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Coastalblog's occasional guide to the catering industry

Value x in an indeterminate sequence of y

It's time to name and shame, people. It's time for me to use this forum to point fingers at the tight-arsed, pocket-patting bill-splitters of this world. You know the ones. The mean-featured "well I only had soup" utterers of this world who sneak guilty glances at the door even as they make damn sure that they're topping their glass up from the communal wine. And I'm arranging it by profession.

Yes! It's Coastalblog's Top five worst tipping professions:

NUMBER FIVE: The Banking industry. Yes, being around all that money all morning means clearly that when it comes to lunchtime they don't want to be seeing any more of the stuff than strictly necessary. Better yet, why not pay on the company card and look apologetically at the gap left for gratuities? We understand, it's okay, we're only on, like, a quarter of your wage.

People on expense accounts. Oh my my my. What particularly galls me about you people, as you guzzle your fill and chortle heartily in the knowledge that the company will pay for it all (particular acknowedgement is due here to employees of Asda and Matalan as some of my most regular customers) is that not only do you not tip EVEN THOUGH SOMEBODY ELSE IS PAYING FOR IT you then have the nerve to ask me to put non-existent items on your bills. That's right! "Sorry mate, I can't be arsed leaving a couple of quid for you, but would you mind awfully committing FRAUD, which is a CRIME for me?"

NUMBER THREE: I feel bad doing this, but special mention has to go at three to other workers in the catering industry. Not because they're bad tippers. Most tip excellently, because they know, you see, and they understand. Those few who don't therefore have absolutely no excuse, and deserve this high placing, though not of course as high as

NUMBER TWO: Health professionals. That is to say, doctors to nurses and all points in between. I have no beef with porters and receptionists. They're fine by me. But my Christ NURSES. When I see a group walk through the door my heart sinks. I have the greatest respect for their profession. I am aware that they work long, hard hours for little thanks. All this strikes a chord with me. But they are lousy tippers. It needs to be said. And the worst part is they always leave beaming, smiling ministering angels, happy and satisfied with their place in the world. So beautiful, so noble, and yet so irredeemably tight. But not (and I cannot stress this enough) as tight as.

NUMBER ONE: Teachers. That's right. Teachers. You see, nurses don't tip, but at least they're normally nice people. Teachers, on the other hand, are as sour-faced, carping and downright annoying a set, as a profession, that I have ever, EVER come across. Individually? Fine. My Mother's a teacher, my girlfriend's a teacher. I've met several of her teaching friends, all of whom were lovely. But en masse? God help me I hate the fuckers. They ring a pre-order in with ten minutes notice and then sit around looking at you accusingly and clucking about how they haven't got much time because it's their lunch hour. They insist on paying for everything seperately (which, needless to say is a massive headache), occasionally quibbling about who should pay the largest portion of the chips they shared. They will either make one diet coke last an hour, or drink tap water. They will, I can guarantee, complain, and yet be back every week. They will never, ever, ever tip. And please don't tell me it's because of the wage, I would kill to be what you're on.

Conversely plaudits go to all members of the building profession, plumbers, plasterers, chippies, gas fitter and sparks. All of whom, I can't help but note, tip. Does this lead into a thesis that the English middle classes are pathologically anal? Possibly, watch this space.


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