Saturday, February 21, 2009

It's My Blog and I Can Rant if I Want To

The song, "It's my party and I can cry if I want to," is going to play like an endless loop through my head for the rest of the day now. But this is a different rant. [The words of the song need to be changed in this instance. "It's my party and I can be late if I want to." I'm late to this party. Bloggers and everyone else all over have been covering the topic... I wasn't going to, but Dear Son brought up an interesting question...]

Warning: If you are going to be offended discussing "race," you should probably go somewhere else.

DS calls me every Saturday morning. He works in the restaurant / bar industry and does not get out of work until after midnight on Friday [way early Saturday morning, actually] - and he calls me when he gets home from work. So it is 9:30 or 10 in the morning here, when he calls. We had a most interesting conversation this morning. He is finally figuring out that he really was born and bred a card-carrying member of the GOP versus a water-carrying member for hopechange. He did not vote for hopechange - thank goodness - or we would have to write DS out of our Will. We have already taken out a niece and two nephews. They are not going to need anything from us; hopechange will take care of them.

Our "political" discussion was centered around Eric Holder's speech - which, like I said, has made its way around the interwebs and has been discussed and dissected. Eric Holder says that we are a "nation of cowards." Mr. Holder needs to speak for himself and not the rest of us, but that is beside the point. DS asked me what I thought about what he had said. And I told him, that although I disagree with Holder it has more to do with general principles, and that the man needs to audition for a local community theather getting ready to perform The Wizard of Oz, because the man clearly needs to be skipping down a yellow-brick-road looking for a brain! The only issue I have ever had with "race" is when I said "you people" to a group of women discussing braids and was immediately sent to "sensitivity training." [Pluheeze!] What did I know? I'm just a "typical white person."

DS said they were talking about it at work - and he works with the gamut of ethnicities. Profoundly, one of the black men he works with [we'll call him John] said to a bunch of young men [various "colors"] standing around, "What y'all* don't realize is that your great-great great-great-grandparents were sold into slavery by a black man, not a white man, and that there were white slaves, too." DS continued to relay the conversation that took place at the restaurant. I don't care to rehash the whole thing, but apparently a few zingers were thrown out. [*Y'all is a Southern thing. I use it!]

Here is what the gist of it came down to: Why do so many black people [African American, whatever the proper name is these days] treat their own so badly? Specifically in the restaurant business. Even the black servers do not want to wait on tables of black people. John himself said so. Why? They don't tip. Which isn't to say that none of them do, but DS, who has been in the restaurant business for a good many years started relaying some stories to me of how at one eatery the servers had worked out a system to make sure they got their tips - because otherwise for a table of four black people, eating full meals, they were only going to make a couple of bucks as opposed to another table of white people who would eat basically the same meal and leave their 15 or 20 percent. "Why do you think that is, Mom?"

Off the cuff, I said to DS something to the effect that
it is just so much more convenient for white people to be blamed for every single wrong doing, now, even though the resentment is from something in the past that he and I had absolutely nothing to do with than to take responsibility for their own actions. And that John was right - with regard to the political aspect of all of this. It isn't white people that have the problem with race. One race seems to have a whole lot more advantages in many respects - and it isn't white. Advantages: affirmative action, rated differently for tests, more welfare, etc., etc., etc.

Since I worked in the restaurant business, for the most part only during my formative teenage years, at a Friendly's in Concord, New Hampshire, I have not had the opportunity to witness for myself whether certain people tip or not. But in our discussion, DS said, "You should blog on it, Mom, and see what other people have to say." Anyone? Just so that no one gets left out... DS also said that Northerner's tip more than Southerner's, and Eurpoeans tip - but leave the bare minimum. Oh, and smoker's are the best tippers. Apparently most server's in restaurants WANT the smoking sections because they know they can make the most money there.


  1. Sabra, I'm a white, northern (Ohio) smoker and I can tell you that my DH and I leave at least 40-50% as a tip, ALWAYS.

    I've never worked as a serve, neither has my DH. However, I do see how hard they work, something I could never do and make a living.

    Also, I learned from a very young age, to judge people how they treat waiters, waitresses and the like. Such as speaking kindly and respectfully or treating them like servants.
    Most often that's how they treat everyone around them, including family members.

    Interesting topic, thanks to DS...

  2. One other thing, it seems our DS's are the new minority. Young, white males don't have a chance in the NEW America....

  3. Yes, black customers tend to tip poorly. Yes, white customers will get up and take their business elsewhere if I say out loud that black customers tend to tip poorly. And yes, a black waitress gets the same bad tip as a white one. I am charitable when i say that we learn to tip from watching our parents and reletives, and their culture does not teach that. (I have another less charitable theory that cannot be tested without being labeled a racist, but i get that label anyhow because i do not like jazz music.) I don't care why it is so, but there is no better quantification of a truth than counting the money at the end of a shift.

  4. Hi! It's me of the Nadya Suleman (octo mom) comments.

    If you want to get yourself more riled about the person you call "hopechange", or understand why how he operates can be so annoying (beyond any policy or ideology disagreements you might have) read about his relationship with the teachings and practice of Saul Alinsky. Wikipedia has a good entry with good references including a summary of Alinsky's "Rules" for social change.

    Also, I know enough about entrance requirements to Ivy league schools to be confident the first man and first lady both benefitted from affirmative action, otherwise they would have been at state universities (due to marks/finances).

  5. I fall into the "white, smoker, from the north" category, too, Janice. Unless the service is just deplorable - you'll get a good tip.

    Yes. I agree. Our DS's are screwed.

    I didn't include this in my post, but interestingly enough, lots of people from this part of the world are awful tippers, too. The young men waiting tables here would much rather serve Westerner's.

  6. Interesting, Vermindust. You're right though [Janice said the same thing], that we learn from watching our parents and relatives, so it all depends on the culture from which you are learning. I guess I could be labeled a racist, too. I don't like Jazz music, either.

    Spot on with your last statement, Vermindust!

  7. Have read quite enough about his relationship with the teachings and practices of Saul Alinksy to know that it is the slippery slope hopechange is desperately pushing us down, Anonymous. [Like I need to get myself MORE riled up over this whole debacle.]

    Thoroughly agree with you about Affirmative Action playing a big part in not only their schooling, but their lives. [Of course we don't know about hopechange's marks because he won't release anything.] Most transparent CIC ever. Can see right through him.

  8. Funny...I didnt think people in this part of the world tipped at all...whenever I mention it to my fellow diners (Arabs) they look at me like Im crazy...tip them for doing their job? How crazy is that?

    On the other hand...I feel that quite often you cant just leave the tip on the table or it will not get to the waiter/waitress because of shady inhouse if I leave a tip (if its deserved) I make sure to give it personally to the one that deserves it. Same thing at hair salons etc.

    btw I feel I get better service in the smoking section too...but damn...that means I have to eat smoke along with my meal...ugh!

  9. I don't go out enough, here, Coolred, to know whether they tip at all or just minimally. I can count on ONE hand the meals we have eaten outside the house in Saudi. I see no point going out to dinner when I can't wear what I want - and when I can't order a glass of wine. I am not going to sit and eat in my abeya. Just. Won't. Do. It.

    Bahrain? I think for the most part we tend to gravitate to spots where Westerner's congregate so I can't say anything about the tips.

    I can say with certainty though that "locals" do not tip cab drivers. Only Westerner's are in that practice. And, I can tell you that there are some pretty cheap Westerner's on our compound. It amazes me.

  10. Hi again--glad you were already aware of Saul Alinsky's influence.

    "hopechange" has been open, even bragging that his marks in high school were not stellar, nor were they at the liberal arts college in California (Pacific Coast College?) he attended before Columbia. Mediocre marks + no money + acceptance to Columbia = affirmative action. Poor marks at a liberal arts college + nonbraggable marks at Columbia + no money + acceptance to Harvard Law = affirmative action.

    Mrs "hopechange" had "excellent" grades from a public high school on the south side of Chicago + no money + acceptance to Princeton = affirmative action. Nonbraggable marks at Princeton with a major in
    Sociology and a minor in Black Studies + no money + acceptance to Harvard Law = affirmative action.

    The rest of their lives are similarly charmed as you pointed out.

    CIC = ?

  11. Affirmative action all the way, Anonymous. Clearly.

    CIC = Commander in Chief

  12. Agreed and thanks.

  13. You're welcome, Anonymous.

  14. I spent many years as a tipped employee. I have worked both Calif & Az. California pays min wage plus your tips. Arizona pays 2.25 plus tips. You are taxed in both states on a percentage of your sales, even if you don't make it in tips. I can say, in general, new money tips better than old money. Whites tip better than blacks and men tip better than women. Yes, smokers do tend to tip best overall. The worst tippers I ever had were black women on ladies nights. 99 cent margaritas, the ladies all wanted the penny back.

  15. Interesting that men tip better than women. I think I am a much better tipper than most of the men I know. And pilots, in general, no - not all - tend to tip on the requisite percentage and nothing over. Depending on the service, I tend to be more generous... Thanks for the information and observations, RowdyRed!


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