Start the Car!



Dear Dharma,

I took my boyfriend out for supper for his birthday last weekend, and when I went to pay the bill I noticed our waitress neglected to put our drinks on the bill.  I didn’t mention it at the time, rather heard “START THE CAR!” in my head, paid and left.

Later that night as we gathered at a bar with friends, I did mention my windfall.  My boyfriend was immediately upset and felt I should have told our server (a pretty blonde) while the majority of my friends agreed it was her problem…

Was I wrong? I feel kinda bad, but then again what if I hadn’t noticed till later, it’s not like I would have gone back…

Drinks on the House

Dear Drinks,

I’ll admit, the “start the car” part of your letter made me chuckle.  I’ll also admit that the same thought may have crossed my mind too.

Then another thought came to me.  Would you have brought it to the attention of the waitress if it were the other way around, if she had accidentally charged you for an extra round of drinks, or would that have been her problem as well?

Because an oversight is an oversight, right?  Just in this case, you were the one who benefited from the pretty blondes’ mistake…

I’m not sure if this is the universal rule of the restaurant world, but a waitress once told me that if she messed up on the bill to the detriment of the establishment, it came out of her pocket at the end of the night.

She told me this when I let her know she hadn’t charged a group of us for any of our drinks that night, that being just one of the many blunders she performed that evening.  She was equally as mortified by her mistake as she was grateful for us letting her know, and I’m betting it’s a mistake she didn’t make again anytime soon.

So… were you wrong?  Well, let’s go about it this way… If you are a believer in karma at all, you may want to hold tight to your wallet for the next little while.

And keep in mind; it’s never too late to correct a mistake if you are so inclined.  I’m sure the phone number for the restaurant is on their website.  🙂



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  • Seriously? says:

    Congratulations, you successfully stole from the waitress, the establishment, and everyone else who gets a percentage of tips from working there. And, because in your head you thought about needing a quick getaway, you did it 100% on purpose.

    Get new friends and maybe don’t steal from people? Not that hard.

    A good person would go back and make up for it.

    • Dharma says:

      To be fair, the course of events was not started intentionally by the LW, the inertia was created by the mistake of the waitress…

      And, to be fair, people make mistakes… which seems to have happened on both sides of the table here…

      Seriously – thanks for your feedback!

Whether you agree with Dharma or think she missed the mark on this one, leave a Comment!

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