So, in this week’s Vitamin, which is one of those local free “newspapers” (although they are mostly cheap newsprint realty for ad space), there was a thing in the Restaurant section called “10 trends to end”. Number four was this:
4. Tip jars. Let me see if I have this right: I’m supposed to fork over some coin because you bagged a few lemon bars? Or made a nonfat caramel brûlée latte? Don’t you already draw a salary?
What the shit, guy? Why would you doooooooooo that? Jerk alert.
For some reason it bummed me out so much that I felt the need to actually write a free paper a letter. I really must be bored/broke/going insane. Pick one.
Rick Nelson! (*The author)
I’ve spent the last two hours at my coffee shop job steaming, not milk, but angrily over your suggestion that tip jars are a “trend that should end.”
Are you, as a possible, actual salary-drawing employee so out of touch with the world? If you were a just a young, lowly intern (as I am, myself) you’d likely need a part-time service job to supplement your meager (if even existent) intern income. At that part-time service job, you’d likely need tips to supplement your minimum wage. But then you’d understand how infuriating your indignation at paying not even an extra dollar, but “SOME COIN” is (slang term for money not withstanding, let’s get freaking literal here).
My point is that the trope of the barista is a young, brooding, art-school student that you TIP. Don’t try to shift the paradigm so late in the game. You want to save that extra loot? Make your own coffee. Or, better yet, continue with the frivolity of a daily “nonfat caramel brûlée latte,” and it’s fine if you don’t tip. But, please, keep your opinions about what kind of work deems people worthy of your monetary scraps to yourself. As a columnist for a paper, one that the lovely folk of Minneapolis pick up for free at their LOCAL COFFEE SHOPS, you have more sway than you think.
Your Friendly Neighborhood Barista
I’m so tired.