A Case For Tipping Your Server

Don't have a cow, tip your server. Also someone please start using that pepper.

Don’t have a cow, tip your server. Also someone please start using that pepper.

Just recently I was shown an article called “5 reasons why I won’t tip you if you’re a waiter.” The content doesn’t sound much better than the title; if anything, it sounds worse. The author lists five reasons why not only will he not tip, but that anyone who feels they should get one is an awful person.

This article was written back in 2009, but having just discovered it, I feel like responding to it. Despite the article being years old, I feel like this is a way a lot of people still think. So I’ll take this point by point. Please note that I am not a waiter, nor have I ever worked as one; I write this as a fellow diner, just another guest, but one who is currently looking at this author like I’ve just discovered the reason people hate any jobs where they have to deal with customers.

1. You act as if you’re my best friend

Christ, you offend me – kneeling down next to my table, pretending to like me and chatting as if you’re my best friend when it’s obvious that all you’re after is the tip! I’m not a bloody money bag you know. I will pay the bill which includes the cost of the food, the environment and the salaries of the people involved – nothing more.

Some patrons like to be left alone while others will complain about the lack of personality or attention. Some just want their food while others go for an experience. Some are extroverts who love chatting with the staff while others have trouble looking up from their menus. The point is that you never know what kind of customer you’re going to get, and how much you make depends on how happy the customer is.

Beyond that, this whole post is centered around not giving a tip anyway, so regardless of what waiters do around you, they’re already doomed from the start. For that reason alone, I’m hoping the next waiter you meet is as in-your-face and obnoxiously sociable as possible.

But your observation was certainly keen. They are doing it for the tip. How remarkable. You’d think that was their job or something. Continue reading

Requirements for Productivity

This isn't my desk, but I kind of wish it was. Pulled from this article, which incidentally is pretty interesting itself.

This isn’t my desk, but I kind of wish it was. Pulled from this article, which incidentally is pretty interesting itself.

I can be a pretty productive person. I have to be—I work two jobs, both from home, NaNoWriMo is coming up and other such things. However, there are requirements. They are rather specific, and some might also call them odd. If things aren’t exactly right, I don’t really get much done.

I think we can all be that way to some degree, though. We all need things to be a certain way in order for us to focus. Otherwise your mind can wander, or whatever you have left to do will nag at you until you get up and fix it. I’m going to share mine, then you can share yours if you so desire! Continue reading

Stop The Elitism

"Look at your hat. Your brain cells are floating right out of it! Meanwhile I require this large hat to comfortably house my far superior cranium."

“Look at your hat. Your brain cells are floating right out of it! Meanwhile I require this large hat to comfortably house my far superior cranium.”

You might not be the most well-read person in the world. You might not have seen every TV show known to man. You might have missed out on some popular movies over the years. But darnit if there’s one thing you know, it’s that you—and you alone—have the best tastes in the world. Every bit of media you choose to indulge in is superior to what other people read and watch.

Or you’re another type of person completely. You may not watch or read or listen to anything at all, and this is what makes you such an intellectual. Modern media is for the weak of mind, you think. Let the brainwashed public consume and consume, for that is all they are trained to do! Those silly plebeians are throwing away their freedoms by engaging in activities you haven’t personally approved of. Continue reading

Welcome to the Best Month Ever

The best candy ever for the best month ever.

The best candy ever for the best month ever. Photo by me. You can tell because who else has the time to decorate their desk with food just because.

And I say that without any bias whatsoever. At least I’d like to think that October is objectively the best month ever, perhaps backed up by science and statistics and all sorts of other official things.

October is when the leaves start turning, when the weather cools down and people start breaking out their fall and winter clothes. Some of my favorite styles come out during this time of year. October is when pumpkin-flavoured-everythings can be found just about everywhere. It’s when everything starts turning orange and black, when the nights become exciting.

It’s when scary movie marathons come on TV (all the classics!) and you can sit back in your warm house, reading books by candlelight and huddling up with friends. It’s where you walk down the street to see glowing vegetables with faces on them and skeletons and ghosts hanging from doors and trees. Finally, it’s when you get to dress up as oddly as you want and go bother complete strangers for edible goods, and where you’re looked at as weird if you don’t do that. Continue reading

Why Write “Strong Female Characters”?

The question almost implies that such a trait is an unusual abnormality, as opposed to simply human.

The question almost implies that such a trait is an unusual abnormality, as opposed to simply human.

By now a lot of you have probably heard about “strong female characters.” They’re the amazing women across all types of media, seeking out gender roles and smashing them to pieces. They can be found in books and movies and TV shows to the extent that they have a genre all their own. After all, when is the last time you heard of a strong male character, right? They’ve taken fiction by storm, showing that women too can be just as cool as men.

But is that really how it works? As a writer myself I can’t claim to speak for everyone, but I can say what I deeply believe to be true.

The character “category” of strong female character has been growing in popularity, and it has generally been met with positive feedback. But the reason they’re lauded is not because they are so populous — rather, it’s quite the opposite. It’s still a man’s world, and each gender has their assigned roles. The men do this, the women do that, and this often resulted in women being used as support characters or being used as a plot device of sorts. The knight in shining armor is typically a heroic man and the one needing rescuing is a woman. Continue reading

Tales of a Shopaholic: Gamer Edition

"Hey look, I just got my paycheck! Oop nevermind there it goes."

“Hey look, I just got my paycheck! Oop nevermind there it goes.”

It’s no secret that I love gaming, and when I’m not suffocating under the weight of insane deadlines (and subsequently writing blog posts to hide from said deadlines) I spend a lot of my time doing just that. I play all types of games, though I admit I generally don’t like first person shooters.  My life as a gamer is now even better now that my wife-to-be works as a game writer. Soon enough I’ll still be too busy to spend time with her, but it’ll be her fault because she’s the one making the games. (I jest, of course, but how many other people can claim that excuse?)

The problem is that many games cost money, and while I do like to occasionally treat myself to things, I like to try to save money. It’s there in case of emergencies, and in a world plagued by money problems, having anything above negative dollars to your name helps you sleep a little better. So in many cases I look at games I could potentially buy, then pass them up. Many games are $60 or more, and when you play often, that’s potentially a lot of money coming out of your wallet.

And then a Steam sale happens. Continue reading

The Secret To Being A Better Writer

For some reason my inspirational poster, "Practice makes slightly less awful," was rejected.

For some reason my inspirational poster, “Practice makes slightly less awful,” was rejected.

There are good writers and bad writers. There are writers who can make people cry by reading scribbles on a page, and writers who put us to sleep, though that was definitely not their intent. While good and bad writing can often be subjective, just like other arts, there are certain aspects and qualities that are more objective.

What I get a lot is, “How do you become a better writer? How did you improve, what did you do?” Getting better at writing always seems so different than getting better at anything else. If you want to become better at drawing, for example, you would think you should keep drawing and practicing. If you want to become a better runner, you keep running. They are all things that have very tangible solutions.

But what about writing? You already know the language, you already know the stories you have in your head. Regardless of how much you write, the individual words are all still the same. “Dog” means the same coming from someone who’s never wrote anything before as it does coming from the most famous author on earth. So what to do? Continue reading