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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Mailbag

    A ‘ridiculous solution’ better than none

    In response to Tuesday’s editorial “”Fence a ridiculous ‘solution,'”” what would you have America’s representatives do? Sit and twiddle their thumbs while border crossers continue to fill up our country illegally? You are upset with them for not doing anything about a problem increasing in size each year, and then criticize them when they finally do something? Forgive me for being perplexed by this outrageous reaction to action that has long been needed. As to the solution, I would rather have an attempt made to stifle illegal immigration than leaving the border wide open and keeping laws in place that make border hopping so appealing.

    Also, as to the “”immense physical barrier”” that already exists, if this barrier was effective, we would not have 500,000-plus illegals who find their way across the “”barrier.”” For those of you who have all these brilliant ideas that do not include a wall in some form or other, contact your representatives and tell them. If you do not like or support your representative, start a petition or do something, but don’t insult the leaders of our country who are trying to make a difference and serve you as best they can.

    Heather Kidd
    molecular and cellular biology freshman

    Tipping expectations need to end

    I am in complete and utter agreement with Ryan Johnson and his Tuesday article, “”Tipping should be a thing of the past.”” I am shocked that tipping is still a recognized practice that receives acceptance within our society. Tipping has become too much of an obliged transaction when patrons dine out. Tips, just like any other sort of monetary exchange, need to be earned; yet when I walk away from a table that was served by an individual sharing a personality with a rock, I involuntarily feel bad for leaving a small tip, simply because I have been socially trained to do so. But I shouldn’t. If you suck at serving, then I’m going to suck at tipping. It should never be assumed that you’ll receive a 15-to-20-percent bonus for your services regardless of the quality of your performance. The fundamental reason for a tip has been washed away and replaced with the idiotic assumption that one will cough up an extra five bucks or so, just because everyone else has come to expect this of them. Why food venues cannot pay their employees full wages and not force additional gratuities to compensate servers’ subterranean wages, I cannot understand. If servers are eligible for a nice little surprise after their customers leave, then so should any other employed human being.

    Paul Delfeld
    anthropology sophomore

    Tipping creates an incentive system

    If Ryan Johnson thinks tipping should go the way of horse-drawn carriage, is he willing to pay considerably more for a meal at Grill? Consider that most restaurant servers get paid just $2 an hour. That means nearly all of their income is earned through tips. The actual paycheck of a server is often less than $50 because Social Security, FICA and taxes consume the bulk of their hourly wages. If Johnson spends one hour at a restaurant, that means the labor cost of the server alone is $2, not including food costs and the wages of other hourly employees like cooks, cashiers and dishwashers. If a server, then, is given a pay increase of, say, $8 an hour in order to earn a competitive wage of $10 an hour, how much will Johnson’s breakfast cost then? Let’s assume Johnson’s breakfast cost $10 and consumed one hour of a server’s time at the cost of $2 an hour. Can one assume then, in a world without tipping, that a $10 breakfast (all things being equal) would cost $50?

    If Johnson thinks he was given poor service at Grill, he should have been bold enough to not tip the server or complain to the manager. Better yet, don’t go back. To hold up France and Germany as models of quality customer service would come as a surprise to anyone who has lived or traveled in Europe. Parisian waiters are notoriously nasty and German servers only slightly better. Good luck getting a refill of water, help in deciding what’s good on the menu, or any semblance of civility from either. It’s not unlike the treatment one gets from bureaucrats at the Motor Vehicle Division or Internal Revenue Service.

    Tips are an incentive for servers. It works like this: Servers treat customers well, customers tip well; the more customers served the higher the earning potential for the server and the restaurant. Everyone wins in this scenario. Servers make more money, businesses make more money and customers are happy for receiving prompt, friendly service. The French and German models offer no such incentives. French and German servers know they will get paid the same amount not matter how poorly they treat customers or how much food they sell. Why would any sensible person (or economics major) want to trade the incentive system of voluntary tipping – more for quality service, less for poor service – for a more expensive system where compulsory gratuities are built into the cost and employees have no incentives to do quality work or treat customers well? Fortunately for Ryan Johnson, newspaper columnists aren’t tipped according to the quality of their ideas.

    Patrick McNamara
    UA alumnus

    Politeness, not tipping, is key

    Ryan Johnson’s column Tuesday is fatally flawed. Tipping is not only expected by waiters/waitresses, but absolutely essential to their income. In many restaurants, servers make the state minimum of $2.13 an hour. That’s right, forget $5.15. Minimum wage is different for those who the government expects to get tips. Without them, no server would be able to live off of such a sad paycheck. The professions listed in the column – dental receptionists, Verizon customer service reps and casino dealers – do not need tips because they have a base salary that allows them to support themselves with their paychecks. Restaurant servers are not afforded such a luxury. What would we do without tips? Take home a paycheck for $85 a week? Furthermore, servers pay the same amount of tax that the customers do on their bills. How would any server be able to live off such a paycheck, while paying these taxes?

    Secondly, the expectation in tip size does not lead to better or poorer service.

    Generally, servers’ interactions with rude customers are what lead to poorer service. If a customer is rude to a server, then the server is more apt to be rude to the customer. Servers have etiquette guidelines that they must follow while on the job, and customers should have certain etiquette while dining. This includes, but is not limited to, customers seating themselves in a sit-down restaurant. Why? Because the customer does not know if a certain section is closed or backed up. The purpose of the host/hostess at these restaurants is to guide the customer to his seat in a section that is suitable for both the customer and restaurant. Seating oneself in such a restaurant is rude. By doing this, the customer is saying that he is more important than all of the employees there. Furthermore, when customers seat themselves they can be easily missed, causing even poorer service. The existence of the tipping system does not lead to poorer service. Rude people, both customers and servers, do. Politeness, not tipping, is the key.

    Matt Golab
    political science sophomore

    Free speech more important than individual offense

    In response to Marianne Butler’s brutal attack on the “”misogynist lyrics”” spun by campus radio (Tuesday’s letter to the editor “”Lyrics on student radio an affront to all women””), I’d like to raise a few important shields. First, Butler’s argument is dented with contradiction; among the most obvious, “”too many people have become entirely complacent”” concerning said lyrics, and how they are “”a slap in the face to any woman, and any man, for that matter, who supports women’s equality.”” With statements like these, one would think Butler has “”become entirely complacent”” with the First Amendment. Without it, who would allow her to dig up the ghost of Tipper Gore’s hateful campaign of “”family values,”” which attempted to censor all music post-Herman’s Hermits?

    Butler screams “”women’s equality”” but is soon to forget the leveling equality of living in a (semi-) free speech nation and the beauty that comes along with it, two examples being: the freedom to create such dialogue as her letter and the actual lyrics in question.

    I walk through campus daily and am terrified of “”valley girl”” speech, but you don’t see me cramming Arizona Daily Wildcats down the throat of every sorority brat I hear. The same goes for the mind-numbing communication of their male counterparts. For me, to share earspace with these people is physiologically offensive, but it is not my right to devoice a single one of them.

    We need to remember that this is a public university and it is the right of our student radio to play all the mind-numbing crap they desire. At the same time, I need to be more forgiving of my young Republican and metrosexual friends. The trick is to have headphones on your person at all times, always, no excuses. That’s what I do. Good luck.

    Hail free speech. Boo censorship.

    Jim Kober
    creative writing senior

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