SHREVEPORT, LA -- Serving tables at Shreveport's 9th busiest restaurant, The Benign Bisque, Chelsea frequently sees the upper crust of society in Louisiana. Doctors, Lawyers, Podiatrists (or foot people with degrees -no kink shame), Dentists (the real monsters), and businesspeople. Invariably, when the checks come, out pop the cell phones, maybe with an app, maybe with the good old fashioned calculator. People from all walks of life calculate the 20% that is "appropriate" to tip her.
"First off,"Chelsea said, "Where the fuck did that number come from? 20%? It doesn't make sense. There's no one else in the world where I can say you didn't carry good enough stuff to me, I won't pay you."
"This is how I see it. I get paid because the boss doesn't want to take the blame for running this place like a sweatshop and the cheap food being bad. That way it's not on the owners, it's on the servers. I'm the face that the customer's associate with their shitty experience that doesn't make sense. I can count on my fingers the amount of times this shit has been my fault."
"Second, it's not the cooks' fault they have to 'pretty up' grade C beef to make you a steak that doesn't look glued together. I mean, raspberry compote can only cover up so much." Chelsea continued, "I can only bring you the food from the kitchen, the kitchen can only make the food that's bought for them to cook, the supply is determined by what the owner wants to pay. If the owner says 'we're spending too much on food costs' that means that 'it's too expensive to feed people, you employees need to be doing better. cut thinner tomatoes.'"
"I wish I could pay the meter person 20%" Arthur another employee chimed in. "I didn't like the fact that this apartment isn't insulated, I know that's not their fault, but I shouldn't pay for the gas if I didn't enjoy it."
"Yeah, or at the gas station," Said another employee, too new to have a 'name' "I didn't like going to my mom's new boyfriend's house. I'm only paying 20% for that gas."
"It's the worst." Chelsea said finally. "What were we talking about? I'm really in a K hole at this point in the day."
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