The challenge for day 13 is to tip your server generously.  I’d like to think of myself as a decent tipper.  I spent several years waiting tables or bartending in my late teens and early twenties so I know how important those tips are.  A lot of people don’t realize how little servers make per hour.  Up until fairly recently, the hourly wage for servers was $2.13.  Nope, that is no typo…2 dollars and 13 cents…that is it.  So on those slow afternoons or Monday evenings when things are slow, many servers go home without even averaging out to minimum wage.  These are moms and dads trying to support their families, kids trying to pay for college, and just people trying to survive…on less than minimum wage.  Think about that the next time you go out for a meal or a few drinks.

I once tipped a server too much without even realizing it and it nearly cost me my new marriage.  My husband and I had our wedding reception at an awesome restaurant near us.  We reserved the back room and were given 3 servers to handle our needs.  These servers did a fabulous job and we were all very pleased at not only the service, but also the way they treated us and our guests on such an important and special day.  We had a small reception and I had figured it would cost around $2,000 for everyone’s meals and a few cocktails for each guest.  When the bill came, I took charge of it and gave the head server my credit card and when he returned, I tipped a little over 20% (or so I thought).  Our bill was only $1,300 and I, still having $2,000 in my head put $2,000 as the total leaving a $700 tip.  Normally I double the first number(s) which usually puts us at around 20%, but for some reason I instead divided by 2 which would have put us at $650 so I rounded up to $700.  In all actuality 20% would have been $260, not $650.  I had made $400 mistake.  How did it almost cost me my marriage?  Well, the head server was a very good looking younger guy and my husband thought that my overtipping was a way of flirting with him.  I had no idea that he even felt this way until one day about 2 months later he finally brought it up.  It broke my heart to know that my new husband thought I was flirting with another man on our wedding night and that he had kept it inside for so long.

I felt sick, like we almost had to pull over so I could throw up sick.  I felt horrible.  I apologized profusely to my husband reassuring him that I would never flirt with someone else and that it was an absolute oversight.  My punishment was that I was never allowed to tip anymore and I gladly accept that.  I didn’t really have to worry because my husband is a generous tipper anyway.

For this challenge, my husband and I stopped for lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings, one of our favorite places.  We had a great server.  His name was Jeff.  I had never seen him there before.  He greeted us promptly and took our drink order.  Suggested a few appetizers to think about while he was getting our drinks. He was very personable and not too pushy about ordering extras.  He came by the table to check on us at the perfect times and gave us time to eat without being interrupted while we tried to eat.  My husband even discussed that he was one of the best servers we had encountered.  Giving him a larger than usual tip was an easy task.  We walked out with smiles on our faces knowing that Jeff definitely earned a generous tip.

Day 13 is complete and once again, I am feeling better and better.

To see the full 21 day challenge, you can read Be a better you.