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Published: Friday, Aug. 15 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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FreedomFighter41
Provo, UT

Great letter. Very well thought out and written. Expect to be blasted today by the right wing cons. They don't believe anyone should be paid except for their 1 percent buddies. They are the new kings and we are their serfs.

anti-liar
Salt Lake City, UT

This whole notion of tipping is a very clever invention of restaurant owners by which they have been able to get out of paying their servers a fair wage. They successfully have conned American society into thinking that this is the customer's responsibility, when it really is not. After all, the customer already is paying through the nose, based on the exorbitant menu price.

Not only do these restaurateurs falsely guilt us into thinking their employeee's wages are our responsibility when it really is theirs, they also scare us with false propaganda that if they must pay their servers more than a lousy $2.13 an hour in the year 2014, then their menu prices "must" go up.

It is, of course, a lie. In-N-Out Burger pays their people more even though their menu prices are lower and their food ingredients are more expensive.

How is this possible?

Greed. Paying one's server $2.13 an hour is disgusting and shameful and finally can only be explained by Greed.

The less greedy restaurateur pays his worker a fair wage. Again the diner already has paid an exorbitantly high menu price to have food handed to him.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

Part of the problem Tessa, is that you apparently live in Utah. Tipping is not exactly a strong point in Utah.

I still like the LaVell Edwards line about BYU and bowl games.

"We used to go to the Holiday Bowl," he said, "and our fans would bring a 50 dollar bill and the Ten Commandments and break neither." ...

Ranch
Here, UT

Personally, I think you should earn a living wage for your labors and that tipping should be abolished.

happy2bhere
clearfield, UT

I agree, for good service we should tip more. One piece of advice I'd like to pass on to food servers is this. When you know your customer is nearing the end of the meal, get them the bill ASAP. People want to leave when through. Many times I have been so frustrated at waiting for the bill that I've lowered the tip because I've felt neglected.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Tipping is nothing more than a repub Ponzi scheme. It prevents the business from actually being held accountable for paying it's employees. Whether it's Walmart placing the burden of paying living wages onto tax payers (who subsidize Walmart by paying for their employees' food stamps) or Utah restaurants who refuse to pay living wages and place the burden onto patrons' tips. It's all the same.

Businesses are refusing to be accountable.

This is why we need a fundamental change in America. We need to get back to an America where businesses were accountable and paid living wages and people could actually live off their wages. No one can live off walmart's wages just like no one can live off $2.13 an hour.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Tessa,
You should request better than $2.13 an hour from your EMPLOYER instead of browbeating your customers for better tips?

$2.13/hour is ridiculous. Your services are surely worth more than that to your boss (and his business).

============

As for blaming diners, and putting the guilt on them... If you deserve a raise... ask your employer and show him how you've improved your skills and how it helps him make more money (that's what I have to do)... Don't just demand everybody pay you more in tips (while accepting $2.15/hour from the restaurant and expecting diners to feel bad and fill the gap).

Tell him to charge more for meals and pass some of it along to employees... Then you are assured to get more (not just hoping for more tips from kind customers).

============

Diners should pay a fair tip for sure. Most do. The few who don't probably won't be changed by this plea. They probably don't read.

IMO Tipping should be done away with (as in other countries). Charge what it takes to run your business (including paying your employees a living wage)!

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

@ 2 bites

$2.13 per hr is standard for Utah restaurants. If Tessa demands a raise then she'll quickly be fired and replaced by some other cheap worker trying to make their way through college. Workers don't have any leverage in these types of jobs, especially here in Utah. Hence, why the government, which is supposed to promote our welfare and watch out for the little guy, needs to step in and help equalize this battle.

$2.13 per hr is a joke. Yet, only the government can fix this. If the government hadn't already demanded $2.13 per hr restaurants would still be paying their employees $1.50 per hr.

We need a fundamental change here in America. Far too long big business has thrown it's weight around.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

The best and most effective way too have fewer employers (jobs) in America is to keep raising minimum wages! Forcing employers to pay for skills that do not exist is the best way to eliminate employers and eventually employees and with that taxpayers!

John Charity Spring
Back Home in Davis County, UT

Mountanman is absolutely correct. Rather than whinning about low wages, unskilled workers should obtain the training and skills necessary for a higher wage.

Instead of devoting their efforts to rancor and acrimony, the unskilled should devote their time to obtaining training and education. That is the way to achieve success.

The liberals like to complain about wage inequality. In doing so, they ignore the fact that inequality is a good thing when based on ability, work ethic, and skills. The communists aimed for wage equality, and that destroyed their entire economies, and their very countries.

The Educator
South Jordan , UT

@ 2 bits

"Diners should pay a fair tip for sure. Most do. The few who don't probably won't be changed by this plea. They probably don't read."

You've obviously never worked in a restaurant before. All restaurants in Utah pay their servers $2.13 per hr. In Utah, tip percentages rank some of the lowest in the nation. So your comment that "most diners pay their fair tip" is completely unfounded.

And when you're only getting $2.13 per hr, is it any wonder why Tessa's stats are so prevalent? Why servers are twice as likely to be on food stamps?

Tenn12
Orem, UT

John Charity and Mountain,
Please read the letter again. Tessa isn't complaining about minimum wage. She isn't being paid minimum wage. She's being paid about 1/3 of minimum wage. Are you justifying businesses paying someone $2.13 per hour? If so that is laughable, absolutely laughable. Scary thing is, I think both of you do think that's ok.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Tipping is unfair, unproductive and immoral. It has little to do with the quality of service, the quality of the food or the experience of having someone pretend to be your slave. If it did effect those things we would negotiate the tip before the service is performed.

The reason wages are so low is because the individual has no bargaining power against the business men and their united front against employees. If employees were allowed to have unions of working people, they could negotiate proper wages.

Uncontrolled capitalism is the bane of America and a very large part of that is the unfair treatment of workers.

Schnee
Salt Lake City, UT

@Mountanman
That is absolutely incorrect. Studies comparing adjacent counties in different states where one state increases the minimum wage showed no harm to the job market in that county despite there being a neighboring county next door that didn't increase it.

The Educator
South Jordan , UT

Seattle has the highest min wage in the nation, $15 dollars an hr. You can see the destructive results in their unemployment rate of 4 percent.
Australia has a min wage of $17 dollars an hr.
Their economy has been crushed so bad because of min wage that they now have a 5 percent unemployment rate.

Why can't liberals see how higher min wage kills jobs? Oh wait...

wrz
Phoenix, AZ

Well, Tessa, you have to realize two things:

1. Waitressing is a low-skilled occupation, making competition for those jobs relatively high. Businesses has the right to hire and pay at the lowest possible rates.

2. Getting an education will mean a different occupation and very likely significantly higher take-home pay.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Employees are simple tools of a business operation. They are purchased, controlled and used to accomplish business purposes. They are not the consumer's agent in the obtaining of a product or service, they are only an extension of the business will.

If we would improve the status of the people known as employees, we would change their status to that of the independent contractor, free to negotiate their own contract, and free to use any and all resources such as unions, associations and such. Just like other businessmen have.

Another alternative would be to revise the capitalistic model to recognize that all business, not the individuals business operations, is owned by the society as a whole and society should participate in the profits of business. Then people would receive personal income according to their worth to society rather than to an individual business operation.

FreedomFighter41
Provo, UT

@ wrz

Tessa, you need to realize 2 things

1. If your owner has to pay you a living wage then he might have to settle for the 500 foot yacht instead of the 600 foot yacht.

2. Conceding to you means that he admits that he's been gouging employees. For him, this is a matter of control. Business owners want to keep you in your place and ex decide power and dominion over you.

Wrz, what happens when all the high skilled jobs are over saturated with qualified candidates? Will their wages continue to sink too while the top percent continue to see their wages and golden parachutes skyrocket?

Wouldn't it be nice if government could regulate this? Oh wait, these business owners have already bought off government because bribery is now considered a form of free speech.

What is the 99 percent of us supposed to do?

Henderson
Orem, UT

To show you how far to the right we've shifted, consider what happened just a little over 100 years ago under President Teddy Roosevelt.

Coal miners in New England went on strike for better working conditions and higher wages. The mine owners told the workers that they'd never cave to their demands. The strike went on for weeks and months. The owners, the 1 percenters, could care less about their workers and consumers. They were already billionaires and would remain rich even if the mines closed down.

As the strike wore on, worries about the coming winter came to the White House. Most of New England was going to freeze because coal wasn't being mined. "Liberal" republican President Teddy Roosevelt threatened the mine owners with the national guard to cave to the workers' demands.

Could you imagine any president, let alone a republican one, today threatening business with military action?

Could you imagine the outrage from the right if President Obama threatened Walmart to pay their workers living wages or face military action?

My how our country has shifted to the right!

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

@Maverick,
Yes, maybe the best solution is for the Federal Government to set wages for all restaurant types in all cities, and States.

Hint... the Federal Government doesn't know what it takes to live in Beaver Utah vs Manhattan NY. So blindly setting the same government-mandated wage for restaurants in Beaver as in NY probably doesn't make sense (rent, etc, are higher in NY than in Beaver UT). That's the problem with turning it over to the Federal Government (besides Constitution saying it's not one of the enumerated jobs given the Feds).

Free-Economy-principles SHOULD work in Utah (in theory). If all waitresses refused to work for $2.15... bosses would get tired of running the business AND having to get up from their desk and wait on tables too... and they would be forced to pay more.

But as long as we have a cheep source of labor willing to do it for #2.15/hour... that won't work. That's why I encourage ALL waitresses to hit up their boss, instead of accepting $2.15 from him... and begging for bigger tips from your customers.

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