Serving can be a nightmare. An anxiety filled, mentally and physically exhausting occupation. And yet, I’ve chosen to work this job for the past 5 years. Why? Because it pays the bills and it’s one of the only jobs available that can accommodate my student hours. I know I am not alone in this. For most, It’s a love-hate relationship; we suffer for the money as we grow increasingly bitter at management and the entire population for treating us the way that they do.
According to the Telegraph, scientists have found that low paid jobs, such as those in the service industry, leave employees at a far greater risk of heart problems and are 58% more likely to suffer an ischemic stroke. The article goes on to explain how those working in this field are often left vulnerable to the whims of customers and management and are forced to work long unsociable hours to serve the 9-5 crowd. Amen! I don’t know about you, but I think if I’m literally risking my life to serve, you should tip. And if you don’t tip at least be a kind human being.
As Narcity explains this is how you should tip:
- 15% - Okay service
- 18% - Good service
- 20% - Great service
- 21% - 30% - Exceptional service
I have been screamed at over free refills on chips and salsa. I have been grabbed by the arm and scolded like a young child. A man once asked me to take a seat on his lap as the rest of his table laughed. What is it about servers that makes society want to badger and abuse? Is it because you’re tipping us? We make below minimum wage; you have an obligation to tip. You pay for your air ducts to be cleaned and I’m sure you don’t scream at them. I block your nastiness out while my toes are jammed into cowboy boots as I maneuver around the room with a 50-pound tray of sizzling fajitas spraying oil onto the side of my face.
Unsurprisingly, the increased minimum wage has set the entire industry on edge. Costs have to be cut because now businesses are forced to pay employees a higher wage. How will the ledgers be balanced, you ask? By sticking their grubby hands into the tip jar.
When the restaurant I previously worked for decided to change the tip pool in preparation for the minimum wage increase, half of my location quit in rage. Corporate hoo-ha’s wanted the tips we made to be shared with management because they couldn’t afford to provide wage increases.
I moved on to what I thought were bigger and better things, only to encounter a different kind of crowd. I now work Sunday morning brunch. This is by far the most ruthless of crowds. Even more brutal than hungry, burly men smacking their beers on the table, demanding their 5th refill of meat on All-You-Can-Eat Fajitas night. Even crueler than the Black Friday shoppers who trample each other for a free T.V.
Picture a quaint little French bistro styled brunch spot with walls painted yellow, where happy music plays over the speakers. A cutesy little place, where demonically possessed humanoids roll out of bed at the crack of dawn and trudge over demanding bacon and eggs and organic coffee. Here, I am berated for different reasons. I stand in the way of your 8th refill of coffee. Trust me, I’m not too pretty without my morning cup of joe either, but I don’t bark orders like a tyrant. It’s 9 A.M on a Sunday. What are you even doing out of bed? Shhhh, go back to sleep.
Or, just enjoy yourself and I'll be right over.
Emily Andrechuk can almost always be found nose deep in a novel, usually historical fiction or one of her many travel guides. When she’s not counting her pennies for flights abroad, she’s at home cooking, drinking wine and writing. She is a direct entry student in Algonquin College’s Professional Writing program.