New Blog Wednesdays (formerly 20 Comment Wednesdays)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006
UPDATE: If you tried to click on the blog link Tip for Tat, I had entered the wrong URL. It is now correct and you should be able to check it out.
Ick, my coworker just came in from a smoke break and she stinks. I can smell it from 10 feet away (our desks face each other). I think I’m going to be ill. Is that how I used to smell every time I had a cigarette? Oh god…

Alright, I tried for about 3 hours to get a good start on 20 comments Wednesday but only managed two. Go figure. I think it’s a great idea, if you’re not leaving comments like “HI! Just visiting” or something else equally blah. If you’re going to comment, make it worthwhile and relevant to the post. Perhaps this is why I’m having a problem with it? SO instead of trying to make 20 comments, I’m changing my Wednesday’s to “New Blog Wednesday”. I’m going to try and highlight one new blog each week that really sets my mojo rising (and not like the vomit in my stomach from the skanky stanky smell emanating from the lady on the other side of the computer screen…).

This week’s blog is “Tip for Tat” and focuses on tipping, tipping etiquette, etc. I read a couple of the posts and comments and I have to say I was furious. Now is the time I must rant and rave. Please NOTE: the following comments are not directed to ALL wait/customer service staff, however it has been my experience that it does apply to the majority of them.

It has been my experience that wait staff in North America EXPECT a tip. This is wrong. To me, a tip is a monetary bonus for service above and beyond what is expected. Wait staff are paid a wage to serve food, take orders, refill drinks, etc. As with any job, especially customer service oriented positions, employees are expected to do this with a pleasant manner (you don’t have to be sickly sweet). By all means, the customer is not always right – I’ll be the first to admit this. However, I shouldn’t be expected to provide the person waiting on my table with an extra bit of case in addition to the price the restaurant has established in their menu. We don’t tip the kids at McDonalds, Wendy’s, Pizza Hut, or the guy at the gas station that pumps your gas. For those people earning minimum wage at fast food establishments, why don’t they get tips? They serve you food. They take your order. They take your money and provide you with change. Food comes on a tray. The only difference other than in the quality of food (nothing to do with the wait staff) is that at McD’s, I take the tray to my table myself, while at a restaurant, someone brings it from the kitchen on the tray to my table and (hopefully) they refill my coke.

I’m of the opinion of Mr. Pink from Reservoir Dogs.

I don't tip because society says I have to. All right, if someone deserves a tip, if they really put forth an effort, I'll give them something a little something extra. But this tipping automatically, it's for the birds. As far as I'm concerned, they're just doing their job.

I'm very sorry the government taxes their tips, that's fucked up. That ain't my fault. It would seem to me that waitresses are one of the many groups the government fucks in the ass on a regular basis. Look, if you ask me to sign something that says the government shouldn't do that, I'll sign it, put it to a vote, I'll vote for it, but what I won't do is play ball.

Now I’m not saying they should quit their jobs if they don’t make enough money, although that is an option. However, it’s not always a realistic option for many women servers.

I remember this show Oprah did a number of years ago regarding restaurant staff, tipping, customer service etc. One lady actually admitted that when one customer, whom she felt had been treated well and didn’t complain, left the restaurant without tipping. She actually followed him outside and confronted him. She said something along the lines of you didn’t leave a tip, did I do something wrong. I think (and I could be wrong) it turned out he doesn’t tip or he didn’t have enough, something like that. However, I would be VERY offended if my server followed me out of the restaurant wanting to know why they didn’t get a tip. I have no problem complaining about bad service, poor food, etc. However, if you don’t EARN the tip, you’re not going to get a very big one.

Now I’ve had the crappy job at McD’s, and I’ve been a cashier at more stores than I care to mention, so I know what it’s like to always have a smile on your face whether you’re in a good mood or not. I’ve dealt with the unreasonable customers, the loudmouths, the crazy Christmas shoppers and every other type of nutjob out there. But I never once was rewarded with a tip because the industries I worked in weren’t deemed “tip worthy”. And that’s exactly what a tip is, a reward. You have to earn it.

Here’s the comment I left on Tip for Tat under the post “Readdressing Tipping Etiquette”. I recommend heading over there and leaving your two cents worth as well….oh wait….is that enough? Shouldn’t it be double the tax worth? Or is it 20% worth? Aw heck. Depending on the service you get over there, I say leave whatever you feel is appropriate. If they don’t like it, too bad, they can give it back then, right?

Actually, I was under the impression that the service person's WAGES were what they were paid to set the food down for me, refill my drink etc. That is their job. The cost of a meal at a restaurant is far more than what it would cost to prepare it at home. The cost of electricity, supplies, wages, etc. are worked into the cost of a meal that a restaurant charges.By saying that I am tipping someone for doing something that I could do myself is a bit ridiculous. Yes I could do it myself but this is your job. You could certainly bag your own groceries, change your own oil, pump your own gas, but when you don't and someone else does it for you, most people do not tip those service workers.Don't get me wrong, even when the service is poor, I usually leave a tip at a restaurant. However, it will be a dollar or two compared to the 15-20% I would normally leave. A tip is for service above and beyond what someone is already paid to do. I'm sorry that you may not be paid a decent wage. If you get a petition going, or want to contact public officials, I will sign on the dotted line and let my voice be heard along with yours. However, don't expect me to make up for the lack of compensation your employer gives you.


Wandering Coyote said...

You go girl! You made many good points in there that I am 100% in agreement with.

How about tipping a hair dresser? This ticks me off. Here is a person - trained! - making presumably more than minimum wage, and who dings me $30+ for a fricking trim that takes 20 minutes. Why is a tip necessary for these people? It galls me.

I have worked many a crappy retail job, never receiving tips for my efforts, as you have done. I've never worked as a waitress and hope I never have to. I do tip, but if the service is below par I will not.

Sometimes, like in the situation you described where the waitress followed the customer out to demand why he didn't tip, I think the employee is as guilty of "sense of entitlement" as customers usually are.

Wandering Coyote said...

BTW, I couldn't access the Tip for Tat link. I got a "page cannot be displayed" window...

Candy Minx said...

Hi ya gals!

I haven't been to the tip blog yet...I will.

but...let me see if I can address a few of your fears with service industry and food service in particular and tipping.

You are 100% correct that tipping is an option.

Tipping originated with the fact that restaurants and bars in the past did not have to pay minimum wage. Often people worked for tips ONLY. Now, a restaurant makes a fair bit of money and will make much more money when they hire friendly efficent personalities.

It is completely inappropriate for a server to follow a non-tipping customer outside, but I have seen managers and owners follow a customer out and ask if theere was something wrong with their service. And they will fire a server who doesn't get good tips.

Theres no point in anyone being a bartender or a server if you are not a people person.

a restaurant is a high risk business...often worked by owners and chefs. Chefs get 20-25 dollars an hour. Owners get the profits. Many cooks and chefs are not "front" people have sketchy people skills.

A server needs to have major people skills.

It is a complete MISTAKE to think "anyone can do this job". No they can't it actually sia highly skilled physical labour and demands sophisticated social skills and manners.

The customer IS NEVER RIGHT we say that to make you feel more comfortable :)

I double dog dare anyone who does not like tipping to work serving. You won't last a day. and if you do last a day and decide to continue in this will only be because of the tips.

You can barely live off minimum wage.

It is gruelling work and kills the feet and legs and there is little compensation or medical protection. You must smile all the time and be relaxed and curious about thehuman condition, the comfort of your customers and watch for their every need and whim.

Most customers are happy go lucky people but about 10 percent are miserable bastards. they look at wait staff as slaves and someone to boss around.

It is a thankless job.

You should treat yourself to a sexy relaxing experience in a restaurant, take your time, talk to the server a bit, taste all kinds of food. and hopefully, you will hardly notice the quality of service, that is a real professional.

restaurants are able to pay their chef a resonable living and make a profit and offer a nice even elegant decor and atmosphere because the SERVER TAKES A RISK.

A server takes the risk in applying themselves with no promised income whatsoever (often most shifts after taxes the server will make 30 bucks) by their charm, effciency and service. The server takes this risk. Your evening depends on how well a server communicates with the bar, with the kitchen and with you. They are negotiating your experience all the time.

I find it is mostly women who resent their server and bartender often sayign "I could do that" because traditionally women do do all domestic chores and I find women to be especially cruel and hard on servers. they are jealous that they are unpaid "hopusewives" or not getting the kidn fo validation they wish in their own homes. So they resent someoen who carries food, and cleans the table off as gettign "extra".

No, what you see if only the timiest part of a servers qualifications.

Honest, if you knew what it was like to deal with so many unhappy people and the pressure of servign food is really a huge one. Even chefs can't handle it, thats why they stay in the kitchen! If you had a clue how difficult and tiring and draining this job might not feel so bad leaving a tip.

Hey, you could always try renting the movie "Waiting" its not bad, a kind of sarcastic behind the scenes movie, but it might also be weird...if you've never worked ina restaurant.

Even mcDonalds workers get paid more than a waitress per hour.

anyways, even though serving customers ina restaurant is really hard thankless work, there are many many times it is a rewarding job, when you help provide a romantic situation, when you can put a smile on someones face, when you can make them feel a little pampered, or like they have had a little escape from lifes pressures.

I am very sorry to hear you have had such a bad experience tipping and going out to restaurants, it makes me sad to hear this as I've been a bartender all my life on and off.

One of lifes great pleasures is being a "regular" I think, having a great time out for a night tipping well, and returning liek a super star again and again. Earning the gratitude of a server is really a terrific relationship. And you know what, often they will buy you drinks, get you great tables and take extra care with you.

If you are not a tipper...I HIGHLY recommend always going to different restaurants for the rest of your life.

This is your food, always love the people bringing you food honey!

anyways I'll try to read the other blog...( I know there are a million other reasons to tip a service worker, but I've taken up too much time as it is...)


Minerva Jane said...

I always tip on this principle: 15% is standard. Anything over is based on the quality of the server. If he/she took the time to smile, to talk to me, then I tip more...

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