I grew up reading comic books wanting to be a superhero. Those who speak the truth are heroes, anything less is a lie.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Some Emmer Food For Thought

Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer is calling for waitstaff tips to be factored into their base wage.  He says that tying the base pay to tips will 'level playing field so the employers can continue to exist, survive and thrive'. Hmmm...what's next, advocating bringing back slavery to 'level the owners profits?'

My favorite part of this fantasy is when Emmer claimed many waitresses earn 100K or more a year. Well here's some food for thought dished up by a former waitress now blogger... Years ago while going to school, I worked as a waitress (in a casino!), and while tips were great, they keep food on the table while my mimimun wage check went to school. I made around $15,000 a year. Many days we went to school hungrey. But it was a long time ago...so, I  wondered where Emmer got his figure of many waitresses getting over 100K a year. Did the industry change? Should I be comtemplating a come back? Another career change back to being a server? Just in case I did some research...

While most wait jobs are part time, (nature of shifts and dining) the average salary for a full time waiter/waitress is $37,000 a year. In 2008 the median hourly wage (including tips) is $8.54. Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development reports the state median wage for servers now is $9.36 per hour. The highest 10 percent earned just under $15 an hour. That leaves us to ask the question...just who the heck is getting 100K a year waiting tables?

For the honor of being the working poor, wait staff are on their feet most of the time, carrying trays of food and glassware, under pressure to serve customers quickly, efficiently and correctly. Most servers have to split tips among their team (bartenders, busboys, food runners, hostess). Their industry has a higher incident of injuries due to slips, cuts, and burns than many other occupations. And finally, there is relatively no advancement, no sick leave, or health care.

Really of all the pressing issues facing our community and state, the best Emmer can do is attack servers? How about asking for tooth fairy money get declared income? Maybe we should tax allowances? My mom's 'pin' money?

BTW, good news for women, larger breasts do pay off for waitresses...as do women with blond hair and slender bodies. Maybe Emmer will mandate that to increase business. It's just about as pitifully ridiculous and sad as taking from the working poor.

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