In 1997 I had an opportunity to help a student out. She worked as a waitress for a local restaurant and had a chance to go see her dad in Arkansas for two weeks. Her boss at the restaurant told her if she went she was fired. Well, as it happened....I lived near that restaurant....ate there a lot.....and had waited tables before.....so I talked with her boss and agreed to pull her shifts so she could go. I was hired....for two weeks I waited tables for my sweet little student.....and to be honest...when she came back and decided she wanted to work in an office....I didn't blame her.....and was delighted to keep the job. I loved this little side job.....I would go and teach, come home....change clothes....go to the restaurant...and get home somewhere around ten each night. The money was not all that good....waitress wage at the time was about 1.56. What? You did not know that there was such a thing called waitress wage???? There is and people don't know this. Waiters and Waitresses do not make minimum wage at ALL restaurants....some pay them the minimal with the idea that tips will make up the difference....well they don't! I waited a table one night...it was a party of 12...they were obnoxious....they wanted extra sour cream, they wanted extra everything....they wanted cake for the birthday girl (at this restaurant....I paid for the cake for the birthday girl out of my money)...these people TRIED to tell me that it was all twelves birthday....COME ON! I brought the original lady her cake...sang Happy Birthday...and left them to their party. They occupied a table in my quadrant for nearly 2 hours....still wanting...more, more, more.....then they all stood ready to leave....and I went to the cash register to ring them out. The bill was $99.00. The tall man gave me a $100 bill and told me to keep the change. I did not think much about it....I figured it would be in addition to the tip on the table....only when I went back to bus the table....there was nothing else. The man's tip on a $99.00 dinner to me was a $1.00. What a slap in the face....they had been there AND been waited on for over two hours....and he gave me a DOLLAR! About that time I heard them all standing out there laughing...and it was just too much. I undid my apron and headed out the door of the restaurant with the dollar in hand.....at that point....I did not care if this man was the governor of Alabama.....I was going to let him know....just what I thought of his tightfisted ways. I walked up to him and said, "Oh sir, ...you forgot this when you checked out." He was so smooth....he smiled and said, "oh no sweetheart...that is a little something for you." I took his hand and put it in it....and said, "I don't need a handout....and obviously you need this more than I do!"...with a smile...and turned and walked back in the restaurant shaking. His friends all died laughing...and said...."She told you.".....yeah I did....but the sad thing....a week later...he came in. I did not wait on them....and this time....he did not even give the girl the change from the hundred. Tightwad! I later found out that this man was a CEO for a major oil company....had a mansion on the lake...and I can attest to this....the best tippers I have ever had.....are usually the average joe. That same night for a $50.00 dinner I got a 20.00 tip....because I kept them coming on an all you can eat plate. I worked 6 hours that night and brought home about $200.00 in tips. Do I tip? Yes ma'am I do...especially if the service is good. If the service is not so good....they still get a tip...it is just not a good one. I believe in paying for good service. Next time you go to a restaurant....be a sport....and be sure to tip your waitress.
I am a woman who wears many hats and loves them all. I am a singer - I sing with the group Still Magnolias. I was part of the original First United Methodist Church Arbor Praise Team until we moved. After 24+ years of teaching English 11 and Spanish I - II at Benjamin Russell High School I decided to take a job closer to home. I now teach Spanish I & 2 at Randolph Co. High School and Wadley. I thought I was getting close to retirement and looking forward to it, but decided to move my cheese and try something different. I am a preacher's wife and a preacher myself. My husband Frank is the pastor at Rock Mills United Methodist Church and I am the pastor at Midway (Wedowee). It has made our conversations interesting, to say the least.