Friday, August 18

Waitress charged with altering tips

A Palm Beach waitress was arrested and charged with credit card fraud and organized scheme to defraud Monday after she changed the tip amounts on customers' credit card receipts over a period of seven months, police said.

According to Palm Beach police, Tara Ann O'Brien, 25, of 725 Glenridge Drive in West Palm Beach, is accused of adding extra money onto the tips written in by breakfast customers at Cucina dell' arte, 257 Royal Poinciana Way, since Jan. 9. The discrepancies were uncovered during an audit by one of the restaurant's managers, who contacted police.

The police report says O'Brien altered the receipts of 62 patrons, receiving $1,305 in extra, fraudulent tips.

One customer, according to police, had used his credit card to purchase a $25.03 breakfast. When contacted by police, he said he had written a $6 tip for O'Brien. The police report said the receipt had been altered to indicate a $16 tip with an unauthorized, revised total of $41.03. Another customer was overcharged 12 times for a total of $110 in extra tips O'Brien had given herself, police said.

She was taken to the Palm Beach County Jail where she was released Monday on $3,000 bond.

O'Brien is no longer employed at Cucina, according to manager Nicholas Coniglio.


Thursday, August 17

Speaking of Tips!

If you are a fan of this site and want it to continue to improve, tips are greatly appreciated!! There is NO obligation, I'm not a lazy American that just wants a hand out! I'm upgrading a bit and I'm trying to cover the costs of my growing pains:)

Click on the tip jar to help me out...

Thursday Trivia

Things got a little intense yesterday during the tipping wars, and I thought we could lighten things up a bit! Instead of having a trivia question, I'm going to share with you some information.

Here are the Top 10 Alcohol Consuming Countries (on per capita basis country/consumption in gallons of absolute or pure alcohol).

1) Portugal 2.98
2) Luxembourg 2.95
3) France 2.87
4) Hungary 2.66
5) Spain 2.66
6) Czech Republic 2.64
7) Denmark 2.61
8) Germany 2.50
9) Austria 2.50
10) Switzerland 2.43

(The U.S. is #32)

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Wednesday, August 16

Good Ol Indiana

I was gathering information about the nightlife, drama, drinks and such in this fine midwestern state, and here are some of the unique things I found out(keep in mind this is a college town)...

Corona with grenadine is a popular thing to order (I had never heard of that before!).

Women that get kicked out of clubs sometimes bite the bouncers and then tell them they have hepatitis.

It is not uncommon to see a man take off his prosthetic leg and drink a beer out of it.

On Easter Sunday a certain bar holds a miller light can drinking contest. The current record stands at 34 in 9 hours (now that is being faithful!).

Native Hoosier subway commercial guy (Jared) thinks he shouldn’t have to pay for cover or drinks. (Word is he is not as svelte as he used to be).

On 10 cent draft night (I miss college), someone actually comes up and pays with 10 pennies ...EVEN.

Tipping Wars

I can see that the issue of tipping really hits a nerve with some people. Listen, I’ve been a server at many different bars/restaurants in many different cities/states. I think that as with everything, sometimes it is hard to understand a point of view if you haven’t been on both sides.

I’m saddened to even read the remark that servers shouldn’t worry about tips and just take pride an enjoy their job. I took a lot of pride in being a server, and I put my whole self into what I was doing. Not only did I, but the bus woman/man, bartender, host and bar back I worked with also took pride in taking care of a guest. Whether it is our career or a ends to a means, tips comprise most of our salary.

The remark that the service should be included in the tab. I agree!...We should add gratuity and then we wouldn’t have to deal with this! That is what they do in Europe and then you just sign. How messed up is it that that is your argument though? You rant that it should be included etc... Are you too lazy to fill in an extra line? I don’t understand this.

Bottom line is that I NEVER had a table that was respectful and pleasant to serve that did not tip. The only tables that did not tip were obnoxious, rude and downright degrading. Makes you wonder. How you treat a waitress says a lot about who you are. The debate over tipping could go on forever, but that statement stands still.

Tuesday, August 15

Readdressing Tipping Etiquette

I wanted to address a comment that was left on the the tipping etiquette post.

The question I answered was if you tip 20% on an expensive bottle of wine. I said yes. You tip on the dining experience and not the item. Read more of the answer HERE... Others disagreed:

Buster had this response:
Bollocks - 20% to open a bottle of wine!
Americans think they deserve a tip for nothing. At an average New York hotel I was expected to add 15% to 20% for a self service breakfast! I live in Spain where waiters ( of either sex ) only expect a tip for proper service.

My rebuttal: I agree that waiters in America also should only expect tip for proper service. However, Buster, I just spent two weeks in Europe, and you must remember that being a server is a different profession there than it is here. In Europe a server is paid a proper salary and in America servers rely on tips and work well below minimum wage. It is not that we want a tip for nothing (believe me, we don't do nothing!)! Our service industry culture is different than yours!

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Be Patient With Me!

Good News and Bad News. I'm upgrading my site and I'm working out the kinks. As it will all be fine soon, some things will be missing from the site (such as the videos). I'm working on it!! However, as you know, I am in Indiana. My parents have not upgraded to proper technology, so I'm trying to work this out at the local coffee shop. BTW the coffee is the same price here as in NYC. But I did leave my computer, purse and such when I went to the bathroom and I was not at all worried that it wouldn't be there when I returned!


P.I.N.K. Vodka Makes The Times

My favorite vodka, p.i.n.k., made The New York Times Style Section on Sunday as drink of the week! Congrats!

Celebrity Guess Who?

Which radio show host who can be quite shocking makes it a point to be a good tipper? He once was accused of leaving a bad tip in Vegas and he is upset that the association of being a bad tipper still lingers....He speaks of it quite frequently on his hugely successful and entertaining show.

Monday, August 14

Weekend in the Midwest

I have extended my stay here in the Hoosier state because I am having too much fun. Also, I'm really enjoying how much I can drink here for much cheaper. However, gas for the car is making it all equal out.

Comparison of bar tab:

Indiana/New York

2 bottles miller light $5.00 / $16.00

1 Grey Goose and soda $4.00 / $11.00

TOTAL $9.00 / $27.00