Archive for the 'Writers' Category

Waiter and tips

One of my favourite blogs of all times, Waiter Rant, written by someone under the username, waiter (!!!), is getting better and better.  No, not necessarily  because the blog entries are getting better and better but mostly because there’s a community of readers who all comment and talk to each other.

For instance, I asked this below question a week ago – left it as a comment on this entry.

There’s something I’m a bit confused about: tips. When waiters get a
tip, do they take the me for themselves or do they all put the money
together and share it equally afterwards?

Comment by NotScientific — June 8, 2006 @ 1:06 am

I was always a little bit confused about that.  You know, when I have this feeling that a waiter is doing his best, I really want to leave a good tip.  It should be noted however that until present time, I have never ever tipped a waiter, not because I never thought they were doing their best, but mostly because up till now, it’s my dad who pays the bill and consequently tips.  Not too good of an excuse but anyway, back to my question.  I was kind of curious to get an answer to this one – and I did.

NotScientific–depends a little bit on the place, but nearly all places that have full table service, the waiter/waitress gets some proportion of their own earnings. Somewhere like a deli that has a tip jar on the counter, or perhaps a coffee shop that serves a few food items, the staff usually has a set hourly salary over minimum wage, and tips are “extras” that get split by whoever is on duty–they don’t rely on tips to make a living, they rely on the base salary.

But anywhere from the greasy spoon diner on any one of a million city corners to the most upscale of steak houses or bistros the waitstaff “earn their own keep”. The food industry is one of the few that actually is legally allowed to pay below minimum wage, and they do. The average waiter in most cities will make a flat salary of $2.13-$2.35 an hour, guaranteed paid from the company. The company is allowed to do this because it is assumed that the waiter’s tips will make up at LEAST enough to bring the hourly up to minimum wage (which is true–a good waiter, even in a horrible restaurant, can make $10-15 an hour, on average, easily, and a great waiter in a great place can make signifigantly more.) If for some strange reason the waiter doesn’t make minimum wage, on average, in a pay period, the restaurant is required to pay them up to minimum/hourly, but honestly a waiter that performs that poorly is one that won’t be employed for long.

Now, there is a little variation here: the two main waiting systems are a single waiter, or “team waiting”. Single is just what it sounds like, one waiter handles a few tables (usually 2-6). In this situation, there are usually a handful of food runners that work for all the waiters and a few people who handle bussing and water refills, etc, for the whole place. Unspoken agreements usually arise where the runners and bussers do the work of the best/highest tipped waiters first, which helps raise that waiter’s tips even more, then the waiter tips out the runners/bussers as they choose, knowing that the higher of a percentage they share out, the better repeated assistance they’ll get. (Bartenders are also tipped out, but that’s usually a flat percentage of sales, or just alcohol sales, and doesn’t depend on the waiter’s tips that night, just teh check totals.) Hostesses may also be tipped out as a “favor” for being given more/better/regular parties and a preference of preferred customers.

“Team waiting” has a little more redundancy, and usually involve up to half again as many runners and bussers being on staff. The teams I worked on had two waiters each, a head waiter and a drinks/desert/miscellany waiter, ( more than a cocktail position, but not a full head waiter position either), a busser, and a runner for each team. The bussers and runners *might* at most support two waiter pairs, but they would ONLY do the duties for the team(s) they were working for. In this situation, there’s usually internal policy dividing the tips. I forget the actual numbers we used, it was some years ago, but something like 10 percent each to bussers and runners, 15% of alcohol sales to the bartender or 7% of all sales depending on the day’s business, then the waiting pair split the rest 55/45. (The assistant waiter positions were usually newer people, trainees, people who had only done cocktail before, etc, and the mroe experience they got they were then put on head waiter shifts at lunches, then eventually got the job at dinner.)

So the two waiters affected one another’s earnings somewhat, and also the extra the bussers/runners got, but at most tips would be split between a team. A good waiter or team can take home two, three, four times as much as a bad waiter or team any given evening. No waiter that’s even halfway decent would work any place that demanded tips be split among the whole waitstaff. That’s incredibly unfair, fiscally, to the really good waiters, and lets the horrible ones coast on the others’ work.

The very short answer of all of that summarised is “there may be a small share-out between people working immediately together, but absolutely NOT a situation where the whole place pools their tips and divvies them up”

Comment by Diana — June 8, 2006 @ 1:58 am

Diana is clearly passionate about the subject because she is/was a waitress in the first place and wants to make the point clear.  That’s great and I’m sure I would’ve done the same thing – well, maybe I am – and that’s the power of a web community.  Everybody communicates and recounts.

UPDATE: Well, waiter himself just published about tipping.  Here you go…

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Talking about coincidence…

Something really weird, super exciting and damn wicked, all the same, has happened.  I met a fellow blogger for the first time in my life.  Yep, how cool is that?

Well, maybe “met” isn’t the world here, I admit.  It’s more like I saw the guy on the street of Beau Bassin some times back.  I must also add that I did not know whether he was a blogger at that time.  I actually only just bumbed into his blog, through Mauritius Blog Tracker some times back.  I really like the blog – actually considering printing all of his blog posts – and I couldn’t help myself from laughing put loud when I read the blog’s title and sub-title:

[Mes] Idées Noires
Subtitle: “Y’a pas que Ben qu’a le droit d’écrire des conneries.”

[My] Dark Thoughts
Subtitle: “It’s not only Ben who can write nonsense.”

If you visit the blog, you’ll realise that Ben isn’t in Mauritius anymore and if you browse a little more around the blog, you’ll realise that Ben was staying in Mauritius for a certain pre-defined time only.  I actually didn’t even recognise him on the photo he has posted on his blog’s banner.  Nopes, I actually recognised Ben when I saw this picture.

I left a comment on his blog and some time after, he left a comment on mine (yes, here).  We exchanged a couple of emails and there you are.

I’m sure you won’t mind me repeating this phrase but how cool is that?

Poetry that inspires me

I’ve been reading a bit of Rabindranath Tagore from time to time and I came to the simple conclusion that the man is a pure genius.

Judge for yourself.

I would ask for still more
If I had the sky with all its stars,
And the world with its endless riches;

But I would be content
With the smallest corner of this earth,
If only she were mine.

Rabindranath Tagore, Collected Poems and Plays, Lover’s Gift (V)

I dreamt that she sat by my head,
Tenderly ruffling my hair with her fingers,
Playing the melody of her touch.

I looked at her face
And struggled with my tears,
Till the agony of unspoken words
Burst my sleep like a bubble.

I sat up and saw the glow of the Milky Way above my window,
Like a world of silence on fire,
And I wondered if at this moment
She had a dream that rhymed with me

Rabindranath Tagore, Collected Poems and Plays, Lover’s Gift (XXVIII)

I’m feeling very emotional quite suddenly.  I hope you are as well.

Self-publishing at sky media

Check this latest blog post at sky media blog.  I only just wrote it and think it's pretty cool.  It deals with the love of publishing and how it might be better to self-publish.

There’s big news coming…

Ever thought about starting your very own company? That would be a cool thing, euh? Check this out. More later…

Does my blog own me?

25 %

My weblog owns 25 % of me.
Does your weblog own you?

Man, not woman, is the second sex

“And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.?
(Genesis 2:21-23)

Biblical tradition tells the story of creation with man as the first sex, and woman the second, fashioned from Adam’s rib. Biology conveys a different tale for the evolution of the sexes, however, revealing that man, not woman, is the second sex. Recent research in genomics and molecular genetics has shed much light onto the elusive human Y chromosome, suggesting that man may not only be the second to arise, but the first to disappear.

Those two first paragraphs of this article, written by Andrea Lam, over at The Science Creative Quartely are gripping. I haven’t proceeded till the end of the essay yet (it’s kinda long) but it does seem interesting, as RPM from Evolgen says here.

Andrea Lam is in her fifth and final year at UBC, completing a BSc in Integrated Sciences and a BA in English Literature. In addition to her academic life, she enjoys playing the piano and organ, working with children, and trying new foods. Her interests range from medical genetics and Darwinian medicine to 19th century fiction and Harry Potter.

Umm? Impressive, isn’t it?


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What’s up in my life?

1. Best friends: I love you people.
2. My own company: sky media
3. Science is so very cool
4. 6 month sabbatical.

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