The tipping jar

The tipping jar

Another good meal comes to a close and the bill comes much too soon. After pulling out the proper amount of cash to cover the meal, I quickly realize that I don’t have enough to even be a substantial or fair amount of money left for a tip. Having been in this situation before, the cash is then simply quickly replaced by a card so that an adequate 15-20% of the bill can be left for our waitress.

I think back to our meal, do I even remember what the waitress looks like? What extraordinary  effort was put forth that they must deserve my being tipped?

I know what you might be thinking. How dare I be so rude, so unethical, so demeaning and rude to the very person who just provided my meal and catered to my every want for the past 40 minutes. But the reality of it is, that is what they are paid to do. Believe me, I am now one of those underpaid servers wishing that someone will notice them enough to dish out an extra wad of cash. But it isn’t what I depend on, and it shouldn’t be.

So why is it a normality that we are forced by a societal pressure to tip?

The United States and Canada are two of the only countries who are fanatics about the tipping system and how we as humans treat our fellow servers. Believe it or not, it is actually frowned upon in Asian cultures to tip servers as it is taken in a demeaning manner. Our country has created a habit of tipping our servers by allowing our government to allow minimum wages to fall below the poverty line so that servers may depend on our tips for survival. By tipping every time we eat out, we condone this ridiculous meager wage and how we as a country see one of the most hardworking class of people in existence called waiters.

Take it from Steve Buscemi’s “Reservoir Dogs” infamous speech. Why must we follow what society says. Why can we only tip at restaurants and not at other places like McDonald’s or Burker King? Don’t they work just as hard and ¬†grueling hours as those in a catered more upscale restaurant?

I obviously left the tip anyways, because it isn’t the waiters fault and they do still depend on that tip money for survival essentials. The problem isn’t going to just be fixed overnight, or by my protests to not leave tips in every other restaurant in town. I sadly admit that would only benefit myself and deprive the waitresses of what they deserve in the first place. Change must start with the government (gasp) and we must incite that change.

Who knew?

Life inside the lines

After graduating college, the plan seemed pretty straight forward. Get a job, keep studying for a masters degree, work off the student loans, and eventually get promoted within that same company for a possible job for the rest of your life.

That’s what you want right?

I didn’t even think twice. It’s just the normality of the process.

There’s a phase after college I have gotten some feedback about. The feeling of being thrown into the same pile as everyone else. I think once someone even told me “it’s normal to feel like you’re just following the lines, you’ll get over it”.

Is that really what we have to look forward to? Just getting over the feeling of being processed through a societal fitting block?

I’m not sure what the next step is, especially after giving into working a meaningless restaurant job while other career job offers weren’t exactly knocking down my doors and to at least start paying some of those minuscule student loans.

But I’m also not sure that this should be a “normal” phase for people to go through. The more I wait to be offered the job of my dreams, the more I question if it’s what I really want out of my life.

To live, to ones fullest potential, I believe you must be in a constant state of learning, growing, and wonder.

Maybe there is something waiting around the corner that gives all of these elements a chance to show itself within the boundaries of society. But I also have a feeling that if I want to experience all these things for myself, I must first commit to steering outside the lines.