Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,
I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?
Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?
Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?
The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the US Department of Labor.
That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.
So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.
Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.
Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to ten people.
Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"
Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the seventeen other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.
Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 dollar bill.
Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.
Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of ten times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession - whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.
If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food, and a tip do not come out to eat.
If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.
If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.
As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a forty dollar bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes - as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.
I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.
Going to college is a big change for anyone and it's a difficult time for a lot of us. It is hard enough being an incoming freshman at a new school, let alone a freshman with a disability.
I never knew how much extra stuff I had to do in order to be able to get the accommodations I need plus all the typical college duties a student has on their plate. I had to fill out an online application to prove my disability, a learning accommodations form, an accommodations form, a Vocational Rehab form, a transportation form, plus the millions of other forms you have to fill out in order to become a student at any college.
It took three hours... It was very overwhelming. And I had to talk to a lot of people about the million forms I filled out without my parents' help.
"Welcome to adulthood," they said.
It happened in the blink of an eye. Besides all the forms, choosing roommates is harder than I thought it was going to be. It's something that most people find nerve-wracking. I have the challenge of not only trying to meet new people in an unfamiliar environment like everyone else but in hopes of being accepted by my peers because of my disability.
At what point do I tell people about my disability? Do I tell them when we are getting to know each other or when we are going to meet up? That's probably the thing I am scared the most about.
I have heard that college students are more accepting of disabilities than most high schoolers, which puts me at ease a little bit.
But people can be really cruel, no matter what age.
I am also realizing as I go through the roommate process that students are not properly informed on disabilities and how to treat others with disabilities. I shouldn't have to worry about if people are going to accept me for something I can't control. Students should be nice and accept people of all different abilities. But it's easier said than done.
Another thing, trying to find a job that will be accommodable to me has been difficult. It seems so easy for a typical college student to get a job, but not me. I have spent the last six months applying for jobs just to hear nothing back from businesses. All I want to do is earn money like everyone else to try and go to college.
That's one of the reasons I applied to Vocational Rehab is to potentially get money monthly in order to suffice a job for now or at least to keep me on my toes for a little bit.
There's that... then there is the typical college student stuff housing, dining, medical forms, transcripts, and student sport passes... It is just a lot for one 18-year-old to handle. The point is, as some of you are going through the same college process, be courteous to your classmates around you.
We are all going through something similar but others may be dealing with a little more or nervous so be kind and understanding.