Gut Rumbles

September 13, 2009

Working for tips

Originally published August 16, 2004

I played for tips only a few times in my life. In fact, that's one of the ways I earned a lot of jobs. I would walk into a bar, offer my services as a musician and agree to audition for tips only. If I played well, brought in customers and sold some drinks, I wanted a salary after that. Most bar managers LOVED that offer. Free entertainment.

I had an old brass spitoon that served as my tip-bucket. I was not one bit shy about telling people that THEY were paying me that night, and most people responded well. I also told the waitresses and the bartender: "Hump that bucket for me. I need the money tonight, but if I get this job, you'll get half of everything in there from now on." And I upheld my end of the deal.

I usually made between $50 and $100 dollars every night in tips, and sometimes it was a LOT more. Every night after closing, I emptied the tip-bucket on the bar and took half the money. I gave the rest to the people who helped me MAKE that money. I learned to appreciate people who work for tips.

Ladies and gentlemen, the next time you're in a bar or a restaurant, REALIZE how hard your waitress or waiter works every day. REALIZE how many assholes she or he has to deal with EVERY DAY. They get paid slave wages and depend on tips to survive. If you get good service, then TIP THEM. Show some got-dam gratitude.

That could be your daughter or your son doing that job some day. Get off your wallet and PAY them.

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