I was at work for 11 hours and 35 minutes yesterday. Add in the 90 minute or so commute, and we have 13 hours yesterday that were spent at work or during my commute.
I was there for the Hobbit movie marathon. All three movies, shown back-to-back, starting at about 12:30 and ending at about 9:30. It was a bit of a thing. We’d had these marathons before, for Hunger Games and Marvel movies, but I’d never worked one until yesterday.
It’s worth noting that where I work, we don’t get paid standard minimum. Our hourly wage is $4.90, though to be fair, if we make less than $3.00 hour in tips over the course of a week, the company has to make up the difference. It is also worth noting that Arizona doesn’t require companies to provide breaks or lunch periods for their employees, even when said employees are there for more than 11 hours. Also, the supervisors frown on people sitting, though if you smoke, you’re allowed to basically take a break each hour.
So keep all that in mind when I tell you that I had about $631 in sales during that movie marathon. The average tip was 13%. Most were under 10%, and only two were 20% or more. One person stiffed me entirely, despite the fact that I’d spent over eight hours upon hours waiting on them. For the record, standard tipping range is 15 – 20%, and if your server spends over a third of a day waiting on you, you should probably give a little bonus, because that’s time they aren’t spending waiting on other people.
From those movies, I took home a mere $78 for over 11 hours of work.
Now, to be fair, I do have that paycheck coming, but a: not for about two weeks, and b: when it comes, it’s going to be very small indeed, because of taxes being taken out. I might get $40 or so from yesterday’s adventure. Eleven hours of work, maybe I remind you, for about $118.
How many of you would put up with that kind of low wage? Yeah, it’s higher than minimum wage, but it’s still pretty crappy, especially given the working conditions.
So when you go out, please tip your servers and tip them well. Remember that the bulk of their income will derive from tips. Understand that time they are spending waiting on you is time they aren’t spending working other tables or waiting on other people, and that if you monopolize their time, you need to pay them more.
If you don’t like this, don’t go out to eat, or go to places like McDonald’s where tipping isn’t expected. Otherwise, please tip, and tip well. Your server needs that money.