Service Industry Vs. Retail

Generally my rebuttals follow the same flow as the original articles. The author makes a point, and I counter-point. I’m not even going to bother here. The difference is that, so far, every article I’ve ever rebutted was written by someone who has never worked in the service industry before, attempting to sound like an expert. Well, it didn’t take me long to realize that this article is worse than that.

The original article can be found here.

What we have here is a retail worker who is miserable. She hates her job. Don’t believe me, here is an exact quote from the article:

“I work retail, and get paid crap for it. I’m expected to be courteous and helpful and provide “excellent customer service” with absolutely no possibility of a tip or commission.”

She is so unhappy with what her life has come to, that she has decided she should take her aggression out on the service industry. Why? Because it’s unfair that someone in our lowly position should make more money than she does. Here’s another quote:

“I don’t ask customers to throw in 10% for buying clothes from me, and I resent the implication that a food service worker is working harder than I am, and therefore deserves a tip.”

I’m going to upset some people with this next comment, and personally I don’t care. The fact is that a service industry worker is working harder than her. I am basing this off of the fact I’ve worked both retail and service industry. It’s my opinion against hers, but at least I can say I have experience in both before I decide which is easier.

She is just the spoiled customer who has a death-grip on the belief that our job is easier.

I’m getting a little ahead of myself. Let’s take a step back for a second and move to the first line in the article.

“Tipping should be a reward, not a right.”

This is a whole other debate to get into, but the fact of the matter is in the United States it is not a reward. When it is a server or bartender, it is most of – if not all of – their salary. Don’t believe me? This is what about 96% of my paychecks look like:

paycheck

 

The problem with bringing this discussion up, everyone outside of the industry wants to pipe up and say that “Our employers should pay us a higher wage,” yet none of them want to understand that doing so will lead to changes they won’t like. A lot of bars and restaurants can barely stay open paying the serving staff $2.13 an hour, and they think the prices of food and beverage won’t increase when the owner’s are paying the waitstaff an extra $5 or $6.

That’s $5 or $6. Each employee. Every hour.

Sure, some places only have one bartender and one waitress. Some have 8 or 10 service staff members working at one time. That would be an extra $440 per 8 hour shift. Now think about how many restaurants you’ve been to that had more service staff than that. That money will have to be made up somewhere, and I bet the bar/restaurant owner would like to keep their doors open. Everyone wants to believe that our owners profit hand-over-fist because of the mark-up on food and beverage. The fact of the matter is that we have to charge that because of things like electric, cable, water, heat and A/C. I can go on and on. What I’m getting at here is $3.50 bottle of Bud Light you think is a rip off just became $5. Enjoy

Oh, another brilliant quote from the article:

“And I could write a whole separate article on “Automatic Tips.” There is no such thing as an “automatic” tip. If it’s “automatically” included, it is “automatically” just part of the regular price.”

She just proved my previous point. If you would like all the owners to pay all their service staff an extra $5 or $6 an hour, the regular price will “Automatically” go up. It’s simple math and logic, two things I’m well beyond believing she has a grasp of.

The next portion of her article involves her “disclaimer” about how she lives in one of the 7 states that do not have a different minimum wage for tipped and non-tipped employees. I guess she’s attempting to explain the reason for her article, but now all I want to know is why she decided to talk-down to an entire industry of people when her entitlement-rage is really only directed at 14% of them.

Since she’s paid crap (her words, not mine), she has no concept of what we are paying on taxes. I’m not in one of those 7 states, so I can’t pretend I know what it’s like to make $8 or $9 an hour while working for tips. Luckily, this page has presented me with friends all over the country, and if I was going to write an article, I’d at least put a little effort into least finding out. Wait, I think I’ll do that:

paycheckarticle

About $4 an hour. She doesn’t want anyone living in poverty, but by her desire to just not tip anyone, she’d like everyone in those 7 states to get paid about $4 an hour after taxes. Well, hopefully her ability to color-coordinate her store’s new clothing is far superior to her ability to do any sort of research.

It’s simple in my mind. Her uneducated, spoiled, horrific ramble about how hard her life is and how easy we have it isn’t really worth this rebuttal, but at least when I put some thought and effort into it.

She wants to pretend she has gotten over the “guilt” of not tipping, when in the reality she has simply just come to terms with that fact that she’s cheap, while living in denial about how hard her job really is.

We can sit and debate whose job is harder if we want, but at the end of the day I have a simple question for her:

If you’re paid crap, and my job is as easy – if not easier – than yours, why not take the plunge into a service industry job?

An “easy” job where you make more money or your current job? Anyone with a semi-functioning brain would make the decision to make more money for, what she assumes is, less work. Maybe if she did, she’d actually make enough money to leave a decent, or any, tip. Or, maybe if she did, she’d find out our jobs are hard, definitely harder than hers, and that she was wrong. No, she can’t let that happen. She can’t be wrong. She has to be correct.

Then again, this is the same woman who said,

“The last time I tipped my waiter it was because he offered me a free refill on my cocktail when I clumsily spilled it on the table, adding to the mess he already had to clean up. And yes, I felt he deserved it.”

Come to think of it, I hope she doesn’t. I hope she stays in her retail job. I hope she stays in denial. I hope she keeps getting “paid crap.” Most of all, I hope she stays away from the service industry, because she simply doesn’t deserve to be part of our family.

She can believe whatever she’d like about our jobs. I can at least say that I know and that I’m #industryproud.

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