153 Your feelings on waitresses and the minimum wage?


Tom Garrett 3 years, 7 months ago

AZ 23-363 says:

A. Employers shall pay employees no less than the minimum wage, which shall be six dollars and seventy-five cents ($6.75) an hour beginning on January 1, 2007.

B. (Irrelevant)

C. For any employee who customarily and regularly receives tips or gratuities from patrons or others, the employer may pay a wage up to $3.00 per hour less than the minimum wage if the employer can establish by its records of charged tips or by the employee's declaration for federal insurance contributions act (FICA) purposes that for each week, when adding tips received to wages paid, the employee received not less than the minimum wage for all hours worked.

(Other irrelevant parts of the law have been left out.)

The question is, of course, how you feel about it?


Tom Garrett 3 years, 7 months ago

A question:

• Should tips be entirely voluntary, something done because you enjoy the service, or should it just be another tax, which is what it becomes when you HAVE to pay it?

My feelings: I always tip someone who does something for me. Lolly and I have always enjoyed tipping the waitress when we ate out, and we have always tipped anyone who served us in other ways, usually at Christmastime: The newspaper person, our G-man, everyone.

If someone comes to our house to do a repair he is guaranteed of a tip unless for some reason we think he has done a poor job (which hasn't happened in a long time).

Why? a lot of years of living have taught us why.

We look at it this way: A person is working for a living. Wages are rarely all that great, and sadly are often as low as an employer can get away. The person did some work for us. If we were him or her we would be surprised and delighted to have someone hand us twenty dollars that we weren't expecting. It would make our day. And from our point of view, as the people doing the giving, it always feels SO good.

How many chances do we get in life to feel good?


Pat Randall 3 years, 7 months ago

I think servers should have always received the mininum wage. A tip is for extra service and being really good at your job. A lot of people don't tip so that cheats the server when the tickets are added up by the manager and they add on another 15% for a tip that taxes are added on. I only tip if I get good service. My husband used to get upset with me when we would get lousy service and he would leave a tip and I would pick it up. I was a waitress starting at 13 here in Payson, and I did bartending and waited tables in the restaurant at Punkin Center. You have to give good service or you don't deserve a tip. I was good. (: When we were in Punkin Center I went over every morning between 5 and 6 cleaned the bar and did my books while serving coffee, and drinks to the early risers. I made more tips in that 3 or 4 hours than one of the regular bar tenders that worked 8 hrs after me. She couldn't understand it. I finally told her get up off the bar stool and talk to the customers. Take care of them, don't let thier cups and glasses get empty. She never did get the point.


Dan Haapala 3 years, 7 months ago

BTW, I should have pointed out that in the beginning the 'tip' was given up front, not after the fact.


Pat Randall 3 years, 7 months ago

It is very confusing when there are two strings going on the same subject.


Tom Garrett 3 years, 7 months ago

"It is very confusing when there are two strings going on the same subject."

Amen! My fault. I tried keeping them separate, but it didn't work. I really wanted the other string to be about the way that woman--in my opinion--abused, or sorely misunderstood, her position as a pastor, and this one to be on the tip queston, but even I am posting the wrong thing on the wrong string. Which means, of course, that I should never have tried to separate them.

Live and learn.

And earn a tip if you earn one.

Dan is right, by the way, as I understand it the T.I.P. signs were originally meant to tell you that if you wanted a table you needed to grease a palm. Thank God I have never had enough money to eat in a place like that! I wouldn't go to one if I were rolling in dough. I'm just me, just one of the regular people, and I'm glad to stay that way. If anyone hasn't figured out by now how I feel about elitists he hasn't been listening. :-)


Tom Garrett 3 years, 7 months ago


By the way, Pat. I meant to say something yesterday and forgot because I had to do something for Lolly (I'm just six feet from her where I sit doing this).

I'll bet I know why your tips were better. Because you meant it when you smiled or said something. I worked in a little diner for about six or eight months. We had three waitresses. Two of them worked during the day and one of them, a much older lady who was probably about 50 or so (I was 16), worked the evening shift. Most of what they did was right at the counter. There were only four booths outside the counter and except for the lunchtime and supper rushes not too many people sat at them.

I watched those three. One of them, a busty blond, thought she was a charmer. She was big up front and she would lean over as she served people at the counter. The other youngish one was not very good looking, kind of buck toothed and plain, with hair that was just...well, hair. The older woman was plain too, but in a neat, dignified way.

Day after day the plainer of the two young women earned double the tips of the blond, and sometimes even more. You should have heard blondie grouse about it. There weren't many people in the evening so the tips weren't much, but usually when someone tipped it was a good one, and so the older woman often made more than the blond too.

One day the younger one who earned the most tips and the older woman had had enough of the blond's grumbling--me too, but I never said anything. The one who made the most tips looked at the blond and said, "You want to know why they tip me better? Because when I smile I mean it."

I immediately realized how true that was. She may have been plain but she had a great personality and it showed. That blond always had a big toothy smile, but it was all teeth and no heart. People could see that she did not mean it even when she gave them good service. It was all show.

The odd thing about it was that I found out later from a friend that her father was the pastor at the Baptist church outside town. Nobody liked him either. My friend told me that he never sounded like he meant what he was saying. Had this pompous way of adding an uh-sound to some words. "We have-uh a mighty responsibility to our-uh God, who stands-uh astride the heavens with His-uh mighty...." Know what I mean? I went to that church once and it would have been enough to convince me to sleep in on Sunday if it was the only church in town. :-)

I've seen that kind of phony sincerity all my life. You can just look at some smiles and see that they don't mean a thing.


Kim Chittick 3 years, 7 months ago

Spot on Tom!! And I agree with you about Pat. People like someone who is sincere.


Bernice Winandy 3 years, 6 months ago

It seems that law penalizes a waitress for doing good work that results in tips and lets her employer benefit by paying her less. Doesn't seem fair.


Kim Chittick 3 years, 6 months ago

I agree completely Bernice. When I first moved to Payson years ago, I did not have a job. I had a nice little nest egg and was living on that. Taking a bit of a break, so to speak. I figured that I had a degree and enough of an accounting background that getting a job would not be too hard. Boy, was I wrong!! Back then, Payson was still a small enough town that it was all about WHO you knew and not WHAT you knew.
I finally decided that I was bored enough and tired of spending my savings, so when I was offered a job working at a small locally owned Mexican restaurant, I figured, what the heck. HUGE mistake!!! The owner paid me $2.50 per hour, because he said that my tips would bring it up to minimum wage. There was a large can and all tips collected were to be put in the can and divided between myself, the other waitress and the busboys and kitchen help. Problem was, there was only me and one other waitress, who happened to be the owner's daughter. She had a nasty habit of nipping in to the can and pulling out $5-$10, every day when she left for her break. When I mentioned it to the owner, he said that she accounted for it. I knew otherwise. Besides the fact that the owners daughter had a nasty temper and was rude and insulting to the customers, thereby adversely affecting my tips.

That is really the only waitressing job I ever had and was one of the worst working experiences ever. And it is also why I try to always hand my tip directly to the server who waited on me.


Tom Garrett 3 years, 6 months ago

"It seems that law penalizes a waitress for doing good work that results in tips and lets her employer benefit by paying her less. Doesn't seem fair."

I'm with Kim.

I do not think that tips should be taxed--period!

It's a reward for doing something extra. It feels good tipping someone. Why the hey does the goverment have to get involved?

And you can forget about the boss's son or daughter. I ran into that when I was a sales clerk in an auto store. The owner of the chain was an inspiration. His son was a jerk. I was doing rely well, had been promoted to assistant manager and they were digging the foundation for my own store, but I kept thinking about that jerkola kid and realizing that someday I'd work for him. Left the store and joined the Air Force.

Smart move! I was poor but happy.


Pat Randall 3 years, 6 months ago

Kim, I was sincere with giving good service but I seldom smiled.
A few customers asked me why I smiled so seldom. Then they said they wondered what I was up when I did smile. But the tips kept coming. (:


Tom Garrett 3 years, 6 months ago

Come to think of it, Pat, when I used to serve the public (in a salesclerk position) I don't think I ever smiled, or if I did it was't very often. When I work, I work. I don't talk, I don't smile, and I don't think about anything else except what I'm doing. When I first took that job (as a stock boy) the manager gave me some jobs to do. One of them was to straighten out the mess of the seat cover boxes (they were big sellers back then) which were ranged around the back of the store on a long shelf.

I finished up a little while later and he came up to me and said, "All done so soon?"


He looked up and said, "Wow! That's great. How'd you get it done so fast?"

"I don't know. I just did it."

I think that's an important thing about work. When you work, work!

I go crazy in places where people talk all the time. And I hate having a radio on. I will not work anywhere where there is a radio going all the time. Twice, I've just told the boss, "Either than thing goes or I do."

Once it went; once I went. They didn't think I meant it, and when I gave my notice they tried to talk me out of it. Not a chance! Work means focusing on what you're doing.

It's fine with me if other people like having a radio on. That's their choice. My choice is to work somewhere else.

Come to think of it, just recently I had an appointment at a place where both of the things I hate were going on: Radio with trash music and people back of the counter yakking all the time while they worked.

I took over a place like that one once--and this is the God's honest truth. There were 18 people in the office. The first thing I did was switch off the radio, unplug it, hand it to the guy who owned it, and tell him to take it home. With that gone, and with some changes in how things were done, a few at a time I sent 11 out of the 18 men over to the main office and told them I didn't need them. The seven of us that were left got the job done faster and better. It was funny in a way. It was an Air Force Stat Services Section that I took over, and they had never in all their history managed to get all their reports in on time. We sent in the J-1 report at midnight of the last day of the month. It was due by the 10th each month, but they almost never made it. What happened was hilarious. In went the report, and two days later, here came an investigating team from headquarters, looking to court martial me for falsifying data. My! My! Were they surprised! They took the simple little system I had developed and used it all throughout the Military Airlift Command.


Tom Garrett 3 years, 6 months ago

Here's a straight-out question for you, folks: If someone were to gather enough votes to put the question on the ballot, would you vote yes on a law that says that waitresses and others would get the same wages as anyone else?

And a second question, but one where I am really asking for a guess: Do you think the measure would pass?


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