“Hello, my name is Tasha, and I’ll be your server this evening. How are y’all tonight?”I’ll stand expectantly at your table while you finish your conversation about who slept with whom on your cell phone, and when you’re finished, you won’t respond to my question and will simply say, “Diet Coke.” After a pleasant meal, you will occupy my table for another 30 to 45 minutes after you’ve paid, talking on the cell phone again about the sexual habits of your friends and why your most recent crush has ditched you.
I wait tables because it’s my job and I have bills to pay. Being a waitress is not my career goal, but it is currently my livelihood. When you go out for a nice dinner and are rude to me in many ways, including my tip, I feel slighted.
I’ve heard tipping was originally taken from the first letters of the phrase “to insure promptness.”
But today – right or wrong – it means something else. Most restaurants have servers and most of those servers make less than minimum wage, forcing them to rely on their tips for income. So, when you sit at my table and I try my best to meet your needs, and you repay me with rudeness and a 10 percent tip, it hurts in more ways than one.
The deepest blow of all comes from my peers.
I go to school with you; I too got into this prestigious world of TCU, I too have gone to frat parties, I too cram in the library the week before midterms and finals.
So why would you treat me as less than you? I understand many people have never worked in a restaurant and most are uneducated on how tipping works, but when you are just being rude to me because you don’t recognize my status as your peer, you aren’t uneducated, you are stupid.
I’m sorry if that hurts your feelings, but I can’t defend TCU students against a reputation of having snobby attitudes when you go out to eat and act this way. Most of my co-workers are in school, although many don’t go to TCU, and have told me that my peers are oftentimes the rudest customers they serve.
I understand you think we just bring your food, but what if we just ordered whatever we thought you wanted, slammed it down in front of you and when you expressed frustration talked on our cell phones and ignored you? Would you still just think we are bringing your food then?
My job is to make you as comfortable as I can so your evening is pleasant. If I am just trying to do my job, why do I deserve disrespect? I have waited on many TCU students who seemed shocked to learn I am a classmate. They look at me as if they can’t believe one of their own would ever wait tables, but I’m not the only one.
I’m not advocating tipping every server well regardless of service. A good server deserves at least 18 percent. If your server did his or her job well, reward him or her.
But also remember: You are in a public place, so treat the people around you accordingly. Don’t ignore me when I am trying to be friendly to ensure you have a good night. Don’t stay on your cell phone and mouth demands at me; I don’t read lips well. Use “please” and “thank you” a little more.
When you go out for a nice meal, remember you are representing your peers and your community. Set a good example for your family and friends so they do the same when they go out.
Tasha Hayton is a senior news-editorial journalism major from Flower Mound.