Etiquette/What would you have done...

Leareth

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Nov 11, 2004
1,569
6
Vancouver
So my colleagues get together once or twice per week and go grab lunch/dinner together, each time someone else pays.
The price is roughly the same each time and there are 7 of us.
Last time it was my turn to pay.
so far so good.

Then while we were having dinner, 2 of the people ordered a bottle of wine. Which only they drank. 3 of the people are non-drinkers.
In no other occasion when we have eaten together did anyone order alcohol. Those two then ordered a second bottle , which they proceeded to drink.
When the bill comes the wine is 2/3 of the bill.

Now I am really miffed.
most of our meals are shared platters. so every get something. these two got something that only they enjoyed.

I then told the waiter that I would like the bill separated , into food and alcohol .
And told then since they wanted the wine and no one else had any they can pay for it. If it had been beer pints or something reasonable I would have just paid, but these were $80 bottles of wine. They never at any point asked if it was ok for them to get them.
Now they are pissed off at me. Calling me cheapskate.

Fortunately the other people who were there think I was right and would have done the same thing. However other people think the two are right...

Now I am asking what you think/would have done.
 

MattG

macrumors 68040
May 27, 2003
3,760
212
Asheville, NC
I definitely would have done what you did. Someone else thinking they can just order $80 bottles of wine assuming someone else will just pay for it is ridiculous!
 

ezzie

macrumors 68020
Sep 7, 2006
2,208
0
Baltimore, MD
In my opinion, you absolutely did the right thing. It was very rude of your colleagues to order $80 worth of wine and expect you to pay for it.

I've never been a fan of check splitting either, mostly because I don't eat/drink much and always end up paying twice as much as I would've paid for my stuff alone. I'm not a cheapskate, but I do like things to be fair. :)
 

IntheNet

macrumors regular
Oct 6, 2009
190
0
...I then told the waiter that I would like the bill separated , into food and alcohol...
What you did was correct; separating a bill for alcohol is correct, particularly since only a few ordered alcoholic beverages. Individuals ordering an expensive wine in a group - for which only a few will drink - is rude. Typically in groups individuals that wish to drink with dinner set up a tab that the waiter/waitress bills separate.
 

jecapaga

macrumors 601
Jul 1, 2007
4,295
22
Southern California
You totally did the right thing, no question. I'm not a fan of splitting the check, I always get the shaft it seems. I prefer to just have them break out separate checks and pay for my own. Easy. Done.

They're nuts expecting you to just eat it.
 

ucfgrad93

macrumors P6
Aug 17, 2007
17,543
8,168
Colorado
I also think that you did the right thing. It was rude of them to order such an expensive item that only they would enjoy.
 

NoSmokingBandit

macrumors 68000
Apr 13, 2008
1,579
1
Great! Some people need to be called out on their behavior, and you did it perfectly. As long as you werent rude or snappy i see nothing wrong with what you did, and i applaud you.
This group you eat with agreed to split the bill with the assumption (spoken or unspoken) that the bill would be relatively uniform from week to week. Adding $80 of wine to someone else's turn and not offering to pay for it is absolutely irresponsible and rude.
 

Macky-Mac

macrumors 68030
May 18, 2004
2,589
1,142
2 $80 bottles of wine ?!? split between just 2 guys????

it's time to change from having a different person pay the tab each time to splitting the tab each time......these guys are just trying to take advantage of the current situation
 

r1ch4rd

macrumors 6502a
Aug 5, 2005
980
1
Manchester UK
I agree with you completely.

When everyone has something broadly similar, it's easier to just split the bill and leave the change as a tip (much less hassle). However, if it is obvious that this isn't the case, it's completely reasonable to expect people to pay their fair share.

If I had ordered something extra, I wouldn't be offended if you asked me to pay, only embarrassed that I hadn't volunteered the money already.

We do something similar at work. Every week we all pay the same amount, no matter what you have. Anything left over goes into a pot that carries over. Over a few months it all evens out and saves us having to work everything out each week. Anything left over pays for drinks at the Christmas party.
 

benlee

macrumors 65816
Mar 4, 2007
1,236
1
You did the right thing if you thought it was the right thing to do. These two people seem rude and inconsiderate. I wish I had your ability to call people out, sometimes I think I don't speak up. I'm sure these guys would not have ordered if it was their turn to pay. I would have been so pissed.
 

JML42691

macrumors 68020
Oct 24, 2007
2,082
2
As long as you were polite about it when having them pay for their drinks then I would say that you did the right thing, it was absurd of them to expect you to cover and extra $80 over what was covered. As much as it can be a major pain, this is why I am always in favor of splitting the checks each time I go out with friends.
 

irishgrizzly

macrumors 65816
May 15, 2006
1,461
1
I would have smiled, said nothing and paid the bill. Then I'd bury the anger deep within the pit of my stomach – letting it smolder with impenitent intensity for years to come.
 

benlee

macrumors 65816
Mar 4, 2007
1,236
1
I probably would have done the same, depending on my relationship with the people.
 

eawmp1

macrumors 601
Feb 19, 2008
4,130
5
FL
To take advantage of someone else "picking up the tab" by ordering either the most expensive food items and/or a high-ticket item such as wine is rude.

You handled it in what seems like the most tactful manner.
 

TuffLuffJimmy

macrumors G3
Apr 6, 2007
8,989
25
Portland, OR
I would have smiled, said nothing and paid the bill. Then I'd bury the anger deep within the pit of my stomach – letting it smolder with impenitent intensity for years to come.
heh, I probably would have done the same thing. Then brought it up in a little "**** you" moment.




methinks I may be a little passive aggressive.
 

bruinsrme

macrumors 604
Oct 26, 2008
6,559
2,280
To take advantage of someone else "picking up the tab" by ordering either the most expensive food items and/or a high-ticket item such as wine is rude.

You handled it in what seems like the most tactful manner.
I completely agree.

When I go out with co-workers I don't do rounds or tab pick ups. I catch a lot of crap but when I go out I have the max 1 drink/beer then I switch to water or a diet beverage.
I don't like drinking if I have to drive and I surely don't want to have to face my wife with a $100+ tab.

I applaud OP, I would have done the same thing. The co-workers should have volunteered to pay for their booze. If they had a problem with that they need a lesson in etiquette.
 

bruinsrme

macrumors 604
Oct 26, 2008
6,559
2,280
haha well we are engineers but no one gets screwed or placed in awkward situations such as this
So are we, and you would swear some of them can't add....
I can see where a spread sheet would come in handy. LOL
Plus generating a spread sheet is probably faster anyway. :D
 

Leareth

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Nov 11, 2004
1,569
6
Vancouver
actually the wine was closer to $200 with the taxes and such
it was $80 PER bottle.

we have been doing this for over a year now, just rotating who pays without issues. Intentionally going to restaurants that have platters and variety dishes.
I am pissed off at them for choosing items that could not be shared , since that is the whole spirit of these dine togethers.
and then drinking two bottles between 2 people, is a little much for a dinner.
 

MasterDev

macrumors 65816
Sep 14, 2009
1,037
0
You totally did the right thing. Those people are jokes for thinking they could get away with that!
 

petermcphee

macrumors 6502a
Aug 20, 2008
632
0
I would have smiled, said nothing and paid the bill. Then I'd bury the anger deep within the pit of my stomach – letting it smolder with impenitent intensity for years to come.
We should get drinks some time. Get drunk, maybe? Smash some bottles? Hide our feelings?