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Thu Feb 7, 2013, 10:20 AM

Tip Your Server and Save the World



(Photo: Brian Blanco / The New York Times)

Tip Your Server and Save the World
By William Rivers Pitt
Truthout | Op-Ed

Thursday 07 February 2013

It's your fourth shift in a row at the restaurant, all doubles because you only make $2.65 an hour and need to pay for rent and heat and electricity, and your section is a set of booths and tables - six four-tops, four two-tops, one eight-top - that seat forty-four customers total, and it's been packed from start to finish across your whole rip with couples and clusters of workers from the accounting firm next door and families with children and foreigners who can't read the menu and have never heard of tipping, and twenty different people in your last two shifts have sent their meal back because the cook is new and in the weeds and can't handle the volume and keeps screwing up the orders, and that's not your fault, but the customers take it out on you because you're there.

And your feet are throbbing and your back is a bag of iron rods and your arm is knotted with aching muscles from carrying huge trays of food and drinks as you weave around and through the small sliver of space available after table three joined with table four and their chairs are sprayed out into the lane, and you move through them like smoke balancing six dinners and seven drinks on one hand without spilling a drop or disturbing a soul.

And your biggest table empties out, so you swing into action and police up the plates with half-chewed food and the glasses smeared with lipstick and the pile of napkins filled with snot because one of your customers had a cold and kept blowing his nose and leaving his snot-saturated napkins on the table in an untidy pile, you grab it all up and clear it all out and wipe the table down and hit the register and give the boss his money and pocket the 4% gratuity they left you, and you wince because you know you're not making enough to pay that rent and those bills, and you wonder where you're going to live next week after they evict you, and then the door opens again.

And eight people come barreling in and get shown to your table, and you approach them on your aching feet with your back in agony and your arm trembling, and you smile the biggest smile that has ever been smiled by anyone in the history of smiling, and you hand out the menus, and you say, "Hi, my name is, and I'll be your server, can I get you some drinks?"

The rest: http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/14397-tip-your-server-and-save-the-world

A large number of my best friends are in the service industry. This article means a lot to me. I hope you give it a read, and if you like it, pass it on.

Thanks.

88 replies, 5949 views

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Arrow 88 replies Author Time Post
Reply Tip Your Server and Save the World (Original post)
WilliamPitt Feb 2013 OP
we can do it Feb 2013 #1
phantom power Feb 2013 #2
babylonsister Feb 2013 #3
Sherman A1 Feb 2013 #4
narnian60 Feb 2013 #5
SheilaT Feb 2013 #14
valerief Feb 2013 #6
badtoworse Feb 2013 #7
Lars39 Feb 2013 #8
Gormy Cuss Feb 2013 #11
Lars39 Feb 2013 #15
mokawanis Feb 2013 #9
johnnie quick Feb 2013 #10
Lone_Star_Dem Feb 2013 #12
JDPriestly Feb 2013 #13
AnneD Feb 2013 #16
LiberalFighter Feb 2013 #24
ErikJ Feb 2013 #17
WilliamPitt Feb 2013 #18
ErikJ Feb 2013 #19
WilliamPitt Feb 2013 #21
ErikJ Feb 2013 #25
Matariki Feb 2013 #37
ErikJ Feb 2013 #38
Matariki Feb 2013 #40
hedgehog Feb 2013 #55
Matariki Feb 2013 #57
hedgehog Feb 2013 #59
Matariki Feb 2013 #63
Gormy Cuss Feb 2013 #66
Matariki Feb 2013 #72
Gormy Cuss Feb 2013 #73
ErikJ Feb 2013 #76
Gormy Cuss Feb 2013 #86
Gormy Cuss Feb 2013 #22
rhett o rick Feb 2013 #64
appleannie1 Feb 2013 #36
OriginalGeek Feb 2013 #56
stuntcat Feb 2013 #20
David Zephyr Feb 2013 #23
TeamPooka Feb 2013 #26
DJ13 Feb 2013 #27
AnneD Feb 2013 #31
DJ13 Feb 2013 #32
octoberlib Feb 2013 #28
Arkansas Granny Feb 2013 #29
PDJane Feb 2013 #30
AnneD Feb 2013 #33
PDJane Feb 2013 #43
OneGrassRoot Feb 2013 #34
Matariki Feb 2013 #35
hfojvt Feb 2013 #39
Matariki Feb 2013 #41
4_TN_TITANS Feb 2013 #42
1-Old-Man Feb 2013 #44
timdog44 Feb 2013 #45
Daniel537 Feb 2013 #68
Spider Jerusalem Feb 2013 #46
WilliamPitt Feb 2013 #47
Spider Jerusalem Feb 2013 #48
WilliamPitt Feb 2013 #49
forestpath Feb 2013 #50
AndyA Feb 2013 #51
DAVEDCHICAGO Feb 2013 #52
benld74 Feb 2013 #53
Sekhmets Daughter Feb 2013 #54
hedgehog Feb 2013 #58
madinmaryland Feb 2013 #60
DAVEDCHICAGO Feb 2013 #61
smirkymonkey Feb 2013 #62
Iggo Feb 2013 #65
Daniel537 Feb 2013 #67
WilliamPitt Feb 2013 #69
Iggo Feb 2013 #70
WilliamPitt Feb 2013 #71
Mnemosyne Feb 2013 #74
Jim Lane Feb 2013 #75
WilliamPitt Feb 2013 #82
Matariki Feb 2013 #77
In_The_Wind Feb 2013 #78
Macoy51 Feb 2013 #79
In_The_Wind Feb 2013 #81
michigandem58 Feb 2013 #80
LWolf Feb 2013 #83
Iggo Feb 2013 #84
LWolf Feb 2013 #87
Iggo Feb 2013 #88
lonestarnot Feb 2013 #85

Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 10:30 AM

1. Agreed x100! Servers take the brunt for everything in the restaurant....

the menu, prices, how well or quickly the food is cooked, etc. and they count on customers doing the right thing and tipping them fairly.

(The server in the pic really needs to get her hair off the tray. just sayin')

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 10:31 AM

2. whenever I start complaining about my job, I remind myself of wait-staff

They work long hours, on their feet, trying to be nice to customers whether they are assholes or not, and they don't make very much money, even *when* they're tipped in a decent manner.

I should get up every morning and make burnt offerings in thanks for having the gig I have.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 11:00 AM

3. Thanks, Will; apparently the reminder is needed.

Stellar writing, as usual.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:07 PM

4. I always do tip the wait staff

and it's always 20% or more. Worked in the Restaurant biz for several years in High School & College and know what a "fun filled" job it can be. When I get good service from a waiter or waitress, I take the extra time to let their corporate office know through their web page when possible as well.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:30 PM

5. Everyone should have to work as

a waiter/waitress, teacher, & nurse at least once in their lifetime.

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Response to narnian60 (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 01:22 PM

14. Almost any job that involved serving the general public would do.

I was an airline ticket agent at DCA (National Airport) for ten years, and NOTHING I have done since then, including childbirth, was half as difficult.

I always tip my servers well, even if the service doesn't seem to be very good, because I also know that some of the apparently poor service isn't their fault. It could be the kitchen screwing up. A poor tip from me will still be close to 20%.

When you have a job where you serve the public, you can almost always tell the customers who themselves do such work, because they'll be kind and sympathetic for the most part.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:31 PM

6. How can ANYONE tip their server less than 20% in the US?

Unless you see the server shit in your dinner, servers should get at least 20%.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:33 PM

7. I usually overtip (25%) for breakfast and lunch

The people that wait those meals do the same amouint of work, but the checks are smaller.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:34 PM

8. The subminimum wage for waitstaff needs to be raised, too

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Response to Lars39 (Reply #8)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:54 PM

11. It needs to be eliminated.

Some states have already done so. At least in those states the servers are guaranteed the minimum wage even if they wait on no one. And golly gee, it turns out that restaurants still survive and servers still get tips.

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Response to Gormy Cuss (Reply #11)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 01:31 PM

15. I agree.

Wasn't thinking that one thru.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:45 PM

9. It's a very difficult job

Being on their feet for long periods, dealing with rude and demanding customers, taking complaints for things they have no control over. It is physically and mentally exhausting work. I add 25% as tip and if the service is exceptional and I can afford it I push that up to 30 or 40%.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)


Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 01:04 PM

12. Being the type of person who has worked in the service industry, this resonated with me.

My life has changed, as has my employment over the years. I'm fortunate to no longer be subjected to the bad hours, low pay and physical pain that is a part of the daily life of being a server. I still have back and feet problems from those years though. It's a period of my life of which I'm reminded daily.

I tip well. As do most every people I know that once worked in the industry. What is strange for me is when I go out with people who don't tip properly but make a lot more money than I do. I try and explain why the tip is considered a part of their wages, and how only a portion of it goes to the server busting their back to make our dining experience pleasant. Sometimes people get it and I can tell they'll consider their tip amount differently in the future. Other times it's obvious they may be adding more this time, but it's only so as to not look like a jerk to the rest of the table.

Thanks for taking on the issue. Servers are an often overlooked and easily dismissed group.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 01:15 PM

13. Been there. Done that. And got out as soon as I could.

I don't like going to restaurants. I know too much about the aching legs, the stench and the mean people (not all of the people are mean, but those few who are can ruin your day). If I am going to have to put up with mean people, I want to get paid decently for it.

And waitresses are not paid decently. When I was very young, it was at least a job, and I learned a lot, a lot, a lot about people and the world from doing it. But as a career, it's a somebody's-got-to-do-it job. If you find it rewarding, you are close to a saint in my eyes.

So sincere thanks to all of you out there who do do it because a lot of Americans would starve without you. They would starve not just for lack of food but for lack of a smile, someone to exchange just a few words with, someone who at least tries to make them feel good if only for a tip. For your regulars, you are the sunshine in their day.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.


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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 01:36 PM

16. I remember going postal....

in my Sunday School class over the topic of tipping once. I worked my way through college as a waitress. The worst were the after church groups (large groups). They would monopolize your time then give you a dollar and a bible tract on a tab that was over $200. I guess they thought I was doing 'the Lord's work'. It got so bad that all the waitresses were refusing to work Sundays. Bless the manager, he instituted a minimum tip for large groups (10% but it was much more than we had been getting). Oh, there was a lot of fussing and fuming but we didn't really loose any business that we wanted to keep.

I told our class about how bad that made us Christians look to others. What was Christ's message, what you do to the least of them so you do unto me. Some members were shocked about the less than minimum pay, but several women chimed in with their experiences. I know we opened a few eyes that Sunday.

If you call yourself a Christian and don't tip generously....you aren't!!!!!!!

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Response to AnneD (Reply #16)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 02:17 PM

24. The word needs to get out more in those locations. About the truth on wages for food servers.

Maybe encourage them to support real minimum wage without needing to tip.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 02:01 PM

17. Tipping is fundamentally classist; holdover from slavery?

I've always been a bit uncomfortable tipping which is why I prefer buffet restaurants. I feel like its classist, where the server and I both assume that I am from a higher class "Mr. Rich Bigshot" and perhaps even the master and he/she the servant slave.

Here's a comment I found online:

I mean, tipping in restaurants etc. all the other countries in the world didn't have such tradition except North America.

Japan does not have, China no, Australia no, Europe generally no except maybe somehow influenced by America.

it makes me wonder why America developed such a habit.

is it because of the slavery? because Australia didn't have slavery they don't have tipping habits.


Tipping is like slave keepers sometimes give to the slaves or servants. Slaves do not get salaries, they sometimes get tipped by their masters for encouragements.
http://www.topix.com/forum/topstories/TPP625HEJ9LJTC98V
---------------------------------
Response to somebody asking how much to tip in Japan on Yahoo Answers:

ACK.. DO NOT TIP ANYWHERE. its the height of rudeness to tip in Japan.. it insults the owner, implying he doesn't pay his employees enough. It insults the employee, implying that you had to bribe him to do his job.

------------

Perhaps America should start to somehow ease our way out of this classist holdover from America's slave days?

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #17)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 02:04 PM

18. (facepalm)

Tipping is the way business owners get away with paying their servers $2.65 an hour.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Reply #18)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 02:05 PM

19. And we are their enablers

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #19)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 02:12 PM

21. So screw the wage slaves to make your point?

How about write your congressman to change the law regarding wages.

And don't eat out if you can't afford to tip.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Reply #21)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 02:19 PM

25. I always tip 10-15%

Last edited Thu Feb 7, 2013, 03:15 PM - Edit history (2)

but I dont have to be comfortable with it. That's why I prefer to eat at buffets/smorgasbords and foodcarts even though I dont overeat at them.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #25)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 03:02 PM

37. A 10% tip is shameful.

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Response to Matariki (Reply #37)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 03:05 PM

38. Tip inflation;10% then 15 now 20. How about 50% and NO wage for servers?

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #38)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 03:18 PM

40. 15% has always been the standard

and respectful people tip 20%. Tell me a time when 10% was ever anything but an insult?

However, I agree that restaurants shouldn't be allowed to assume that tips make up for fair wages. It's just that customers not tipping isn't going to change that situation, just make food industry jobs suck even more than they already must.

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Response to Matariki (Reply #40)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 06:32 PM

55. When I was in college back in the Ice Age, 10% was the expected tip.

I suspect that the percent went up as the minimum wage fell behind inflation.

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #55)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 06:38 PM

57. When was that, if you don't mind me asking?

I waitressed in the mid 70's and it was 15% then. Long enough ago for people to know better by now anyway.

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Response to Matariki (Reply #57)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 06:40 PM

59. It was the early 70's in Buffalo. The cost of tipping tends to rise first

in larger cities, then in the hinterlands.


I think tipping of people who are not food servers - door men, mail carriers, newpaper carriers, etc s also a big city practice.

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #59)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 08:07 PM

63. I waitressed in a mid-sized east coast town. Also a small seaport town in New England

I think it's also true that people from the mid-west generally tip less. At least older people from the mid-west. My ex's parents from Ohio used to embarrass the hell of us when they'd insist on paying for the meal and leave only a $1 or $2 tip as if that was perfectly normal. We'd have to sneak back to the table and leave something reasonable.

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Response to Matariki (Reply #40)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 08:46 PM

66. No, it hasn't always been the standard.

Up until the 1960s-70s 10% was the typical rate for counter service, luncheonettes,bartenders, and similar food service.
Fifteen percent was the standard for white linen table service. Ten percent was still considered a good tip for the bar portion of a bill even later than that because of the extreme markup on alcohol. In fine dining establishments an additional 5% tip would be expected for the sommelier.

The tip inflation to 20% is fairly recent except in large cities. Ironically, in some of the big cities it's edging closer to 20% as a minimum and 25% as more typical and servers expect that tip on the whole bill, even the overpriced wine and the taxes.

It IS spiraling out of control. I'd love to see brakes put on the whole system and return to tips as a bonus rather than the core wage but until that happens I'll tip 15% even for pretty mediocre service and 20% or higher for good service.

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Response to Gormy Cuss (Reply #66)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 11:24 PM

72. I agree

But the question is how. Who's going to make that happen?

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Response to Matariki (Reply #72)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 11:33 PM

73. In some states, there is no server subminimum.

The whole West Coast, for example. I don't understand why the Northeastern states (which tend to be socially liberal and into economic justice) haven't followed suit.

Some parts of the country, well. They're a different story.

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Response to Gormy Cuss (Reply #73)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 01:38 AM

76. Remnant of slave culture

The whole east coast lived under slavery for hundreds of years which included tipping the slave servants. The west coast never experienced slavery so tipping was more foreign.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #76)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 11:15 AM

86. That is an interesting theory

and wholly unsupported by history. Most of the Northeastern states abolished slavery before the 19th century. California had legalized slavery in the first decades of the 19th century while it was still controlled by the Spain.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #19)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 02:13 PM

22. Yes we are -- but not by tipping.

We enable it by not pressuring elected officials to get rid of the server subminimum wage. Withholding tips from servers doesn't send the message to those empowered to make a change.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #19)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 08:27 PM

64. Giving tips to waitpersons is not enabling anyone. The problem is with the restaurants.

If you want to put pressure on them, dont do it thru the waitstaff. And until you get the restaurants to act civilized, give the working people decent tips. Only republipukes stiff waitpersons.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #17)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 03:00 PM

36. Hate to tell you but the rich snobs are not good tippers as a general rule. They EXPECT

good service as 'their right'. It is the common man that appreciates and understands the work involved that tend to tip the best.

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Response to appleannie1 (Reply #36)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 06:35 PM

56. Completely true in my experience

I never worked a restaurant fancy enough to bring in rich folk but for a good while in my youth I was a pizza guy in an area that covered projects/government housing to gated communities of at least 10%ers. I never got good tips in the gated communities but nearly always got above average tips in the poorer areas of town.

I did, however, see a few rich naked ladies so I guess there's that.


edited to change it 10%ers - looking back these people were way rich by my standards but I bet not as 1%y as they wanted to be. Still, they were in the chips and didn't mind lording it over us peons.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 02:07 PM

20. That's the toughest job I ever had

We don't eat out often because of the ridiculous crazy unbelievable amount of food wasted by restaurants. But when we do the big tip is just figured in soon as we go in the door.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 02:14 PM

23. One of you all time bests!

Serious K&R.

You channeled Steinbeck with this one, William.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 02:22 PM

26. great editorial

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 02:26 PM

27. Dont forget your hotel maid

Yes, they also work for supplemental tips.

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Response to DJ13 (Reply #27)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 02:47 PM

31. I did not discover that until recently.....

I tip them too.

What I really wish is that all workers were covered by a living wage. It is just too important.

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Response to AnneD (Reply #31)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 02:49 PM

32. I agree, that would be best for everyone


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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 02:28 PM

28. I always tip at least 20%

Wonderful article.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 02:36 PM

29. K & R. Excellent article.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 02:41 PM

30. I have never worked as a waitress; I'm too damn clumsy, for starters.

I do tip. I tip generously. I tip because I know that my server needs the money. I tip because people like delivery people and taxis and waiters do the best they can, day after day, week in, week out, for less than the minimum wage, and it keeps people like the waitress in a job that doesn't pay enough for them to get out of it.

I cannot understand why people think that stiffing the waitress or server or driver is a good thing to do. As long as these people are paid less than the minimum and people have their hand out for the tips they do make, it's part of my night out to make sure they get that little bit of money.

Those restaurant chains make enough money to pay their people; that they don't and aren't forced to is shameful.

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Response to PDJane (Reply #30)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 02:51 PM

33. I'll go one even better...

Some cheap ass ed restaurants make their waitresses and waiters pay for the tickets of people that walk out without paying their tab. So you can work you hiney off all night and have one customer walk....and you have worked for nothing.

IHOP is bad about this.

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Response to AnneD (Reply #33)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 03:54 PM

43. I know that too; a former friend let me walk out without paying the ticket at Rhodes.

Last edited Thu Feb 7, 2013, 08:56 PM - Edit history (1)

I went back, leaving him on transit, to pay. I walked in the door, explained my mission to the receptionist, and she called over the waiter and the manager. The waiter was going to be on the hook for the bill; he turned to the manager and said, "I told you this one would come back to pay. She comes here often, and she's never stiffed me for even the tip." The manager comped the meal; he said if the waiter could trust me that much, and he was obviously right, it was just an error....and one good deed deserved another. I went back often, but left the 'friend' at home. Annoying man.

(Please note that I blame my friend because I was exhausted from working 28 hours straight, and needed food and someone to talk to. I bought the meal, just to have someone to give me some support, so that I wouldn't do something stupid. That he let me walk out and told me on the subway left me fuming!)

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 02:53 PM

34. Most righteous. I'm sharing everywhere. Thanks! :) n/t

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 02:58 PM

35. Perhaps it's time for a food service UNION

and demand that restaurants pay living wages that don't rely on tips. Tips should be extra - trinkgeld - drinking money. Pocket money.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 03:12 PM

39. my sister in law was a waitress for many years

and so was my baby sister

but my sister in law made about $12 an hour with tips at a time I was making $5.40 an hour for factory work.

My current boss though, claims that when she waitressed she got lousy tips.

My sister in law now works as a substitute teacher instead of waitressing. Maybe she feels teaching is more dignified somehow than waitressing. As a sub if she makes $100 for a seven hour day that is "only" $14 an hour. Still seems like decent money to me, but I make more than that now myself.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #39)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 03:21 PM

41. It depends on where a person works

I waitressed through college. At some places I made great tips, others, barely scraped by.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 03:38 PM

42. Dang...

that sure sounds to have been written by someone who's been in those shoes. Just that little piece gave me a much better understanding of what it must be like.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 03:57 PM

44. Both my wife and my son spent years waiting tables, needless to say we are a tipping family

And I do not write the tip on the tab, I pay the tip in cash on the tabletop no matter if I pay the bill with plastic or green. I far prefer that the server get the tip than the Owner.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 04:19 PM

45. I worked in a service job.

But it was a decently paid job. But the way people treated me/us was the same. So my wife and I always tip generously when we go out and are always pleasant with our servers. My brother was one of those minimal tippers. One time walking out of a breakfast restaurant he came up to me with a dollar he picked up from the table and told me I had left too much. I never let him tip anymore and make either his wife or my wife leave the tip when we go to breakfast. Also had an uncle (dentist) who was a cheapy, to the point of being embarrassing. The thing I got from all this is that from now on, I will give my server cash instead of leaving it on the credit card so as to make sure he/she gets it, instead of the owners. Great article in support of the people who work so hard to make our lives pleasant and easy. Was unaware that the US is one of the few countries that tips. Absolutely ridiculous that wait staff get paid so little and have to work so hard. Wealthy country, cheap people.

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Response to timdog44 (Reply #45)


Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 04:32 PM

46. Honestly? America's tipping culture is deeply fucked up.

Some asshole doesn't leave a tip, leaves a nasty note about it, and somehow this person's lack of generosity becomes the story, rather than the fundamental fact that restaurant servers and others considered "tipped employees" get paid slave wages. The fact that restaurant owners won't pay a living wage is the real problem here; that and the fact that most states set the minimum for tipped employees very low and in a lot of places it hasn't increased in nearly 20 years (but then the federal minimums for tipped employees haven't increased in nearly 20 years either). A better solution: Raise prices of restaurant meals by 20% across the board, if that's what it'd take for servers not to have to rely on the uncertain generosity of strangers. As it is? The price of a restaurant meal in most places is deceptively low and doesn't accurately reflect the costs of service; one can question the reasons for this (Americans like to feel like they're getting a bargain, and like to feel like they're being generous by leaving a tip, perhaps), but overall it's a bad thing that should really change.

And it's really kind of staggering to see that pretty much no-one even questions the whole culture of tipping in the first place; that no, it's not tipping that's the problem, it's people who don't do it.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #46)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 04:35 PM

47. Well...

"And it's really kind of staggering to see that pretty much no-one even questions the whole culture of tipping in the first place; that no, it's not tipping that's the problem, it's people who don't do it."

"Tip your server, don't be a jackass about it, and worry about the rest of the world after you do what is right within reach of your arm. Maybe, if you're really interested in helping your community, work towards establishing higher wages for the people who bring you food when you go out to eat; there are thousands of them right where you live."

http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/14397-tip-your-server-and-save-the-world

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Response to WilliamPitt (Reply #47)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 05:07 PM

48. My perspective here is somewhat informed by the fact that I've lived in the UK for several years

servers in restaurants, delivery drivers, and so on, are paid at least minimum wage, which is currently 6.19 an hour (about ten bucks at current exchange rates). Tips are a reward for exceptional service, here...which is what they should be.

And most of the comments I've seen over this whole Applebee's "18% to god" woman have been more about how awful she is for not tipping than about how the low-wage reality of restaurant work that makes so many people think that one should have to tip, that not doing so is aberrant, is a much bigger problem than one or a dozen or a thousand people who don't tip.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #48)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 05:11 PM

49. I tipped a bartender a pound in Britain once.

She danced around like I'd given her a piece of the One True Cross.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 05:20 PM

50. I always tip at least 20%, usually more...tip food delivery people the same.

 

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 05:28 PM

51. I waited tables in high school.

I know it can be a tough job. I always tip well, and thank servers when they bring refills. I also make eye contact and smile when I ask a question or say thanks.

Little gestures of appreciation go a long way.

K&R

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 05:28 PM

52. I always tip my servers but...

I hate the minimum wage rules on them.

TIP is something to reward gratuitous service and should not be mandatory.

Unfortunately it is, to reward these individuals because without it, they wouldn't have anything.

I hated how his ending thoughts started:
"Tip your server, don't be a jackass about it, and worry about the rest of the world after you do what is right within reach of your arm. Maybe, if you're really interested in helping your community, work towards establishing higher wages for the people who bring you food when you go out to eat; there are thousands of them right where you live."

but loved How they Ended... "Work towards establishing higher wages" - THAT I agree with.

All foodservice workers Should Be on minimum wage and Higher!!!


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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 06:15 PM

53. Ur preaching to the choir here man,,, always 20pct or higher

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 06:18 PM

54. Great article and so needed. n/t

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 06:39 PM

58. Why does the server at Denny's get tipped so much less than the server at Jean Georges?

The meal might cost $10 instead of $100, but it's just as heavy to carry to the table!

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 06:48 PM

60. I wish they would just pay waitstaff a LIVING wage and get rid of the fucking tipping shit.

The waitstaff could concentrate on service and not have to worry about groveling for money from the patrons.

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Response to madinmaryland (Reply #60)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 06:58 PM

61. AMEN

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 07:48 PM

62. I always overtip. Servers, cabbies, etc.

Especially servers. I even tip for take out and delivery 20%. That might be a bit excessive, but I know they work hard for a living and I figure that if I patronize a place often they will take good care of me when I keep going back so it's not completely altruistic.

I was a server during the summers in college and I really appreciated it when people tipped well. I understand how difficult it can be to get by when you are shortchanged or times are slow. They get taxed on their sales whether they actually make the tips or not, so I figure it is up to some of us to make up for some of the cheap assholes that routinely shortchange them.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 08:27 PM

65. I overtip...

...to make up for cheap ass bastards.

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Response to Iggo (Reply #65)


Response to Daniel537 (Reply #67)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 09:37 PM

69. We're all victims.

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Response to Daniel537 (Reply #67)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 09:43 PM

70. Can't tip? Stay home.

I'm sick of carrying the deadbeats.

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Response to Iggo (Reply #65)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 10:57 PM

71. So do I

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 12:32 AM

74. I used to fall asleep leaning against the front door once I was inside. Brutal work. I tip 20-30% nt

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 01:13 AM

75. A musical accompaniment to Will's post

Years ago I saw Loudon Wainwright III perform at the late lamented Bottom Line in Greenwich Village. He closed his show with this song.



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Response to Jim Lane (Reply #75)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 08:20 AM

82. MADE MY WHOLE DAY

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 01:39 AM

77. Check this out:

I'm proud to say that my state pays 'tipped workers' the highest in the country. We also tip well. No wonder there are so many thriving restaurants here. Food industry people can afford to eat out. See how that works...

Chart:
http://www.paywizard.org/main/minimum-wage/tipped-workers

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 06:18 AM

78. I always leave a good tip, or I stay the hell at home.



I_T_W

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Response to In_The_Wind (Reply #78)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 06:56 AM

79. 20%?????

 

I give God 10%, why should I give the waitress 20%.


/sarcasm please don't kill me



Macoy

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Response to Macoy51 (Reply #79)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 07:01 AM

81. I've given more that 20% many times.

Oh and, If I Lived In That Pastor's Hometown I Would Stage A Protest.

I do understand your Macoy.

I_T_W

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 06:57 AM

80. Urge your friends to look for a better place

 

Serving in the right restaurant or bar can be pretty good money. My son-in-law is a teacher and can make hundreds working weekend shifts at a friend's bar. I've had friends of my daughter do the same because it's such a nice supplement to their income, or pays more than anything else around.

I tip a standard 20% unless the service sucks. And that might be 5% of the time, and they will still probably get 10%.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 08:44 AM

83. This was my single mom's 2nd job,

keeping a roof over our heads and groceries on the table.

It was my 2nd job when I became a single mom.

I always treat my servers well.

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Response to LWolf (Reply #83)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 10:40 AM

84. My mom, too.

Mom was an office worker by day and a cocktail waitress by night. Grandma was a waitress at various greasy-spoons. Both my sisters waited tables for a bit.

You better believe I tip like a champion.

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Response to Iggo (Reply #84)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 09:07 PM

87. That's her.

Office work by day, waitress by night.

She's a hero. At least to me.

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Response to LWolf (Reply #87)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 09:15 PM

88. Go Mom!

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 10:44 AM

85. Tip or stay the fuck home and eat!

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