Thursday, 29 December 2016

I did it because I could, and so we all should.

Stock photo'

We have a problem in capitalistic America.

It is a problem which affects the life and financial security of people who work hard, but cannot get ahead.

It's a problem which is rooted in injustice.  It' s problem which cowardly Democrats and smug Republicans alike refuse to address.


When my family members visit me from the U.K. I have to give them some instruction in the matter of tipping, particularly in restaurants.

For you see, the assumption in the U.K. is that wait-staff/servers are paid a decent wage, and that tipping (usually 5%) is a way of  showing generous gratitude for good service.

'Tis not so in the good ole USA. (the land of the free and the home of the poor).

In Florida for instance the minimum wage for restaurant servers is just over $5 per hour. That is not a living wage, even for the very few who work for forty hours each week.

So the generous convention is that servers are tipped at 18% - 20% of the bill.

It's an "under the sheets" way of making sure that these hard working folks are more fully rewarded (bearing in mind that they are often required to pool their tips with ancillary staff, such as greeters, table clearers, sou chefs, and dish washers).

It's important to know that lousy table service may well have nothing to do with the server. It may be the result of "problems in the kitchen".


This  tipping nonsense is not restricted to restaurant staff.

Take for instance those young men and women who offer Valet parking services at Concerts or Theatre Venues; at Hospitals,  at fancy downtown Restaurants;  or at Country Clubs and the like. It's very useful when the parking area is a half a mile or more from the Venue.

I used such a service on Christmas Day when I arrived at the Longboat Key Country Club, there to enjoy a fabulous buffet lunch with my friends Fred and Diana.

I did not need Valet parking, but I did so because I wanted to establish cred with the two young men who were on duty that day.

They told me that that Valet service to which they are indentured (!)  gives them a per diem of $ cover their costs for food and gas/petrol.on  a shift which begins before 11:00 a.m. and ends at 8:30 p.m.

Every other red cent they earn is dependent on the whim of their patrons, some of whom give them no more than loose change.

I chose to honour my commie/liberal/ Christian convictions by tipping each  of them with $10.

It's a lousy system.  Obama has not changed it.  Trump will not change it.

But why should I dine with the finest and richest without a thought for the poorest and most hard working?

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