The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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It’s a hard-knock life-for waiters and waitresses: Please reward your servers generously for their hard work

It’s Friday night. I should be on a date or hanging out with my friends. Instead I’m sweating, trying to remember a million things, when suddenly an accidental shift in balance results in my shirt being covered in a mixture of milk and ranch dressing.

Hello, my name is Lindsey, and I am the world’s worst waitress-or at least, I was on my first day.

Over Winter Break, I was in need of extra money. I decided the easiest way to earn some cash would be to pick up a few shifts at a local restaurant.

Let me be the first to admit I was wrong. Being a waitress is probably the hardest thing I have ever had to do-and this is coming from someone who had to live through the great Kellen Wilson v. Gordon Swift debate of 2005.

Drinks, bread, straws, napkins: you name it, and I managed to forget it. You could have cut the stress I was feeling with a dull butter knife, had I not forgotten to bring one to your table.

I also spilled drinks, broke a couple of glasses and slipped on a wet floor-but at least no one saw that.

When my first night was over, I ended up with three things: a sore back, a newfound appreciation for everyone who has ever served me at a restaurant and the surprising realization that people do not tip well.

Most people are probably oblivious to the fact that servers don’t earn minimum wage, which is $5.15 in Utah. Because they are expected to receive tips, employers can pay their waiters and waitresses much lower than that. Servers at my establishment earn $2.13 per hour, before taxes.

Not only that, but at the end of a shift, servers usually have to split their tips with two other people-the bartender and the busser who cleared their tables.

Being a server is an arduous task. Mistakes are made at any job-but when you’re a server, a mistake will cost you a portion of the only money you will make from a shift at work.

Many of us at the U work to put ourselves through school, or worked in high school to earn a college fund. Some of us support ourselves or even a family.

Waiting tables is an obvious choice for a pre-degree student looking for a flexible job-but $2.13 an hour obviously isn’t going to cover tuition, room and board at any university.

I applied to be a waitress so I could pay off some of my debt; I can’t imagine trying to support myself this way. Yet we all know people who are doing just that.

Waiters and waitresses work hard-they aren’t just begging for a handout. Please remember that they’re human when they make mistakes and that they might just be depending on your tips to make their rent that month.

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