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View Diary: Fired Applebee's Waitress Speaks Out to "The Guardian" (445 comments)

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  •  I don't know about that (17+ / 0-)

    You're correct that $7.25 an hour for fast food is ridiculous; nobody should have to do that job for starvation wages.

    However, I did my time in a restaurant (owned by extended family members, and not a chain, and therefore not organized like a gulag).  You spend a lot of time being friendly with drunken idiots.  Of course, in the earky 1970s, a waitperson could make fairly decent money from tips  (about $6/hr, equivalent to about $25+/hour now, although you usually couldn't get 40 hours with that level of tip activity.).  The owners provided health insurance as well to their full time employees.  Even with the relatively good financials (in a city with a high unemployment rate), the job basically sucked, with lots of unpredictable hours -- the owners might have been willing to cut some slack but the waitresses' banks weren't so they usually took as many hours as they could get.)

    Nowadays, even with tips it's a low paying job.  And it takes more than 40 hours/week (the busy periods in restaurants lasts only 1-2 hours at lunch and 2-3 hours at dinner, and sometimes not that if it's a slow weekday night).

    •  And what do we cponlude from that? (0+ / 0-)

      - that the minum wage needs to be raised?
      - that hourly paid staff should have mandatory paid vacation days?
      - that hourly paid staff should mandatorily have a decent allowance of sick days?
      - that hourly paid staff should have mandatory health insurance paid (or at least co-paid) by the employer?

      Na... why on earth should we conclude that?

      No - customers need to tip more! Thats the core conclusion everybody is presenting.

      I'm SO impressed.

      "Und wer nicht tanzen will am Schluss - weiß noch nicht dass er tanzen muss", Rammstein, "Amerika"

      by cris0000 on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 11:33:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why are you so opposed to tipping? (23+ / 0-)

        You make some decent points regarding raising the minimum wage to a living wage for all workers.

        But what I don't get is why you are so opposed to tipping in the first place.  If you think you're actually making a bit of difference to change the system by not tipping, well you are really just screwing over service workers, who most of the time provide solid service despite dealing with many of the problems highlighted by the waitress Chelsea in the first place.  

        Newsflash - you're not making one ounce of a "difference" by not tipping your self-described "whining waiters", so I'm sorry if that destroys whatever hero-complex you might have by trying to take on the system with your army of one.

        We as progressives want to give everyone a living wage, but until we can do that throw legislation and mass activism (more than whatever you think you're doing by not tipping yourself), we have to tip to provide our servers with income that brings them up to shitty wage scale from an impoverished, terrible one.

        It is done. Four More Years.

        by mconvente on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 11:42:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  through* legislation. n/t (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aitchdee, Cinnamon, vcmvo2

          It is done. Four More Years.

          by mconvente on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 11:43:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  it is a legally unsound practice (0+ / 0-)

          For a consumer, the act of eating in a restaurant is business between him and the restaurant.

          The restaurant discloses all the relevant prices in advance (menu), the consumer orders and by that a contract is executed. Both sides know what they are getting and giving.

          Waiting services, like tables and light and heating, are provided by the restaurant.

          Now enter tipping. Suddenly the consumer has a third party involved in his contract. But here he is not told in advance about a price. And the whole business is even more murky, because the waiter is now paid by two parties - the restaurant AND the consumer.  Messy, uncalculable, open to misunderstanding and abuse of all kinds. It's the opposite of orderly business.

          "Und wer nicht tanzen will am Schluss - weiß noch nicht dass er tanzen muss", Rammstein, "Amerika"

          by cris0000 on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 11:52:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Wow, really... (21+ / 0-)

            Really, you're going to base your argument upon pedantic "contract" rules?  Are you serious?  Get outta here.

            It's clear you aren't American (your use of a comma instead of a decimal place is an easy tell), so I'm betting you don't truly have a true grasp of how American service industry workers desperately rely upon tips to allow them to at best have a mediocre wage.  When people don't tip, they really are screwing over people that work exceptionally hard for their wage scale.

            It's inherently built into the American service industry system that tips make up the below-minimum-wage salaries for servers.  I'd rather everyone get paid a living wage, but that's going to take a lot more collective effort than for one person.

            It is done. Four More Years.

            by mconvente on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 12:04:16 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I tip delivery people and others who provide (12+ / 0-)

            services, at various times.

            There's nothing legally unsound about my tips, to my knowledge.  That's a thin argument to offer as backup to your primary desire to not tip that seems evident in this subthread.

            Further, the base pay is as low as mentioned, apparently - here's an excerpt from a "day in the life" story by a different Applebees server:

            . . .

             As my tables leave I cash them out at the computer so I can run my sales report. This is the moment of truth. I have to give 3% of my sales to the bartender as our "tip out" to the bar and the host for their service to us. 3% doesn't sound like much, until you think that 15% is the "average" tip. I use that term loosely because it's not a standard upheld in this town by a lot of people. All the sudden, then, 3% is 20% of my income tonight, assuming I hit the 15% average in the first place. Tonight was a good night, though. My tip-out to the bar is $15, but I'm still leaving with 75 dollars. More than I could have expected out of a Thursday evening in smoking. I spend the next hour rolling silverware (putting it in napkins and wrapping a piece of paper around it), sweeping my section, replacing sugar, salt and pepper at my tables, taking out the trash and sweeping the floor in the back, and eating my free meal (up to 8 bucks) for working a double.

            96 dollars is a pretty good double shift for a Thursday. After working a little less than 9 hours, and factoring in my $3.25/hour that will be on my check next week, that's a pretty good wage to be making. Hopefully tomorrow will be good too.

            Base salary is low, meant to be supplemented by
            "performance bonuses", i.e., tips.

            "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

            by wader on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 12:26:00 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  You might have to search for it (10+ / 0-)

            but if a restaurant has a policy of mandatory tipping it's posted somewhere.  That's been my experience.

            Secondly, if the restaurant doesn't have a policy of mandatory tipping, you don't have to leave a tip.  Waiters get stiffed all the time but this situation is unique in that the reverend left an [absurd] explanation on the receipt.  This prompted Ms. Welch to post it.

          •  And that is the waitperson's... (5+ / 0-)

            fault, why?

            This makes about as much sense as Mike Huckabee on mescaline. - Prodigal 2-6-2008

            by Tonedevil on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 01:25:14 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  While I completely agree (0+ / 0-)

          that the User has behaved "disckishly" throughout this thread, I have to say that I am against tipping.

          I have always been against it. A customer should be told the price, and pay it, and the staff should be paid a living wage with none of that amount being left to the capricious behavior of customers.

          They may tip, and generously for any number of reasons, but they may not and that might be nothing to do with the wait staff who have no control over the quality of the food.

          It's too reminiscent of the "master/servant" relationship, and I don't think there is a place for it in a modern world.

          Restaurants that are only responsible for a few dollars an hour of their staff wages have little incentive to run reputable businesses, even if many of them do.

          When folk go to work, in a restaurant or bar, they should know what the deal is in advance, not simply hope that others may be feeling charitable.

          I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
          but I fear we will remain Democrats.

          Who is twigg?

          by twigg on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 11:01:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh, I absolutely agree (5+ / 0-)

            in that I'm against legally-reinforced social conventions of 'required' tipping. I think it's bad for servers, bad for customers, and generally bad for the economy and social stability (people whose income isn't stable and reliable struggle with basic survival needs like housing and childcare even more than you'd expect given their average income.)

            I just don't think that the place to make a stand is at the restaurant table after I've been served. Nor are servers the appropriate target of my anger.

            "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

            by kyril on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 02:57:34 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  In the United States (15+ / 0-)

        there's no standard for tipping; it is essentially setting a voluntary price.

        Other countries work differently.  For example, in France, there is a mandatory service charge, something like 20% IIRC.  This is, by law, distributed to employees, and there is no expectation of a tip.  In Germany, it is good form to leave some spare change if you were happy with the service, but this is not a large contributor to the server's income.

        Needless to say, France collects social security tax from the employer to pay for national health insurance, and Germany requires the employer to get health insurance for the employee from a regulated private health insurer subsidized by the state.

        I tip 20% anyway so I'm perfectly willing to go with their system -- including the national health insurance.  In the mean time, I've been there and I'm not going to stiff waitstaff (or if I do, it means they made me really, really mad.)

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