is my norm but if the service sucked less...and the service has to hit rock bottom and continue to dig only to get to tail up pennies!

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  5. Haha, that cracked me up. I feel like a small business card could say so much more with so much less emotion.

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  6. Thanks to your Project Runway recap, after I read each card all I could think of was:

    "That's what she said".

    OMG - I work in the restaurant industry, and I would LOVE to hear what the servers would say if someone left them one of these cards along with their tip. I'm sure their reactions would be priceless.

    XOXOXOXO

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  7. Lovely, just what we all need-more paper to keep track of. Can you imagine how anal retentive the person must be who carts around these cards in their wallet/purse for the sole purpose of "educating" some poor server (or sex partner, as the case may be)?

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  8. As a former hostess (in another lifetime when there were less wrinkles) I can approve of these cards. Despite going the extra ten freakin' miles for some people, tips were a fickle notion to many diners.

    However, at least if I was given such a card - good or bad - I'd know I'd been noticed.

    Which doesn't mean a papercut war wouldn't have ensued had I been displeased with the message!

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  9. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kz8_ZePCTqM


    Not a pick up, just one of the greatest but embarassing that you think so songs ever!

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  10. see now I would like to make these for people I don't particularly like, and leave them anonymously in their mailbox with things like "your kids aren't that cute" or "I purposefully just let my dog shit on your lawn"... things I want to say, but know I shouldn't

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  11. When I waited tables, I tried recycling the religious tracts by slipping them to church folks on Sunday even though I reeked of last night's vodka. I thought it might yield a larger tip, but it turns out salvation is tip enough.

    The cards are ridiculous, but I'd give 'em out to the kiddies as compliments (while smelling like vodka. I'm a role model.)

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  12. haha, wow. i sort of work in food service (a dessert cafe, but tips are really pretty rare because they pay at the counter & my boss wont let us have a tip jar) and if got one of those (even a nice one) i'd be a little creeped out. being the passive agressive midwesterner that i am, i'd show my husband & throw it away.
    then maybe blog about it.
    this goes hand in hand those times i go to a resturant & the waitress writes a note on the bill and signs her name with a heart/smiley face/flower/etc.
    out of curiosity, how did you come to own these? did you order them or were they sent as a gift or sample or something?

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  13. yeah, these cards are pretty lame, BUT, i think any evidence you can point to that you don't suck at your job is invaluable.

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  14. Anonymous5:39 PM

    I'm not currently employed as a waitress, but I was for a number of years. I once received a list of about 500 "tips" from a drunken asshole who'd taken up one of my tables for about two hours writing out a list of stupid advice like "always look both ways" blahblahblah. I'm pretty sure that these graTRUEties would have about the same effect as my list of "tips". Isn't being a waitress a shitty enough job?

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  15. I can only imagine the waitstaff standing at the table witha WTF look on their face. I am sure that they would think why would someone buy these stupid cards and seriously, you carry these things with you so that you can compliment, insult or ridicule the waitstaff. Of course then they'll toss your card in the trash and pocket the cash. Who comes up with this stuff?!?!

    Tiffany
    http://liferequiresmorechocolate.blogspot.com/

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  16. Those cards are a bit weird. I've found that a little comment like, "I need to find a way to get your table every time I come here" -- along with the tip brings a smile every time.

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  17. Given where I work, I would be shocked to find anyone with enough of a sense of humor to leave one of these. It's not uncommon for us to find "Jesus loves you" booklets with (or INSTEAD OF) a monetary tip, regardless of the service. Yes, Jesus may love me, but that bit of info isn't keeping my power on.

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  18. Just to be clear, I TOTALLY think waiters and waitresses should be made to feel good about their work. I just think these cards are retarded.

    @AkaPJtheGreat That, my friend, is inspired.

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  19. Sweet Lord! Who the hell would be stupid enough to pay money to leave waiters/waitresses tip cards? Gee, that service was terrible. If only there were a product I could buy to let them know that?

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  20. Hahaha omg that's too funny! and sad for the servers who get them, well the bad ones.

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  21. I find the whole thing a little strange. If the service was good - say it (and tip well). It's much more sincere. It's like giving your girlfriend one of those little valentines day cards you get in kindergarten versus saying "I love you".

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  22. What I want to know is how is there an actual market for these things?
    One would actually have to order these cards ahead of time? As a server of over 10 years I've seen allot, people who leave religious pamphlets along with a 5% tip, guys who leave me four bucks AND their phone numbers, patrons who itemize the deductions from my tip for supposed service infractions. I would LOVE to meet the assholes who worked this one through, and the ass-ier holes that purchase them.

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  23. I'd be tempted to send a negative one to the people who made these little winners.

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  24. I'm all for these cards being used after one night stands.

    "Better luck next time."
    "Impotence is nonrefundable."
    "Thanks for the best nap I've had in years."
    "I didn't know gods turned into toads at dawn."
    "The condom broke."
    "Best post-prison sex I ever had."

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  25. As a former waitress, I would hate getting a card like this. Because people would not leave it in addition to a monetary tip, they'd leave it AS the tip. If you want to tell your server they were awesomesocks, leave a nice tip and write a note on the receipt.

    It's like those Sunday church goers that leave brochures about Jesus and whatnot as a tip. Because only heathens work on Sunday. And only buttholes go out to eat on Sundays.


    loriology.blogspot.com

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  26. Also, my gay roommate and I once came up with a brilliant, tequila soaked idea; Evil Fortune Cookies.

    Like, "You will be hit by a bus next Wednesday." or "A red headed man will soon cross your path." or "Help, they've locked me in the fortune cookie factory!"

    Unfortunately, it totally already exists.

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  27. I used to waitress in a hotel restaurant. Occasionally we'd get these busloads of Christians from some sect who had their own pamplets made up for when they were dining out. They said "This is the best tip you are ever going to get..." And then on the inside it was all about how Jesus Saves. They left those instead of tips. Jesus is, apparently, interested in saving them a couple of bucks when they eat out.

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  28. These are just wrong. I waited tables throughout college and if some imbecile gave me one of the cards I'd probably just give it back, with my own little message on it.
    These don't even touch the genius that is the 'jump to conclusions' mat.

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  29. I'm of the Steve Buscemi Mr.Pink Reservoir Dogs school of thought where tips are concerned. I'll leave one, but I hate doing it.

    Anywho, if you really want to piss your server off just leave a picture of Jesus. They can't hate you because they can't tell if you're sincere or not, and you still get to stiff them. muahahaha.

    P.S. GraTRUEities were invented by a couple of midwestern minivan house-moms who were hoping to escape their borrish lives with this, ahem, wonderful?? idea.

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  30. After tipping with one of those cards, I'd expect my next order to be served with a side of spit. Gross.

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  31. yes the idea of "tip cards" is lame, but your blogging about it is hilarious! I love your writing!

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  32. I love love LOVE that you said, "Curt and Ram type d-bags." I get your subtle reference, lady, and I enjoyed it! You are both witty and refreshing! Keep it up!

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  33. Sassy,
    I've only been following you for a short time, but I love your posts and your HuffPost pieces. I have a kind of GraTRUEity for you over at my place, only not so snide and weird. Okay, it's an award, actually, to say thanks for the fun reads!

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  34. Meheheh. Some of those don't even make sense. But at least it provides clarity to the server that you're not an asshole, the service was crap.

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  35. @miz- by leaving the card you're pretty much telling the server and anyone else they show it to that you're an asshole.

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  36. I'm pretty sure that leaving one of these things for any of my waiter/waitress friends would ensure a quick punch to the babymaker. As entertaining as that would be, I hope that there isn't a nerdy band of arseholes giving these out!

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