a hope design

Suck it up or stay at home

In Life is Random on December 16, 2011 at 4:30 pm

The opinions on gratuity are plentiful and varied. Here is mine: 

If you do not have the funds to tip well, GO TO McDONALDS or STAY HOME.

If you have never worked as a server, YOUR OPINION on tipping DOESN’T COUNT.

There. If you are going to be offended by either of those sentiments, stop reading now and avoid an irritating waste of the next few minutes of your life.

From September 12, 2011 to November 26, 2011, I had the opportunity of working as a server for Logan’s Roadhouse in Flowood, Miss. I say opportunity because I am not the same person I was before that time…in a good way. I gained insight into myself, my strengths and weaknesses, and insight into mankind in general. I also made a whole bunch of beyond-awesome friends.

It should be mandatory that every person spend at least a couple of months waiting tables at a busy restaurant. You know how Israel requires all citizens to serve in the Israeli military? The U.S. should mandate a period of time spent as waitstaff.

Perspective. Perspective may just be the answer to life. I may earn a Nobel Peace Prize for this post. Alana Bowman has figured it out. The answer to all life’s problems is this: PERSPECTIVE.

Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in his shoes. That way, if he gets angry, he’ll be a mile away–and barefoot. — Sarah Jackson

Observations: before waiting tables, I thought standard gratuity was 20%. Now I realize most people believe standard gratuity is 5-10%. They are getting things confused. Let me clear it up. God gets 10%. Waitresses get 15-20% standard–more if they are full of awesome. God is omnicient and all-powerful. He thinks things into being. Your waitress works hard (and I mean HARD WORK) to make it all come together for you. Serving food is hard, fast and dirty, and the only “big O” at the end is the “Oh! my aching feet!”

 Here is  some PERSPECTIVE on dining out:

When you dine at a sit-down, order-at-the-table restaurant, another human being will be at your beck and call for the duration of your meal. This human being, your equivalent in value on this planet regardless of social standing or occupation, is required to provide your every request promptly and courteously.  The server will not have a voice nor an opinion.  The customer is always right. Any negative opinion voiced verbally or with body language will be at the risk of unemployment. Your server approaches your table from a position of vulnerability.  How many of you have the balls to be vulnerable to a stranger? Hell, half of us go through life never being vulnerable to a spouse, much less a stranger.

When you dine at a sit-down, order-at-the-table restaurant, you pay the restaurant for the food. You pay the server for bringing it to your table. The restaurant does not pay the server to take your order, give your order to the kitchen, bring the food to your table and refill your glass numerous times. The restaurant pockets what is left from buying the ingredients, paying the cook, paying the light bill and paying the manager and Uncle Sam. Yes, restaurants in Mississippi are required to pay $2.13 per hour to waitstaff. That is the federal minimum wage for tipped employees.

If you think that $2.13 per hour is being paid to serve, let me just throw this brick right up side yo’ head: that money goes straight to Uncle Sam. It’s not paying the server’s bills. Very few full time servers even get a paycheck after taxes. Keep in mind, as well, the server isn’t just there to wait tables. He is doing behind-the-scenes work to keep the process flowing in his “free” time. Who makes the tea, keeps the glasses at the station, bakes the rolls, fills the salad dressing and cleans up at the end of the day? The server. The $2.13 per hour is ALL he makes during those times.

If you do not want to pay the server to wait on you, I suggest you go tell the kitchen what you want, get up and bring it to your own table and get your own damn drink. When you are done, take your nasty dishes to the kitchen as well because the server is asked to give part of her tip to the buss person. If you think another human being should do those things for free, take a look at the calendar. It says 2011 not 1811. We may be in Mississippi, but we are not on a plantation. It doesn’t work that way anymore…never should have in the first place.

If you disagree with the way things are, change it by staying home and taking money from the restaurant owners. Do not try to change the status quo by asking a person to wait on you hand-and-foot for free. A server cannot refuse to wait on you just because she knows you will not tip, not if she wants to keep her job. A server cannot plead her case and encourage you to tip her well, not if she wants to keep her job. Even if he sucks at bringing your food to you, he is still bringing it. He shouldn’t have to do it for free. In the words of Ruth Brown, “If I can’t sell it, I’m going to sit down upon it. I ain’t about to give it away.” Trust me, if your server isn’t making any money, he’d much rather be “sittin’ on it” in front of the TV. It is a gamble. One must be gracious to the grinch as well as the generous and hope for the best when they walk away from the table.

I read a comment online to the effect that a small tip is better than the person staying home and the server getting no tip at all. I disagree. If the cheap bastards stay at home, that leaves more space and time for the generous people to be served.  I would rather wait on three fair guests than ten stingy customers who inevitably run me ragged for pennies.

When you dine at a sit-down, order-at-the-table restaurant, ordering a soda cracker and taking an hour to eat it is just as selfish as not leaving a gratuity. The way it works at most restaurants is this: servers are assigned tables and can only serve what is assigned. Tables are her earning power. One booth is worth two tables in server currency. When you take up a booth for two hours, there goes the earning potential. Unless you are buying the filet and lobster combo, you should consider your tip to be space rental and not based a percentage of your food bill. If you want to linger over an appetizer with water, be polite and take it home. You can sit on your couch as long as you please without robbing a single mom or college student. If not for your dallying, she might have made ten bucks from turning that table a couple of times in the hour your cheap ass was browsing on your smart phone, sipping water. Thirty percent on a $15.00 tab is the same as 5% on a $90.00 tab. Neither are good payment for an hour of work.

I hear what you are thinking. What am I to do about the horrible server? For the three bad servers in a restaurant, there are at least five good servers. The good server has pride in doing her job well. Learn the good server’s name. Learn several good servers’ names. Punish the bad servers by refusing to sit at their table. The end result is best for all parties involved.

After all, you deserve to be treated like royalty now and again, but royalty doesn’t come cheap.

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  1. “If you have never worked as a server, YOUR OPINION on tipping DOESN’T COUNT.”

    Actually, it does. Most customers that go out frequently know more than MOST servers, it’s true.

    “One booth is worth two tables in server currency.”

    Depends on the size of the booth, if it’s a 2-seater booth, then actually it’s not equivalent if 3 or 4 people sit at a table. If 2 people sit at a booth for 2 and 2 people sit at a table for 2, then it would be equal.

    “I read a comment online to the effect that a small tip is better than the person staying home and the server getting no tip at all. I disagree. If the cheap bastards stay at home, that leaves more space and time for the generous people to be served. I would rather wait on three fair guests than ten stingy customers who inevitably run me ragged for pennies.”

    I agree/disagree, because if it’s slow, ANYTHING is BETTER than ZERO DOLLARS and if you have to pay on things, ANY MONEY is NICE.

    At the same time, those cheap people do take up the space for people that do tip well for good service like me and my husband, wasting the server’s time, but that really only is valid if it’s busy, if it’s not, you should appreciate that you get people that give you anything.

    I worked at a donut shop/diner back in 1998-2002. I made at least minimum wage plus tips there. I was glad that I’d get a quarter from a coffee drinker. WHY? I know it’s not much, but it’s better than *ZERO*. I know back then a quarter was a lot more, but even if I got a dollar if i worked there today, I’d still be grateful I got a dollar instead of nothing, because every dollar that every customer gives ADDS UP.

    Small tip is always truly better than zero, because you can’t pay your bills with ZERO, can you?

    It’s not fair you can’t get 20% or more all the time for good service, but I know not everyone will, so appreciate the ones that do.

    A lot of times though, the service is shitty. Servers a lot of times don’t try their best and just plain suck such as forgetting shit, putting in orders wrong, bringing out obviously wrong items, etc.

    “Who makes the tea, keeps the glasses at the station, bakes the rolls, fills the salad dressing and cleans up at the end of the day?”

    Mentioning those things means NOTHING, because NOBODY tips based on SIDE WORK. I NEVER expected nor got a tip based on my side work I did at the donut shop/diner. I had to restock milks, make tea and lemonade during the summer, refill the ice bin, refill sugar containers, etc.

    I understand that’s work, but it’s work for the **RESTAURANT UPKEEP**, NOT PART AT ALL OF SOMEONE’S **SERVICE** they TIP ON.

    “I had the opportunity of working as a server for Logan’s Roadhouse in Flowood, Miss.”

    Speaking of Logan’s Roadhouse, I have been to one ONCE in Louisiana and the waiter was an idiot bringing me mac n’ cheese when I ordered a baked potato when I ordered the ribs, which he got the first side dish right, but not the second one. I noticed it immediately.

    Did you do LAZY ASS shit like that and expected 20%? I know we all do DUH mistakes sometimes, but it was only me and my husband on a slow Sunday night, so I don’t see if he really compared the written order to the food that he wouldn’t have noticed this.

    He didn’t even give us utensils when he brought bread even.

    “When you dine at a sit-down, order-at-the-table restaurant, ordering a soda cracker and taking an hour to eat it is just as selfish as not leaving a gratuity.”

    No it’s not if you tip well. People have rights to order a little and if they want to stay long, they should be able to, as long as they tip you well.

    “Unless you are buying the filet and lobster combo, you should consider your tip to be space rental and not based a percentage of your food bill.”

    Actually, the “rental space” would be money given to the RESTAURANT, NOT the server since it’s not **YOUR TABLE***, it’s own by the RESTAURANT just as if someone was to go to a bowling alley and rent a lane. There’s nobody we tip to rent a lane just as there’s nobody we tip to stay at a table. TIPS ARE FOR **********SERVICE************, NOT FOR JUST SITTING!!

    WHY do you think if my bill is $100 you did necessarily $20 of work when actually, there have been times where our bill was A LOT LESS and the server did WAYY THE HELL MORE WORK?

    The higher the costs doesn’t mean you deserve more money.

    We do tip based on the bill, so if the bill is low, the tip is going to reflect the amount.

    Sure in certain instances, we have tipped higher, for example, if the bill is $20, we have left $5 or even $6, which 20% is $4.

    The tip is SOLELY dependent on the **SERVICE***, NOT if someone stays long.

    It depends what has happened in the service. Did you do something like the waiter at Logan’s? I don’t care if I am there 2hrs drinking more drinks, you sucked, so the tip will suck regardless of how long I sat there. If the service was good, I am basing the tip on what you did. If I didn’t get much service, I won’t tip as much as if I get more service. If I get a lot of service along with the service to have been perfect, I will tip 30% even more even.

    You sound VERY SELFISH!! This posts is VERY SELF-CENTERED just worrying about YOUR MONEY!!

    While I understand the cheap people, I always APPRECIATED that I got SOMETHING. If you don’t like this type of job, don’t go back. No one is making you.

    Just maybe you didn’t get the 20% tip at times was because you sucked, did that EVER occur to you?

    “It should be mandatory that every person spend at least a couple of months waiting tables at a busy restaurant.”

    It should be mandatory that SERVERS be REGULAR customers for around 6 months eating out every single day just to see how it feels when things go wrong when the server messes up your dining experience. When you do, you see how it feels as the CUSTOMER in the situation instead of the SELFISH SERVERS that are out there like YOU.

    My husband and I are VERY FAIR when we tip. YOU decide your own tip. Even if you mess up, do you APOLOGIZE? For us, that counts HUGE if you want more forgiveness or maybe even forgiveness at all if it’s a huge mistake. Do you act like you *CARE* about the customer?

    I would say there are a lot of lazy servers out there that don’t want to check over things BEFORE they bring them to you for anything that is in their control like the waiter that brought me mac n’ cheese.

    The reason why I say servers should be customers that have problems in their service is because one time I was at On the Border(my first time there), which my husband received 2 sides of beans in his entrée when he had not altered the menu description that stated it came with beans and rice. Turns out, she rung up an extra side of beans, so it was her fault even more so with that and that she brought the plate out with DUH 2 sets of beans on the plate. The thing that pissed me off the most was her response to the problem “I don’t know why the cooks plated 2 sets of beans.” I was thinking we never touched our food or anything and she never even left the table since she brought our food out, how can she blame the cooks for this DUH mistake? She didn’t even apologize when it was HER FAULT with 2 mistakes, she rung it up wrong and she brought it out obviously wrong.

    That’s why I wish servers would be customers that have stuff that has gone wrong, because NO NICE human being would have blamed the cooks. They would have apologized. They would have actually tried to catch this mistake by comparing the menu description to the food. They would have noticed also that she overcharged us by putting an extra set of beans on our check. The reason why she gave why she put the extra beans, she thought bbq sauce was “BB” on the computer. WHAT A MORON, seriously. She could have caught that she rung up another set of beans, but she was too lazy to do that even. So uncaring about our dining experience as a whole our food being right, and our bill being right. Other things happened too like the other server that ran the food didn’t have the ranch, which even if she put the order in correctly, SHE was making the tip, not him, so SHE should have offered to bring that out ahead of time to avoid problems like that. The waiter didn’t apologize nor get it and our waitress didn’t say she was sorry for that either.

    My chimichunga I ordered was made wrong(cook’s fault it seems since she would have had to cut into it assuming she put in the order correctly), BUT handled the situation poorly. I told her about it, she said “Doesn’t it come with shredded beef, I told her NO, and had to actually show her on the *MENU*(remember this was our FIRST TIME THERE) where it had it came with GROUND beef.

    Her tip was 6%. We could have stiffed her, but we didn’t. The reasons why LAZY and UNCARING. All of that shit could have easily been prevented, except possibly for the chimichunga made wrong, but the part about that I had to show her it was supposed to come with ground beef was HER FAULT she didn’t know the menu, that I knew the menu BETTER than her and I had only been there for about an hour even. It’s sad, it really is.

    So you can understand me being pissed off about lazy and uncaring servers, can’ t you?

    Maybe you can’t because you need to take my advice “BE A CUSTOMER THAT HAS PROBLEMS IN YOUR SERVICE THAT YOUR SERVER CAUSES TO FULLY UNDERSTAND WHAT CUSTOMERS TO THROUGH IF YOU AREN’T A REGULAR CUSTOMER IN A NON-FAST FOOD RESTAURANT.!!

    If I were the server, I would have offered to bring the ranch out ahead of time. If I would have had the waiter forget it if I didn’t bring it out ahead of time, I would have apologized and if I were the waiter I would have apologized for the forgotten item as well as gotten the ranch. I would have most likely noticed 2 sets of beans BEFORE I left the kitchen. I would have probably not rung it up wrong and knew what button to push for bbq sauce. I would have not overcharged the customer more than likely because I would have caught my mistake and felt so bad, I would have profusely apologized to the customers that I had rung it up wrong when I had blamed the cook. I would have never blamed the cook in the first place, even if something was the cook’s fault, usually people have common sense enough to know the difference. I would have not made a customer show me where it had on the menu that they had ground beef. I would have apologized for the chimichunga being wrong even if it wasn’t my fault. I would have asked the manager to comp at least a coke off the bill for all that happened, especially the overcharge.

    See what I am getting at? Did you give good service most of the time and then got bad tips or did you give bad service, then expected good tips? I’d really like to know?

    So you see when you say if I haven’t been a server that it doesn’t count, IT SURE DOES, I KNEW MORE THAN THE STUPID WAITRESS AT ON THE BORDER ABOUT THE MENU AND HOW TO DO THE JOB. It’s TRUE and it was our FIRST TIME THERE EVEN. PATHETIC!!

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