r/antiwork Jan 14 '22 Silver 5 Helpful 16 Wholesome 10

So sorry, I'm broke so I can only pay you $77 for my food. You were great though.

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30.2k Upvotes

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15.0k

u/Shruikathemonk Jan 14 '22 Silver Gold Helpful Wholesome Starry

American tipping culture is a cancer.

2.9k

u/PattyIce32 Jan 15 '22

It only works when things are going well. Times of struggle its borderline indentured servitude level pay

199

u/MudLOA Jan 15 '22

You should have read a similar post a few days ago. People were posting about how great it was making so much money from tips and I’m sure a lot of them were also not reporting income tax on it. It’s just all about the cash in the pocket and who cares about not having sick days or insurance.

107

u/7dipity Jan 15 '22

I have a friend who bartends and always told me it can be such great money. Recently she got a concussion and was out for three weeks. Then she caught Covid. Another two weeks. She just found out she needs a dental procedure that’ll cost ~700 dollars. She’s broke right now so her boyfriend is staying at his current job that he was going to quit for something else so that she can get his benefits

29

u/gfhfghdfghfghdfgh Jan 15 '22

People can transfer benefits to their dates?

34

u/7dipity Jan 15 '22

Yeah they’ve been together for 3 and living together for >a year. In Canada that qualifies you as a common law partner for insurance benefits

7

u/_NoBoXiNgNoLiFe_ Jan 15 '22

You mean, canada DOESN'T have the 'free at the point of need' universal healthcare like we have in britain?

And there i was, thinking canada was civilised ...

4

u/nevsdottir Jan 15 '22

It does have free medical care...but NOT dental care, which is annoying

Does UK NHS cover dental care?

If she is out sick because of covid there are numerous government programs for $$$.

Finally, in Canada bartenders earn a lot more per hour than in the US and this year they'll be getting 15/hr minimum. Unemployment should be decent then too, if necessary.

3

u/7dipity Jan 15 '22

Yeah it makes me mad, not sure how the government decided that this stuff wasn’t important

1

u/cameldrew Jan 15 '22

Are you fucking joking? That's wild. Not saying it's bad, just WILD to imagine any government letting a human benefit another human just for banging them in-house for over 365 days.

5

u/drex3739 Jan 15 '22

A lot of states have common law practices as well as companies. It’s not as bizarre as you think.

1

u/nonaaandnea Jan 16 '22

Haha I like the way you put that. I read somewhere that common law marriages have always actually been the most prevalent form of marriage in Western culture though, due to the fact that the vast majority of people were too poor to have a "proper" marriage (even though religious texts don't even say you have to buy rings, have a priest, get married in a church, sign a piece of paper, etc.). The only thing that actually makes a marriage "legit" is two people going before their families and community and vowing their lives together. That's basically what marriage boils down to in every culture. Though I can understand why some cultures use laws to enforce that commitment.

11

u/MetsFan113 Jan 15 '22

My job allows it as long as you can prove you have lived together for more than 6 months... I got no deductible, 25$ co-pays and 5$ prescriptions...

11

u/romulusnr Jan 15 '22

In some places if you live with someone permanently they can receive benefits. Not always.

In lots of places, living with someone in a relationship for over a certain amount of time is considered a "common law marriage" i.e. statutorily defined instead of actually being officially married. (And then there's Massachusetts where more than three unrelated women living together is legally considered a whorehouse, but that's a story for another day.)

This is actually how they got Tom Green! (Er, not that Tom Green... this Tom Green.)

But that's far more than just "their dates," if anything it's "playing house."

I lived with my ex for 12 years, we were never married. I live with my current SO for 5-6 years, we act like we're married although covid has put a bit of a hitch (heh) in the works to get it official. In some places we could actually file for domestic partnership, although that's rarer now that SSM is legalized in US.

38

u/ahandmedowngown Jan 15 '22

Yes some companies allow common law or significant other coverage.

7

u/But_why_tho456 Jan 15 '22

And others require you to pay the "family plan" because your sister or mom living with you doesn't qualify you to do the cheaper "me+spouse" health insurance plan.

2

u/River_Montana538 Jan 15 '22

Most insurance companies do not allow that, it's not up to the companies what the insurance will allow or not to allow. There has to be some legal relationship other than who you are dating. Some States recognize common law but not all, and still not all insurance companies will recognize that.

5

u/AimlessgrlJax Jan 15 '22

They are in Canada

3

u/monogamish306 Jan 15 '22

Right. Up here, North of the medicine line the govt didn't want roommates stacking up their single-income non-taxable exemptions so common law relationships are part of our legal/taxation infrastructure from the top down.

A friend of mine had to fight with Revenue Canada (Maple Leaf IRS equivalent) for ages to prove that she and a roommate weren't in a relationship because they had lived together so long. Don't fuck with right-wingers' money; the fact that it's in your pocket doesn't mean it doesn't belong to their friends.

1

u/Chance-Ad-9111 Jan 15 '22

Wow! Great!!

3

u/CancerIBC Jan 15 '22

And what about the people who don’t have a significant other?

5

u/JohnLick3 Jan 15 '22

This is the most American catch 22 I've ever read.

8

u/7dipity Jan 15 '22

Canada actually! Healthcare doesn’t cover dental or eyes unfortunately

4

u/monogamish306 Jan 15 '22

Also, seldom drugs.

1

u/NewArborist64 Jan 17 '22

What do you expect when you are out of work with no pay for 5 weeks? Most of our bills don't go away just because we stop working.

If she is a "common-law" wife, then her husband should be picking up some of the slack for her being out of work.

If she is in Canada - I thought that they had tax-payer funded healthcare. Why should she need $700 for a dental procedure?

-6

u/River_Montana538 Jan 15 '22

She can't get his benefits if she's the girlfriend.

97

u/captainjack361 Jan 15 '22

My sister is a lifelong waitress and I be watching her blow money so fast. She's damn good at her job, but the industry is up and down, not consistent, etc and she doesn't prepare for the hard times

Some nights she will literally come home with like 7 to 900 dollars that she made in one night, other times she won't even make 50 bucks in a day. But what does she do when she has those 700 dollar nights, she blows it very fast

66

u/tandyman8360 lazy and proud Jan 15 '22

This is like the conversation on the first page of "Waiter Rant." An income that's not steady can make it difficult for people to get a good understanding of their financial obligations in relation to their money. It's a tough thing because even if you save, it feels like a huge expense is always there to wipe it out.

33

u/stealthgerbil Jan 15 '22

If your income isn't reliable you gotta live like you are going to be making the lower end of the spread. That way you can save up cash for the bad times. Shit happens so much I just expect it now.

2

u/James-SF Jan 15 '22

Fair enough but it's also true for many self-employed and contractors.

Anyone can spend 10 mins writing down expenses and making a mini budget. Shame this isn't driven into people in the classroom

40

u/Wiggy_Bop Jan 15 '22

This is the story of everyone who works in the service industry. Some are very disciplined with their money, paying their taxes quarterly, saving for a rainy day. I admire them, I truly do. But so many people in the SI get into that party lifestyle, get strung out on blow and/or seriously alcoholic. They wake up one day at 40 and wonder where the time went.

3

u/_NoBoXiNgNoLiFe_ Jan 15 '22

Could you actually BE any more arrogant and condescending?! * jesus christ almighty. ..

0

u/[deleted] Jan 19 '22

Arrogant and condescending? Sorry the truth hurts.

3

u/captainjack361 Jan 15 '22

The crazy thing is. And I love my sister to death....but she'll go out after work, drink and party all night, come home like at 4am and be up early in the morning to go back to work.

I be shocked how she's able to do that but she does it. She works her fucking ass off and i admire it so much but she is atrocious when it comes to her money. She's older than me already in her 30s and she's been like this for as long as I can remember

9

u/Wiggy_Bop Jan 15 '22

I’m sorry, but your sis sounds just like me when I had a big cocaine problem. I wasn’t in the SI, but a lot of my pals were. I wish I had all the money I spent on my vices back.

If I were you, I’d have a talk with her. Catch her on a Monday morning, if you can. She will be completely serotonin depleted and will tell you everything. She probably wants off the merry go round, anyway. Be prepared for her to need a ton of support. Good luck.

2

u/Bitesize777 Jan 15 '22

Easy come, easy go! I worked in the industry for years. It sux

47

u/PuzzleheadedRepeat41 Jan 15 '22

I lived with my brother in my early 20s. He was a waiter. I made minimum wage, no tips, although I both was a hostess and bussed tables. A few years later, the waiters and bus boys shared some tips with the women hostesses

I couldn’t believe how much the waiters made! And they would spend it all that night at bars. And they would complain they were always so broke. When I finally made a little money, I made sure I didn’t spend it at bars.

17

u/captainjack361 Jan 15 '22

Yep....when she has one of those good nights she goes straight out to party with her other coworkers who also had good nights and they come home with almost nothing

3

u/Bitesize777 Jan 15 '22

Smart you are!!

-2

u/Renhoek2099 Jan 15 '22

You don't know what you're missing

5

u/MsAntrophie Jan 15 '22 edited Jan 17 '22

What, like* a quality standard of living?

2

u/PuzzleheadedRepeat41 Jan 15 '22

At least I’m not missing my money.

1

u/Renhoek2099 Jan 15 '22

It's not missing if you got something in return

0

u/PuzzleheadedRepeat41 Jan 15 '22 edited Jan 15 '22

Sure! But I still had fun my own way and got to keep my money. You can still have friends and fun without spending all the money you made that day on beer for your “friends”, some of whom you won’t even see the next year. I don’t need liquor to have fun, but sure, If that’s what floats your boat, go for it.

I really liked my older waiter friends, but unfortunately, they didn’t age well. It’s hard to keep up that lifestyle in your 50s, they never saved anything, most of them, and now they are still working, disabled, in their 70s. So — I don’t think I’m missing anything. I do feel bad for them though. I really liked them.

1

u/PuzzleheadedRepeat41 Jan 15 '22

I did miss out — what on not being poor or broke in my 30s and beyond? And though not being rich, at least being stable?

5

u/Nwolfe Jan 15 '22

$700-$900 in a night? Are you sure she’s not a stripper?

4

u/captainjack361 Jan 15 '22

She works at a higher end restaurant in houston. I didn't believe it either until I saw it.

3

u/MetsFan113 Jan 15 '22

That's easy in a high end - well trafficked restaurant in nyc...

1

u/Nwolfe Jan 15 '22

Really though? I’ve worked in NYC my whole life and even at extremely high end restaurants the average was around $450 a night. $700 per night is astronomical.

3

u/WholesomeYungKing Jan 15 '22

Strippers earn more lol

2

u/averyfinename Jan 15 '22

all it takes is a couple really good tables, and not fill the rest of the night with 'broke' guys that can still pay $80 for lunch.

1

u/MuggsIsDead Jan 15 '22

When I was a casino cage operator in California, it wasn't unusual for staff to cash-in more than $1000 in tipped markers/chips.

They weren't even dealers, they were bar staff.

1

u/PrizePriority4372 Jan 15 '22

This is very common. I've worked at two not even fine dining restaurants in Oregon. The servers get something like a 600$ check and usually clean house when it's busy. When it's slow they leave but an avg night is at least 300$ bare minimum. I've seen them walk out with Gs when they get their tip envelope back.

2

u/[deleted] Jan 15 '22

Part of the problem is people have an ingrained spending mentality like your sister. I don't know if it's the constant barrage of advertising we're exposed to or what. Human beings aren't stupid compared to 100 years ago, but they will have $30 to their name and use it to order Doordash. I wish I understood the psychology behind that.

2

u/Hardinyoung Jan 15 '22

Cocaine one helluva drug

1

u/SassCunt420 Jan 15 '22

Why would you waste a life waiting tables?

2

u/captainjack361 Jan 15 '22

Why would anyone waste a life working anywhere.

1

u/monogamish306 Jan 15 '22

Username checks out.

Some folks are natural people persons who are good at making others feel comfortable. Service as a rule isn't for everyone, but some folks are born to it. For those, waiting tables or tending bar can be one of the more lucrative options. Moreover, there is a strong sense of comradery among the best crews.

Think of it like this: if you're a natural people person, service is a job where you can be surrounded by your kindred; sure, the customers come and go, but the folks you work with are often what makes the job great.

Find something you love doing, and spend your life doing it well, whatever that means to you. Sassy c-u-next-Tuesdays need not approve ...

49

u/EggCounselor Jan 15 '22

Restaurant industry is one of those where it’s hard to come by people with the right set of skills and nerve. Once you’re in you’re in kind of deal and you get away with a lot. So if you’re one of those good ones and come back after being awol for 2 weeks the boss might just act like it never happened because he knows he needs you. Thing is it’s also hard to come by bosses like that. When it works it works. I know a friend who used to make 2 grand a week. He eventually stopped working 72 hours a week, down to about 40 and was still making well over 1,000. If that restaurant paid him a salary he’d be making half of that.

49

u/Nickadeamus36 Jan 15 '22 edited Jan 15 '22

I’ve been a chef for 20 years. Cooked in America, Australia, and New Zealand.

I have never cooked in a place where going awol for more than a day was okay, no matter how good you are, the only time it’s been okay is if you were a cook in a high end place, and were awol because you were in jail. Not a waiter.

Also there is some talent in being a good server, but for the most part owners don’t give a shit about that, only the kitchen does. Because they are the ones affected. The ability to be able to stagger tables, correctly sell specials etc. servers are literally a dime a dozen and the high turnover is expected, and not considered a problem.

Bartenders get away with a giving away the odd free drink, but that’s only because the owners know that a free drink makes the customer looser with their cash and more likely to come back to their “favourite bartender”.

3

u/Small_Disk_6082 Jan 15 '22

I worked in the industry most of my adult life, and can say that, in all variations, from high end pp to low pp, great servers and bar staff are typically treated like royalty, and can get away with a whole helluva lot - because they're not a dime-a-dozen.

But shit staff in FOH or BOH get the axe the same way everytime, even if they're a chef with solid creds but suboptimal performance.

3

u/thrashgender Jan 15 '22

Some of the servers at my last job would make ~1k in two nights. 10-16 hours a week and making almost double what I made in 60 hours BOH

-6

u/EggCounselor Jan 15 '22

Yup. And your check is $0.76. Just covers the taxes and those tips are all yours. Being paid a salary is every servers nightmare. At the end of the day 20% is 20% for the customer, but how often do you really eat out? It isn’t breaking anyone’s bank and it means these people who work so hard get the option to potentially make one hell of a living. Let the tourists bitch all they want

1

u/bmiyares319 Jan 15 '22

This! I stupidly took a key manager position at the restaurant I work at thinking the steady $14/hr would be better than unsteady tips (I am apparently very and at math) and it turns out I would be making less than half of what I made as a server with 3 times the responsibilities so I requested to go back as a server. It’s so dumb.

1

u/EggCounselor Jan 15 '22

Yeah man, the same is said for a lot of jobs actually, including mine which is EMS. More pressure coming down from your superiors, and your salary potential plateaus at lower than what you had as a regular paramedic.

0

u/Syrdon Jan 15 '22

If he was being paid salary, there’s no reason he should be expecting any less (at least pretax). Clearly the customers think he’s worth the extra price on the bill, so the business income isn’t the problem. The owner might try to get a larger cut, but that’s a labor relations problem.

0

u/EggCounselor Jan 15 '22

Maybe I wasn’t clear. He was bringing in at least $300 a night. That’s a slow night. Usually it was 400-600, and he was working 6 days a week. He was making damn near 150k a year before taxes.

There’s absolutely no way he’d be making out with that much on a salary working at a restaurant. Zero chance. Let’s take into account the time period where he stopped putting in all that OT. Average $300/day working 260 days out of the year. That’s 80k which is well over what most top level managers make at mid-high end establishments. Not happening for a server.

2

u/Syrdon Jan 15 '22

Why not? Customers are clearly willing to pay for it, so the only question is what he can force management to live with. If they’re that willing to accept deeply inconsistent work, they’ll pay the rate to make it.

1

u/EggCounselor Jan 15 '22

Are you under the impression that what customers are willing to pay has any sort of significant impact on low level employee salary, if any?

2

u/Syrdon Jan 15 '22

That’s what unions are for. That said, if you’re pulling in that much, and your employer is willing to tolerate the stuff previously mentioned from you, you aren’t a low level employee.

5

u/vinyl608 Jan 15 '22

That was me when I was young. I raked in $$ waiting tables. It wasn’t until my mid 20s until I started thinking about health insurance

6

u/ArchyRs Jan 15 '22

I used to be indifferent about our tipping norms, because my parents always tipped reasonably when we ate out. The concept of tipping was something I imbibed, and so any justification to withhold the practice can only be explained by internal reasons. So many contrived arguments confer blame on the food or the service but they are all straw men the same. People who offer those arguments only do so because creeping guilt. They know that they violated an internal understanding about right and wrong.

A less introspective way I think about it though is through accessibility. Older people always talk about how eating out was a rarity for them. Dining out is an expensive alternative in itself and can only be cheap when the costs are passed on…

4

u/Dank_memerlord_42069 Jan 15 '22

It’s insane money and people who post things like this are entitled as fuck. There’s people doing harder jobs than servers making half what servers make, AND they have to pay taxes on all of it.

Like quit your bitching about not getting paid $300/hr untaxed to carry food from the kitchen to the table.

3

u/mommommamamamama Jan 15 '22

Well it is a shitty system. Bartenders and servers are at the sweet spot in the poor pool. Broke enough so you get government help but don’t claim so you actually have money choices. It’s a level of freedom most people don’t get. But it’s also not freedom lol

3

u/Wiggy_Bop Jan 15 '22

In Europe, waiting tables can be a lifelong career. Waitstaff are paid a professional salary.

1

u/MuggsIsDead Jan 15 '22

While they may not be the ones reporting their wage, you can bet the business is reporting revenue. It isn't hard for the IRS to take a percentage of those revenues and then apply then to waiter compensations as tips.

Those guys are gonna get audited.

1

u/amytyl Jan 15 '22

That's one of the problems with this system: people in the industry get blinded by how much money they make relative to the other job opportunities they have. A better safety net would help fix that, I truly believe so.

-4

u/BeardFountain Jan 15 '22

Ooh like the ones who are like "omfg I hate my job but I bought this hummer and the restaurant parking spaces aren't big enough and I'm thinking of getting legal involved. "

0

u/dgillz Jan 15 '22

Not reporting income tax on tips is very difficult. The IRS assumes you got tipped and you are taxed on that and it is withheld from your check. If a generous customer leaves a big tip and pays with a card, you are taxed on the higher than normal tip.