Category Archives: essay

TIP BATING

Whether you’re at a job to make a career, or maybe you’re just there to make money while you’re trying to get your real passion or dreams off the ground, or if you’re some lucky asshole who has a trust fund, but the stipulation of said fund is that you work at least 30 hours a week to collect on it, such as a coworker, you want to get paid as much as you can.

In the food and beverage industry, you rely on tips and gratuities (above and beyond the shitty $9.00 an hour minimum wage) through providing courteous fast and friendly service. That being said, you do what you can to manipulate an extra tip whenever you can. BUT if the guest check already includes a 20% gratuity and you’re already getting a tip, ‘Tip baiting’ is a big fucking no-no. Management makes that very clear. It’s grounds for termination in some cases. BUT when you have to split that 20% with 6 other people in a 24 hour period (tip pool) it really doesn’t work out to 20%. It says this on the bill, yet people still ask, ‘is the tip included?’ Most hotel guests know this, but they ask to avoid tipping more. Therefore I tip bait and manipulate for more money through the most subtle (or outright) of gestures. Here are some examples;

‘Is the tip included?’  ‘Well, it depends on how you look at it. My personal tip isn’t on there. It gets split between me and 10 other of the staff.
(I always add more coworkers depending on my mood or how my night is going tip-wise. This works occasionally, and I haven’t been reported to management.
If I sense that the guest is drunk or high I will automatically say “no, unfortunately, the tip isn’t included.’ or, ‘I wish.’ 9 out of 10 times they tip. And tip well.
If a guest is foreign and has no clue how to read the bill, they sometimes ask me in broken English if the tip is included. I always say ‘No’ in that case. (Not my fault they can’t read English)
One foreign guest asked me, ‘Please, what is the proper amount for a tip, what percent?’ I said “Oh 30 to 40 percent, in some cases 50 percent, but please, it’s at your discretion. That was good for another 25%.

Then you have the people who are ready to tip you, they have the cash-out. Then they read that the tip is included and they say, ‘Oh it’s already included.’ and put the money in their purse/pocket. There is truly a special place in hell for these assholes.
I’ve also had another guest stand between me and the guest who is about to tip and says, ‘No need for that, the tip is included.’ These are ‘Tip Blockers’ The worst. Real douchebags.

A bellhop friend of mine likes to squeeze in a hard luck story On occasion while Taking luggage to and from the room. He says it’s usually good for a little bump. Another co-worker faked a speech impediment and he got a big cash tip. He suggested that I try that, or even limp like I have a bad leg or some other physical disability. If things don’t pick up around the holidays, I may just take his advice.

 

 

 

 

 

Travel For Love

 

TBT ’95

His girl had been gone for three weeks. He was going out of his mind…

 

His psychiatrist called it a female dependency. He called it loneliness coupled with horniness.  He spoke to her often. She usually called while he was asleep. The strange thing is when she called, he was usually dreaming about her. She would wake him out of a dead sleep at 3:00 AM, The Witching Hour. He would be in a deep sleep dreaming about her. Her lithe sexy body, her porcelain skin, smooth as silk. Her lips and soft touch. Her cute voice. They went through so much together. Their bond was unbreakable. They could just look at each other and know, that they both knew. She was a brilliant artist, funny and clever and an amazing chef.

That morning she called and told him she’d be gone another three weeks! That meant a month and three weeks altogether. “No fuckin’ way man!” he said to her. He had a week of paid vacation left, but still owed rent, the IRS, unemployment and disability overpayments. He found a reasonable fight. And was on a plane to Japan five days later. “When the going gets unmanageable, the unmanageable go to Japan,” he told his mother. His sweet mother. She bailed him out of so many problems. She helped him through more than he would ever know. She got up at 7:00 AM to pick him up at 8:00 for his flight at 12:30 PM.

So now he’s on the plane with a thirst. He hadn’t had a drink in months. Trying the sobriety thing. But a thirst, a vodka thirst came over him, an obsession that he was warned about and experienced so many times in the same fucking untreated state. He drinks and reads.

He dozes off and dreams a horrifying dream.

He’s on the same plane but now every other passenger is a sumo wrestler. They’re all arguing and screaming. Two start wrestling right in front of him. They’re grunting and smell like Roquefort cheese and garlic, big balls of garlic. One throws another against the emergency door and it flies open. Sumo wrestlers are getting sucked out of the plane. At one point, three are jammed in the door and the cabin repressurizes. A sigh of relief of all the wrestlers seems to happen at once, it’s operatic, it’s soothing. But then one of the three farts, it’s loud like there’s an oboe in his ass, and the three sumo get sucked out.

Everyone is screaming again. He sits in his seat, horrified and amazed all at once, he has NO idea he’s dreaming. Suddenly his belt snaps and he gets sucked out too. There are hundreds of sumo wrestlers in the sky like babies with diapers dropped from a wayward stork. He grabs a sumo wrestler and uses him as a makeshift airbag, to break his fall. Before hitting the ground he awakens suddenly, sweating, so happy to be on a plane without sumo wrestlers. He eats, drinks, and converses with the other passengers.

He thinks about seeing his girl. He’s never traveled this far. Christ. Arizona, San Diego, and New York tops. But Japan…man oh man, he got the bite. He would travel to a cave in outer Mongolia for this girl. She was special. She was touched, a depressed manic-depressive alcoholic drug addict. She called it ‘the double overhead dual diagnosis.’  Pop Tarts and Prozac were her primary diet. He obsessively thought about her, he read and drank and drank, straight vodka, so many little bottles. Then made the mistake of eating. He sat and sweated and fell back to sleep.

He woke up dry heaving, ran to the lavatories but they were all occupied. “Jesus Christ, is there an open fucking toilet?” he cried. Finally one opened. Once in the lavatory, the decisions had to be quick. He has to shit, but he had to puke, could he do all that and piss too? He sat on the toilet and shit and pukes so quickly it didn’t make it into the sink. The vomit was in his underwear and pants. “Oh god, what a fucking mess,” he said aloud. He stripped, attempted to wash out his boxers. “Oh screw this”, he said as he threw the chunky chicken and broccoli multicolored drawers into the garbage. He washed his jeans out, cleaned off his shoes, and actually felt good.

A flight attendant approached him. “You need something…water, juice?” “Yes, ice water,” he said. She walked away. He had been on the plane 8 hours now. He spent twice that in factories and meaningless jobs, 12 hours of travel to see his girl in another country? Sure, why not.