Today is Thanksgiving and it’s also my birthday. Feel free to send gifts. I don’t mind if they’re a little late.
I’m married to a man who is a server in a fine dining restaurant. That means that pretty much every time you get ready to celebrate the most special days of your year he is getting ready to go to work and make your day special.
Sometimes I get annoyed with it. For the most part I’ve learned to adjust. He’s not serving in the military on the other side of the world or working as a police officer dealing with drunk drivers and violent lunatics. It could be so much harder. Usually we just work around it and celebrate a little earlier or later than most folks and, since we have a special talent for enjoying good food and laughing like maniacs when we are together it’s all fine.
That said, if you feel you must go out today… whether you are going out for dinner to celebrate, in search of bargains at the Big Box (the whole Thanksgiving vs. Black Friday debate is a post for another year), or to the emergency room (hopefully not this one!) or the labor and delivery ward (congratulations! Say hi to my big sis who may be helping you navigate the administrative end of your hospital stay)… please keep the following in mind:
Someone else, possibly several other people, had to give up their day of quiet rest and family time so that you could do whatever it is that you feel you need/want to do. Yes, they are being paid, but most of them… servers, retail workers, etc… are not exactly raking in mountains of cash. They are struggling to make ends meet, which is WHY they are working when most people are celebrating.
You have a right to be treated with kindness. It is their job to be pleasant and helpful, whether they are pouring your coffee or checking your blood pressure.
They have a right to be thanked a little more than usual. Acknowledge that you realize that they are doing something special for you, just by being there. Say thank you. Maybe you should say it twice. Wish them a nice day.
For the love of all that is good be a good tipper! Yes, being married to a server makes me a little biased. I admit it. But I stand by my statement. Most servers make less than HALF of the minimum wage. That means, even if they’re paid double time to work the holiday (and they’re not, at 99.9% of restaurants) they’re still not even making $7 per hour. If you stiff them they have given up their holiday with their family to serve you for nothing. Worse… at many places if you stiff them they still need to tip the bussers/bartenders/hostesses/etc that helped them make your day special so it costs them money to be your servant on this holiday.
How much is fair?
20% of your bill (before special discounts) is a good tip. More than 20% is a blessing. 10% is stiffing them.
Also, please keep in mind that restaurants may be offering special menus that neither the servers nor the kitchen are used to dealing with. They may be busier than usual. The staff may be a little flustered. Be kind. It’s a holiday. They should be trying their very best to give you a festive experience but they are only human.
So… it all boils down to if you MUST go out today, please keep in mind that it is a day of thanks: Thanks for the people who make our lives better through their time and talent. Express your thanks to them in word and deed and have a wonderful blessed day.
I am thankful for each and every person who stops by to visit this little corner of the internet. You are a blessing to me!
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