Be kind to your campus food staff

(Photo by Kate Turner)
(Photo by Kate Turner)

Some time ago, as I was receiving my daily rocket fuel from William’s in The Terrace, I found myself eager to freely give away money.

This feeling doesn’t hit often, and I was taken aback when informed that William’s is no longer allowed to have a tip cup. This puzzled me. Why deny minimum-wage workers extra change at their shift’s end?

The coffee chain loses nothing, and neither does the Students’ Union; unless this was a very persuasive tip cup, I dare say this couldn’t be chalked up to customer pressure.  I wanted to give away my extra 68 cents and felt injustice on behalf of the baristas.

Certainly, there must be a reason I’ve been taught to tip. Since I was a kid, my mom would breathe down my neck at restaurants and tell me that waiters “live on your tips.” While I don’t think tipping anywhere on campus will feed more than alcoholism, the point is not lost on me.

These people work crappy jobs and they handle your food — so you should be nice, lest you like the taste of snot.

That, however, is referring to restaurants, as tips elsewhere are relatively casual. You can get through a trip to Starbucks with friends without spending five minutes calculating a non-insulting tip.

You could also argue that working in a restaurant is probably more staining than working the William’s in The Terrace. Hell, getting tipped at a restaurant is also more potentially lucrative, as tips scale depending on the bill—unless you’re a total asshole.

Unfair comparisons aside, I heard about William’s tip woes months ago and I still can’t think of a decent reason why they no longer have it.

Even as a testament to one, little victory in the face of the crappy job they work to pay for school; the same school that hired them, and decided to pay them a crappy wage.

I can’t see what would be wrong with allowing other places tip cups. Wilf’s obviously allows you to tip servers, as they try hard to act like a real restaurant.

So, what’s wrong with other places on campus following? Even just as a way for customers to enact their feelings of guilt for student’s with massive loans, or to anonymously reward that girl working at Union Market because you thought she was cute.

Maybe I’m just missing the multitude of negative implications.

If letting the food stands at the Terrace set out plastic cups that say “Tips!” awakens Beelzebub and his infinite rage, then let me know. Not only will I know to go elsewhere for coffee, but I’ll know how horribly undeserving the kid behind the counter is of my loose change.

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