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Working for tips - restaurant workers and taxpayer subsidies to food service

praktik

TRIBE Member
Saw latest Moyers on this:

All Work and No Pay | Moyers & Company | BillMoyers.com

Had me thinking about what a raw deal it is to work for tips - and how this class of workers is draining taxpayer dollars from the increased government programs they need to access to make up for low wages.

Why do we subsidize corporations and pay workers wages for them, both directly through our tips and then subsequently through the government services they need more than others from their low pay?

In Korea there is no tip. Sure I felt I had some mediocre service a few times, but all these people were getting a standard wage and didn't have to rely on fickle customers (or the government) to help them cover the basics.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
What are tribers experiences, working for tips? Shouldn't the minimum wage be the same for everyone?
 
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Ho||yw0oD

TRIBE Member
I was a restaurant server and bartender while in university. The money was great. But in my opinion, earning good money will partly depend on the city/neighbourhood you work in, the menu prices, your own personality and availability. Some Sunday afternoons I would only make $50 in tips. Same hours but on a Saturday night... $400 in tips.
 

acheron

TRIBE Member
...and yet so many servers and waitstaff are absolutely horrible with money. I've had plenty of friends who tell me how great the tips are and such... but they ignore the truth. One of them was telling me proudly how she makes like $40k a year.

But then I reminded her that she was blowing half that up her nose, drinking with coworkers or industry friends after almost every shift, she was stuck living with roommates forever because she didn't keep enough to get a decent apartment of her own, and her social life was restricted to industry people leading to a vicious circle. She doesn't chase tips any more.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
Are we maybe a bit better off in Canada? Seems the states has a ~2$ minimum wage in many states for restaurant workers, we have universal healthcare.

Interested in anecdotes of hard times living paycheque to paycheque - maybe in Canada our restaurant workers can have bit more of the basics than their equivalents in Texas?
 

Ho||yw0oD

TRIBE Member
Yeah, I think I saw a lot of that when I was in the industry. It was more about the people entering food services and less about the job itself. (See also: I'm guessing 98% of servers and bartenders smoke, wtf)
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
ya thats crazy! Was noticing in Hell's Kitchen how ALL Of them smoke!

Was going to try and track down a study of smoking rates by industry, i am sure they are outliers!
 
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rudebwoy

TRIBE Member
I think the constant influx of cash on a daily basis is the biggest detriment to those working in the industry. people don't learn financial responsibility because they know the next day they will have another wad of cash to buy groceries/drinks/whatever with. saving money is a lot tougher when you have a wad of it shoved in a coffee pot all the time and you grab a handful every time you go out.

i am lucky enough to have come out "the other side" of the service industry pitfalls, and am now in my mid-30's, still working in restaurants with a salary plus tips, own a house and car, and am probably in the extreme minimum of servers who document and declare my tips as income. my coworkers think i'm nuts, but most of them live (barely) paycheque to paycheque.

c.
 
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