I was waiting on a large party, who came in to meet for their monthly gourmet club. As is our custom, I added an automatic gratuity.
A gentleman came up to my manager a while after paying his check. He explained that he hadn't realized at first that the gratuity had been included, and had filled in an additional tip when he signed his credit card slip. He wanted to be sure the extra tip wasn't added. But he would take the refund in cash, if possible.
"Oh of course," said my manager. "We'll take care of it, no problem." Knowing the table had divided the payment, and that each person had paid about $80, my manager said "what was it? $16? $17?" (knowing what a fabulous server I am).
"Um," said the man. "No, it was $9."
"Oh," said my manager. "Was everything okay? Was your server okay? Was there something wrong with your service?"
"Hey now," said the man, not unkindly. "Don't go putting words in my mouth. I didn't say anything about the service! Lisa was great!"
"I'm just cheap!" said the man.
My manager cocked his head at the man, plucked a ten dollar bill from the cash register, and said "Okay then. Keep the change."