July 27, 2018
So the other day I was having lunch at a restaurant and the service wasn’t good. Non-attentive, took a long time, never asked how I was doing or whether I needed anything. So do you know what I did?
. . . Nothing.
I didn’t stiff the tip. We shouldn’t even have tipping. It encourages harassment and dehumanizes service workers. But as long as it’s a thing, I’ll tip what I can afford regardless of the service.
I didn’t complain to management. That could have gotten a young person in trouble or fired and who knows what effect that might have on their safety or security? Reporting a wage worker to their boss is pretty much like calling the cops on your noisy neighbors. Don’t do it.
Confront the server? Why? If they were occupied with other parts of their job because it was busy there, how would that do anything but make them feel bad? If they were just resting or daydreaming, well good. Wage work is terrible. I have no problem buying them 5 minutes of freedom.
In this world of hierarchy and exploitation, sermons about the “value of hard work” or the “decline of good service workers” are not sensitive to the political and economic realities of our time. My only regret is that I didn’t leave my server a pamphlet about organizing their workplace. Next time.
Don’t discipline wage workers, folks.