As a server I know how difficult and frustrating it can be to work a job that is based on tips (it can at times be equally as rewarded as well though): a ten percent tip or an accidentally taken signed credit card slip can rain on your entire day just like a 25 percent tip or a written “thanks” on your receipt can lift you up. I had an eye-opening encounter with one of the shopping center’s valet guys that made me realize I don’t have to work as hard for my tips as some other people do, which made my heart really go out to him and his coworkers and by the end of the experience my faith in humanitity was elevated.
It was after the lunch rush last Saturday: he came in very sweaty, clearly exhausted from running miles in the 110 degree heat and 100 dollar bill in hand. I was standing right by the bar when he asked our bartender if he could grab some change for the 100; he went on to say that “we haven’t been getting any tips all day” (this could be due to the fact that no one in their right mind stays in Phoenix, AZ during these few hot summer weeks or the sheer fact that it’s not uncommon to have those days where you get a string of really bad tippers). As I stared at this overheated, exhausted and overworked boy my heart broke for a second: he’s working so hard and no one seems to be acknowledging that. That sinking feeling was short lived when he said (with a grin and joy that cut through all the sweatiness and panting) …”but then this guy left us this 100 dollar tip and we need some smaller bills.”
so thank you to whoever gave him that tip: if you knew the joy it brought to that kid (and even to me) I’m sure it’d be worth the investment times over!