Educating the Waiter

More than a generous tip


Educating the Waiter
by Azadeh Azad

It is a cool summer evening of a young woman with short blue hair in Vancouver. Tattoos on her arm and piercing on her nose and lip, she walks through the doors of a French bistro and takes a table in the front window. The lone waiter throws her an unenthusiastic sidelong glance from his station behind the counter, contemplating the unlikliness of her producing any worthwhile tip, instead concentrating on the elegantly-dressed and potentially far more lucrative middle-aged couple who are whispering tête-à-tête in a far corner of the restaurant.

Some time later, after Verdi has segued into Mozart, the young woman, with some difficulty, finally gains the attention of the waiter, asks for the menu and orders soupe aux lentilles bonne femme.  Half an hour later, when the waiter finally deposits the stone cold bowl of soup on the table before the woman and quickly disappears, she realises that it is cold. However, she utters not a word of complaint and slowly consumes the soup with as much of a semblance of gusto.

Before leaving, she pays her bill and gives the waiter a ten dollar bill as a tip. As the woman has not only not complained of his poor service but also has given him a more than generous tip, the waiter is quite surprised, wondering whether, had he treated her better, she would have given him an even larger tip.

A week later, the young woman with short blue hair comes to the bistro-restaurant again and sits at the same table in the front window. This time, the waiter quickly springs into action, pulling out the chair for her and politely seating her, puts a menu in front of her and stands politely by her side waiting to take her order. The young woman orders the three course special consisting of potage St-Germain, Le Coq au vin à la bourguignonne, coffee and la Flan au caramel for dessert, all of which are served promptly, respectfully and, wonder of wonders, each at the correct temperature.

Before leaving the restaurant, the young woman pays her bill and with exquisite politeness hands him a dime. "This," she says "is for last week. The ten dollar bill was for tonight. Merci et Bonne nuit, Monsieur."


more from Azadeh Azad
Azadeh Azad

Thank you, people :-)

by Azadeh Azad on

I'm glad you liked it. It's a remake of one of Molla Nasreddin stories. He was a comic sage who lived in 13th century Turkey. Turks and Greeks call him "Hoja Nasreddin."



anonymous fish

that is fabulous... i loved it

by anonymous fish on

we're good tippers and we always verbally appreciate good service.  equally, we're outspoken about poor service.  the individual should know and management should know.  but i love your story!!! reminds me of julia roberts on rodeo

Ari Siletz

Azadeh, clever story

by Ari Siletz on

Witty, brief and didactic. Could fit in a modern day Golestan.

hadi khojinian


by hadi khojinian on

I love your writng azade jaan

Fish Here

An excellent experiment!

by Fish Here on

A very interesting departure from your usual more serious writing, dear Azadeh!  A good story told in a great way!  Thank you.  Happy Norooz to you.



by Mehman on

A very constructive story and nicely written!


Witty old Iranians.

by Mohamad.Purqurian on

I am delighted to see many of our old Persian stories being transformed to Western setting these days. 

The original story for this one took place in a barber shop.  And I know someone who actually did it decades ago!



Shazde Asdola Mirza

very witty & entertaining but she better not go back there again

by Shazde Asdola Mirza on

S.A.M (an official Khar Vazir)


What a Lesson...

by free wallpapers (not verified) on

What a great story, I have to try this for myself. The waiter got an education of her life-time!