Dear Annie: I had a problem that I have not seen in your column. My family and I were out of town and having lunch at a lovely botanical garden in a nearby city. A sweet young waitress brought some of our orders and was assigned to our table, although she did not take our orders, as they have a cafeteria-like setup.
We still put down a cash tip with the check, but another girl swooped in to grab it up mere seconds after we put it on the table. I was startled but figured the staff share tips, so I thought it was all right. Our waitress came by, and for a second, she seemed disappointed, which gave me misgivings, but I thought it would be OK.
After we returned home, I realized that the other girl had stolen the tip for our waitress and our waitress thought we had stiffed her. I didn’t know what to do but eventually called and spoke with the manager to tell him of our experience. Apparently, this had happened before. This girl is stealing others’ tips, and those servers think they are being punished for some imaginary service issue.
I don’t know whether our waitress still works there, and we are not likely to be in that restaurant any time soon, so we cannot make this up to her. I did, however, want to warn both customers and servers that this can happen. If you leave a cash tip, hand it to your server, or use a card and add it to your bill. — Tip Went Astray
Dear Tip Went Astray: What a shame. Co-workers should watch one another’s back, not stab one another in the back. I’ve never heard of this happening, and I hope that it’s a rare occurrence. But your warning is worthwhile all the same.
Dear Annie: I would like to respond to “Herbivore Dilemma,” the woman who wrote to you about her father and stepmother’s wanting to become vegans. Your response was one part of the answer. If the daughter really cares about her father, she should encourage his desire to make dietary changes in adopting a vegan, or plant-based, diet. This way of eating promotes health and a longer life, as well as weight loss. Change is always hard and takes time and effort. My husband and I have been vegans for almost 30 years. When he suggested the change, I hesitated because I didn’t know what we would eat. My mother taught me the cooking basics, but it was up to me to learn to cook with new and different ingredients. Being a vegan requires that one be creative and willing to try new things. A good cookbook will open up all sorts of new dining pleasures for the daughter and her family. — Longtime Vegan in Youngstown, Ohio
Dear Longtime Vegan: I love your suggestion that “Herbivore Dilemma” pick up a vegan cookbook for her dad so they can try new recipes together — a healthful way to embrace the change. Thanks for writing.