FLSA exemptions need to be revised.

This has always been something that really pissed me off. Everyone knows I’ve paid my dues in the restaurant industry, but the deliberate exemption of tipped employees from the FLSA has always made my ass twitch.

What most of you dont know is that one of the BIGGEST reasons for the notorious turnover in restaurants is tipped wages always starting at 2.13/hour.

This is by far the easiest way to discourage potential talent…by paying them less than $4k per year for full-time service.

You see the big problem is servers aren’t just serving. 99% of the tie they are also tasked with general labor, maintenance, prep and cleaning. It may not be life endangering but it is in fact one of the most hostile work environments in existence. Between alcohol service, money handling, and the employer passing off losses to the employees…it’s rarely a great job, so when an employer also makes the job completely irresistible by offering only $2.13 an hour…you can understand why so few people are able to work the job, much less do so for extended periods of time.

In the years since this incredibly poor exemption was made legal, restaurant industries all over have opted to make it even harder, by user-paying other positions that ARE NOT TIPPED and guaranteeing them a portion of a tipped employee’s take. Barbacks, Bussers, Expo, Bartenders…I’ve even seen salaried employees decide they deserved a share of the tips.

So nowadays almost all restaurants operate with incredibly low labor costs.

I’ve seen what the take is on busy restaurants and slow ones…in both cases there is honestly no reason to lowball the service.

That said, last I looked there were still a few really good restaurants to work for and learn the skills properly without having to deal with truckloads of crooked owners and managers that think that just because it’s not illegal it’s okay.

If you’re wondering where this little rant started up, John Light over at BillMoyers.com recently published a great article (CLICK HERE TO READ IT) on how exemptions from the FLSA are heavily exploited.

Thanks for the bandwidth, and remember, if you can’t afford to tip, you sure as hell cant afford to be eating at restaurants. Be Smart.

-Tony



If you’re an ex, you need to read this…

…and even if you’re not an ex, you might still something.

Yaknow…I have to start this quick rant by saying…I honestly feel blessed to have been in the relationships I’ve been in, and to have met, called friends and regarded as loved ones some of the most awesome women on the planet. Seriously. You all know who you are and should be smiling 😉

…but every once in a while “people” pop up (by *people* I mean women with a weird obsessive grudge and some sort of creepy need to cyberstalk me) that really make my arse twitch.



This is just another day in my life…

Picture a small suburbian corner store.

Most of the people living in and around the area may not know each other, but we’ve seen each other before. We say hi or at least nod to each other in passing. It’s a pretty friendly day. I have an incredible addiction to TruMoo that draws me to the corner store almost daily.

As I approach the entrance, another patron approaches the same door and I open it for her. She seems surprised and looks at me like I just did something unheard of. I say, “After you.” I go and grab my Trumoo and as it happens end up in line behind that same woman.

As we’re in line we both seem to be cutting joke with the staff there (this is a regular thing) and the woman seems incredibly familiar, or maybe it’s the other voice yelling inside my head “GET HER NUMBER YOU MORON!” …there’s no doubt – she’s cute, outgoing and I place her at around 30(ish).

Still **something** stops me…it was totally subconscious. No rings, no ring marks, no indications that she’s an axe murderer…so why am I not engaging the conversation?!

She gets through with her purchases and the internal conflict in my subconscious is totally becoming audible to me.

I get through with my purchases just as she reaches the door and I am STILL not pulling the trigger. This simply isn’t me. I may not always make a move or engage someone that is interested, but it’s always a pretty conscious choice…yet still here I am and I can already tell. I’m not going to talk to her.

It turns into slow motion. She’s stopped at her car and is just leaning against it now smiling. I smile at her, she smiles back…

…and I get into my car and start driving away.

Yup. Not only did I not take advantage of the chance…I am getting the distinct impression I just totally choked…and THAT is not how it works in TonyTown. I may be a big dork, but striking up conversation isn’t usually a problem.

…I drive about ten feet forward. What the hell?! Am I turning into THAT guy?! The one that can’t approach someone on a dime? It’s not like I’m Don Juan or anything, but approaching and talking…lol…I’ve been doing that since I was born! She had a great personality and I am obviously interested…why not ask?!

At this point my brain does its thing and I manage to rummage through a gazillion years of memories to find the few that my subconscious had access to that apparently weren’t connecting with me.

That attractive and compelling woman and I had met before…and now I know why I was holding back. She was an ex of one of my oldest friends and undeniably one of the centerpoints of absolute psychotic behavior I and a number of my friends had ever encountered. She was the center of a number of trashed friendships and for a couple of those friends the crux of trashed relationships.

Now it was clear. Man…it’d been 10 maybe 15 years…I honestly don’t know if she’s still the same person. I just remember the windfall of crazy shit that happened to me at her hands.

I stopped the car for a sec and looked back her direction. Yup…there she was.

I move on and remember that my brain is incredibly functional and will sometimes look out for me even when I might be thinking about (or with) something else.

Yep. Just another day. 😉

-Tony