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  • Picking up tab

    So I once saw this local business man who I heard is loaded, pick up my tab one time at bar, when I was starting to work after training and had no money. I never met the guy before and he just paid my tab. Of course I was very happy about it.

    It got me thinking about doing the same thing. Once I hit the 2 comma mark a few yers go, I've been occasionally picking up random people's tab at restaurants and bars. They never know who I am. I pick a table or couple and ask the waitress/er to let me pick up their tab discretely. I figure adding $50 or $70 to my bill every few months isn't going to brake me. I have a steady income every week, bonuses every quarter and my investment keeps growing, no debt (except house with interest a little over 2%).

    Anyone else do anything like this? It isn't anything that can be 'written off' for taxes but I like it.

  • #2
    Yep, but in a different way.

    I like to give big tips, sometimes 100-200% of total bill, if there's a bartender/waitstaff/Uber driver/Doordash dude or some other service worker who provides me exemplary service. Some places they pool tips together and split between all the workers on that shift, which kinda defeats the purpose of thanking that one person, but I feel it's still a nice way to show someone their service was appreciated.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by xraygoggles View Post
      Yep, but in a different way.

      I like to give big tips, sometimes 100-200% of total bill, if there's a bartender/waitstaff/Uber driver/Doordash dude or some other service worker who provides me exemplary service. Some places they pool tips together and split between all the workers on that shift, which kinda defeats the purpose of thanking that one person, but I feel it's still a nice way to show someone their service was appreciated.
      Nice. I was at a local ski resort once during covid. The place used to be crawling with people eating/drinking. But this time around the waitstaff was just looking for work as very few were coming to ski. So I gave each of them about 11 of them $20 bucks each, including the guy who waited on me.

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      • #4
        I haven't done it randomly, but when I see police/fire/ems/military out I try and pick up their bill discreetly.

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        • #5
          I like to start the fast food pay it forward chains.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by STATscans View Post

            Nice. I was at a local ski resort once during covid. The place used to be crawling with people eating/drinking. But this time around the waitstaff was just looking for work as very few were coming to ski. So I gave each of them about 11 of them $20 bucks each, including the guy who waited on me.
            Wow. You carry that many $20 bills? I have like $15 in my wallet.

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            • #7
              My wife and I were at a sports bar, and we overheard that the young couple seated nearby were on their honeymoon. We had our waitress charge their tab to us.

              As a Naval officer, I occasionally picked up the tab for junior officers. I asked them to return the favor by picking up the tab when they became senior at the table.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by BruinBones View Post
                My wife and I were at a sports bar, and we overheard that the young couple seated nearby were on their honeymoon. We had our waitress charge their tab to us.

                As a Naval officer, I occasionally picked up the tab for junior officers. I asked them to return the favor by picking up the tab when they became senior at the table.
                That reminds me I take every opportunity to buy a meal or coffee or whatever for students and residents. Pay it forward.

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                • #9
                  When I was in medical school, my wife and I went out to eat at a fairly nice restaurant for our anniversary. I had bought some gift cards for the restaurant on discount through the university, as they sold a certain number per week (pay $40 and get $50 gift card kind of thing). It definitely wasn’t a place we could afford to eat on the regular.

                  We were seated and several tables away from us I noticed the head of the ENT department at my med school. I had just done a short rotation in ENT, and had been in his clinic for a day or two. He also happened to be one of the local leaders in my church. He and his wife finished and we exchanged pleasantries as they walked by and left the restaurant. A short time later when we finished our meal, the waiter came by to ask us if we needed anything else. When I told him we just needed the bill he said it had already been taken care of and pointed to the table where the physician and his wife had been sitting. I was awestruck. I wrote him a thank you note and thanked him profusely.

                  I’ll always remember that, and now is the time in my life where I can do something like that for someone else. That is if we ever go out to eat in a restaurant again...

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                  • #10
                    Wow, I really like this thread. Great reminder of how to treat folks. My wife always would laugh at me because I was sneaky about paying for other folks.
                    I look forward to getting back out into the world, traveling to see family/friends and hosting with delicious food at home.

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                    • #11
                      I do this at work as well. I don't do Senior discounts, or even veteran, but I love to help out a young teacher or just a simply struggling young parent. The best is to just tell a staff member about the discount/freebie. The patient gets the benefit, and the staff gets to be the one to tell them.

                      My funniest story about this: I did go to Waffle House (yes, really, deal with it! ) with my young son one time. We chatted up the waitress and found out she had been there 8 years (she was 24) and that she averaged just under $9 per hour. Just after that we overheard the table behind us tell the waitress they were getting married the next day. (Rehearsal dinner for 2 at waffle house) I decided to pick up the tab for them and then I realized I couldn't be generous to them and not to the server. After paying their meal and a $50 gift, I ended up giving the waitress the same amount. All in all it cost $150 to eat a cheap 'ol waffle and eggs on a Tuesday night.
                      Last edited by Molar Mechanic; 04-06-2021, 06:41 PM.

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                      • #12
                        I always pay for students and residents. I'll pay for my employed Drs on partnership track.

                        I always tip 20-30% with good service. When we go on cruises, we typically bring about $1k and tip everyone that helps us.

                        Once we reach FI, I'll do a lot more of the above.

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                        • #13
                          I remember every incident where an attending or resident bought my coffee or lunch during medical school. Not in a position to give back now, but I look forward to the day when I can

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                          • #14
                            I take the residents to Starbucks on rounds and treat to lunch when they work weekends. Occasionally pick up a tab, always feels great.

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                            • #15
                              It would be nice to know out in public which people could use the assistance. At the grocery store there are certainly people where $100 worth of groceries could really have a positive impact on their lives. My wife and I do try to be generous tippers. We figure that the money will mean more and do more for them rather than us.

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