Quickies

Skepchick Quickies 6.26

On June 26, 1870, Christmas was officially declared a federal holiday in the United States. The next day, the secret atheist cabal declared war on it, terrorizing good Christians around the country. Muhaha!

BONUS: Slate’s analysis of Mad Men’s Season 6. (I don’t know about you, but l always have to read the recaps–I miss so much!)

Mary

Mary Brock works as an Immunology scientist by day and takes care of a pink-loving princess child by night. She likes cloudy days, crafting, cooking, and Fall weather in New England.

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32 Comments

  1. Tips to make up minimum wage are bogus. Superdeeduper bogus. Take for example having 5 tables with 4 customers each, so 20 total. That means each person has to leave only $.22 or less than a quarter and the server “made” minimum wage for that hour. Also, because tipping isn’t legally required, you can get their service for nothing.

    Sure, YOU tip and YOU might not be an asshole. In tight times like this Great Recession though people tip less or think they only have to tip for above and beyond service. Sometimes people don’t tip “pretty” girls as much others or maybe they don’t tip black servers like they do white, as the article points out. In general, we have a wage problem in this country and this, like the good ol’ abusive unpaid internship, need to go the way of the cassette tape.

  2. That was one thing I loved about living in S. Korea: NO tipping. Servers would be confused as heck if you even tried. I like knowing the price of my meal without having to math also how much I liked the service. (Yes, I use math as a verb.)

      1. I have done this before, and also worked in food service for a couple decades. It happens, and it’s something servers expect to have happen, but I cannot tell you how much servers appreciate it when customers realize what happened and return to bring in the rest of the tip. If it’s possible for you to do so it will probably make your waiter’s whole day!

      2. Yeah, it is too easy to do that, I realized that I had done that after leaving the restaurant in heavy rain.

        And hotels are the worst. You need the right currency and at the end the tips come out of my pocket not my employer’s because I can’t remember what I paid when filling in expenses. And the last thing I want to have to remember in the morning dash to the airport is to leave money for the maid.

        If my employer is paying $200-300 a night for a hotel room, why am I responsible for paying their staff?

        The tipping rules originated in the US in the 1800s when the idea of hotels was that it allowed people to pretend that they were aristocracy for a few days or weeks. And so ostentatious displays were part and parcel.

        1. I always tip maids $5/day. It makes them so happy and they do little extras for you, like give you more shampoos. One maid left me a nice note with a smiley face! Totally worth it.

          1. I usually leave one tip at the end of a hotel stay, but I thought I’d try leaving a daily tip instead. After the first day there were twice as many shampoos and moisturizers! I’m definitely switching to this method.

    1. I live in a country that has been blessed by not having tips too.

      But I when I went to the US last year I had a bit of complication initially because I didn’t figure out the rules for tipping until a while in there (I didn’t even tip during my first servings because I had no idea). This makes me figure, that a lot of tourists may not tip or tip too little because of not knowing well. Another reason to get rid of this system.

    2. IIRC, in Japan, tipping is considered an insult because good service is assumed to be part of the job, so it would essentially be a suggestion that the service provider should do better. There are circumstances when tipping beforehand is acceptable as an apology for being an extra burden, but I don’t remember when or how that is applied.

    1. The war on christmas starts at Halloween when we release the zombie hoard on Fox News in Times Square. Everyone knows that.

      Its going to be fun watching Bill O’Really trying to stoke the opposition to the war on Xmas while being chased by zombie wanting to munch on his brains.

  3. “If knowing all of the above, you still balk at the idea of a service charge being rolled into the cost of your meal, maybe you should ask yourself why this is.”

    Because I don’t trust restaurant owners to pay their employees a fair wage. Look how fast food employees are treated and compensated. At least I know I can do my part to give the staff a fair wage under the current system.

    1. But then you’re allowing resaurants to pay less, and passing the risk of not earning enough onto the servers. It’s a crappy system, and I say this as someone who earned a lot of money in tips. Despite being a crappy server!

      1. Yes, but this isn’t just a hypothetical. We’re talking about changing culture. Out in the real world. Most tipping jobs currently pay decently above minimum wage. Minimum wage isn’t a living wage. Waiting tables can be. It’s a path out of poverty for a lot of people.

        And what happens when people try to tip? Is it illegal? Does the restaurant owner get it? Or does it go to the employee, giving the owner the leverage to continue to say, “I pay you low, but you make it up in tips”?

        If the law changes, restaurant owners will have all the lobbying power. Unionized labor is almost dead. Put them up against national chain restaurants, and you think the waitstaff’s minimum wages will even be comparable to their current wages with tips?

        This article is like the standard libertarian argument. Maybe it sounds good on the abstract, but there’s been no thought given to the practical impacts.

    2. But restaurants aren’t paying a fair wage and leaving the rest of their wage up to the arbitrary nature of tips means that many times servers will not receive their fair wage. It’s the business’s responsibility to pay their employees fairly for their labor, not the customer’s. And it’s the governments responsibility to enforce it. This is the way it works for every other industry, even other service industries and in America it seems to work most of the time (which is why companies outsource – so they can exploit low wages in other countries).

    3. >>Because I don’t trust restaurant owners to pay their employees a fair wage

      So you institute a fair minimum wage. Potential employees will be better able to choose places of employment with higher wages (and wont have to estimate the tipping-level of clientelle), fast food employees won’t get shafted.

  4. I don’t think it is legal in Canada to pay less than the minimum wage in any circumstance (but I might be wrong about this). In Alberta, our minimum wage for someone serving alcohol as a regular part of their job is $9.05 an hour. Here they are factoring in tips a bit, because for everyone else minimum wage is $9.95 per hour. I still tip 15-20% on restaurant bills because minimum wage is not the same as a living wage, and most servers work pretty hard for their money.

  5. So should I feel guilty that I’m in New Zealand but have never used Facebook, so I’m wasting that wonderful opportunity?

    As a New Zealander, I totally agree with getting rid of tipping. It is a barbaric custom.

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