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Working for tips only works when you do

by Minden Press-Herald

One of my favorite jobs in my early career life was waitressing. I totally loved it. I would do it again if the opportunity came around.

I worked as a babysitter since I was ten years old then went to waitressing. And I thought I was pretty good at it. I did make great money back in the day.

I lived in a small town and we had regulars that would come in everyday and order the same thing. There was this one person that didn’t eat at home, but he never, and I mean never, tipped any one. It was a running bet to see who could get the first penny from him. Well, it was me! And, I think I still have it. I even kept my first dollar I ever made as a tip. That was huge thing back then.

Most people don’t understand that waitresses mostly work for tips. They get a bit of a salary but they really depend on their tips to make it. I am here to help a few out and gripe at the same time.

My husband and I eat out for supper several times a week — after church on Sunday nights, after church on Wednesday nights, and date night on Friday nights. We have noticed lately how impersonal wait staff has been. They don’t talk much, most don’t smile, and they get you just the bare minimum they need to get by. What most don’t realize is we are great tippers if things are done right. It’s not hard. Smile a bit, have a little conversation with us and it is really great if you can recommend something that your restaurant serves that is awesome.

Another thing, please don’t let us sit there with our drinks empty and have to ask for another. If we ask that means we have been sitting for a while with no drink.

We are not hard to please people just do the job you are getting paid to do. And if you are getting paid in tips mostly don’t you think you would put forth a better effort to serve whomever.

Allow me to illustrate what I consider, “poor service.” We went to two different restaurants in a week’s time in two different towns and we barely got a smile and no talking for sure. To top it all off, we got handed the bill in the middle of eating our entree. This was at supper time — not a time where we have to get back to work. We are trying to relax and enjoy ourselves.

I could tell one of the waitresses knew I was put out by her action as she laid down the ticket She said, “Oh do you want some dessert?” I said, “Well I guess not.”

I have been told by a couple of people my facial expressions give away a lot of what I am thinking, so I guess my look wasn’t a “Thank you very much. You have been great.”

We felt like we needed to hurry up and pay the ticket and leave. My husband said, ‘Well, maybe they are trying to turn the tables as fast as possible.”

Well, she just missed out on a great tip that would have been more than the other table being filled, was my reaction.

One last piece of advice. If you hate your job, no matter what it is, please do all of us a favor and go find another one you enjoy. We don’t need to be in the line of fire just because you are miserable at what you are trying to do.

Layered Cornbread salad

Serves Serves 18 to 20

1 (8.5 ounce) package corn muffin mix
1 cup mayonnaise
1 (8 ounce) sour cream
1 (1 ounce) envelope dry ranch salad dressing mix
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 (15 ounce) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 (15.25 ounce) cans whole kernel corn, drained
10 slices of bacon, crisp-cooked, drained, and crumbled
3 cups coarsely chopped tomatoes
1 cup chopped green and/or red sweet pepper
1/2 cup sliced green onion

Prepare corn muffin mix according to package; cool, crumble and set aside.

In a small bowl add the mayonnaise, sour cream, and salad dressing mix; stir to combine.

In a 3 to 4 quart glass salad bowl layer crumbled cornbread and 1 cup of the cheese.

Spread with half of the dressing.

Layer in the following order: bacon, corn, the remaining 1 cup cheese, beans, tomatoes, sweet pepper, and the remaining dressing. Cover tightly and chill.

Tina Specht is co-publihser of the Minden Press-Herald. She shares her thoughts and recipes each Thursday.

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