UnderCover Waitress: December 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Waitresses and Guns

Not only as a mother, but as a human being, my heart bleeds for the victims and families in Connecticut after a mad man shot and killed children and adults in their schoolhouse.

While the National Rifle Association (NRA) bides it's time before using it's financial power to ensure that our rights to reasonable safety are trampled in favor of protecting outdated and poorly interpreted wording in the second amendment, please remember that those who spend time in the restaurant industry are not immune to gun violence. For example:

In New Jersey in May, a working waitress called the police as soon as she saw a man waving a gun outside of the restaurant. According to the news blip, the nineteen-year-old perpetrator had just stolen a car, driven it to the restaurant, and I don't want to think about what he was going to do next. Kudos to the waitress for acting quickly.

A stressed-out Florida chef went to work packing. When he threatened the waitress "I swear to G-d I will shoot you in the head" it wasn't an empty threat. Fortunately, the unstable chef did not follow through.

This from South Carolina in March:
The South Carolina House gave its final approval Thursday to a bill that would allow concealed weapon permit holders to carry their guns into bars and restaurants that serve alcohol, as long as they don't drink. 
Of course, since the weapon is concealed, servers don't know not to serve them. Yeah, that one isn't enforcable until AFTER the place gets shot up.

It's not just South Carolina. 

A waitress' ex-boyfriend, feeling sorry for himself, went to her place of work for a beer. He told her to pay for it, and of course, she refused. So he threw flammable liquid on her and shot her with a flare gun. What a catch; I just can't imagine why she was breaking up with him.

If you are on your way to Wal-Mart for semi-automatic pistol, but really hungry, take "Rob P.'s" advice on Yelp and head on over to Crawford's Restaurant Guns & Ammo:
How can you find this place anything other than paradise?  It offers chow, guns, ammo, and hunting licenses!
How could I not find that place paradise? Oh, I could probably find a way...

Stun guns are fun, too. An exotic dancer shot a waitress with a stun gun and drove off back in 2009. Nothing changes.

For another take on how America responds to gun violence, please read Truthout's Op-Ed, "NRA Has More Blood on Its Hands Than al-Qaeda: What Do We Do?" by Thom Hartmann and Sam Sacks. As this conversation continues, I expect it to get heated and even abusive. Unfortunately, it may become violent.

Those of us who wish to live in country that protects our right to safety and peace must not back down to the desires of the ignorant and paranoid who seem to believe that the only way to to remain safe is to run around with a deadly weapon. Until they snap and kill countless victims before doing the world a favor and taking themselves out of it.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tip Bombing

I learned a new term this morning: Tip Bombing.

Myfoxphilly reports that an anonymous group left a 400% tip for a waitress during a lunch shift in Virginia. The bill was $208; the tip was $900. 

This group is hoping to encourage others to be so generous. While I completely appreciate that not all diners can afford to overtip on such grandiose scales, this is a fun and nice thing to do. 

I hope everyone gets bombed with this type of tip at least once. ;-)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Questions and Answers

Long time, no see, my friends. I hope everyone is staying warm and earning good tips. 

A number of questions have rolled in and I thought I would do my best to offer answers. 

How much is the waitress expected to tip out? I think in Massachusetts no more than 15% is the law.

To the best of my knowledge, there is no law limiting the percentage a waitress may be required to tip out. There are laws limiting who may receive tip outs, for example, in some states (including Massachusetts) managers and owners may not dip their hands in the till. 

Laws also protect waitresses from earning less than minimum wage. In states that pay less than minimum wage to tipped employees, the employee must leave with at least minimum wage, or she does not have to tip out. The problem, of course, is if she admits she had a bad night, she gets blamed and told she is no good at her job. Some workers choose to make under minimum wage for a shift to avoid being fired. 

I have been a busser for two years, being tipped out from servers each night, but never really thought about how much they are expected to give me. What is the average percentage a servers gives to their busser(s) out of the tips they make?

Restaurant owners and managers make the rules regarding how much a server is required to tip out to different helpers. As management at your restaurant. 

5 or 10 percent of server tips is common for bussers. If a busser is paid minimum wage by the employer, then any tip outs received add to the wage earned. If a busser is paid like a tipped employee, then the busser must be given enough money to bring up the wage to at least the minimum wage. 

Employers like to make paying bussers and other front of house staff the responsibility of the servers, but in reality, it is the employer's responsibility to ensure that all workers make at least minimum wage. 

I am a waitress and I don't get to claim my tips my owner does as I look at my pay stubs it looks like I am makeing WAY more than I really am. What are the laws on that and how much should i be claiming.

You are required by law to claim your income. For example, if you make $100 in tips and tip out $20, you claim $80 in tips. I don't understand what you mean by your employer claiming your tips, but it sounds like it may be that the owner is keeping track of credit card (and cash?) tips and including them in your paycheck. 

Income is claimed once. If your boss includes your credit card tips on your paycheck, then you do not need to claim those tips a second time. 

I am a waitress, I believe my boss takes too much tax out on me. I work 15 a week @3.00 an hour,gross is 45.00 after taxes 33.80. How much tax supposed to be.also pay check is different every week at the same hours.thank you

How much tax is taken out of your paycheck depends upon how many deductions you claim on your W-4. The only reason your paycheck would differ is if you are claiming any tips each pay period. Otherwise, it should be static. This is a question for your boss. Good luck. 

Best to all!