Forget Two Cents, I’m Giving You My Two Dollars!

I was recently made aware of a Bill in Florida in which they are trying to cut server’s pay in half.  Right now, we currently make about half of minimum wage per hour.  And over the past few years people have started tipping less and less (a phenomenon for which I still blame Oprah as she told everyone it’s fine to only tip 8% because the economy is so bad- but that’s a whole other rant).  When I first started serving 7 years ago, our hourly wage was $2.13/hour, which is what they want to lower it back down to.  What they forget to consider is that the cost of everything else has gone up at least a dollar since then.  Multiply that by a lot of things and you can see how the cost of living has gone up at least a few hundred dollars per month.  Now you might not think that that extra $2 per hour should make a huge difference, but consider this:

1) People often forget that after all the tables leave and no one is tipping us any longer, we have about another two hours worth of extra work to do, for which we are essentially not getting paid.

2) We do not get sick days.  Or personal days.  Or paid vacations.  So if we need to take a day off because we’re sick, or our kid is sick, or we just need a day away from all you people for our sanity- we don’t get paid at all.  Which could very well mean neither does out rent for that month.

3) On top of not having sick days, most servers do not have health insurance, so when we do get sick (which is often from touching all you people’s germy plates and dirty napkins that you feel the need to leave everywhere like an uncivilized pig) we have to pay an arm and leg and at least three days worth of tips for the doctor and some antibiotics.  Or worse…

4) We can’t afford to take off from work to go to the doctor, so we come to work sick, getting everyone else sick and, o that’s right, touching your food.  Remember that the next time you don’t want to tip your server- they are probably working despite a 100 degree fever, passing their illness to you because you, the government, and everyone else could not spare them a few dollars for their services.

5) This one is my favorite!  How much is your pay check every week?  $300? $500?  1000?  5000?  Have you ever worked a full week and received a pay check for $0?  And as if to spite you even more, it says, “This is not a check”, as if you might try to cash it for $0 anyways?  By the time they take out taxes, and if you’re one of the lucky ones, insurance premiums, most servers don’t even get a pay check.  In fact, I have worked overtime before and instead of receiving a bigger check, I get one saying I OWE them money!  How is that for your exhausted overworked mind to wrap around?  If they lower of wages, we will have to PAY TO WORK!!!!!  How much longer would you be going to work if instead of them paying you, you had to pay them?  If you’d still go then you must be fortunate enough to have already made your life’s savings.  Most of us, however are not.  So if you want to lower our wages, you’re going to have to lower taxes too, because I don’t know anyone in their right mind who would go to work for free.  Or worse, pay to go to work as so often happens.

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