Something that I have been faced with every day as a server is the harsh reality of tipping. It is a social construct in which certain service sector employees might be paid less than minimum wage due to the fact that they are likely to be tipped by the customer for their service.

The thinking behind this is that servers provide personalized experiences to guests. Because of this, employers are unable to come up with one wage that suits all of their employees. The solution has been to let the customer decide. This is done in the form of tipping.

Tipping is important, not only to the server but also to the economy. Customers are paying for a different aspect of the server’s job than the employer is. The employer is paying the server to take the order and deliver it to the kitchen. However, the customer is paying for the server’s ability to ensure a comfortable dining experience. This means being able to handle special events or steering you towards something you really like.

As far as the economy goes, some believe that tipping simulates the economy. More money being put out means more money also being put back in, right? There are people on the other side of this argument though. In fact, 44% of Americans are in favor of doing away with tipping, according to a 2017 poll. And still, others believe that a base wage should be established, that is then supplemented by employers if tips do not meet that standard wage.

Since it is the middle of the summer I’m sure most of us can relate to feelings of stress about money as well as heat exhaustion. Most of us are dealing with the highest electric bills of the year while work is offering the smallest amount of hours. In large, this is due to the snowbirds leaving.

Even if we do like to poke fun at their driving or talk about how overly busy everything is when they’re here, it is very true that the snowbirds kind of support the community. When there are less people here there are less reasons to have two employees scheduled versus one, meaning hours are being cut.

This lifestyle is full of ups and downs and is very unpredictable. Servers might have slow nights, or they might have tables that don’t tip properly. This means the server is only making about $5 an hour at work.

To me, this means that tipping during the slow season might be a little more important. During this time when business is slow and servers are scraping by, every bit counts. People are spending money on their essentials during this time, rather than being more frivolous.

It’s no secret that we live in a very economically temperamental area. You would think this meant that we would all be accustomed to the slow time and would know how to handle it. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ve quite figured it out yet.

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