Please, servers of St. Louis, stop asking me if I want my change. Asking if I want my change implies that you're getting a tip, and while you're basically correct -- I always tip -- you know what happens when you ass-u-me, don't you? Right.
I've worked in the service industry for more years than I haven't, so I know what it's like to have a tip-based income. Because I've served my time (and occasionally still do), I never plan on tipping less than 20%. Ever. That's the jumping-off point. If you suck a little or I didn't like the food, you're still getting that amount. If you're freaking awesome, I'll go to 25 or 30% (let's be reasonable, I'm not made of money).
Look, we both know that tipping is a part of going out, and we know how we treat people who tip like assholes. (Note to anyone who read the above paragraph and has realized that they are crap tippers -- if you can't afford to tip decently, you can't afford to go out.) But the amount I give you is dependent on everything you do up to and including the check. An otherwise great server taking the bill and asking if I want my change makes me feel like I've been tricked. And being tricked makes me feel stingy.
I understand that sometimes, the amount of change given is about the same as you'd expect for a tip. I don't care how much I deserve that tip, I don't care what's considered correct in the customer-server relationship, I never ask if someone wants change. It's rude and presumptuous and I can't believe people still do it.
Want the polite solution?
"I'll be right back with your change."