When will I learn?

So I ended up in this circular and never ending ‘debate’ about the concept of ‘tipping’ at restraunts etc.

So, their side of this argument.  Tips are the servers/wait staff’s wages.  These staff are paid below minimum wage and both themselves and their employers expect that customers will turn up, pay their bill and then pay tips to the staff to make up the shortfall in wages.


So my first thought …  these people are paid below minimum wage, and you are OK with this?

My second thought was, I turn up, have my meal, pay my bill, and then the owner expects me to follow up by paying some of his business expenses too?

Since when do I pay wages for people I did not hire?  My money goes toward it, but I pay my bill.  The wages are paid by the person who placed the add, reviewed the resume, conducted the interview and hired the chosen applicant.  Since I did none of these things, I have no wages to pay right?

Well – the argument againts all this is that I got service so I should pay for it.

Yeah, I did.  This is why I came to the restraunt.  And this is why I paid my bill.  This is why it is called a bill after all right?

Apparently no, apparently I am responsible for the staff wages.  But I saw no resume’s!!  I placed no advert!!

But the staff don’t get paid enough to survive! is the rebuttal.  My logical response, then they need to take that up with the person paying their wages, the one who placed the add and hired them.


This goes around and round several times.  Apparently the concept of Tips, also known as Gratis – from the french meaning to thank – is a little subtle – gratis, not wage, Tip not bill.

I have no problem at all with rewarding great service, I think it should be rewarded.  Traditionally and for practical reasons this is done with cash – but if that’s not an acceptable option it is not hard to start a new tradition, maybe we should bring nickelback cd’s to give to good wait-staff.

The point being staff get rewarded for performance above and beyond.  It’s a BONUS.  You want your just deserts for doing your job, that would be your wages.

Now if you, as a server, who may be stuck in that job as there are none other available let’s say, feel that being paid below minimum wage legally is unfair, I, as a socially responsable member of the community, would love to support you in changing that.

Ohhh wait, you want me to pay the shortfall?  Sorry but that’s not helping your situation.  Your situation is that your employer does not value you as much as any staff paid full wage.  So I will sign petitions you bring me, I will help in letter writing campaigns to change legislation, I am more than happy to vote with my feet.

But no, you like that your employer is abusing the laws in order to abuse you.  You just want me to pay his business expenses – that is your wages.

It’s got nothing to do with not wanting to pay for service, I already paid for that when I paid my bill.  your employer is short changing you and double dipping.  And you want me to support that with my wallet?  NO!

Do I think it is fair that wait staff can legally be paid below minimum wage?  No, No I do not.  Am I going to spearhead the campaign to change that?  No.  This is not my issue.  Will I allow you to shaft me as a customer by guilting me into paying your wage shortfall?  Fuck no.  Will I support your efforts to change the situation if you approach me and ask?  HELLS yes.

So quit trying to bully, or guilt me into paying your boss’s businesses costs AFTER I have paid my bill.  And either shit or get off the pot.  I will happily support your cause, but you have to want that support.  If you don’t ask for my support, I’ll assume you don’t need it and be on my merry way.  Remember, this is YOUR issue.  Your employer wanted wait staff to bring me back in to get my money legitimately through bills.  Part of the cost of doing that buisness is hiring staff and paying their wages.  that is your boss’s cost, not mine, I just turned up because his business is offering something I want.  The fact you are providing it entitles you to be compensated for your time ….  from your boss, not from me.


~ by scawalrus on November 11, 2012.

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