QUESTION: Tim, a reader sends in an e-mail asking, “Sam, I have a friend who is notoriously cheap. Whenever we go out to eat with a group he disappears to the bathroom when the bill comes. Whenever we go out drinking, everybody buys a round of drinks except for him. What should I do? The last bill came out to $100 each from $70 because he and his wife disappeared! And why is it that every time we go out with clients together he never volunteers to put his corporate card out? He drives an expensive car, and always has expensive threads so why am I always stuck with the bill? It’s so frustrating!”
RESPONSE: Well Tim, I have to say that your friend is a 100% cheapskate, and you may want to stop inviting him out or doing anymore joint client events together. He is taking advantage of your kindness, and your willingness to let things slide. As far as I’m concerned, you can equate his lack of contribution to stealing. The next time he goes to the bathroom right before the check comes, just simply take your time and wait until he gets back to pay his fair share. Better yet, follow him to the bathroom, shake one out, and return together. He can’t escape!