For many people, it’s getting tougher and tougher to make a living these days. It’s never been easy — my wife and I both grew up in struggling blue collar families — but there is no doubt about it, people feel squeezed.
In particular, it’s hard to be a food server (i.e. waiter/waitress): Bad hours, rude customers and in most cases, low income. But I’m sorry, getting squeezed doesn’t justify cheating your fellow human being. Among the many new terms in our American lexicon, there is one that is new to me — tipping fraud. The practice involves rewriting the tip that the customer wrote on the credit card slip. Usually, a small amount, but highly irritating.
This has happened at least four times to me in the last year or so:
- An Italian restaurant on Main St. in downtown Walnut Creek, CA.
- Another Italian restaurant in downtown Lafayette, CA, near Mt. Diablo and Moraga Rd.
- A rather high-end Italian restaurant on Upper Grant Ave., San Francisco.
- A Jewish deli in Sherman Oaks, CA.
Granted, we often eat Italian food. But we eat Asian food even more often, and it’s never happened to us in an Asian restaurant, nor Middle Eastern, Mexican and so on.
And judging from the number of entries that come up when entering “tipping fraud” into Google, this has become commonplace. And likely most victims never even notice it.