Saturday, February 2, 2013

Such a beautiful lie to believe in

Common misconception: Waiters/waitresses don't make minimum wage.

It's a misconception that annoys me, because I was a server.  Usually, it's a server pulling the whole "pity me" shit that perpetuates this myth.  Here's how it works, in reality.  You are paid half of minimum wage, yes.  You make tips.  You claim tips.  If the tips you claim + the hourly wage do not equal minimum wage, the employer is legally obligated to make up the difference.

Here's the rub.  Most servers do not claim 100% of their tips.  This means the income they don't claim ends up not being taxed.  How many legit jobs do you know of that allow that?  Now, if you're following all the math here, what this means is very simple: Waitstaff make AT LEAST minimum wage.  That's if they're a horrible server or work for a slow restaurant.  If they're a good server, and work for a popular restaurant, they make quite a bit more then minimum wage, and don't necessarily pay taxes on all of their income.

Now, serving is a hard job, it is.  I'm not saying you shouldn't tip your server.  Besides, maybe I'm wrong, and that's just the law as it applies to my state.  But please, stop believing in this myth.  Tip for good service, not for pity.

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