As most of civilized society knows, it's considered pretty classless to mistreat waiters or waitresses, and a pretty fool-proof indication of your character. In fact, there's only one acceptable way to act like an insufferable prick to a person waiting on you, and that's beginning a meal by whipping out a stack of singles and telling the server, "Let's establish something. You are, I assume, expecting a tip? This pile of one dollar bills represents your potential tip. Every time you please me, you'll see the pile grow. However, if I am unsatisfied-- if you are slow, mouthy, or sneeze into your hands-- you'll notice the pile shrinking. Alright? Good luck." This was not how a young Bill Gross went about things, based on an anecdote he recounts in his latest letter to investors called “The Day When I Gave the Waitress a Negative Tip.”
The Gross family legend is rather full of Paul Bunyan tall tales passed down over the years but none perhaps more self- revealing than “The Day When I Gave the Waitress a Negative Tip.” Admittedly I was young and full of testosterone but the service was terribly sloooww and I was in a big hurrrryyy! Finally presented with a $2.00 bill, I took two bucks and wrote the following on a nearby napkin: “Thanks for the sh…ty service, negative tip – you owe me 25 cents.” I didn’t stick around to see the reaction, but I’m sure it was a unique experience for the young lady. I was, of course, like any 21-year-old, in the business of establishing a repertoire of “unique” experiences and this was but one notch on my Paul Bunyan Axe.
Meaning there are more stories like this one? Must we wait until next month to hear them?