Do you think it's rude for a waitress to call out a customer who doesn't tip?

I'm a server at a casual restaurant. Last night, my coworker had a party of 12 and one of the girls didn't tip on her check of $25. On the girl's way out, my coworker stopped her and pointedly asked "was everything okay for you tonight?" The girl answered no, and my coworker said "okay, just checking!"

Our manager told her not to do it and that she could be fired if the girl called back and complained. But my coworker did it anyway and said "it's just so satisfying! If she's embarrassed about it, she shouldn't have stiffed me."

Your thoughts?

Updates:
SORRY, the girl answered "yes" when asked if everything was okay. I'm an idiot lol
So I agree that my coworker shouldn't have said anything to the girl.

BUT, to those of you who are saying "tipping is optional," ... in the US, no it's not. Not tipping a server, unless the service was awful, is incredibly rude. If you habitually don't tip when you go out, then stop going out to eat and expecting the staff to wait on you for free. Order something to go if you must.

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Most Helpful Guy

  • Here in Europe, I would find it very rude of a waiter or waitress to ask me why I didn't tip. In America on the hand, where service staff members are paid so lousily that they basically have to live off their tips and even then can barely make ends meet, I find it completely understandable and justified that your coworker asked.
    I also find it crazy that she could get fired for something like this. Here in Europe, the way your boss would react if the girl actually called back to complain would be to either laugh at her on the phone or to be friendly and pretend to listen to her, only to hang up afterwards and say to his employees "you won't believe what kind of idiot just called here".

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    • I live in Europe too but coming from someone who works in hospitality, who doesn't expect tips, if I was paid less than expected I would still approach the person and ask why.

    • But the point is that in Europe, you can't expect any tips. You can't just view it as granted that customers will give you tips. In Europe, service staff gets decent salaries (contrary to America) and tips are something explicitly extra. For example a pizza and a drink cost around 35 Franks (37 dollars) in a casual Italian restaurant in Switzerland. The waitress can't just expect the customer to round it up to 40 because "that is what you do". The tip is already included in the bill in most western European countries. In America, I understand the reaction completely because working as a waitress is a direct path into poverty in the US and you have to cling on to every buck. Plus, salaries are so lousy that you CAN expect to be tipped decently.

Most Helpful Girl

  • Yes, kind of. But I can see where they're coming from. Tips make up most of, if not all of their wage. It's just common sense to tip. They need their pay.

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What Guys Said 35

  • You are leaving something out. Asking someone if they are enjoying their meal or if everything is correct and good are things that wait staff usually do during the meal. So the question "was everything okay for you tonight?" is not weird or rude, but the timing was strange by waiting till she was leaving. And saying "okay, just checking!" was not rude. So something had to have been different from what you are saying.

    I do not like the way tipping is set up. It used to mean that you appreciated the service and found it above normal. But it long ago became expected, even if there was no extra effort. Most restaurants pay below minimum wage and the tips are expected to make up the difference, so actually you are expected to pay enough to make her pay reach minimum wage, and that is just wrong. If the customer had problems with the meal, she should have brought them up at that time. The rest of her party seemed to be satisfied with the food and service.

    There is a movement now that is trying to correct that and some chains have gone to paying at least minimum wage and telling customers that tipping is not expected. That is how I think it should be.

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    • I know it's normal to ask if everything's okay during the meal, and I'm sure she did. The reason she waited until the end was because she wanted to make it clear she was referring to the tip. Sort of like "did I do something wrong or something?"

      Also, I messed up. I meant to say the girl answered "yes" when asked if everything was okay. My bad haha

    • If the service was good, then she should have been tipped for the reasons I mentioned about it being part of her pay. I don't like that it is that way, but it is.

      My wife and I often had a meal with a friend of hers. Sometimes we each paid for her meal and she would then pay the tip, and other times we each paid our own (plus tip). She was a nice woman, but she always left something like just one or two dollars for a big bill. I would leave a hat or something and then "have to return to get it" so that I could add to the tip.

  • It's not my job to tip you, I already payed for what I ordered, therefore I don't have to pay for anything else. Yes, I got the service, but that's part of the restaurant, in order to eat in that restaurant they don't tell me to tip the service.
    So no, it's not ok to call a customer out cause it's not their duty to give a tip, it's their choice to do so.

    I always tip cause it's a way of appreciation, but I don't really have to.

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    • It's great that you tip, but until they change the system, tips ARE necessary to make up their wage. If you don't tip, then that server just waited on you for free.

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    • @nakedalligator accprding to Google the average is $10.04 an hour, and about $20,880 a year.

    • Well there's average and there is actual, I have spoken to waiters while in the stats, some making only $6 per hour.

      Even with $10.04 per hour, $20,880 a year would be gross pay though and only if getting full time all year.

  • I think that is rude. tipping is optional. not it is something that should be done especially in most American restaurants where servers make the meat of the money on tips

    People should tip
    Servers should not confront people about a tip or lack of

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  • I believe that unless the service is completely and utterly awful, you should tip 15% min. It is a part of their income I don't care what it is on paper, if companies are allowed to figure that in and under pay, then it should be 90% mandatory.

    I do the same thing at my retail job. I run my part of the store most nights, and because of my age, people don't believe me when I say we are out of something, or they don't trust my knowledge on our products. So they ask this older guy I work with who is not nearly as good as I am, and he always calls me over on the walkie. I love the look on their face when I come over and am like, 'what, you didn't believe me- I'm hurt'. I say it just playfully enough to not get in trouble, but enough attitude to make them feel embarrassed.

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    • Okay, after reading the comments here, I can tell not many GAGers have ever worked a service/tip heavy job before...

  • A tip is a reward for good service. While wait staff expect tips, there is no entitlement to them. I frequently tip 20% but I have also tipped 10% and have left no tip a few times.

    After your coworker was "satisfied" by calling out the patron, she didn't have any more money in her pocket and it is likely that she lost a customer for the restaurant. What was gained?

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  • Yes, it’s rude.

    The only time I don’t tip is when the service has been absolutely awful. Last night, the waitress forgot our second portion of fries, and brought my girlfriend’s burger (without fries) out five minutes before my food (with fries) making us both feel awkward. Another server then asked if everything was okay, I pointed out the missing fries, he left to not do anything about it, and when the waitress came by again we told her about the missing fries but told her to tell him not to bother because by the time they came we’d have finished everything else anyway.

    I still gave them a tip.

    I digress, but to make a point. If the service is bad enough I haven’t tipped, and the waitress calls me out on it, I’ll give her a fucking earful of every reason why she didn’t get a tip. I’ve worked in restaurants myself so I know first hand what an awful job it can be dealing with cunts all day, which is why I usually give them the benefit of the doubt, but accusing me of not tipping for bad service crosses the line.

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  • if you are in the US, you should be tipping in my opinion. but that doesn't mean that its not rude for a waitress/waiter to call out a customer for not doing it. At the end of the day, they dont have to... so calling them out for it is really bad form

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  • She shouldn't have done it. And she may not have the temperament for a service job. I'll say up front I NEVER tip less than 25% ... EVER. And I have tipped as much as 50%. Why do I do it? For the next time I come in... I hoping the server will remember.

    However... tipping IS optional... there's no law that says people have to tip and they shouldn't be called out for it.

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    • 15-20% tips are the norm I think that's way to high to tip that much.

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    • Don't think me an angel though - I'm against the $15 per hour minimum wage and if that shit happens I will stop tipping altogether.

    • Yeah I do the same when I go out to eat lol. I want servers to be happy to see me when I come in!

  • If you can't afford to tip thn don't go out to eat. I used to ask if a customer was ok if I didn't get tipped when I as a bartender

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  • I think it is. Especially in that manner. She wants a tip, i'll give her one
    thechive.files.wordpress.com/.../...wd1fo1_500.gif

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  • I agree with your manager. You are offering a service and some people simply will not tip for whatever reason. There is no obligation to and it seems just unfriendly if you call them out.

    And the reaction of your co-worker proves it being rude when she just does it for mocking the costumer.

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  • It is very rude. Tips originally were suppose to be something to give to exceptional service not something to be expected. It's not my fault a person decided to get a job where there livelihood depends on the generosity of others

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    • Fair enough, but you realize that if everyone decided to get a job where their salary doesn't depend on the generosity of others, there would be no one left to wait on you when you go out to eat? You can't say it's a job meant for teenagers, because at least in my state, you have to be 20 to serve alcohol. So you can assume that everyone working in restaurants has bills to pay.

    • And if there was no one tonwait on people that would cause people to stop going out to eat, which would cause those resteraunts to either go out of business or change their policy of how they pay the waiters/waitresses

  • I'm reminded of this https://youtu.be/4SqrWQR7I6c

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  • The tipping obligation is so weird about the US

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  • Your co worker was in the wrong, that customer may not come back to the restaurant!

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    • Obviously no server cares if a customer who doesn't tip comes back, but the restaurant owners would probably be upset if they found out. I imagine that's why our manager warned her she could be fired if the girl complained.

  • I see both sides of the argument. Why must we top the waitress for bringing out our food? I mean that's their job. Your employer should pay you for doing your job, and pay a decent wage.
    However, it is considered socially unacceptable here in the USA to not tip the waitress/waiter. I always tip, not because the service is good or bad, mainly because it is expected of me to do so. I don't have a problem with it, really.

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    • Very true, and it looks like some restaurants in the US are making progress on that (paying a higher wage and making tipping optional).

      Servers generally shoot for a 20% tip. 15% is average, and anything below 10% makes the server question what went wrong.

    • I've only ever not tipped a waitress once. She was rude as all hell and I asked to speak with her manager and she was sent home. But, yes. Your employer should pay you for the job you do. I'm sure being in the restaurant business, labor costs are wicked cheap, because they are tipped employees. My stepmom was a waitress and I've seen her bust her ass working so I always tip good. Sometimes I tip up to 40%, especially if my glass never empties. Lol

  • I can see why she didn't get tipped...

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  • yes it is rude, it is not our job to pay you more. and if I think they didn't deserve a tip I won't leave one, also if I don't have any single bills I won't tip either

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  • maybe her friend tipped for her? If not, than yeah I would be on your side. But still , its not good practice to approach them.

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  • you don't harass people. it's not required for a tip so your friend should take your bosses' advice and fuck off

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  • I find the whole American logic of forced tipping a bit strange. Tips should be for good service and the choice of the customer in my eyes and certainly not something to be expected.

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  • Soo you're basically giving extra money to someone for doing their job?

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  • Yes. Calling out a customer may make that customer not return. Yes, it's wrong for the customer to not tip especially if everything went well. But for the waitress to call out the customer makes the waitress sound greedy.

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  • The company should be embarrassed for placing the responsibility of giving raises on it's customers. Tips are tips, they aren't mandatory. If the waitress wants better pay, go complain to the manager, not the customer.

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  • I don't tip. It's not my responsibility to pay someone else's salary I got bills of my own to deal with. Watch the opening scene of reservoir dogs and you'll see what I mean.

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    • If you can't afford to tip, you can't afford to eat out. Order something to go if you must.

    • You sound like my mom, but no I don't tip. Maybe if she's really hot I might.

  • even if she is justified it is a silly thing to do for many reasons

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  • It's rude yes.
    Also... I live in a culture where there's like no tips, so yeah

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  • its rude not to tip but its over the top to be vocal about it.

    in korea its offensive to tip.

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  • Your coworker is rude and greddy

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  • How much do you usually need to tip?

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    • 20% of your bill is considered a good tip. 15% is the bare minimum you should tip. 10% or under makes the waitress wonder what she did wrong.

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    • Just as an after thought I usually tip unless the service is horrid.

    • @douride2 I don't know who came up with the idea, lol, but that's how it is.

  • More from Guys
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What Girls Said 23

  • I personally always tip, but the amount of that tip will depend on how the customer service was. That being said, tipping is not an obligation or mandatory for the customer. So yes, I think it's tacky and rude on the part of the server to call someone out for not tipping. If it's THAT much of a problem for her then she should find a job where she won't have to rely on tips. If I chose not to tip a server for whatever reason and the server got an attitude with me about it, I probably would not go back to that establishment.

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  • It is curteous to tip, but it isn't mandatory. If you work in customer service then your only priority is making sure the customer leaves happy, not that you are paid more than your wage. Do you deserve to be tipped every time? Abso-fucking-lutely! But it doesn't always happen. $25.00 isn't much so you don't know if that girl was a college student or young mother (whatever the case) who didn't have enough money to give you a tip, and then you go and call them out when they just had enough for a meal. It's rude, it'll scare patrons off, and with the electronic age we live in, it'll spread and be bad news for the company. Don't do it.

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  • I have been to a few restaurants where the Gratuity was Included for just this Problem purpose, @snowangle.
    I have been with friends who at that moment could not afford to give Much and the waitress did approach them and a simple answer of "I am sorry, we cannot afford to give much," but did tip what they could afford. She then softened up.
    No, I feel it isn't proper to say anything but with the economy the way it is and people doing as they feel like for whatever the reason of the season, I am starting to see that more places are beginning this gratuity deal so it doesn't have to end up A... raw end deal.
    Good luck. xx

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  • I don't think i'd be able to stop myself from saying something either. that's a person's living.

    plus it's common knowledge that a lousy tipper is bad in bed.

    http://cleverlemon.me/

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  • It can be rude but its not necessarily that she was harassing the person who didn't tip. She could have been trying to get clarification so she would know whether or not she was doing a good job as its very common for employees and companies to survey their guests and clients. The other thing is that anytime I go to a restaurant with a large party there is always a mandatory tip since the restaurant has to sacrifice a lot to take care of us. I never get a mandatory tip when I go to a restaurant by myself unless it is a sushi buffet but if I go with 6-8 people - they always force everyone in my party to give them a mandatory tip which they refer to as a service charge so the lady was obligated to tip - it was not optional.

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    • Yeah I do wish automatic gratuity for large parties was a thing at our restaurant lol. Thanks for answering!

  • Tipping is a courtesy of Saying thank you for your service. It's not obligated. She payed for the food either they had to get up and grab it from the chef or someone delivered it to them. While it might be the chefs fault for taking long and getting the orders wrong, It effects the customers view of the whole company, and they will never come back. So if she wants her tips she needs to speak with the chefs

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    • Tips SHOULD be a courtesy, but unfortunately it makes up our entire wage.

  • Well the girl said she wasn't satisfied, so I would take issue with her complaining if she didn't have the balls at the restaurant. Your friend is in the right - from the companies viewpoint she should be trying to gain feedback to make the experience better. If the customer doesn't have the bollocks to follow through and explain what made her unhappy, well tough shit quite frankly.

    it's like trying on a dress, saying it doesn't suit you and walking out with it on anyway. You either explain yourself or you pay the difference. Simple as.

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    • Read the update. I meant to say she answered yes, as in there was nothing wrong.

    • Oh. Okay. Well to be honest, it's up to the person paying... in this country, tips are not expected like they are in America. I mean for all your friend knew she had a low income, that's all the money she had, she didn't think the meal was worth more... there could be a lot of reasons behind it.

  • Well for 1 thing tipping is stupid to begin with. Though that's USA since there are other countries that don't tip.

    Still doing that like what some others said it's not their job to make sure you get paid enough. It's not their fault if the restaurant pays you shitty. Plus for all you could have known those people could have been from another country where tipping doesn't really exist.

    Though if you make the customer feel like they are being forced to give you money. They will probably not want to ever go to that restaurant again.

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  • ya it is. Now I'm not from the US and I think tipping isn't that big of a deal here, but either way. Tips aren't mandatory. She can't be rude for not getting she's not entitled to

    Asking if everything was ok is one thing and when the girl said no, she should have asked why not, since clearly she was unhappy with something.
    In larger parties also people sometimes give a tip between several people. Overall I don't think it's right to be upset for waiters or waitresess about not getting tipped

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    • Sorry but the girl answered yes when asked if everything was okay. My bad haha

  • Not everyone can afford to tip and I think it's rude and unnecessary. Tips shouldn't be expected they should just be a nice bonus if they happen.

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    • They shouldn't be expected, but unfortunately that's the system. We don't get any sort of paycheck, so tips make up our entire income. If a table doesn't tip, then we just worked for free.

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    • Nope, we get 2.13/hr, which is just about enough to cover taxes.

    • shit the U. S sucks

  • The customer is not obligated to tip. Bottom line.

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  • asking if everything was ok was understandable. had she gone beyond that and actually said anything about the woman not tipping, then yes she would have gone too far..

    why didn't she grat the whole table?

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    • Why didn't she what?

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    • Ahhh gotcha. I don't think our restaurant allows that. Besides, I think the rest of the party tipped her party. But I have had a coworker wait on a party of 20 for two hours - which took up her entire section, so she wasn't getting any other tables - and they left her NOTHING. So I do wish we were allowed to add gratuity to parties.

    • *the rest of the party tipped her okay. Lol autocorrect.

  • I tip based off the service I receive. If it's crappy then I don't tip. Period. And telling someone "oh if you can't afford to tip then go to McDonald's" is ignorant as hell.

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  • yes i DO!!!

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  • I can understand the frustration from the server but she needs to stop acting entitled to a gratuity when in reality a lot of people don't tip because it isn't required. If you want more money you get a better job you don't act like a spoiled brat because some stranger won't give you 5$ for smiling and bringing them food.

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  • I think it's rude. The girl probably didn't have enough money for a tip

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  • yeah i think it is rude. not everyone tips, its not mandatory. she's acting as if the customer didn't pay at all

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  • She needs to get a job where tips aren't everything.

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  • Don't you waiter/resses don't get paid anyway? It isn't a stripbar!.

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  • that sounds uncomfortable

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  • Yeah it's rude. But that shit happens and you go into food service knowing that

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  • I do. We don't tip waitresses, we just expect their employer to pay them a resonable wage so the costumers don't have to pay for anything else except for what they have consumed.

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  • Don't do it. I understand tips are a way waitresses make money but some people just don't have the money to tip, not that they're trying to be jerks. I don't tip or too much sometimes simply because I don't have the money to tip, I'm a college student attempting to squeeze by on a crappy part time job.

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    • If you don't have the money to tip, stay in and cook. You wouldn't go to McDonald's if you didn't have enough for a burger, you should not go out to eat at a serviced restaurant if you can't afford the tip.

      Besides, many people in service ARE IN YOUR SHOES, poor students and in need of the money. They often get paid less than $3 an hour too, so your excuse just sounds selfish to me.

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    • Okay, well at least you try :) A lot of people habitually leave zero tip and they're the ones everyone hates.

    • No I still tip, it's just not like a "proper" tip like "you're meal was___ so you have to tip ____". I just tip what I can but its not like an outrageous amount so I can still have money for gas and other necessities. Eating out is my only luxury and I don't do it often given my money issue but if I'm craving something from somewhere best believe I'm going to try and get it. I get tired of eating ramen and microwave meals all the time and I don't have a meal plan with my college because it's too expensive. I'm not paying $2000 to be able to eat on campus for a year you know?

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