Q: A group of co-workers and I have agreed to do lunch periodically. During the initial lunch gathering, I had a great time–that is, until the check arrived. None of us had asked for separate checks, so I figured that we’d each pay for our individual orders. Before I could pay the waiter for my portion, someone suggested that we just ‘split the check equally.’
Don’t get me wrong–I’m not a cheapskate, but I didn’t agree with this, as of course, some had ordered more expensive items than the rest of us. I didn’t want to squabble over the bill or appear insanely frugal, so I ended up paying a hefty amount as a consequence.
I’d love to continue with the lunches, but I need a tactful way to express my desire to fairly pay for only the cost of my meal (including tax and gratuity) without looking cheap or ruffling feathers. Please advise.
A: Simply be frank with your co-workers and suggest that the next time you go out for lunch separate checks would be the fair way to go. Do this before your next luncheon to avoid last minute confusion and possible embarrassment.