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Another Person Fired for Whining About Not Getting a Tip

This time a food truck worker, who called out the offender directly on Twitter.

http://www.theawl.com/2013/07/millenn...

Not tipping sucks, but reacting to it this way is equally bad form, in my humble opinion...

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  1. I'm of two minds. On the one hand, the tweeter was an idiot to do this. On the other hand, why wasn't the company who employed the non-tipping jerks classy enough to pony up a decent tip and their own apology?

    2 Replies
      1. Jeez, I just contributed to him by clicking on the link.

        1. I don't know about employment law in that jurisdiction but where I am in the world "bringing your employer into disrepute" is cause for dismissal.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Harters

            I seem to recall a bunch of high-roller youngsters in London finance getting canned when their multi-thousand-pound wine bills at lunch were outed.

            1. re: pikawicca

              Correctly so, for being dumb enough to turn their bill in to a $60k a year bookkeeper for approval. I'm amazed by how many well-paid people dodge paying their own small expenses.

              1. re: Veggo

                I'd be willing to wager they were probably very arrogant and insulting to support staff. Staff was probably not very willing to overlook any mistakes, intentional or now.

                Golden rule, treat people like you want to be treated.

                1. re: pikawicca

                  Here's the story from 2002:

                  http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/1...

                  They probably walked into new jobs the next day - giving them plenty of opportunity to fuck up my country's economy over the next few years.

              2. Everyone involved is an idiot. Including the truck owner setting up that gaming system to garner likes and looking at Instagram pics to judge the food quality.

                1. I have no sympathy for this kid. This wasn't just a tweet, this was a tweet addressed to the company to whom he complained for not tipping him. The @ meant it would be read, and that it could come up on the feeds of all those who follow and deal with the company.

                  And tipping, as I understand, is still voluntary, even if the custom dictates that all service workers in the US receive a tip.

                  My feeling is that this is an employee who works with as much powerful entitlement as he lacks in judgement. As Harters notes, making one's employer/company look bad rarely results in anything good AND if he had actually had concerns about this, I think he should have approached the company about making a mandatory service charge for large orders that amount to catering and risk putting out their returning individual customers. (Although how a tip would somehow improve their lengthy waits is not entirely clear.)

                  This didn't become an issue because social media from employees was monitored. This became an issue because the employee ultimately complained to the company of the nontipping employees in an ugly and public way.

                  Moreover, it's not even clear that the monitoring of social media for mentions of the food truck was ever a factor in a person losing their job. This was a matter of looking for good reports, and rewarding those who received a lot of good reports-- not punishing those who received the bad ones. (Admittedly, I may have missed something here, so I'd be happy to hear clarifications on this initiative. I concede that this kind of thing can cause stress, to be sure, but I'm not sure how it links to his somewhat sprawling argument.)

                  I am sympathetic in that immaterial labour and branding continue to have such an effect on workers lives. I spent much of my time thinking about and working on that subject, so it comes as an utter shock to me when I should read a story and get poised for more outrage only to feel like I'm reading the whinings of a twat and not the use of social media for advocacy. He may have a point that worthy in there somewhere, and there is no question that my tendencies ally me with the precariat. But he is not representing collective interests, only his own.

                  1. The North American tipping system is out of control. Every decade the "customary" amount goes up by 5% and the idea of having customers use a discretionary reward system to pay a business owner's staff is ridiculous. It can be abused by owners, staff and customers.

                    1. I'm confused here - what is the base salary of a food truck worker? Is it below minimum wage, so they need the tips to get themselves up to a decent salary (like a restaurant server), or do they make at least minimum (like a Starbucks coffee prepper/cashier)?

                      I'm always struck by the servers who manage to complain about getting too low a tip without ever thinking to give back (or even consider it as balancing out against a smaller tip) a tip that is too high. Do I actually expect them to give back? No. But I do expect them to make a mental calculation that comes to the conclusion that these things, in some senses, balance out.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Cachetes

                        I'm guessing he was making at least minimum, because food service employees that make less than minimum almost never fail to point this out.

                      2. Uh yeah, the kid sounds like an entitled brat... like how he "bargained" with his job when they asked him to stay late the NEXT day? I really don't like my generation (although I'm probably 10 years older than this kid) sometimes... to me, if an employer asks you to stay late, you stay late unless there's something really really pressing, like your grandmother's funeral or something, and in that case you tell them why you can't stay late... you don't say "well then I'm leaving early today instead then".

                        And, there's many times I don't leave a tip in situations like this... especially if it's cash only counter only service (I usually just leave my change in the jar). I'll tip a couple dollars if I use a credit card and there's a line on the receipt for tips. Besides, in a regular restaurant, does the line cook get in on the tips? I don't think so.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: juliejulez

                          Yeah, he's an entitled brat who should have known better. On the other hand, when you walk up with a huge order for an operation that small, it's a big imposition, because other customers are kept waiting for an unreasonably long time. The needs of one customer are trumping the needs of many customers and creating ill-will. For a business like a food truck, that can be a disaster.

                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                            Ruth, I agree with all that you said, but I wonder how much the truck normally makes. Maybe $170 was more than they usually make during that time period.

                        2. Okay, now I've read that article and can honestly say, though it will likely reflect badly on me, that I probably wouldn't have left a tip either. I'm an average to excellent tipper at restaurants, but aside from leaving the change in a jar, I don't think I've ever tipped in a place that is, essentially, sort of a Panera. I know minimum wage is ridiculous and not enough money to live on, but it just doesn't seem to be the sort of job where they'd expect tips!

                          If I bring a huge bundle of clothes to the dry cleaner, I don't tip there, either.

                          What a brat.

                          I'm actually super insulted by this guy couching his little tirade as though he's making some sort of grand stand. A server with a table full of a dozen people, racking up a multi-thousand dollar bill, tipping $5, that's something to be upset about.

                          1. wait doesn't food truck mean you aren't waiting tables and are basically putting food out through a window? Why did this person expect a tip?

                            1. Wait, food truck cook.
                              So now we are tipping cooks?
                              Cooking is not serving, nor is handing someone a bag to a customer waiting.
                              What next, we tip cashier's at food stores?

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: nigelx

                                In Mexico we tip the little tykes who bag our groceries. Without complaint.

                                1. re: Veggo

                                  Indeed. Especially when they help us carry those groceries all the way home (when we were buying for a big party). My guess is that those little chamacos may be operating on a tips only basis, though I may be wrong.

                                2. re: nigelx

                                  At bakeries they have a jar, expecting me to throw them a buck simply for their chucking a muffin in a bag. I don't think so.

                                3. Gawd..I hate to give this kid any more attention, but this quote is especially infuriating..

                                  "And why wouldn't a food service entity, while it's judging employees on social media, also judge its customers?"

                                  Uh...Because they're CUSTOMERS, and this brat is in food SERVICE. No further explanation should be necessary.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: soypower

                                    _Was_ in food service. He is currently "focussing on freelancing".