Ok, no deep, profound thoughts in this letter...just a lesson in courtesy. :) My first job was working in a fast food restaurant. And it was HARD work. A long shift on my feet all day and I'd come home smelling like grease and chicken and whatever else was being cooked or being spilled on me that day. I got stuck working on Easter while my family was having a good time at the home of my sister-in-law's mom. I was miserable.
At that time, as a teenager, I remember thinking to myself that I did not want to do that job ever again. As soon as I got another job lined up, I was out of there. My fast food career lasted about 3 months. I was so happy to move on to an office job where I'd file and type and make coffee and water the plants. I even remember having the thought that high schools should make kids do mandatory time working in a fast food restaurant as a motivational tool to encourage them to further their education so they don't end up flipping burgers and mopping dining room floors.
I remember how hard that work was. I also know that waitresses and waiters get paid lower than minimum wage because the tips are factored into their salary. Please don't be one of those cheap, lousy tippers!!! I've been out to eat in groups where someone wants to leave a measly ten percent or less. Frankly, it embarrasses me and I usually end up pitching in extra so that the waitress isn't shortchanged.
Fifteen percent is customary. It's what I give for minimal service. If service is good, I give twenty percent and sometimes even a little more than that if it's exceptional. As you grow up and are in the position where you're expected to leave a tip, please be generous. Sure, you'll be working hard for your money, but so are they. And it's not just food service staff that you need to leave tips to. Don't forget hotel housekeepers, bellhops, tour guides and bartenders (when you're ordering those kiddie cocktails!!!)