Last week I told you about my experience with a wedding reception venue, and as my four-year anniversary is approaching, this week I want to tell you about the experience we had on our honeymoon. What a difference there was! While we experienced bumps in the road with the reception venue, the honeymoon was smooth sailing. We were lucky enough to find an all-inclusive resort in Cancun for a decent price, so after throwing all of my summer dresses into a suitcase, I knew I would have to put forth little to no effort once we arrived in Mexico.
To begin, let me just tell you how amazing our resort was. So beautiful! In fact, we stayed at the Beach Palace resort, and if you are enough of a reality TV junkie to have watched “Snooki and JWoww” you would have seen our resort featured when they stayed there for spring break; JWoww said “Beach Palace is so dope right now.” That’s my claim to fame. I’m a bit of a loser.
Because the resort was all-inclusive, we knew that we would be perfectly fine staying there the entire time, other than any excursions we chose to take. There were five different delicious restaurants to choose from, along with a sports bar and pool bar. The resort offered activities each night, like a Michael Jackson tribute, that we were lucky enough to watch while eating our private, honeymoon dinner with our own personal server. All in all, it was a wonderful experience at a wonderful resort. But the best part about this resort were the people who worked there.
The all-inclusive aspect of this resort included gratuity, so when you went out to eat it wasn’t necessary to take along any kind of purse or wallet. You could choose what you wanted from the menu, as much as you wanted, and never have to worry about how you would be paying for it, or how much you should include for a tip. Because of this fact, you might think that the service we received wasn’t up to par, but you would be wrong. We received better service at this resort than we ever have at any restaurant where the server is actually working for a tip. On the night that my husband decided it would be cool to eat an habanero pepper, our server was extremely attentive (after laughing at him with his fellow servers, of course) and brought over milk and anything else that he needed. All of the servers were very patient with the sheer amount of food that we ordered, as we sometimes just ordered “one of each” and attempted to eat as much as possible. The bartenders went out of their way to prepare drinks that we would love and the staff working on the boats for the excursions provided entertainment and beverages, making the trip enjoyable even though we ended up waiting on a boat for an extra 2 hours due to a scheduling conflict.
Upon returning to the states, we experienced a bit of culture shock when we went to our first restaurant. Prior to our trip, having been a server in college, I operated on the “20% no matter what” rule. My husband did not love this policy, but usually just let me take care of the tipping side of things to make it easier.
However, when we returned I realized how entitled servers can be, expecting at least 20% no matter how attentive, friendly or competent they are. As I mentioned, I was a server, so I fully understand the difficulty of the job; I know there are nights when you walk in the door and are given five tables right off the bat. You are expected to handle all of these tables with ease, giving them all the proper attention at the exact time they need it. Unfortunately, that is impossible. Inevitably, someone isn’t going to get the attention they want and are going to leave feeling less than satisfied. What I am talking about, however, is when your server steps outside to smoke a cigarette, leaving your water glass empty and your food under the heat lamp in the kitchen. Or when you are ready for your check and your server is standing around talking to her coworkers, making you late to your movie. In both of those situations, that server does not deserve a quality tip because they did not earn it. However, they still expect it, which is where the problem lies.
As a society, it’s time we stop acting like we deserve everything our heart desires without actually working for it. It’s not fair to complain that you can’t find a job if you aren’t willing to put in the work to find one, or better yet, perform a job that you feel is “beneath you.” It isn’t ok to assume that someone who lives in a big house was given a hand out, or is living beyond their means; most of the time people who live in big houses do so because they worked their tails off to earn it. And if you’re a server, or do any other job that accepts tips: just because the standard tipping rate is 20% does not mean that is what you deserve. The point of a tip is to show appreciation for a job well done. If you are a taxi driver and you drive in circles looking for my destination, chances are you won’t receive a tip; actually, chances are I won’t pay you at all. If you are a hairdresser and I ask for a half-inch trim and leave the salon with a Carol Brady bob, you’re probably not going to get a good tip. And if you’re a server who is more interested in your weekend plans than you are in refilling my wine glass, please do not act bewildered when you see my 10% tip. Because I promise you my husband would have left you nothing.