Thursday, February 13, 2014

I Need Your Help

     I'm making a reappearance today for a reason that I think is pretty important. I want everyone who reads this blog to help me out with a petition I learned about last night. It does require making an account but even from my phone, it took less than five minutes, and it's for something that I find important.

     "Just get to the point and tell us what's so important already, damn."

     Earlier this year, a bill was passed that changed the automatic gratuity for large parties in restaurants. Instead of it being counted as a tip, it's now counted as a wage. Restaurant owners will have to either get rid of the auto grat or pay taxes and do paperwork, like they would a paycheck. If a restaurant owner won't even pay a server more than $2.13 an hour or pay a runner, busser, or host an average check (but instead takes it from the servers' tips), how many restaurants do you think will actually be willing to keep the auto grat? Few to none.

     "So? They'll gt tipped by what the party deems fit."

     If they get tipped at all, you mean.

     One thing that I'll never do, even if the service is absolutely horrible, is stiff somebody on a tip. It's not just that servers need that money to pay bills and buy food. Servers have to pay taxes from their tips and they have to tipout as much as 15% of their sales. Let me give you an example of what happened to me, on a party of two.

     It was an old man in a wheelchair and his grandson. They sat at table 92. They joked with me about languages because it was an Italian restaurant, which is a language I know nothin of. We talked about traveling and the old man's visits to Europe. Their food came out on time. Their glasses stayed full. I spent most of my time focusing on that table because while they weren't very needy, they were chatty as hell. They stayed for two, maybe three hours, on a busy night so that I couldn't turn that table and get more tips. Did I mind? No, actually. They were super nice and their bill was up to $99.64 so I was really hoping for the 20% tip of $20. The old man even asked me to push his wheelchair to the bathroom, which I did, despite how heavy an overweight grown man in a wheelchair is. Finally, they were willing to pay. I saw at least six different $100 bills in his wallet and a couple $20's. He paid in a single $100 and I took it to my manager, who determined that it was real. As always, instead of asking if they wanted change, I brought back their 36¢. They are gone. There was no other tip. The rest of my section watched the busboy and I tear the table apart looking for it.

     "At least they left something. Your service probably sucked."

     Well, if you thought that, you need to stick to fast food or eat at home because servers hate you. I lost money on that table. I still had to pay my restaurant's tipout based on the bill, of 2.5%. So I had to pay $2.50 on that table alone. Not to mention the taxes, which I won't even go into, because that is too much math for me. I literally paid to spend a few hours of my life serving a table.

     "Okay, I can see how that's unfair. But that probably doesn't happen very often."

     I beg to differ. I would like you to keep in mind that I earned tips that were 20% and more on the daily basis. Towards the end of my time working there, I had three tables one night and walked away with $75. However, I have also been stiffed completely. I have waited on parties of 5-6 people who ate their body weight in bread and lemonade they made at the table, but still ended up with $100 bills, then they left me $5. I've had $5 tips on people who stay for four hours hogging a table so that I can't turn it. Even on parties, I have made less than $20 because everyone ordered the cheapest thing on the menu and 20% was $2 each for 15 people, which I had to split with another server. I've had entire parties happy and the one person who is footing the bill complain about each and every little thing, so the only way I'd get a tip was the auto grat. And finally, my friend had a party of 12 people who spend over $200 in food, claimed that they saw a roach on the wall, and despite being sooo disgusted, they wanted their food to go and ordered dessert. They didn't have to pay a damn thing. He was counting on that money to help get him back home from a move.

     In conclusion, for every generous person out there, there are a shitton of greedy assholes who don't want to tip. Auto grat is supposed to protect servers from those people. If a big party is all a server gets one night and they don't tip, the server will literally be paying to spend hours of their life at work. Unless its a noble cause for charity, name one job where you pay to work.

     "Shut up already and tell me where to sign. You're bumming me out with that rant."

     Good. I'm glad we see things eye to eye. To sign the petition, all you need to do is go here: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/amend-revenue-ruling-2012-18-gratuity-should-not-be-considered-service-charge-it-not-mandatory/FR99G11Z  I'm on my phone so I can't link it to the word "here". But I typed this from my phone. All of it. That is how important this is to me.

     I don't encourage you to share my post because I don't want a cheap way to get readers. However, I do strongly encourage anyone who signs this petition to write their own post, share the link on Facebook, Twitter, whatever you can think of. This bill needs to be overturned or I have friends that won't be able to make ends meet. If you have a server for a friend, then there's a damn good chance they'll be struggling too.

10 comments:

  1. I shall go. I am very much aware of the metric fuck ton of people who are cheapskates. Willy Dunne Wooters and I receive excellent service at my local restaurant, and we are happy to tip well.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Thank you, Janie! There's still a long way to go, but I really hope the bill will be overturned. It astounds me how many people are so cheap and the reasons they use, but I still try to hang on to the people who actually give a damn about others. Also, I like the phrase "metric fuck ton".

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    2. The Hurricane used to have a boyfriend who said metric fuck ton. It stuck in my head.

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    3. I'm going to have to start using that phrase.

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  2. I waited for several years and hated these people. I had to tipshare 6% of my sales every night. 2% went to the cook, 2% went to the hostess, and 2% went somewhere else I don't remember. I had a huge table one night and got no tip. I shelled out $18 for the privilege of serving them. They took up almost my entire section and had stayed for hours. Even after my pay, I basically broke even that night.

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    1. A perfect example as to why this new bill is one of the stupidest things ever made. Including the one that says you can't walk around barefoot in Texas or with an ice cream cone in your back pocket on Sundays in Alabama. Even stupider than those.

      Having to tip the cook pisses me off. Where I worked, they made $15 an hour if they were a line cook an $8 if they did salads or desserts, but they got to eat free. Meanwhile, servers had to pay half price, while not making nearly as much. My mom worked at a place when I was little where 50% of her tips were supposed to go to the cook. She started hiding it because he was making more than enough to live on, while she was trying to raise a premature newborn.

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  3. I've never worked in the food industry and had no idea this is how things worked. Heading to the petition now.

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    1. Thank you, Dana! I have two theories as to why people won't sign the petition: They don't know it exists or they have no idea how the food service industry works. I was considering doing a series (once I had a computer again) about everything I saw as a server and you have just assured me that I should.

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  4. Yikes. That sucks. Consider this signed from both of us.

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    1. Two signatures for the price of one?

      Sorry, bad joke. I've had a weird day. But seriously, thank you both for signing it. There are still about 92,000 signatures needed last time I checked. My theory is nobody knows about the petition except the cheap bastards.

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