We make $3.50 an hour. Most of my paychecks are less than pocket change because I have to pay taxes on the tips I make.As an Australian the idea of regularly tipping is quite foreign. The American system stinks. It's something I have never understood when visiting the USA. However, the world is what it is. When visiting the USA we need to remember to tip, people's livelihoods depend on it.
After sharing my tips with hosts, bussers, and bartenders, I make less than $9 an hour on average, before taxes. I am expected to skip bathroom breaks if we are busy. I go hungry all day if I have several busy tables to work. I am expected to work until 1:30am and then come in again at 10:30am to open the restaurant.
I have worked 12-hour double shifts without a chance to even sit down. I am expected to portray a canned personality that has been found to be least offensive to the greatest amount of people. And I am expected to do all of this, every day, and receive change, or even nothing, in return. After all that, I can be fired for "embarrassing" someone, who directly insults his or her server on religious grounds.
In this economy, $3.50 an hour doesn't cut it. I can't pay half my bills. Like many, I would love to see a reasonable, non-tip-dependent wage system for service workers like they have in other countries. But the system being flawed is not an excuse for not paying for services rendered.
I need tips to pay my bills. All waiters do. We spend an hour or more of our time befriending you, making you laugh, getting to know you, and making your dining experience the best it can be. We work hard. We care. We deserve to be paid for that.
Wednesday, 4 December 2013
Why you need to tip in America
Chelsea Welch on why you should leave a tip in American restaurants -Tips are not optional, they are how waiters get paid in America: