Sunday, November 30, 2003

Let's Talk About Work, Baby


I think it's been long enough since I last bitched about work, which is probably fortunate for everyone because I'm about to launch into a full-scale rant. November at work has sucked on pretty much every level possible. We have been increasingly busy, which means that everyone has been busting extra ass.

While working more hours might benefit the people who actually receive a decent hourly wage, the servers have been making some of the shittiest tips of the year. So basically we've been working harder and longer for less money. Tell me that doesn't suck ass.

What I don't understand is that this is supposed to be our money season, the holidays. People are out shopping and thinking of family and friends, and they usually are way more generous with their tips. The difference between the holidays and the rest of the year is that during the holidays, usually money flows so well that servers are happy to give away shifts; the rest of the year, people are desperate to pick up whatever they can. I know that the lack of good tips this month isn't just me, since people are still just as desperate.

I understand that holidays can be tight for people, what with the gifts and all of that, but what about us? I think part of the problem is that people just do not seem to understand that we don't make a normal hourly wage -- we make $2.13 an hour. Yeah, we make less than half of the federal minimum wage, and we literally depend on people's tips to live. So when I work really hard, as I have been, and then continually get less-than-mediocre tips, it's extremely discouraging.

I have even been extra nice and helpful in a desperate hope that it will help my tips, but honestly it seems to make no difference whatsoever how I act. I get some of my worst tips when I'm at my serving best, and I get some of the best when I'm a cold bitch. I try to figure this out in my head, because it makes no sense to me; why do people tip me more when I'm mean to them? And to me, tip = appreciation, so I want to know why people appreciate bitchy service more.

When I go out to a restaurant, I want a server who is warm, friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful. There is no way I'd want a server like me when I'm in bitter mode. If it weren't for the fact that I know it's bad service, I'd probably just be a bitch all the time. I mean, Jesus Christ.

And then there are the people who are just so super nice and you get along well with them, they have a great time with you, they may even go so far as to compliment you on the service, and then they leave something along the lines of 10%. I mean, WTF? Actually, this is what I call 'the verbal tip'. If they tell you you were a great server or anything like that, you know immediately you're doomed. I have noticed, too, that the verbal tip is apparently taken to be an invisible 5%, because when you get the actual tip, it's usually only 10%.

What is wrong with people??

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