Cosmos and Huffington Post Live

Huff Post Live and Cosmos
Huff Post Live and Cosmos

Huffington Post Live lowered their standards this week and asked me to be a guest on one of their live web-cam shows. The topic was about tipping and how it has become a thorn in the side for so many people. When they first contacted me, I immediately agreed to do the segment. It was until later that I realized that I had a major conflict with the 7:30 airtime. “But what about my cocktail hour??” Never fear. I decided I could do both at the same time and discovered that drinking while being interviewed is great fun and I must remember that the next time I am job hunting.

Our host was Nancy Redd and we discussed topics that ranged from who gets better tips and should we do away with tipping all together and just pay servers a flat salary. One study revealed that the servers who get the best tips are women in their 30’s who have blond hair and big breasts. I don’t know who actually spent money on that study because I figured that out in 1991 two months after I started working at Bennigan’s. (Cut to me running to Ricky’s Beauty Supply for a blond wig and a padded bra.) As for the salary for servers, my biggest point was about the level of service that customers would receive if every server was getting paid the same. What if I was a crappy server (“You already are!” says everyone) but knew I was going to get the same pay as the waitress with blond hair and big tits who is always so good with the children in her station? Why would I try harder if I knew I would get the same money as her? Consequently, what would keep the waitress from letting her roots grow out, ignoring the kids and then just hanging out with me in the sidestand? ‘Im not so sure that a salary for servers is the best plan. A better plan would be to have customers accept that this is how it is in our country and to dig a little deeper into their pockets.

There were three guests, all of us with something to say, and it made it difficult to talk. I wanted to cut people off and give my perspective more often but I tried to have manners. Whenever I wanted to say something but knew it wasn’t my turn, I would just take a sip of my cocktail instead. After that happened a few times, I couldn’t even remember what I had wanted to say in the first place so it all worked out fine. My favorite co-guest was Eboni Booth who is a server in Los Angeles. She is also an actor and she writes the blog Life is a Wagon. She was cool and she seems like the kind of girl I could meet for happy hour twenty minutes before it starts and then she could convince the bartender to let us have happy hour prices then. She plans on moving back to New York City soon so maybe we will run into each other at an audition or a restaurant.

Overall, it was good discussion until the audio conked out at the end leaving our host to talk to herself. My drink was pretty much empty by then anyway so whatever. Below, you can see the whole 25 minute show. Thank you, Huff Post Live. Let’s do it again sometime.

 

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8 thoughts on “Cosmos and Huffington Post Live

  1. Paying restaurant staff a living wage wouldn’t lower quality of service any more than it does lower quality of work in any other industry. Either people do their job adequately, or the lose said job.
    A living wage would take the power from customer enough to stop the abuse some asshats dish out onto servers, and truly exceptional service would still deserve a tip.
    I’m against an outright ban, this country does not need yet another law, but making tipping optional by forcing restaurant owners pay their staff is a way to go.

  2. I like the image of you down in the corner drinking. Great!
    Just reading BBC News on my iPhone and in a story on that no-tip place you were quoted quite frequently. They even named your blog. So you are internationally famous!!

  3. This idea of a flat rate of pay leading to shoddy service is just untrue and unfair to servers. I am good t my job and give the best service I can and will do so whether or not I get tipped. Those servers who are lazy and bad at their jobs won’t have a job for long anyway. It also takes power away from the customer, so those demanding, horrible guests that feel they should be waited on hand and foot because they are paying the servers wages will be forced to behave like decent human beings. The power will be equalised I think.

  4. The US is the only country I know of where tipping is part of the wage structure. Here in Australia, we are paid according to the hours we work and tipping is a bonus for superior service. I don’t think you need to ban tipping in the US, but allowing it to become an optional, added bonus , for great service, and paying a liveable hourly rate to the staff, seems like a fair way to do it.
    As for service suffering when the servers are no longer relying on tips, this one always gets me. In any job, if you don’t do the job well, you won’t last long. I do my job well, despite the fact that regardless of how hard I work, I still earn the same pay because my continued employment depends on it. I have chosen full time work, with a set wage, where my employer pays superannuation and I get holiday pay and sick pay. I could earn more on a casual rate of pay, but I like the guaranteed hours, and knowing how much I will have at the end of each week. If we get tips, it is a bonus, but I never have to rely on the generosity of strangers to pay my mortgage.

  5. my problem with tipping it the demand and bullying around it.. ‘tip me or go home.’ ‘tip me or eat fast food’ “tip me or don’t come back.’ “don’t let the person that handles your food know you don’t tip, *hint hint*.’ or just out right way “tip me or I might spit in your food”. Its blackmail and extortion. And I think it says a lot about a person that says they won’t work as hard if they are not tipped..”service will suffer.”

  6. That really was a great interview and topic, and I did notice that you had a drink,(probably because I had one too). What a great idea – sipping on a drink to keep from talking is way better than biting your tongue. I was disappointed that they had tech problems – would have loved to see more. But I’m sure they’ll have you back. That topic never gets old. As an aside – my research has shown that the majority of customers don’t have a problem leaving a tip. What they have a problem with is being told how much they should tip, and more importantly, the *expectation* that they are *required to tip*, regardless of service. I personally like the tipping system we have, even with it’s problems. And thankfully I’m old, so by the time we get around to changing it, I’ll be sipping my drinks somewhere else. Congrats on the interview!

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