Rounding Up the Tip to Win Favor in Restaurants

Being more interesting isn’t always about learning new skills. Sometimes it’s the little things we do that make us stand out in a crowd AND become devastatingly fascinating to other human beings (and more advanced primates and marsupials).

This is my new advice column, where I help people learn the skillz (see how interestingly I spelled that?) to become more interesting.

Today, our very first question is from Sally, a woman I totally made up so I could use a funny photo I took while eating with my friend.

And here we go…

Dear Be More Interesting:When my girlfriend and I go out to eat together, how can I be sure I’m more interesting than she?  


Dear Sally,

There are many ways you can be sure to be more interesting than the person sitting across from you.  For instance, my girlfriend and I split the bill at our last outing, and she tipped 20% to the penny. You have to be on the lookout for opportunities like that. I tipped 20% as well, but ROUNDED UP. Then I left a little note on the bill so the server would know I was the one who rounded the tip UP.

“Slightly larger tip from blonde one”

Viola! Instantly, I became the more interesting person at the table to the server. And my friend, who happens to be a notorious smart ass, looked cheap, so it was a win-win.

QuikTip: Being an asshole can make you appear more interesting.

Note that the SERVER made himself more interesting by spelling his own name “Brendan” incorrectly as “Brenden.” I could not help but find this intriguing. Is “Brenden” on the lam? Did he go through a rebellious phase in high school and change the spelling to anger his mother? Is it a family name handed down by an illiterate relative? Inquiring minds want to know.

Remember this picture from 4th Grade?

That evening offered one other way to improve; my friend brought back a word that had dropped from my vocabulary.

When the server asked if he should split the credit cards, my friend said, “yes,” but then turned to me rolling her eyes and said: “No, you should gerrymander it.”  Somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind I remembered what Gerrymandering meant from some grade school history class. I literally pictured this cartoon in my head.  —>

Gerrymander:  To manipulate the boundaries of (an electoral constituency) so as to favor one party or class.

So her comment made me snort wine out of my nose, both because it was funny and because it was so ridiculously obscure. Snorting Pinot Grigio may have had the added bonus of making me more interesting to the people around us at the restaurant. And now I can slip “gerrymander” into conversation any time it seems appropriate, which is NEVER without sounding like a pompous ass.


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Amy Vansant

7 Responses

  1. iampisspot

    Ooops, I posted my comment in the question box.

    Bah, fuck it.

    [Here, I’ve recovered it… KFL]

    Hey! I sent a question. I look forward to your help.

    In other news, why did you blur the details of what you ordered? Was it a liquid lunch?


    • Amy Vansant

      Thank you for your question, I’ll be sure to answer it just as soon as I sober up.
      HA! Just kidding. Kind of.
      Actually I blurred out the part that was the credit card bits o’ info because my friends is a lawyer and can get pretty anal about things like sharing cc# information. FYI, her social security number is –mmmf! Damn it. She just sued me.


  2. Abby

    Obviously the most interesting people are the ones who tell the server flat-out that they used to be a server themselves and ALWAYS make sure to tip 20.3 percent.


  3. Jen

    Gerrymandering is one of the most under utilized word in the English language. I just made that up. Thought it might make me more interesting.


  4. Scargosun

    I submitted a question. I actually work for someone who could slide that word into daily conversation.



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