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OPINION: Be gracious with gratuity

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Turns out college doesn’t teach us everything. Thanks Asher Roth. We know not to pass out at a party with your shoes on, but it seems like a lot of our peers seem to “blank" on what “gratuity" means when the check rolls around. 

By blanking, I mean leaving the designated “gratuity” space (TIPically located directly above the “total” space) completely blank when paying their bill.

Hmmm... Is it a painstakingly high number of people who have somehow been accepted into a university and set loose into the world after being deemed capable of surviving “on their own” without knowing how the service industry works?

Or maybe they don’t tip because they have been socially and financially coddled by their parents their entire life, and teaching kids and young adults how to be a decent, courteous, thoughtful gracious human being somehow slipped a vast amount of parents' minds.

Just like it must have slipped their kids' mind when they coyly hand me back a receipt with only a signature, leaving the gratuity and total spaces completely unacknowledged. Oops. “They didn’t know better.” That isn’t OK.

Go ahead. Try to be all sly about it, leaving the cute little blanks and passively committing a most unholy social sin. Maybe they might get away with it too, but I will call ‘em out. Somebody has to! 

Working in the service industry reminds me of why I am in college, but I gotta pay for tuition somehow. Unlike some of these silver spoon-fed SOBs, some of us are responsible for our own education. It is hard getting stiffed, even out of a lousy dollar, when it happens roughly 25 percent of the time. 

This needs to be addressed. Not for just for me, but for everyone working in the service industry. Obviously not as abrasively as this article, even though we would all like to call 'em out as we see it. But we gotta be “nice.”

I will be like, “Oh actually you need to fill out all of the lines.” AKA, this is not acceptable. Nice try you almost turd. Sometimes people come to their senses and will at least leave a dollar even though that is still kind of rude on a $18 order. Something is better than nothing though! Always!

Some people actually have enough nerve to write zero. That heinous “0." They know they are human garbage as eye contact is avoided and the receipt is handed over face down. Seriously? Homie just spent $10 on bullshit and you can’t even spare a few bucks for the nearly two-mile, one way journey I just made to your doorstep, even though there is a vehicle in the driveway with a monthly payment that is more than I will make in the entire month.

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Once again, maybe it is a matter or innocent arrogance. Probably not, but maybe it’s actually not common knowledge that waiters, bartenders, delivery drivers almost always make below minimum wage because they rely on tips to make up the difference.

People who work in the industry never treat others like that.  Maybe the problem is that most of these non-tippers have never worked a day in their life.

Sure, the broke college kid struggle is very real. Nobody knows it better than the students who are actually working for their own money. If you are struggling that much, even after all that cheap vodka and Keystone, that you cannot spare a decent few dollars to tip, then do not indulge. Just DON’T.

Going out to eat or drink, or ordering in is considered a luxury and not a necessity. Maybe people think, “I’m sure this working, struggling human has made other tips today; it won’t matter if I do.” YES IT DOES, and when other people have that entitled, scheming mentality, it does make a difference to us. Not a good one.

Leaving us hanging does indeed make you a POS. Don’t be that guy or that girl. We remember your face and the lack of heart that somehow pumps blood into it. Tip the people who make your life easier and make ours a little easier. I’m sure your parents will understand if you explain why you went $3 over your monthly budget.

When in doubt, tip. Those in the service industry appreciate your generosity.


Monique Irish is a senior who, like many other struggling students, has been working in the service industry to pay her bills since she was in high school. Follow Daily Wildcat on Twitter.



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