Monday, February 29, 2016

The Failed Doctrine of Trickle-Down Economics ©2016 by Joe Sixtop all rights reserved

The other night at my job, Chez Swanky™, it was just two of us on the floor, my good work-friend Mikey B and me. Things were pretty slow. Mikey B loves the biz and he's pretty knowledgeable. With little to keep us busy except ogling the tumbleweeds roll through the dining rooms and watching the hostess stand (Chez Swanky usually doesn't have an official door whore on weeknights), Mikey B and I commenced to chatting. The subject was tip-outs.
     We often don't have to tip out anyone but a bartender. They get 1½ %. We also have to kick back 1% of our credit card (not cash) tips. I don't like the latter but it's pretty much standard policy at a lot of your higher end eateries like Chez Swanky. I have no problem whatsoever tipping out the bar and 1½ %'s pretty reasonable. If more than one bartender's on, they still just get 1½ % and divvy it. But here's the thing: Chez Swanky being a small, independently owned fine-dining restaurant, it's not that unusual for owner Donny J to be the evening's booze-slinger. He still gets the tip-out.
     I mentioned to Mikey B that I didn't think that was right and it might even be illegal. Mikey B disagreed, although he conceded that I had a pretty good argument.
     It's not that big a deal to me, though. I make pretty good money at Chez Swanky and for the most part respect Donny J. I know he's not getting rich and it won't surprise me any if Chez Swanky closes down sometime in 2016 when the lease is up (although I think it's more likely that a new lease will be signed and we'll keep rocking). I don't at all begrudge him the tips he gets from patrons who actually sit at the bar. If I owned a bar (which I have no ambition toward), I could easily see myself picking up a little extra cheese (but not from my employees) behind the taps occasionally.
     Anyway, not a big deal to me and I'd probably never mention it to Donny J▬or anyone else unless I was asked▬except that a day or two after my convo with Mikey B, Donny J brought it up himself.
     He didn't actually ask me about how I felt about him getting tip-outs, of course. He asked me how I felt about having more bus help more often, which would naturally lead to me tipping out more. I'm all for it! He told me about a couple of ways it might be done and then asked me for my input. I shared it and, while we were on the subject and he'd kind of brought it up, told him that I was wondering if his being the owner and receiving tip-outs from the waitstaff might be borderline unethical and maybe illegal.
     Donny J stammered something about our tip-outs being pretty reasonable for that type of restaurant by industry norms (true) and a weak defense of his little bit of extra income that sounded a lot like the failed doctrine of trickle-down economics. Then he changed the subject and shortly after, our discussion ended, without rancor.
  Hi It's been a minnit. Sorry about that if you've been jonesing for some new material here on my struggling internet column. I'll try and find some solace in knowing that it's extremely unlikely anybody has been so hankering.
     Anyway, if you're reading this on the day it appears (and thanks for that, or whenever you might be kind enough to stop by) you might be able to vote in the Democratic Presidential Primary election tomorrow. If so, I encourage you to push the button for Senator Bernie Sanders. And speaking of politics, if there's a politician you don't like and want to call them a name that's rightfully theirs but they try to go by something else, please be aware that the Republican hopeful commonly know as Ted Crud (R-Douchebagville) is not really named Ted. His real name is Rafael. You should call him that. And he's from Canada, so ineligible to be President here anyway.
                         Cheers, _____-Joe