Lookin' Good at 58

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I Don't Know How You Do It?

This morning my wife comes home after working 5 1/2 hours with $18 in tips as there was only 2 rooms in the inn where she works. Tonight the restaurant was dead and I served 12 people and took home after tip out $52.

I said to some people there that when it is slow for a waiter and both of the money earners in the family are working as waiters money can be tight. When it is busy it's great but when it is slow it is tough.

That is when the supervisor said I don't know how you do it meaning income wise. When I think about it I really don't know either. We manage but that is about it. When it is good it is very good and when it is slow you have to work more to make the same amount.

So next week my wife picks up some lunches and I picked up another shift so that will make 7 days in a row with my next day off Wednesday the 13th.

One thing we are definitely doing when our kids come of age is to discourage them from doing the hospitality business. Do anything else but this. This industry is way too uncertain , inconsistent , doesn't really offer any benefits , and where you work basically owns you with respect to working on holidays and long hours for not so great pay.

Who out there can remember the same money they make now is what they used to make 20 years ago?

Our deal is with 2 young kids we can work our schedule around them. That is the big perk.

So as the summer comes it slows down and then we re-energize for September. But for the meantime we wonder how we get by on such slow days...

10 comments:

¸.•*´)ღ¸.•*´Chris said...

Summertime is my gravy train so right now I am living good (well, decent). Come fall, I am in a slump and then in November I am laid off until the following spring again so I have the winter to get through. This summer I will be smarter and stash some of this money away so I have something to use along with unemployment, as that is not much. Of course I will try to find work during that few months I am not working too but that's hard to do.

As far as tips go, I try as everyone else does to just make the money stretch. There are the prosperous times and then there are the very lean days. I guess this is the price we pay for the work we have chosen. Out of the jobs I have worked, I can't name many I have enjoyed as much as the one I am working, even with all the uncertainties.

SkippyMom said...

I know that when Pooldad was on hourly in the Poolbiz Spring&Fall we would have to save like crazy all his overtime because come winter hours were cut and although he still had a job the money wasn't there. We are so glad for salary now :).

I wish you both luck and that it picks up soon.

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

SkippyMom....thanks and it will pick up again. We just need to get through the next two months and then July and August take some time off then back to it September.

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

Chris...awesome! I like where I work too and in the long run I guess we do okay as well. It is a bit tough as you mention when things get a bit seasonal though. We appear to be in opposite seasons although I have to say when the kids are off in the summer is when I like the most time to spend with them.You hit on all the points though about what's important.

Miss Disaster said...

The economy is tough, now, too, so that doesn't help anyone. People who used to dine out often, don't so much anymore (like me). People who used to tip 30% (like me) now tip 20% and people who used to tip 20% now make it 15%... just so they can pay their own bills.

Hang in there. I hope it gets better for you soon.

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

Miss Disaster..welcome and you're right it is about the economy where I work with the plant shutdowns. Things will eventually get better.

waiternotes said...

WaiterEx - it can be hard. I can only imagine your dilemma, having children.

But having a flexible schedule isn't the only perk in waiting tables. The opportunity for free food can be huge when figured cumulatively for the month (if you take advantage of it). The opportunity to cheat on your taxes, if you so desire, is a pretty easy proposition. The built-in inflation protection is a pretty big advantage: Prices rise? So what? Your tips are mostly based on a percentage. Prices go up at the restaurant and so do your check averages. In an inflationary time, compare that to a salaried girl at the DMV.

There's more, but I just wanted to toss in a few more bene's of the waiter profession.

That said, you would do well to steer your children to a more lucrative profession. Law, medicine, pole dancing, whatever.

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

Waiternotes...you scored on all the points. I don't eat at work though which may be why I am feeling light headed nowadays.I arrive on time then start work and after work may a run for it home. There is a staff discount which I rarely take advantage of. Partly because I just want to get home and relax before waking up at 7 with the kids. Ahhh summer holidays are coming.....

waiternotes said...

Re: eating at work. I'm talking about taking it to the last degree. Not employee discounted food - free food. I've never worked in a restaurant that didn't provide certain items to employees for free. Typically, salad, soup, bread. Sometimes discards, if you can work a deal with the manager or chef. Non-alcoholic beverages.

So, quite seriously, if you and your wife engineer to eat at least one free meal of salad, soup, and bread each shift you work, that makes 10-12 adult meals a week you have saved. What does the cheapest homemade meal cost? $2.50? To say nothing of replacing that meal with a fast food meal. Anyway, the math at $2.50 a meal comes to your saving $100 a month just by having your lunch at work.

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

Waiternotes..I know what you mean but actually the only thing that is free where I work is the bread which I don't eat.The rest is discounted. Come to think of it I have had free food everywhere else...My wife just does the breakfast and she might nibble on something during work. Right after work she heads home as well.So honestly no free meals for us.