How to Learn About Yourself

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Reader Comments (25)

This is officially the best Basic Instructions ever. *EVER*

March 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJohn M. Berg

That's hard to argue with, given that my wife might read this...

March 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMike86

How can I say this gently...oh, what the hell. What you've learned isn't that all women are really smart, but that some men are really dumb.

March 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnne

First thoughts:
"How does a server flirt? I mean its just a coputer?....."

March 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTroller

@Anne: "Knowing how to exploit the dumbness of others" is a key form of intelligence.

March 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSnails

Saying we're really smart will get you better service, mister.

March 17, 2014 | Unregistered Commentergobbler

Correction: *Many* men are really dumb ;)

March 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDave Finton

My thoughts as I read:
Panel 1 wins. No! Wait! Now I've read panel 2. Wow! Panel 3's better. Dang it...panel 4 is perfect in its comedic insight. Time to change the comic in my cubicle.

On a side note, I never tip a waitress who makes me uncomfortable, with the exception of the one who explained bone peircings. Anyone willing to risk a group of people vomiting in a restaurant deserves a tip.

March 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenteraSimplerSimon

I got a 7 inch tablet computer and started wearing it on a neck cord, inside an adapted book cover. Only then did I notice this made people very uncomfortable. So I stuck tape over the camera lens, which I mostly don't use anyway. Now it doesn't make people uncomfortable, except my sister, who won't be seen with me when I wear the thing. My point is, servers are unlikely to perform unwanted flirting if you have Google Glasses, or have glasses that look like Google Glasses, or anything that looks like a camera or a recording device. Probably anything with a small LED will work, preferably white or blue. That clip-on LED bookmark, for instance. Or, just speak clearly and distinctly and unnaturally, as though for the best recording. But, don't do this in a restaurant that is a front for organised crime. They could take it way too seriously.

March 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRobert Carnegie

So the trick is to feel no shame. Got it!!

March 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew

flirt or not, i tip on the service, "oh flirt with me and my glass is empty(and i don't get a refill), great job, your tip will be lower"

March 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJustin

There are male servers in the world. I've seen them flirt with customers for higher tips as well.

I think the key here is that when you pay people a sub-minimum wages (tipped minimum wage is $2.13 an hour), the smart ones learn to do what ever it takes to get tips to survive.

March 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLEH

It's so rare to see Mullet Boss have intelligent points in an argument and know what he's talking about. Kind of uncomfortably weird, actually.

March 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLummox JR

So, Mullet-Boss feels "shame"? Wow, next thing you know, he might start feeling empathy.

March 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMike N

A waitress has to instantly add up bills and coins left, and factor this against the original bill to arrive at the percentage tipped, then rate her flirt methods employed on this diner against the relative gain/loss of the tactics to arrive at future optimum behavior.
Smart?…they have to be brilliant!

March 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAvery Greynold

Women are looking for one man who will meet their every need. Men are looking for every women to meet their one need. Women therefore exploit men's one need to meet their own every need. And vice versa.

I work in a retail (mostly clothing) store. Women ask me to open the dressing rooms all day long, which usually involves a lot of walking and fumbling with keys. I find no reason for complaint.

Let me put that another way.

All day long, women inform me that they wish to take their clothes off, and ask if I can help them do so.

Yes. Yes, I can.

March 17, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterkhereva

"All right! I've got a blusher!"
I had to stop for a while and just chuckle.

Great comic

March 17, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbonhomous

Directed at Anne: It's more than just a matter that some men are really dumb. If the contents of this comic are true, it implies that women are really good at determining what kind of dumb the men they're serving are.

March 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBrady

It'S weird he's discussing this with his boss. And it's insightful.

March 18, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterzeugenberg

Great strip, but ...
"The server, she kept flirting with me." What does the word 'she' add to that sentence? This is an example of poor grammar that seems to be spreading like a virus. I hear it every day, especially from news reporters: "A witness, he said ..." instead of "A witness said ..."
I'm not sure which is worse, the redundant pronoun or the "double 'is' ": (e.g., "The problem is, is that ...")

This English major has had it up to here with such sloppiness.

... and you kids get off my lawn!

Note from Scott: It made it clear that the server was female, and helped sell the idea that I was upset by the experience. It's clear you feel that word choice was a mistake. I just want it clear that it was a deliberate choice, not laziness. Whether that's actually better or worse is your decision.

March 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDoug

I've had friends who waitressed. They soon learned that the myth that women are lousy tippers is just that. Men tip for sex, women tip for service, and women are more likely to give some slack for slow service if the restaurant is crowded and they can see the waitress is working hard, not just flirting at one table, while men each want their waitress to give them more attention than the rest of the area.
The way to get a female client to stiff you on the tip is to flirt with all the men and ignore the women, leaving them waiting twice as long for service.
The one customer every waitress dreads is the young man on a date; if he re-checks the menu after his date orders, and then orders for himself, he's calculating exactly how much he can afford.
Problem is, most of these guys forget about the tax, so when they're done paying the bill, they have pocket change left for the tip.
Waitresses have to be fast with math, have great social skills, the patience of a saint, nice big tits, and lots of insight into the human psyche.
Lacking all of these except some math, I became a construction worker.

March 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDee

"...Problem is, most of these guys forget about the tax..."

Wouldn't it be easier for everyone if your menus just had the actual price of stuff and waiting staff were paid a proper salary? In my few years on the 'net I've seen thousands of grizzles from Americans about tipping. FFS, just abolish the practice.

March 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSimes

@Doug - Scott already pointed it out. However, I figure a bit more context wouldn't hurt. Unlike many languages, English lacks gender identifiers outside of our pronouns. So when you say server the listener doesn't know if it was a male server or a female server. In many languages there are articles or the ilk that are used to declare the gender of the subject. Le and La in french for example.

Since English lacks such articles we do the what Scott did in order to specify the subjects gender. He couldn't just leave off the word server since that would cut out important information. And cutting off the gender pronoun also would leave out important information. It is true that the server's gender could be found out through the rest of the dialogue and as such one could decide that it isn't necessary to put the information up front. The issue is though that this comic mirrors a conversation and when conversing you are not looking at the conversation as a whole since you don't yet know what the whole of the conversation is. Thus, you front load all relevant information in order to avoid any confusion. In this instance the fact that the server was female was relevant and as such would be front loaded in a casual conversation in some manner or another. Of course there are other ways to front load it, but this method tends to be the most succinct.

As for the comic. I loathe tipping. So it is a good thing I don't go to restaurants that require such. But I can say that having to tip would make me mega uncomfortable even without flirting. Flirting would just compound matters and I would likely run out screaming and pulling out my hair. And then I would get mobbed for leaving without tipping. Or at least publicly shamed.

March 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDustin

@Simes, thoroughly agreed. Tipping isn't going anywhere, because it is a nasty little three-way conspiracy in which each party gets (or thinks he gets) something for nothing. (Default English pronoun used in lip service to the grammar maven who doesn't understand the informal constructions in colloquial English)

The employer gets to pay his workers less than minimum wage, stiff the government on payroll taxes, and pretend with some success that his prices are lower than they actually are.

The waiter bets that he can make more in tips than he is being taxed for, and figures that this will make up for the low wage he earns.

The customer gets to pretend his meal costs less than it does, and if money runs low, he can always stiff the waiter and get away with it.

It will take a mighty force of will indeed to overcome such a conspiracy, and I see no signs of any such thing happening (the War On Labor* having been fought and won over the past generation or so).

*Labor lost.

March 18, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterkhereva

Does this tactic still work when the genders are reversed? In other words, can male servers do this trick to female customers?

April 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGregory Bogosian

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