A central Iowa woman who’s worked some 13 years as a bartender, hostess and waitress is compiling a book of her own stories and those from servers nationwide who’ve had bizarre experiences. Joanna Schroeder of Des Moines says her upcoming book “Crazy Psycho Server” contains a lot of important lessons for anyone who dines out.Especially in a business lunch situation, Schroeder says if someone mistreats their server, the client sitting across from them will think “I don’t want to do business with this person because look how they’re treating the server. What if they treat me that way?” She says the same goes for people on dates. She’s seen horrible meltdowns — the worst are when someone is proposing marriage in a restaurant and gets rejected. Schroeder says tell the server up-front what you’d like to have happen. Whether you’re having a romantic dinner or a business meeting, tell the server whether you’d like them to stay away or stick close and when and how you’d like to be served — that way everyone wins. As for gratuity, Schroeder says she’s had great tips and no tips. She says the standards still apply: ten, 15 and 20-percent tips for good, average and excellent service. As for leaving -no- tip, she has another tip on tipping. Schroeder says to find the manager and explain why you’re leaving no tip, what the problem was with the server, the food or something else. Leaving no tip and not also leaving an explanation leaves everyone wondering where the break-down happened. On the other side of the coin, she’s had a few doozies. When bartending, she once got a 100-dollar tip from a guy who only ordered one beer. Schroeder has collected stories from servers across the U.S. via her website, “www.crazypsychoserver.com”. She says the book should be out in a few months.
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