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I am not one who voices my opinion publicly, but every once in a while, I’ve got to say something. I felt the need to say something about an experience that was had by a friend who is a server at a local restaurant.

We are patrons at the restaurant with some frequency and have become acquainted with some of our servers to the extent that we discuss how our families are doing etc. More than just someone who brings your food and collects your bill, we consider them our friends.

We noticed on a recent Saturday when we came in that our usual server seemed somewhat distracted and was just not the usual smiling young person who welcomes us each week. We later found out that the server had a table of 15 or so people with a $250 or so bill, and they had left her a $2 tip. They had run her ragged and then had the audacity to disrespect her so badly with such a small dose of “thanks for your service.”

Unfortunately, I do not think that the restaurant automatically charges at least a 15 percent gratuity for service with large groups that most restaurants implement. I know this server, and I guarantee you that the best service was given to these lacking-in-courtesy patrons.

These servers are doing a job for you. How would you feel if the tables were turned and you gave your all to a project and were to be paid a per-project salary and you know you did a good job but you receive a meager amount of money because someone was discourteous to you?

Think about it, please. These servers in any restaurant — for that matter, anyone who serves the public — deserve to receive respect for what they are doing to earn their living. Remember everyone works hard and sometimes salaries are not great, and gratuities compensate for that.

So before you decide to head out for your next dining experience, remember that it does not take much to be a pleasant, smiling and kind patron. If you cannot be this person, then perhaps you should stay at home and have a bowl of cereal.

Teresa Facini, Waldorf