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Non American?

The other day, we were discussing the topic of tipping.  I voiced out my opinion, which to a lot of peoples dismay, was not the answer they wanted to hear.   I strongly believe that people should not be tip for doing their job, UNLESS, they go above and beyond what they are expected to do.

A woman called and complained that she was a waitress, and that she only made $2.83 an hour.  To the average person that sounds terrible, but I look at the situation completely differently.  The woman went on to tell me that she can make  anywhere between $150 to $200 a night in tips.

I use to work at Home Depot where I was making $11 an hour.  To me, I thought that was making good money, especially  in the economy were in right now.  On top of that, I have rent due, a car payment, student loans, a cell phone bill, two credit card bills, insurance (health medical and house), grocery and gas.  So $11 was sounding good.  I also was working part time as a chef, and worked weekends at Entercom, as part of a promotions team.

Here I was, working three jobs a week, with never a day off, and the total amount of money I made, would be less than what the waitress I mentioned above, makes in a week.

Now, I understand that not all waitresses make that much a night, but on a good night they can make a good chuck of money.  I know myself, that when I go out, and I get a very good waitress or waiter I will leave a very generous tip.  If I go to the bar, I tip anywhere from $20 to $40 for just one individual.

With that being said, I can't understand why waitress and waiters complain about not receiving tips.  Did it ever occur to them that maybe they did not do their job?  That perhaps they were rude, or the waiter who comes once and is never seen again, until you are ready to pay.  A caller told me that going out to eat is a luxury, and if I don't have enough money to tip, then I shouldn't go out at all.   She is right in saying that, going out to eat is a luxury, but if it is a luxury, than I EXPECT to be treated like luxury.  That is YOUR job to treat me like luxury, it is not MY job to tip you.

At far sight, I can see that making $2.83 is very low, but if  you work at a high end restaurant, where you can make $150 to $200 a night, than realistically speaking, that is all you should make.  Your waiting tables, and serving food, not operating on a dying patient, fixing a car, or building a house.  I worked in a restaurant for six years, so I won't believe you when you say, it is more complicated than it seems, sorry.

So how does all this tie into me being a non American?  Well the last call we received, sounded like an older gentleman, who was very heated about what I was saying.  He told me, I was young and rude, didn't know any better, irresponsible, and because of my stance on tipping, I wasn't American.

If only this man knew how he sounded, and how ridiculous this statement is.  First off, I'm 24, and while that is young, I can say that I'm far from being rude and inconsiderate.  Let me give a little bit of background on myself, to clarify just how I stand, and what my morals really are.  I live in NEPA, I come from a very loving Italian family.  I was born and raised a Catholic, to which I still am today.  I have a girlfriend who lives with me,  I pay the rent, and my number on priority, is making sure that she has a place to live, and is always ok, because she is originally from New York, and decided to stay here with me, after graduating college.

In fact, that is where we met.  We are both graduates of Wilkes University, were she graduated with a Bachelor in the Arts with a focus in Theater.  I also Graduated with a Bachelors in the Arts with a focus of Communications and a minor in Theater Arts.  I also have two Associates, one in Broadcasting and one in Journalism.  So for the caller to say I'm not responsible, that seems a little off.

I guess what irritated me the most, was the fact that he called me un-American.  Talk to ANYONE that knows me, and they will tell you up and down, that I'm one of the most patriotic people they know.  I love this country, and truly believe this is, THE greatest place to live.  I live by the saying, don't like it than get out.   However; I also understand that people have opinions, and THAT is what makes this country so great.  That we can agree or disagree and voice our opinions, like adults, and try to understand one another.

My biggest gripe with the caller calling me un-American, is that my brother and his wife are both currently serving in the Air Force.  As of October my brother with be deployed once again over to the Middle East, for a third time to protect this country.  There are times when he can not tell us the exact location he is going to, so that the mission will not be jeopardized.

In fact, he just got back from the Middle East in July, and is already going back, voluntarily, so that he can spend Christmas with his wife this year.  My brother lives in California, so we don't get the chance to see each other.  The Last time we saw one another was last February, for three days.  Before that, I can't remember when we hung out.

So for a complete stranger to call me un -American is ridiculous!  I love this country, and I love my brother and sister in law for protecting us everyday.  You can go ahead and disagree with my tipping strategy, that's fine, but don't tell me I'm un-American.


09/29/2010 8:21AM
Non American?
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