Consumerism Food'n'drink

A bit rude

When you’re out to dinner in a group at a nice restaurant…

and you get the bill…

and the organiser says she’ll pay the balance of whatever everyone else puts in, as she’s also paying for others who had to leave early…

and everyone else decides to put in $30 each — which is a bit more than is due, so that it will avoid awkward calculations or the organiser (who is also the birthday girl) having to pay too much…

and then the last two people study the bill intently and declare that they only had Mains, therefore they’re only putting in $44 for the two of them…

Nevermind that they had some of the very fine Bruschetta as well, for which there was a separate charge.

Well, I think that’s a bit rude.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

18 replies on “A bit rude”

I usually just chuck in the nearest note I have that covers my meal, ie, if the bill was $16, I chuck in a $20. I hate it when people whip out their calculators and add up exactly what they had. There’s nothing more anal.

But… [Not that I’m excusing this particular incident because I was there and it was an example of outright stingyness]

In response to some of the comments, when you are very poor (ie a student or on the dole) and you go out to a restaurant and very carefully have the cheapest thing on the menu and drink no wine and do not partake of the garlic bread which every one else casually orders “for the table”, you should be allowed to just leave the exact money (plus optional tip) without people getting snippy about it and accusing you of being anal.

It’s nice to be able to avoid the anality of calculators and argument, and I’m thankful that I now have an income that allows me to do that, but I remember when that wasn’t the case.

Yeah true, I think it’s reasonable for fulltime poverty-stricken-type people to only pay for strictly what they ordered… certainly I’ve been in groups where we’ve allowed for that, virtually ordering the person in question to pay no more.

OH!- the angst of the bourgeoisie!

Okay, so what fair dinkum bum ever gets invited to a restaurant? None ever do.

Being a “poor” student is quite a tradition among the middle-classes. Play-acting. Lots of fun. With Mummy and Daddy always there to shell out.

Truth is, these turkeys have never missed a meal in their lives. Nor a warm bed to sleep in.

Obviously the solution is some type of all-you-can-eat establishment where they charge a set price per head. Then everyone only pays $13.90. Another option is to go to a bistro where you order at the counter and pay for yourself. That way the people who order the bread ‘for the table’ get to show how generous they are by actually paying for it too!

Oh yeah, bistros are the bomb. Everyone pays upfront for their meal and you have to buy your own drinks at the bar. Still you’d be hardpressed to find a good bistro in the Sydney or Melb CBD these days I’m assuming

Thanks, Roger. Yes, it was unhelpful. But restaurants, universities etc, are beyond my ken. I can only conclude from what I see – looking in.



(“Peeping Tom”, if you please.)

Well, I don’t like to disappoint people. Especially nowadays, when there’s so much of it about. Disappointment, I mean. It’s quite rampant. Out of hand. An epidemic.

Yeah bugger the CBD for bistro dining. Pubs don’t have to be any good in the city, but in the suburbs people need to go further to get to a bistro so they want it to be worth it. That’s Melbourne I’m talking about.

I’ve never found any good food in the Sydney CBD.

A troll? Well I think that’s someone who’s out to cause mischief.
Don’t worry, I’d never do that. Not here.
Yes, well I’m not sure what troll means, but it reminds me of trollop, a word I used to hear a lot when I was a boy.

Of course, nowadays you have to watch out; you can swear all you like, but a word like trollop can get you in big trouble. Still, I think it’s a funny word. I like it. But mind you, I’d never utter it in public. My golly no!

The worst food in Sydney was served up in the ground floor snack bar of the old People’s Palace in Pitt Street. This was a Salvation Army building (“budget hotel”) whose rooms exuded so much gloom and despair that lodgers sat about in the lobby to avoid being in them.

The view from most windows was of a dim shaft between buildings, with rubbish down at the bottom.

Well, beggars can’t be choosers, that’s true. No choice at all.

Nothing changes. Ever. Words change, that’s all. And describe the same old thing.

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