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BANNED FOR NOT TIPPING

 
 
Eva
 
  2  
Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2010 11:07 pm
It's the tip jars on the counters that bother me. I even had one cashier (that's what they are, glorified cashiers, not waiters...) remind me about the tip jar last week. He said it was "their policy." So I told him MY policy:

I tip for table service, NOT for counter service.
Eva
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2010 11:14 pm
And I'm not tipping for carry-out, either!!!
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2010 11:14 pm
@dlowan,
Minimum wage is minimum wage.

It's fine for a teenager living at home. Not so great for someone living on their own or trying to raise a family, so, no, minimum wage for a family person is not a living wage.

While there is some range of minimum wages by province and by job category, it is not variable based on your personal circumstances. I don't think would be right in any case.

0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2010 11:15 pm
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:
That surprises me if so.


why?
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2010 11:17 pm
I lived in Germany for six years a vastly prefer the European way of paying a good wage and wrapping all of the charges up in a standard non negotiable tab.

However, since we dont do that I do participate in tipping. I tip 0-25% based upon service and since the kitchen normally gets a share of the tip food quality and willingness of the kitchen to correct problems does count. If the food is cold the tip goes down. If the courses come out too fast (I am not given a reasonable amount of time to eat the app) the tip goes down. I start at 15%, go up for super quality, go down for less that satisfactory quality.

I tip 1 cent sometimes when I am really pissed, just to make sure that they know that the lack of tip was not an oversight. I tip nothing or 1 cent about 2% of the time.

Re banning: I think that is almost always a bad idea from the restaurants point of view. A better option is to let employees tweak the offending customer, as in purposefully provide bad service, or be cold during the interactions. This only make sense though if the offending customer is eating alone or as a couple, as pissing of possibly good customers in the rest of the party is not helpfull.
0 Replies
 
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 12:25 am
@Phoenix32890,
Phoenix32890 wrote:
I tend to tip on the high side.........except when I have received really lousy service. I will give a little extra to the server who refills my water glass before I have even asked, and will offer extra rolls when he sees the basket is empty.

I think that waiting on tables is a lousy job, and most of the people who work these jobs are either kids who are trying to save for something better, or those who are stuck as waiters for their whole lives.

Whether I care for the whole issue of tipping is entirely another issue. Tipping is what exists, and I attempt to make a waiter smile when they see what I wrote on the credit card slip. It's not much skin off my nose, and what the hell, if it is something that I can do to make someone's day, it makes me happy too!


Nice post Smile
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 01:28 am
@ehBeth,
ehBeth wrote:

dlowan wrote:
That surprises me if so.


why?


Because I had seen Canada as a country that was more likely to mandate a living wage for people.

To me, a non-living wage and bullshit about the gap being made up by tips goes with stuff like no health care etc.
roger
 
  2  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 02:49 am
@dlowan,
Think of your waitstaff as a group of entrepreneurs, eager to succeed in business. Their investment is zero, and the potential earnings are 20% - 25% of gross revenues of a business in which they share no costs.

Twenty - five percent would actually be on the low end of expectations if they could count on a sufficient percentage of customers being posting members of A2K.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 02:51 am
@roger,
roger wrote:

Think of your waitstaff as a group of entrepreneurs, eager to succeed in business. Their investment is zero, and the potential earnings are 20% - 25% of gross revenues of a business in which they share no costs.

Twenty - five percent would actually be on the low end of expectations if they could count on a sufficient percentage of customers being posting members of A2K.


Is that how you want to run it in your job? A wage too low to live on, and dependent upon tips from your co-workers if they think you deserve to be able to live?

roger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 04:16 am
@dlowan,
If I could have hit them up for even 15% of invoice, I would be a wealthy man today.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 04:31 am
@Eva,
Eva wrote:
It's the tip jars on the counters that bother me. I even had one cashier (that's what they are, glorified cashiers, not waiters...) remind me about the tip jar last week. He said it was "their policy." So I told him MY policy:

I tip for table service, NOT for counter service.


That frosts my nether anatomy, too. The coffee shops are the worst. What? You think i should tip you for pouring coffee into a cup and then telling me where to find the cream and sugar? Not in my book. Hell, half the time you have to ask where the cream and sugar is, and they treat you like a simpleton for asking. I make sure i purchase everything i want on the first go round, and that's because i don't intend to tip them, and don't intend to suffer for it either.

But there is something which disturbs me, and that's the constant harping on tips being for "good" service. People i've known want to leave a lower tip, or none at all, because they didn't think the food was properly prepared, or not hot enough, or didn't arrive soon enough. There are so many things which the server cannot control which can effect the quality of your meal. They don't prepare your food, and have no control over how it is prepared, how much food gets put up for service at once, how many tables they are expected to serve . . .

Short of outright surliness or insults, i don't think the service staff should suffer for things which are largely not under their control. I've also known enough servers, and have had sufficient exposure to the food service industry to make other decisions about tipping. People in white table cloth restaurants get the minimum from me, because their tickets are so much larger than diner tickets, so it's not as if they are hurting for tips to begin with. In diners, i tend to tip more because the service staff is so often women, so often older than the service staff in white table cloth restaurants (who tend to choose younger service staff) and therefore often supporting or helping to support a family, and because the tickets there mean that they aren't delivering the same "value" (in mere dollar amounts) to the tables at the same time. It is also my experience from observation and talking to diner staff that they get stiffed much more often than staff in white table cloth restaurants. People can be god-awful cheapskates.

But i have no patience with "tip jars," and only use them if i see an advantage for me in it. A Chinese carry out that i used to frequent was run by a family who worked like slaves to produce a high quality of food, and they weren't the owners. So i left a tip once, and then had to explain it to them. I got them to put out a jar, telling them that Americans would take it as a matter of course. And they earned their tips--the food was of a very high quality (i used to see them working away with fresh ingredients in the afternoons preparing for the evening rush) and served pretty quickly and while still hot, not warm, hot. But i'll be damned if i'll tip someone for pouring a cup of coffee when that's what they're paid to do in the first place.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 04:51 am
@roger,
roger wrote:

If I could have hit them up for even 15% of invoice, I would be a wealthy man today.


Is that really the issue?
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 04:52 am
@Setanta,
But...if the people behind counters are also not being paid a living wage, how else can they survive except by begging?

Or are they paid a decent wage, while wait staff are not?
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 05:27 am
@dlowan,
That would depend on how one defines a living wage. The Federal minimum wage is about $7.50/hour. However, an exception is made for people who receive tips, and then the minimum wage is $2.13/hour, based on an assumption the the person involved is receiving tips which make up the difference between $7.50 and $2.13. (Serving at a counter is not seen as a tip situation by the government.) The problem that i see is that tips are given for the service rendered, and i don't see pouring a cup of coffee as rendering any particularly noteworthy service. To my admittedly limited knowledge, people in coffee shops receive at least the minimum wage, and usually somewhat (although not a great deal) more than that. There are a variety of dodges by which the corporate coffee shop chains avoid being responsible employers. One is to assure that their staff are not scheduled for more than 30 hours per week, which absolves them from the responsibility of providing their staff the benefits (health care, primarily) which is provided to management staff. This is not limited to coffee shops, by any means. There are many retail outlet corporations which use the same dodge to avoid providing benefits, and then provide the minimum of benefits they can get away with to management staff whom they then work like dogs.

The issue of what is or isn't a "living wage" is fraught with political considerations here. Many states have a higher minimum wage than the Federal minimum wage, and some municipalities mandate an even higher minimum wage. A rise in the minimum wage was long overdue in the 1990s when the Republicans took over Congress, and they steadfastly resisted any increase in the minimum wage until it became clear that they might suffer at the ballot box, and even then it was like pulling teeth. Many of them were able to get away with continuing to oppose an increase in the Federal minimum wage because the states from which they were elected were paying a higher rate.

Local conditions matter, too. For example, in Columbus, Ohio, there are so many successful restaurants that getting reliable dishwashers became a problem, and owners/managers found that they had to pay $8.00/$9.00/$10.00/hour to get them, at a time when the Federal minimum wage had not even yet reached $7.50/hour. Kids from affluent neighborhoods would not work in the fast food restaurants (such as McDonalds or Wendys) for less than $10.00/hour, while in poorer neighborhoods, they were glad to get minimum wage. There is a persistently shibboleth of conservatives that increasing the minimum wage will drastically increase prices, and the evidence simply doesn't support the claim. In fact, the evidence is, in the case of the already low minimum wages paid in this country, that increasing the minimum wage to more reasonable levels doesn't increase costs at all, although it certainly will reduce, but not significantly, the bottom line. So, the minimum wage is a huge political football, and for no very good reason.

Capitalist greed results in a lot of stupidity. If the United States were to become a Walmart nation, then before very long, the working class could not afford to shop anywhere else than Walmart. The greedy patricians of Rome destroyed the economy in the West with latifundia, huge slave-driven enterprises, which destroyed the consumer class. When the empire ceased to expand, and actually began to contract, they no longer had buyers for their products, and debasement of the currency lead to run away inflation. The result was the collapse of the economy in the west, followed rapidly by the collapse of imperial authority. In the eastern portion of the empire, where those circumstances did not apply, the economy remained relatively healthy, a large consumer class remained, and imperial authority proved resilient. England ran into the same problem after 1815 when cheap American exports and higher quality French exports cut into their trade. Eventually, they discovered--to their horror--that the best way to assure higher productivity was to pay better wages, and to eliminate piece work and child labor. The American textile mills weren't bastions of enlightened labor relations, but they paid better wages, and were more productive. The French textile mills paid better wages (after 1830), and competed successfully on the basis of producing a higher quality product.

Most capitalists have very simple minded attitudes about costs and returns, and many people who are conservatives, but not capitalists, support their idiocy. The experience of centuries is that you do better in the long term by taking good care of your employees and relying upon higher productivity and better quality for sustained profitability. Most capitalists are not in it for the long term--they want quick, high profits, and damn the consequences.
0 Replies
 
Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 06:44 am
The Big Dawg has pretty much nailed it. However I have to add that as an employer in the events business I tried to treat my people exceptionally well so that I could demand a higher standard than "carny ride worker" from them. I paid them 100.00 dollars a day whether it was a grueling 13 hour day or a quickie local 6 hour day and it balanced out. I had group insurance with United Healthcare and even the lowliest part timer could buy in if they chose to and I paid half the premiums. For two of the supervisor types I picked up all their healthcare. I gave my full timers a weeks paid vacation a year. When on a couple of occasions my guys were hurt on the job I paid them a salary every week until they got back to work and gave them easy on the couch work like stuffing songbooks or making phone calls or planning travel routes. Unfortunately, one by one they all turned out to be cocks in the end and I could have saved myself a bundle by doing what every other event planner does and pay slave wages. No good deed goes unpunished.

I particularly remember the second year I was in business when the company took off like a rocket, squinney and I had an employee party in our home, catered it, brought in a caricature artist, sang and socialized, and at the end of the evening I gave out bonus checks in an amount equal to the amount of work (meaning hours per week) and how long they'd been with me. A couple had been around since day one.

One of the guys looked at it and said, oh.... in a check.... so we have to pay taxes on it. I snatched it out of his hand so fast he didn't see it coming and tore it up. I said there, no you don't have to worry with those taxes. Merry Christmas. He lasted awhile longer as an employee and then got drunk on a job in Southern Florida and thought it would be cute to discharge his gun on the street one night. Dickhead.

as an employer you need to decide if you're going to be generous or at the least fair with your employees and then do it because it's the right thing to do, not because it will profit you as well, and then expect nothing in return IMO. That way you can at least hold your head up as a stand up person. if you get loyal employees in return that's a bonus, but if everyone, employer AND employee just made it their business to do the best they could just for it's own sake we'd be a lot better off. Like that's going to happen.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 07:09 am
I can see why you'd be cynical, and i'm sad to say that you've probably described most employees. That last small business i managed i think it worked out very well. The employer was not obliged to pay much at all, minimum wage at least. It was low voltage security equipment and systems, and it's not covered by electrical code, and the electricians are too snotty and proud to insist on union participation. We did have an electrician on staff, and that saved us the cost of subcontracting when we needed to connect to a main power drop. This guy started people out at $8.50/hour, at a time when the minimum wage was not yet $6.00/hour. If they did well, they were in for a raise within the first month or two.

His problem was with the dickheads. When i started managing the business for him, i put my experience as a union steward to work for us. I had specialized in employee grievances and disciplinary procedures. When we got dead wood, i would start the process of documenting their defaults, and go through a strict procedure--a verbal warning, two written warnings, a suspension with pay (which the idiots thougth was cool), a suspension without pay (Hey! you can't do that!--Oh yes we can.) and finally termination for cause. We never lost a case with the boys and girls at the unemployment office because it was all documented, and no one ever tried to sue us. In many cases, we could just let people go in slack time--the ones who weren't productive but also weren't being dicks.

He paid 100% of the health care premiums, but the coverage wasn't that great. That worked out well to everyone's satisfaction, and was better than most employers. Most employers would not have paid better health coverage, and would have charged the employee half. The employer took a salary equal to the highest wage he paid any of his employees, and plowed his profits back into the business. When i started for him, he was grossing between $400,000 and $500,000 per annum. By the time i left, he was over a million (that took seven years). We set up a pension plan, with voluntary employee contributions, and whether they contributed or not, we paid 2% of gross into the fund--everybody contributed according to their own plans in the matter. We provided company vehicles, and fuel cards, and only the lead technicians got vehicles, which they could drive home. I kept a close eye on the fuel cards, and nobody abused it. We provided all major power tools, and replaced small power tools which had obviously been worn out in the service of the company. Everyone got five sick days per year, and three personal days. Over time, he assembled a reliable and skillful crew, who proved to be loyal. The only problems we had were with helpers, and those were the ones let go in slack times, or fired for cause. Eventually, even the helpers proved to be reliable and loyal employees. He paid performance bonuses to the lead technicians on large contracts, and annual bonuses to everyone.

We sold, installed and serviced equipment and systems. A good deal of our business relied on service contracts with customers who would predictably expand and/or upgrade their security equipment systems. That meant that the reliability and loyalty of our employees was crucial to the good relations which secured us contracts for new work and the renewal of service contracts each year. Once, and once only, a major customer switched to someone else to get a cheaper annual service contract. They came back again the next year, and genuinely regretted trying to cheap it out. The security community is sufficiently small that our reputation really mattered, and after a few years of service contracts with a couple of customers, we were signing service contracts with all of our customers--that's how the business got built.

It would never have been possible without reliable and loyal employees, and that was only possible because of the care the employer took to make the terms of employment attractive and generous. But conditions there were in many ways unique. It is more likely that the Walmart model will continue to be attractive to capitalists, who as a group, seem to be cheapskates who don't know a good thing even when it bites them in the ass.
0 Replies
 
Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 07:37 am
I'm glad it worked out for your guy.

On of the reasons I didn't try harder to rebuild my company to it's former position after my illness is because I have over the years become so disillusioned with people in general that I now try to make a living working with as few as possible outside of the clients I actually service of course. I like people in general, I've just been let down by them so many times I have no faith in them I'm sad to say. I chose to make my living in a cutthroat business where loyalty is non existent, so I guess I can't complain about being an anomaly in it. Laughing
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 09:30 am
I tip mostly because, as a poor man myself, I feel the need of the people who serve me. I have withheld the tip on rare occasions, but usually do not look for reasons to do so.
chai2
 
  2  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 09:32 am
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:

I tip mostly because, as a poor man myself, I feel the need of the people who serve me. I have withheld the tip on rare occasions, but usually do not look for reasons to do so.


very nice post edgar
0 Replies
 
Heeven
 
  3  
Reply Tue 9 Mar, 2010 12:10 pm
@chai2,
My main issue is the 20% amount. If I go to a fancy restaurant and pay over $100 for the meal then I think $20 is too much money to give to the server. They give me a menu, I give them my order, they bring my drink and food, they take away my plates, they give me my bill and make change. That service is worth about five bucks per table of two maximum. It is not rocket science. If I have the poor sucker running back and forth to the kitchen, for wine, etc., etc., then I understand throwing a few more bucks their way, but generally the service is not worth $20.

The price at the restaurant for the food should include the overhead at the restaurant and that includes the salaries of their chefs, cooks, cleaners, sweepers, and serving staff. I am more appreciative of the chef who makes my meal delicious than the server who just walked from the kitchen to my table with the plate!
 

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