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No Shoes, No Shirt, No TIPPING, No Service

“WHY DA **** I GOTTA TIP??”

This was the eloquent title of an enlightening YouTube video I had the joy of watching just the other day. The star of this video was the lovely Ms. Sharece Thomas, who has it in her head that tipping her server is optional. If she has a whim to go out to a restaurant and does not feel so inclined to tip her hardworking waiter, she should not have to, Ms. Thomas argues. So she decided to create a six-minute-long video about why she feels this way.

Ms. Thomas’s sentiments, unfortunately, seem to be a more widely shared opinion than one would think. As a waitress, I was thoroughly and utterly horrified. It has come to my attention that there is a significant number of people who are blissfully unaware of the inner workings of the food industry. It is because of this that I’ve compiled a few things you should know about that bubbly young girl who just brought you your dinner.

  1. Tip your server! This should be the simplest of all actions. We servers get paid roughly $3 to $4 an hour. Even if math is not your strong suit, anyone can see that this is far below minimum wage. We also get taxed by the federal government on 15 percent of our total sales for the night. This means that if you leave even a dollar less than 15 percent on the total sum of your bill (before any discounts or coupons), you are effectively taking money that we do not have. In essence, I just paid the government to wait on you. Needless to say, please tip your server.
     
  2. Servers are people too. So are hostesses, busboys, bartenders and cashiers. We are not servants or robots. So don’t treat us as such. One such example of someone who was not aware of this should-be-obvious fact was a gentleman, who, during his visit to the deli  I work at, proceeded to snap his fingers at me, called me “girlie,” cut me off mid-sentence repeatedly, never looked me in the eye, and made a rude comment to people at the table next to him. This kind of behavior is unacceptable in moral standards, never mind in terms of manners. So please be polite to the poor wait staff.  We WILL return the favor.
     
  3. We really are happy to see you. When I say, “How are you today?” I am looking for an actual response and NOT “coffee and a water, extra cream.” I’d like some eye contact, maybe a smile. If you’re in a bad mood, I’ll understand. But let’s face it, you (yes, YOU) are the reason I am at work. I did not choose to be a server because I hate people, dislike talking and HATE being nice.

So in response to you, Ms. Thomas, THAT is why you gotta tip.