| Photo: Joe Shlabotnik, Flickr.
I've worked in greasy spoons where hot dogs sold for 85 cents and coin transactions were the norm; I hardly expect a customer to charge a quarter cup of coffee. But in nicer restaurants, where servers don't bark orders across the room and salads don't arrive to the table encased in plastic wrap, coins are nothing but trouble -- any server who's picked up a check presenter and immediately showered their feet with the coins tucked inside it knows exactly what I mean.
Some of the blame clearly lies with the coin-fearing credit-card companies that issue said presenters, designed to accommodate only plastic. But there's really no reason for most restaurant customers to use change in the first place. What's the harm in leaving $72 when the bill's $71.88? Can a server not be trusted for a moment with an extra 12 cents?
I find coins so messy that I typically ignore them, even if it means I end up shouldering a portion of a table's bill. If a guest gives me three twenties to cover a $58.43 bill, I'll return $2 – knowing most guests will leave me both singles. While some of my fellow servers are far more punctilious, I still haven't figured out a good way to sort coins in my apron or rationalize the dead weight of a few rolls of dimes.
The worst offenders on the coinage front aren't the exact-change givers, who I'll assume are trying to be helpful. It's the folks who treat the check presenter like a collection plate, emptying their pockets instead of working out a proper tip. "Oh, I'm sure she'll want this," guests say as they drop dozens of grubby nickels on the table.
While few servers are so wealthy they can afford to refuse tips, a general guideline is: If you don't want your handful of spare change, your server probably doesn't want it either. There's something very Scrooge-y about showing one's gratitude in pennies, no matter how many.
Do you think there's anything inherently wrong with paying in coins?
|Sure, why not?||267 (52.7%)|
|No way.||240 (47.3%)|