Est. May 2008

31 January, 2013

The Tipping Point

You’ve probably already read about the ‘suspected pastor’ who demurred rather sharply from paying the mandatory gratuity a certain restaurant added to his bill.

Strange term, ‘mandatory gratuity’, isn’t it?  I mean, according to the dictionary, ‘gratuity’ means ‘A favor or gift, usually in the form of money, given in return for service.’  Last time I checked, a ‘gift’ or a ‘favor’ isn’t mandatory – it’s voluntary.

Granted, this ‘pastor’ (if that’s what he really was) made a mistake wording his snark the way he did ("I give God 10%,  Why do you get 18?"), but the point, at least to me, is fairly clear: why should any diner, whether they’re alone or in a group of 20 (which this alleged pastor was allegedly a part of) be forced to pay a gift or favor simply because the restaurant owner and/or management doesn’t think they need to pay their wait-staff a living wage?

And that’s the real problem: who came up with this cockamamie law that says restaurateurs can pay their wait-staff far less than minimum wage simply on the basis of them making up for it in ‘gifts’ and/or ‘favors’ from customers (remember the definition of ‘gratuity’, AKA ‘tip’)?  IMO, tips are above and beyond what the wait-staff earn as base-pay, and if you’re not going to pay your wait-staff at least minimum wage then you’re telling those waiters and waitresses, ‘You’re worth less to me than the busboys, dishwashers, and cooks’, none of whom (save, perhaps, for the busboys) have direct contact with oft-times unfriendly customers.

And looking at the comments section of the story you see a whole lot of comments about ‘being Christian’.  As I pointed out, the 'supposed pastor' didn't word his snark well; however, if you want to bring Judeo-Christianity into it, here's one to use on the owner/manager of the restaurant: ‘The worker is worth his wages’.   

Ever hear that one?

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