Earlier today, I received an email from one of my regular readers. It read, “Hi Lauren – I came across this blog and I thought it was right up your alley. Can’t wait to see your response!” Upon clicking on the link, I was brought to the personal blog “Expressions” written by Bhagwad Jal Park. The blog is a little bit of everything – general musings, politics, etc. But the link included with the message I received was for a post called 5 reasons I won’t tip you if you’re a waiter. Let’s have some fun, shall we? As usual, my comments will be in the (Bold Italics).
It never fails to shock me how a tip is demanded in the US (Okay, first of all, no waiter in the US demands a tip. If waiters were allowed to demand decent tips, there would be a hell of a lot more waiters. Secondly, demanding money from people is robbery.). People simply refuse to listen to reason when we (yes, there are others!) tell them that leaving a tip isn’t necessary. Well, I’m hoping for too much here, but if you’re a waiter, here are 5 reasons why I will try my best not to give any money to you and why the reasons for tipping are crappy.
1. You act as if you’re my best friend
Just leave me alone ok? I don’t want to bloody chit chat with you. I want food. FOOD! Get it? It’s a restaurant. I go there to eat. I go because I want either Italian food, Chinese Food or something else which I can’t get in a McDonald’s. So I come to a restaurant to fulfill my cravings for it. I will pay for what I value – food. Not you.
(So there’s lots wrong with this first paragraph that I hardly know where to start. Let’s try to tackle the first sentence “Just leave me alone ok?”. If you want to be left alone, don’t go to a restaurant. Hard as this may be to believe, people don’t go to restaurants for food alone – they go for an experience. They go because they’ve had a hard week and don’t feel like cooking on Saturday night. They go because they want to show the person they’re bringing that they love them and want them to have great food and even better conversation. They go to celebrate each other’s accomplishments. Food is only a small part of the dining experience – your interaction with the wait staff is the rest. If you really despise human interaction that much, you should limit yourself to drive throughs – trust me, the world will thank you.)
Christ, you offend me – kneeling down next to my table, pretending to like me and chatting as if you’re my best friend when it’s obvious that all you’re after is the tip! I’m not a bloody money bag you know. I will pay the bill which includes the cost of the food, the environment and the salaries of the people involved – nothing more.
(A server’s job is not only to take your order and deliver that order to your table, it’s to make sure that you have a pleasant dining experience. Our job isn’t to try and get one over on you – it’s not to lie to you or to fool you. It’s to make sure that your meal goes smoothly. You’ve obviously decided to dine out for a reason and I, as a server, want to make sure that you don’t regret it and wish you had just stayed in. I want you to have a good time. I want you to have a good time because the shittier time you have, the shittier my job becomes. Yes, we are all looking to get good tips, but we’re also looking forward to you not being an asshole. And as for the bill – dude, you’ve obviously never worked in a restaurant. So don’t even try to pinpoint what your bill actually covers.)
The only way to get money out of me that I don’t have to legally pay is by prying it out of my cold dead hands…
Bottom line: I don’t want to know your name, or interact with you for any longer than I have to in order to place my order. As far as I’m concerned, you’re the equivalent of a conveyor belt that brings me my food and a computer into which I input my order. Of course, I won’t be rude. But don’t expect me to interact with you any more than I would with some stranger.
(You are rude. You should not go outside.)
Image Credit: cafemama
2. You don’t get paid enough
And this is my problem how exactly? It’s astonishing that customers are expected to make up for your employer’s cheapness in not paying you a decent wage. Please include the full cost in everyone’s bill thank you very much. I’ll pay it because I have to and the charge is there for me to see.
(All right, let’s put this to bed right now because I feel like this is something a lot of people don’t understand. People who work in the food service industry earn what is known as a “tipped wage”. Meaning, that it is the GOVERNMENT’S UNDERSTANDING that in your line of work, it is the norm to receive gratuities that would put your hourly rate above the federal minimum wage. Because of this, the employer is only required to pay a reduced amount. In New York, that amount is anywhere between $2-$5.)
What’s really funny here is that no one seems to criticize the employers! All criticism is reserved for non tipping customers instead of the owners of the restaurant for not paying a decent wage. Wtf! Could itpossibly be because you guys know you can make much more by tips and under report your income to the IRS?
(Look, it doesn’t matter whose fault it is that servers get paid shit, okay? The reason we get paid like crap is because the government realizes that tips are a common part of the server’s income. In the government’s mind, they are being more than generous because the tips we supposedly received surpass the minimum wage. If they had any clue as to what some servers actually make, the minimum wage would be a lot higher. And most of us don’t under report our tips because we’re not huge pieces of shit like you.)
3. You’ll spit in my food if I don’t tip you?
And I’ll shoot your kid if you don’t give me a million dollars. Seriously, am I even hearing this right? You’re actually using the threat of blackmail to make me pay you? Well as long as you’re openly claiming to be a criminal it’s all right I guess.
(Okay, let’s get something straight – contrary to movies, television, and various other forms of media that have documented the life of the server, there are very few of us who would actually do something to a customer’s food. We are not assholes. We are not giant pieces of shit. We are human beings and we treat each other with respect. Also, you should look up the term “blackmail” because you clearly have no idea what the fuck it is. In addition, considering how you act, you should be worried about a lot more than spit.)
Fortunately that’s why I prefer buffets. Listen apart from it being illegal, this shows your poor integrity. But if you spit in someone’s food because they didn’t give you money you didn’t earn, then you’re a loser and deserve to be a waiter for the rest of your life.
(Okay, stop…just stop. You have no idea what it’s like to work in a restaurant. There is not a server alive that doesn’t earn every last god damn penny that they walk out with at the end of the night. Even the shittiest server in the shittiest restaurant still earns their shitty tips. You have not walked in our shoes – so don’t presume you know anything about us.)
4. Bringing me my food isn’t worthy of being paid extra
Did you cook it? Did you invent it? No. You picked it up and brought it to me. While it might not be easy, there are plenty of jobs which are much worse – shop floor workers for example. And I’ve been a shop floor manager, so I know. Face it – compared to other jobs, being a waiter is unskilled. You get paid what the market will think your services are worth. You don’t deserve more for your work over and above what your employer should pay you.
(All right, if “unskilled” is the word you want to use – let’s go with that. Sure, you don’t exactly need a degree to wait tables, but you do need patience. You need people skills, a significant amount of upper body strength, and balance. You need to be good under pressure, you need to be able to multi-task – you need to be able to stand and move on your feet for hours at a time. You need to be able to work doubles six weeks in a row and find time to shove a few french fries in your mouth because you know that’s the only food you’re going to be able to ingest for the entire length of your shift. You need to have insane memory skills. You need to be aware of allergens and be able to explain them in a manner that’s not confusing. You need to be a leader, you need to be a resource, you need to fucking smile. You want to try that again, pal?)
5. Money doesn’t grow on trees
I expect you to be grateful and pray for me at night if I tip you 10%. (Oh, trust me, I’m praying for you.) Be happy I gave you anything at all. I worked for the money in my wallet and by giving you some I didn’t have to, I’m doing you a favor. Learn to remember that when people give you something they don’t need to, it’s a favor. You don’t complain that they didn’t give you more!
(Dude, do yourself and the world a favor and stay inside!)
By the way, the same thing above applies to all professions that demand tips including those on cruise liners.
So now that you understand why I won’t give you money you don’t deserve, stop with the “oh how could you?” attitude. I can. And I will.
So, in conclusion, be kind to your servers. Not because they’ll “spit in your food” or because they “pretend to be your best friend”, be kind to them because they’re part of the human race and so are you.