Woman chases down customer who doesn’t tip their pregnant waitress

Mary Duncan

Photo by Shelby Cohron on Unsplash

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.*

Decades ago when I was a young and pregnant woman I was working at a diner where not only was I the waitress, but between the hours of two and six o’clock at night, I was also the short order cook, busser, and dishwasher.

I was the only one working there, everything that happened in those four hours was up to me to handle, and sometimes it really stressed me out.

Luckily, the diner was the kind of place where lots of my friends liked to hang out and I usually had some familiar company during those hours, whether it be my best friends, some acquaintances, or just some friendly “counter people” who came in just to drink coffee and chit chat.

One afternoon there entered four young people, two guys and two young women who looked like they were either in high school or just fresh out and in college.

All four of them ordered milkshakes and cheeseburgers with fries, so after I put their burgers on the grill I went and started getting scoop after scoop after scoop of ice cream to make their shakes.

Now, if you’ve ever been a waitress or worked in a restaurant you know how annoying it is to stop what you are doing to make a milkshake, so I was already annoyed with this table.

They didn’t say thank you when I delivered their drinks, and after I delivered their burgers they had me constantly running to get them things like sides of ranch and BBQ sauce and more napkins, all while I was cooking and waiting on other people in the diner.

Finally, the four of them left, and I went right over to the table to make sure they had paid.

They did pay - but they left me no tip, not even a dime.

“They didn’t tip me,” I said, my frustration building to tears.

“What?!” My friend Liz who had been sitting there exclaimed.

“They didn’t tip you? And you did everything for them? And you’re pregnant? Oh, heck no…”

Liz immediately jumped out of her booth and ran out the door.

I watched as she went up to the driver’s side window of the car the kids got into and she started pounding on it with her fist until the guy rolled it down.

I couldn’t hear what she was saying to him, but her face was animated and red, her arms were waving, and the guy started looking scared.

A moment later all four of them were shuffling around in the car and passing things to Liz out the window.


She came back in a moment later, as the kids were tearing out of the parking lot, and proudly held up a fistful of money.

Liz had procured me a seventeen dollar tip.

“What did you say to them?” I asked her.

“I said to them: ‘What’s wrong with you? Didn’t you see that woman in there doing everything for you? Waiting on you, making your drinks, cooking your food, doing your dishes, and you didn’t tip her? And she’s pregnant?!”

Basically, she had scared the living heck out of these kids who hopefully learned their lesson about tipping when they go out to restaurants.

I thanked my lucky stars that there are people in my life who would chase after nasty customers for me.

What would you have done?

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I write about relationships and parenting, life, society, people, and sometimes also beer.

Connecticut State

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