Tipping should not be an option


Junior Alyssa Clark

Alyssa Clark, Reporter

According to wiserwaitress.com, 19.4 percent of waitresses and waiters who earn a base wage of $2.13 are living below the poverty rate. I’m sure I have made it obvious through my various tweets that waitressing is not an easy task. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job and most of the people that come into Waffle House, but there are times where I just want to pull all of my hair out at work, and I’m not the only waiter/waitress that feels like this.

We servers have to put up with so much bullcrap daily, yet we often don’t get paid as much as we should just because some people think that “skipping the tip” is just a way to save a few bucks on a night out. Therefore, I think the waitresses should get paid more than 2.13 an hour.

According to theguardian.com, one waitress from Applebees was fired for posting a picture on Reddit (as a light-hearted joke) of a note on a bill that said, “I give God 10 percent, why do you get 18?” The waitress had no intention of hurting anyone and didn’t give out the identity of the person, yet she still lost her job.

On her blog, she wrote, “It seems I was fired not because Applebee’s was represented poorly, not because I did anything illegal or against company policy, but because I embarrassed this person.”

On my very first day of waitressing, I was scheduled to work a double, from 7 am to 9 p.m. Little did I know how hard the job actually was. During that 14 hour shift, I had about a 30 minute break only because I had to drive from one Waffle House to another. Many of the employees were welcoming, however some customers were not. When I forgot one customer’s waffle, he thought it was justifiable to demand 50 percent off his bill and to leave a $1 tip on a $20 bill. After that happened, my whole day was ruined and my confidence dropped.

Most of my paychecks are less than pocket change. I used to get paid $2.13 an hour (thank god Waffle House finally raised second and third shift minimum wage to $6 an hour). But most days, I would come home with less than minimum wage. A couple of weeks ago, I worked a four hour shift but only had 3 tables that entire time. Nonetheless, I still worked hard for the $13 dollars I made in tips. When I’m not serving tables, I’m expected to complete a long list of side work every shift, so I’m busy no matter how much I get paid.

I’m a teenager, the only thing I have to pay monthly on is my insurance and my gym membership. The rest of my money goes into my college savings. However, there are grown women and men using this kind of money to make a living and to support other people. Us waiters and waitresses never know how much money we’re going to bring home, we just hope that it’s enough to survive the week.

The next time you eat out, put yourself in your waiter’s shoes. I’m not saying you should tip an outrageous amount, but be patient if you see that your server is busy or leave them a nice note if they’re having a bad day. It makes the world of a difference to us.