Tuesday 10 September 2013

Unrealistic Expectations…

The ‘Guardian’ continues its series on work, and yet again somehow manages to find a person who can’t seem to grasp the concept that economic reality dictates wages, and not some nebulous concept of ‘fairness’:
Willio Lacomme of Cincinnati, Ohio is a fairly typical "behind the scenes" Walmart associate. He works in the receiving department, unloading trucks for $8.25 an hour.
Is Willio happy to have a job, in the current climate? No. Not exactly:
When I first started two years ago, I was in maintenance and only got $7-something an hour. I kept saying, this is what you guys pay? They said, if you want more, we have this position in receiving. So that's how I got to $8.25 an hour. I'm still fighting with them because it is so much work for very little.
So find a better job! Just like, well, you already did once...

But you get the feeling that Willio, like Willietta before him (gosh, is it something to do with the name..?), doesn’t want a different job, he just thinks he’s entitled to be paid more for the one he has:
Technically for me, there's no good day. It's just when you get there, you already know how it is and what it's going to be like. You know, it's a struggle every day. You don't get paid well. You never do exactly what you sign up to do. You finish doing what you're supposed to do and then they drop more. If we finish the truck fast and think we're going to have a short day, they just say "ha ha". And then they ask you to do more. There's never a "good day" in that sense. No matter how hard you work, you have to meet the minutes.
Congratulations, Willio, you just described the world of work, for pretty much everyone who isn’t their own boss.

Yes, you go in to work and they tell you what to do, and you do it. In return, they give you what they think that work is worth. What did you expect..?

It used to be said that an American, watching a Cadillac go by, would say 'Wow! I got to get rich & buy me one of those!' whereas a Brit would say 'Hmm, I really don't think he deserves that when I only have a Mini'. Clearly, that no longer applies...

The English attitude is still there, though:
Julia Casson, of Hove, has taken a stand at Italian restaurant Otello in Church Road, Hove, after being told waiters don’t receive a share of the tips.
The mum-of-two said she gives waiters cash instead – but has now been told not to return. But the restaurant said the disgruntled diner was not banned and warned she must pay the obligatory service charge.
Ms Casson said: “I’ve taken it very personally.
“Several waiters have told me the tips go to management<.b> and towards maintenance of the building.
“So I always leave cash on the table instead and the waiters have always been grateful. I was told if it happens again I would not be welcome back. I don’t see why my hard earned money should be given to the fat cat owners.“

Because it’s their business, Julia. It doesn’t belong to the waiters, it’s up to the business owners to decide on tips policy, not you.

What about this is hard to understand?


Anonymous said...

I always thought that a service charge in a restaurant is an optional, suggested gratuity. One can elect not pay. And one can choose to pay a tip however one wants, because it's optional.

Anonymous said...

Agree with anonymous at 11:38.
I also think that "Service" has traditionally meant a tip for the staff, most customers will understand that and not leave a cash tip in consequence.
If a business needs to charge more for their running costs then they should say that or up the prices generally, not use misleading language to con customers and deprive staff of money which customers intend as a gratuity.

Anonymous said...


I am with the two people before me, if I wish to leave a tip because of good service then fair enough. I don't leave it because I wish to contribute to the maintenance of the building. Equally if I know that the tip doesn't go the staff, then I don't leave a tip.

As for the other chap, for God's what do you expect man! Your not highly prized skilled labour, if you were it would be different.

Twenty_Rothmans said...

Well, we've got a BOGOF going with this one.

When I arrive at my office, I'll have a quick chat with one of the security chaps. He's personable, always friendly, he smokes, he's West Indian and and he earns far less than I for working far more hours.

But that's a snapshot of today. In my 20s, I had little leisure time because of study and work. In my 30s and 40s, it was 60-70 hour weeks. Most of my international travel has been for work, and even today, 2013's annual leave remains untouched.

Instead of finding the sharpest knife I have (which is an expression I doubt Willioo's boss extends to him) and opening my bowels in an act of contrition (quiet down the back, there!) isn't it better to rejoice that someone has a job, is well-liked and is happy?

And there are people with worse jobs than he, and with better jobs than I. 'Twas ever thus.

As for the restaurant, I'm with Julia on this. Julia Casson, that is.

Luigi Fellati.. sorry .. Saied Abdulkahni said: “Thees parculiar lady has come to us manya timesa and she donna pay the service chargea.

As with equal rights, affirmative action, every form of PC under the sun and bukkakeing of sentences with the word 'like', the pernicious leakage from the USA has brought the service charge into our lives.

That an owner is free to disburse a service charge as he sees fit is undeniable. It becomes trickier, however, if a customer withholds it (assuming that it is discretionary) and tips separately.

Which brings us to the crux of the matter. Luigi says that the charge is non-negotiable (presumably the stated prices are for take away), and Julia Casson says that she is not going back.

This is what the Septics call a 'win-win'. Julia* gets to sharpen pencils between her thighs in her fury, and Luigi 'loses' the custom of someone who is a cat's-bum-lipped whining (tada! another USAism) MS with two bloody children in tow.

Way to go.

* I mean the one in Hove

Anonymous said...

The market sorts this one. The restaurant is clearly being stupid, as it is misleading it's customers by labelling a 'management benevolence and building upkeep charge' as something commonly known as a 'tip.'
So don't go, and tell your friends. In fact, get it in the paper! Mr Restaurant goes out of business (which he deserves for not learning that lying to your customers is bad for business) and Mr Alternative Restaurant (who knows this) gets an upswing in footfall and employs all the redundant experienced waiters from the first restaurant.
She might have got there from the wrong place, but she's got to the right place.

JuliaM said...

"I always thought that a service charge in a restaurant is an optional, suggested gratuity."

So, it seems, does everyone else.

"The market sorts this one."

As, left alone and free from interference, it always will...

Anonymous said...

I have always been in favor of tipping the waitstaff personally,not having a "gratuity" added to my bill.I see no reason to reward sub par service, (if I get that I don't tip, and have been known to request seating in another area if/when I return), instead of having everyone in the place share the benefits of one persons hard work. If the restaurant policy is against my views, I just don't go there.