Here's a tip for you

There was a time in my life when I worked three jobs just to pay the bills. I didn’t mind, I was a single woman without children in the home and really didn’t have much else to do with my time anyway.

As some of you might remember, my main job was as the editor of the Castlegar Citizen. That job was the best! Our crew worked well together without a publisher or boss and after the first year we owed no one and consistently ran in the black.

This was a great source of pride to all of us. The best part was that each and every day was fun and I looked forward to going into work, despite the sometimes heavy workload for all of us. My co-workers all respected each other and became friends both at work and outside of work.

My second job was writing freelance articles for Selkirk College. Once again, I was doing something I loved to do – write and making money at it too.

Then there was my third job. After day work at the Citizen and on weekends I would head over to Common Grounds where I worked as a barista serving up specialty coffees and meals. What I loved about that job was the social interaction with its many customers. I’m a people person and so I thoroughly enjoyed joking with customers and chatting them up.

While many of the customers knew me from the Citizen, there were many who didn’t and assumed I was an uneducated, down-on-my-luck woman. Those were the people who I didn’t enjoy.

Because of their wrong assumption, that minority would treat me with disdain when I would wait on them.

When they spoke to me it was with a superior tone and I would sometimes inwardly smile at their ignorance – making assumptions and treating someone as if they were lower class simply for the job they did.

I’d like to stress that the majority didn’t act that way. But for that minority, let’s just say I learned a valuable, but somewhat tough lesson.

I learned that judging a book by its cover is doing a disservice to that person being judged and judging someone by the job they do is an even bigger disservice.

Those people didn’t know my story. I was a good barista who always greeted everyone with a smile and as far as I know, there were never any complaints about the service rendered.

Since those days as a barista, I have a renewed respect for those who work in the service industry. I know their job is hard and I know they have a life outside of work.

They are parents, spouses, or maybe even single, but the point is that they are human and deserve respect no matter what job they have in life.

It’s not always easy dealing with the public, which can often be rude and abrupt.

Yes, most of the consuming public is polite and respectful, but bring in one rotten apple and it can ruin your day. Their day was ruined and so they thought nothing of ruining your day.

That’s why I am a stickler about leaving tips. I understand the job is hard and I know that base pay does not pay the rent.

Those tips can make a difference between having and not having. It’s not that you should tip for bad service, but rather that good service should be rewarded. And let’s not forget that nowadays, the going rate for a tip is 15 per cent, not 10 per cent.

A smile at your server, a little bit of respect and a fair tip isn’t a lot to give, don’t you think?

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