Monday, 1 October 2007

When tips were the "Tribute of shame and the wage of shame"

Further to this post...

click the picture to see a larger version

As waiters in London protest about their employers sticky fingering their hard earned tips it transpires that they didn't always feel that way. The New York Times article (above) from 1906 reveals that waiters at the turn of the last century protested to their Member of Parliament about the tipping system. My favourite line is that one near the bottom which quotes one speaker as saying "tipping degraded the man that gave and the man who received."

Eh let me clarify my position,

DEGRADE ME, DEGRADE ME LIKE THE BAD LITTLE PUPPY I AM.

10 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

angela said...

haha..some chick i know mentioned that she feels she shouldn't tip at restaurants because she works at a fast food joint and no one tips her for serving people all day long...i didn't bother to point out that she gets a higher wage and she kind of just stands in one place all day but oh well.

her karma will come back on her. haha.

Conan Drumm said...

There is a theory that it would be better if waiting and other staff in the restaurant trade were paid properly as then they would not depend on tips.

Manuel, which would you prefer - a proper wage structure in the trade, or to depend on tips for a percentage (how much?) of your earnings?

Manuel said...

Angela: I think it already has, seeing as she is working in a ff joint....is that bitchy? Sounds bitchy...

Conan Drumm: Tips, no question. Punters are more generous than employers will ever be. And the employers know this and set our wages lower as a result. They pay the minimum required by law. That said I still take home more than all the managers with the exception of the GM. The downside being I cant get a mortgage as I have to keep my tips under the mattress*. The other problem being that by setting the wages low they are devaluing the job......


* not actually under the mattress incase anyone is thinking of robbing me....

Anonymous Boxer said...

May I stick your nose in it?

Manuel said...

Anonymous Boxer: If it pleases you then go ahead......

Medbh said...

Manuel, have you read George Orwell's "Down and out in Paris and London'? It's a slim volume and a joy to read and very focused on the restaurant biz.
I promise you'll like it. Then you can use it in a post.

For the bulk of my 13 year stint in the biz I made $2.32 an hour from my employers as a waitress. As a bartender I made $7. plus tips. The hourly wage covered my taxes generally.

Manuel said...

Medbh: I'll get it tomorrow!

Dave said...

Totally agree with you over tips...20 of us went out for christmas lunch last year and a 10% gratuity ended up on the bill. Ha ha ha! Don't make me laugh! I was paying by credit card, but omitted the 10% service charge or whatever it's called.

That was paid in cash (and then some), straight to the waitress that served us. Made a few slip ups during the day, but hell, she worked her ass off and it was pretty busy.
I fucking hate places that try to grab the tips from staff. Really pisses me off.

Damn fine read by the way.
Dave, Lisburn.

Manuel said...

Dave: Cheers lad. Eh you should gloss over any remarks I've made about Lisburn on this blog. They are all in jest. Honest. Good work by the way. We do the work, we should get the cash.....

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