Opinion by JennaWoodard
Imagine that you are a college student struggling to pay rent and get by on what little groceries you have left. Your only paycheck comes from your part time job as a waitress, where you work every day after school. You are already stretched thin and exhausted by the time your shift starts, but the night has just begun. You wait on customer after customer, treating each person with respect, in hopes for a good tip. The night has almost come to a close when a family of four comes in and sits in your section. You happily approach them and immediately pick up on a weird vibe. The mother and father address you with a tone that suggests they feel superior to you. You realize that this family is going to be difficult, and you do everything to quickly accommodate their needs. But unfortunately, the food took a while and came out a bit cold. The mother begins yelling and overreacting about how lazy waiters are these days. You do your best to diffuse the situation, but with little success. You bring the manager in and he quickly assesses and diffuses the situation. But for the rest of the night, there is tension thick in the air. When the family leaves, you look at your tip and see that it is less than $2 when their bill was $55.67. Knowing that you depend upon tips to get by,
you sigh in disbelief.
When eating at a restaurant, one of the worst things someone can do is be rude to the wait staff. Deciding to treat them with disrespect is something that is far too common these days. Waiters and waitresses are there to serve us, which is why they should be treated with the utmost respect. An order might have been messed up, or the temperature wasn’t what it should have been, but that shouldn’t be taken out on the waiter. Restaurants get busy, things don’t always come out right, and mistakes are made, but that is okay because making mistakes is part of our nature. What isn’t part of our nature is belittling other human beings and making them feel inferior.
We all come from different walks of life and are doing what we can to make ends meet. For some people that means becoming a waiter and for others, it could mean pursuing a career in law enforcement or education. Sometimes the only available job opening is one in the service industry. Service industry jobs can sometimes be looked down upon
because these jobs aren’t prestigious enough. This is a view that needs to change.
We are all human beings and should treat one another with respect regardless of occupation, race, gender or some other perceived difference. Just because someone holds a job position that is deemed ‘inferior’ doesn’t mean that person should be treated as an inferior. People are people no matter in what job industry they are employed. Being impolite to waiters and waitresses happens far too often.
According to The Guardian, 4% of people say being rude [to the wait staff] is fun. Why on earth would treating someone with disrespect be fun? No benevolent human would find joy in bringing others pain. I am appalled that anyone would find joy in making others feel inferior.
According to ForeignUSA, servers in the state of Nebraska are paid $2.13 per hour. It is expected that the server will make the most of their money in tips. However, there is what is known as “tipped credit” which means if a server isn’t tipped a certain amount ($8.37) per hour, then the employer is expected to make up the difference.
This means that in Nebraska, the server minimum wage is $10.50. But why is this important? Servers are relying on tips to make the majority of their money. When rude customers come in, it is unlikely that the servers will be receiving a good tip. Unfortunate as it is, hate directed towards waiters is far too common, and it is something that needs be minimized as soon as possible. We need to make it a norm to treat every human with kindness, regardless of their place in society.