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Rocky View Publishing reporter has some tips for servers about tips

By: Matt Durnan

  |  Posted: Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 01:13 pm

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This column may result in me being shunned or refused service at some of Airdrieís restaurants, but I have a long-standing bone to pick with servers.

When I say servers, Iím obviously not generalizing, I am aware that in every group there are good seeds and bad seeds, and unfortunately for those who fall under the former, the latter give them a bad name.

My qualm comes from two facets of the serving/bartending/waiting industry; the long-debated subject of tipping, and the somewhat new (to me anyways) cult-like brother/sisterhood that exists within the industry which is, in my opinion, based on their own set of unwritten rules.

Letís start out on the subject of tipping your server.

I should preface this by saying that yes, I do tip and Iím not discriminatory when it comes to tipping. If my food and drinks get to my table in a somewhat timely fashion and the server is polite, they will likely see a 20 per cent tip.

Not a hefty tip, not cheap, but considering that reporters generally donít get paid what anyone would consider a significant wage, I think doling out an extra $10 to someone for bringing me a few glasses and a plate is perfectly fair.

This is not to downplay the job that servers do; I personally donít think I have the capacity to deal with tables full of hungry people for hours at a time, while fielding complaints and demands and being on my feet all day, but for those that do have the ability, to complain when you arenít tipped well is ludicrous.

Iím sympathetic to the fact that, yes, you work in an industry that pays below minimum wage and much of your earnings are reliant on your tips, but you knew this when you took the job, itís called risk over reward.

That would be like opting to climb Mt. Everest and then complaining when you get frostbite, itís a realistic risk that you should have been aware of, not appalled at it when it happens.

Which leads me to issue number two. The server movement; I have a number of Facebook ďfriendsĒ who are servers who have posted pictures of receipts where they were tipped poorly that incites all the servers in the world to make comments like, ďsomeone isnít getting served next time,Ē or ďmake sure they donít sit in your section ever again.Ē

As is the case with the Internet and social media, this almost always creates a cluster bomb that spawns in to a conversation of the horror stories of lousy customers and things they have done to get themselves ignored in their establishments.

Now hold on for a second, if Iím not mistaken the word ďserveĒ is right in the job title of server; if someone tipped you poorly or did something that you felt was rude, you respond by being rude back to them and not doing what you are being paid to do?

Can you imagine the chaos if workers in all industries took this attitude? Something happened at work that you didnít like so you just opted not to do your job?

Iíve had a few phone calls from people Iíve quoted in stories, telling me I got things wrong, or that I did a bad job on the story; I didnít rally the troops of fellow reporters, and if even if I did, I highly doubt the response would be, ďdo an even lousier job next time, thatíll show them.Ē

No, I would do what I could to rectify the situation, because at the end of the day, thatís my job.

Hopefully, I didnít offend any servers with this, and if you read this and I happen to sit in your section I hope Iím not refused service; I do have a pretty good tipping history after all.


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