Discussion in 'The Business of Clowning' started by StuartPid, Dec 8, 2013.
accept it or not, it does feel odd when you are treated in such a way quite unfair by all the means
I do agree with you. When i see the children laughing, it makes it all worth it to me.
What I would do in that case is approach the client at the time you were scheduled to start and ask him or her when they would like you to start your show. A 10 minute wait is ok (at least with me, I understand things happen and I can adjust my show) but if it gets to be 15-20 minutes, I would say this in a very polite manner to the client:
"Excuse me Mr/Mrs ___________, I understand that things happen, but I have to leave at (insert ending time), the time we agreed upon, because I have another show to go to. I would like to make sure every child receives a balloon and has their face painted. That will take me about 30 minutes. If I make balloons I wont have time for the magic show. What would you like me to do?"
It isn't just clowning. I spent some time working as a server in restaurants. In Phoenix, AZ I was able to make a decent living doing it. Everything changed when I moved to Louisiana. It is very much a difference of culture.
In India, a man can get a full service straight razor shave/haircut/massage with a hot towel for the equivalent of $1 or $2. When Indian families go out to eat or contract a service, they expect that whoever is doing the work is getting their wage and that is that. Tipping is a foreign concept to them. Heck, it's practically a foreign concept in Louisiana.
I'm astounded by how few people in this region I now live in would ever think to tip their hair dresser, the taxi driver, the hotel maid that cleans up your filth for minimum wage, the waitress that you having running circles for you for $2.13 an hour and so forth.
I like those buttons that say things like "Tips are accepted" and "Yes, I do this for a living" if you're doing a gig where tips are desired. I'm going to order some for myself.
This is just one of the many reasons why I want to move to California. There is no changing someone's culture. There is a reason why certain cities tend to draw successful people.
I'll get on board with culture playing a role in tipping and such, both in entertainment and mundane employment.
Several years back I obtained my commercial driver's license basically for recreation. I've been a transportation geek for a long time and thought working in coach and transit would be an entertaining part time gig (fyi - it is).
There are a few different venues of commercial driving; the most obvious are truckers of one type or another (quite diverse actually - the driving positions I mean, not drivers - although likely equally as diverse). Trucking jobs - 100% miserable bastards. I tried it one winter just for the hell of it and would literally turn to crime, or begging, or whatever before I ever worked that as a real job. Terrible conditions, wages ranging from terrible (25k, to decent 90k) but totally not worth the hours worked and physical toll. These poor sods never, ever, in a million years will get a tip.
Transit jobs, in a good transit system may be the most entertaining job you'll ever have. Pay is usually terrible (~$10-20k/yr) but the environment makes up for it (especially in a fun town). When I retire I may work somewhere as a very part time transit guy again. Often a government agency so rarely, if ever, tips.
All that was rambling and background information and I said that to say this:
Charter jobs fall somewhere in between. A lot of driving (10 hours at a time - sometimes up to 12 but be sure to fix your log book), but basically almost every trip is a paid vacation. Sometimes they're single day trips (which suck because it's a looooooooong round trip sometimes) and usually to a long-ish event (baseball, football, etc) but just as often are weeks long tours of nice locations.
The moral of the story is that Charters get a lot of tips, but sometimes none and I've found similarities with entertaining a variety of cultures. In my experiences, income and culture have played some role; but not as much of one as education. More educated people, in my experience are infinitely better tippers. This includes low income educated people - I've often been tipped a relatively large tip (~$5-10 for a somewhat simple balloon) by a 'poor' person standing in line beside an obvious person of wealth who may not tip at all, or leave a buck.
On expecting a tip. 100% of the time I do, in both entertaining and charter coach. I have great clients as an entertainer who leave great tips (20% of total bill or so = ~$25/hr extra) and in charter I have clients that tip up to %300 of total bill (which is pretty common - $300 tip on $100 payday ~10 hrs/driving).
I also have repeat clients that are lousy tippers and give $0; and it shows in the service they receive. Your festival isn't going to get decor and premade creations to stand out if you're a terrible tipper and you're getting zero perks and as little hospitality as a driver if you're a miser. Maybe a terrible way of doing business but I figure if I lose the client, it's one I don't want anyway (I'm often in a less than stellar mood when I know I'm going to one of them anyway) so it frees up my schedule to book someone more worthy of my time.
On getting stuck at a gig - never. If I'm booked for an hour, I might stay 5-10 minutes extra to wrap up a line. If it's more than that and a host hasn't sought me out to arrange payment for the extra time, I'm pulling out of their driveway at 15 after. Again, it's a client I can afford to lose.
Again with people thinking, or sometimes, rather, demanding that tips be required is... Is... Well, I can't think of a word that would be an accurate description without some thinking it would be insulting. And I don't want to be insulting.
However, I am still amazed at the thought that tips are either required or a God given right. You agree to work for a particular wage. If that wage is not enough, then find other work at the wage you desire. If you have agreed to perform a particular job or function for a particular fee or wage, why should I, as a patron, who was not a part of that negotiation, be compelled to provide the amount that your employer does not provide?
If you decide to work as a street performer, or a similar venue, that is a choice that you made. And again, the public at large did not have a say in that decision. And if I stop to watch, and enjoy the performance and am entertained, I am still not required nor constrained to have to give money to you. You can decide to perform in hopes people will give you something, and people can decide if they wish to give you something.
Well, Pookie, nobody is going to mug you over the free balloons you accepted for all of your kids and the waitress probably won't follow you out to your car (unless she is me) if you didn't leave a dime of tip on your $100 tab, but you won't make friends that way. Lol And if they see you walking into the restaurant again, rest assured you'll get the new guy with Asperger's to go along with the cold tortillas.
Pretty much that ^.
On the street they can walk away with whatever balloon they got (or magic show, or whatever), but next time they're standing on my sidewalk thy're pretty much getting a balloon dog instead of something amazing. You can even work that into your show if you can pull off a curmudgeon act 'see that little boy, his mommy loves him and got him this wonderful balloon...'
Same with driving. I'll get to them New York, or Florida, or wherever but they'll miss out on some great unscheduled stops along the way where the can see some great sights, or get some great discounts. Also, you don't tip but need me to work on my logbooks to get that extra day trip in? Not a chance...
Bottom line is they get what they pay for which is nothing on the street. They don't owe me a dime when busking, but guess what I'm obligated to give them in return?
Driving they'll get their 10 or 11 hours with zero perks or special accommodations and believe me - that makes a world of difference on a road trip.
Birthday parties are one of those venues I don't expect a tip. I'm on the higher end of rates so work that in. I don't give anything away for free either as I have travel fees, out of town fees, and don't stay more than a few minutes over. If there are still a dozen kids in line then the host should have came and worked something out with me. For magic shows where I produce a birthday gift for the child... you got it - it gets added to the bill.
I have kids of my own and don't need to give stuff away to the host's kid to feel warm inside. I have zero invested in them outside of the hour they pay me to be there. I donate and volunteer services (professional and personal) to a few charities I care about and don't give away my services to any that dial my number. I'm not a non-profit and refuse to act as one.
Pookie, When you're a server or bartender, you don't work the job for the 2.13 an hour. you work the job because your personality gives you the opportunity to make $6-700 a week in tips. It's one job where your personality and your skills actually make the difference in what you earn. And guess what, you remember who tips and who doesn't..
Back when I was a server, I had regulars that would come in and tip me $10+ on a $20 or $30 bill I also had people come in who would tip 1 or 2 on the same bill.. Guess whose drinks stayed full, and who I was more willing to "hook up" with not nickel and dimeing for extra sauces, etc.
There were highschool kids, or just cheap people like yourself, that would come in and even if I hadn't had them before, but someone else in the restaurant had, they'd warn me. I'd bring their drink, take their order, bring their food, and MAYBE fill their drink up one more time, then I'd stop back by and drop the bill of a few minutes later. You definitely don't go out of the way when you know you're doing it for free..
Plus if you don't tip, it actually costs your server for you to have the pleasure of taking care of your cheap butt.. Most restaurants require the server to "tip out" the hostess, busboy, and bartenders. That's based on sales, not tips, so some places you pay out up to 7 or 8% of your sales That can be almost half your tips. So next time you go out to eat, enjoy that steak since your server is paying 3 or 4 bucks for you to eat it.
This is spot on. At most of the restaurants in this low class region where I live, the house takes 3% of your sales automatically. If you want a bus boy to actually bus your tables for you, then you need to tip out more on the side.
I even had a few customers tell me right out that I wasn't getting a tip because all they literally had was enough to pay the tab--counting out the change from their purse. That always astounded me. Is this the last meal they get to eat before they go home and die?
Why spend your last $18.72 on a burrito plate and a kid's enchilada? You could buy dry rice and beans at Walmart and feed yourself and that kid for two weeks.
If you're not going to tip, you should either order take out or go to a buffet (I still tip in those cases, but not as generously as when I get full wait service).
Now from the DishwaRsher's Side.....
My Boss opened a restaurant a few years ago, and needed a temporary dishwaRsher when her other one walked out one night....So I kinda got "drafted" (for about three months)... at minimum wage.
As the dishwaRsher, I of course waRshed and cleaned all the plates, silverware,glasses, pot, pans, etc...I also did the final clean-up at the end of the night (including the bathrooms).... And if they were really busy, I bussed tables and when a waitresses spilled or dropped a try, I went out and cleaned it up...I took pride in my work, and we never had anything returned because it wasn't clean.
The waitresses were also getting minimum wage plus tips (and they made more on tips than from their wages)...I'll let you guess how much they tipped me... Yup.... Nothing.... They knew how important tips were to them,.. they knew what would happen to their tips if the customer got a dirty fork, (tips or not, I still would NEVER send out dirty silverware)...Thank you for bussing that large party's table (who gave a nice fat tip) so they could wait on another table and get even more tips.....And boy did they complain when they got a poor tip...
I'm sure that everyone here that has worked as a waiter or waitress never forgot to tip the people who were a part of the support system in a restaurant, and helped them do their jobs efficiently...
Seriously, Barnie? If the servers were getting minimum wage plus 40% tips then maybe they could afford to tip out the cooks and even the washer every now and then. Back of the house is not a tipped job, this is clear when you take the job whereas front of the house jobs (hostess, server, bartender, busser) are handed out (usually for well less than minimum wage) with the clear understanding that the tips are to make up for the pittance of a check. That's the only reason why servers are servers. They are talented, coordinated, multi tasking, customer service oriented sales people. They deserve their commission -- this is American culture. If you want to get pissed about it, go picket against the rich business owners who don't take care of their employees and put the burden on the consumer to pay for the service.
The key to being successful in the back of the house is 1)years of experience and 2)moving up in kitchen ranks. The seaman recruit cannot expect to receive the same pay as a first class petty officer. In a restaurant kitchen, the dish washer is the bottom of the hierarchy. *Anybody* who works in a kitchen has played the role of dish washer. I know I've done it. My 9 year old kid could probably do a decent job at it during a slower shift. You could be deaf, mute, nearly blind and illiterate and still get the dishes washed. Hell, you don't even have to smell good back there.
But if you're none of those things, on the contrary, you're smart, healthy, fit, and do a damn good job... pretty soon you'll be peeling potatoes, then mixing salads, prepping the meats and sauces and so forth. You'll get a raise or you'll take your resume to a competing restaurant that is in need of a competent prep cook and will pay you accordingly.
Everyone seems to think the servers are rolling in it. I can tell you that just isn't usually the case, especially not when we're the sole breadwinner trying to feed the Brady Bunch more or less. But servers can and do move up--to fancier restaurants in better areas. They may further their education and go on to be sommeliers, managers or business owners. Just like any field pretty much, you start at the bottom and hoist yourself up inch by inch.
My first official job was for a Subway Sandwich shop. The owners were from India. My pay was $5.15 per hour less taxes. You know what they did to me? They'd schedule me for just two hours per day, right after the lunch rush. My job was to put Humpty Dumpty back together again in two hours.
That included cleaning up the horrendous feces smeared bathrooms with shitty tissue littering the floor--brown finger swipes on the wall (there was a large construction site very close to the restaurant and those men were pigs). Also, washing a mountain of dishes from the morning and lunch prep. Cleaning the whole front and back of the house.
The regular employees who actually got to work full shifts just sat on their asses while I did everything. My two week check was like $72. I had to walk a mile and a half one way to work that job. I ended up losing that job because I needed a pair of black slacks and my mom bought the wrong kind. I told him that I wasn't spending my money on new pants, that he should provide me a pair. That didn't fly.
So, I started working at a Dairy Queen for $5.25.
Nostalgia. But I'm on the computer when I need to finish preparing for a party this afternoon. Doh!
Sorry for coming in a little late to respond to the some of the most recent posts, but...
Blah, blah, blah. The same blather repeated over and over again.
I worked for quite some period of time for an in-law delivering pizza's, more to be helpful, rather than the pay. Some customers tipped and some didn't. And as has been pointed out, I knew which customers would tip well and which didn't. Which, surprisingly, did not effect the service they got from me. As I mentioned my fiscal and fiduciary contract was with the person signing the check, not the customer.
(Just an aside, it was when my in-laws' children took over delivering, and started to not provide good service to "bad tippers", that people stopped ordering delivery and just plain stopped buying pizza there. Huh? Wonder if there is a connection?)
I would say more, however, I may get use language that may be considered insulting and petty. And I really want to wait for the next Presidential campaign before I do that...
If more business owners gave a rat's ass about whether or not their tipped employees can afford to keep a roof over their head or eat, more employees would care if they lost some jerk's business.
Giving someone who tips zero the same service as someone who tips well just encourages the behavior. I'm sure it's quite evident by my non-verbal language when dealing with these people in my line or at festivals.
You're assuming this costs me business but I'm still giving away a considerable amount of business to peers because I can't handle the bookings. September alone I had to have over $2k worth of bookings covered (extreme example as I had 2 corporate bookings @ ~1k each) and still tried to get more covered by posting here (which nobody seemed to need).
Even if it's true that someone who won't drop a tip into a hat skips on booking me, then that's probably for the best because; 1.) I question if they can afford my fee, 2.) I'd probably inflate my fee if I knew who they were or they'd not get m best if I realized it after finalizing, and finally - 3.) It's okay to turn down bookings you don't want. If you're in a position you have to say yes to everyone who calls - you're probably going to have a lot of horrible clients.
40%? ........WOW ... if wishes were horses then beggars would ride....
This is from http://www.tipping.org/tips/restaurant.html
I guess sensitivity for the rest of the staff is not a requirement to be a waitress....
They are serving food they did not cook,drinks they did not mix, on dishes they did not wash... And expect 40% tips for doing so...
With an attitude like that, you probably wont be working for that employer very long....
The solution is so very simple... the Restaurant Owner just pays their staff a fair wage (exceptional service is expected, not extorted.). The customers pay a little more for their meal, but then don't have to tip... Problem solved.
Please reread what I wrote re: 40% tips.
There is a reason why good restaurants cost more than Wendy's.
Should no one pay more than the cost of paper and paints plus minimum wage for how many hours it took for an artist to make a painting? Because it isn't fair to the homeless guy selling crayola landscapes for loose change on the street downtown? Should one be happy with receiving a penny and a handshake for a balloon dog? How about a fat load of nothing? Or what if I pay you $3 out of my own pocket to take the dog after I spend half an hour of my life serving your food and cleaning up after you?
Who cares if the dishwasher smells like he bathed with a cake of Roquefort? If he gets his job done, it can be overlooked. Now I'm being impolite? I suppose I am guilty of being as insensitive as the kid who asked why the emperor was naked.
Thus, the entertaining part that our right brained, breast cancer aware, Soviet friend discussed.
Do you have any idea how much your food would cost if all the servers were making minimum wage? The restaurant industry already has super tight margins.
This is from an article from Chron that I found talking about small business margins in restaurants.
So with paying the servers 2.13 an hour, and the bartenders making less than minimum wage, Usually somewhere around $5 an hour around here depending on experience, The restaurant still only brings home anywhere from 18 to 35 cents on a $10 check.
Also To go along with your claim that good service should be expected.. it's actually in your best interest as a customer that they work for tips.. The same reason that most sales people work for commission.
I'm a Realtor, so I work for 100% commission, I don't get a salary. If I were to make 60K a year no matter what I sold, I wouldn't be as hard pressed to make those sales and prospect for new clients. With me working for 100% commission, I have the ability to sell one house a year and make $1,200 or sell as many as I can and make upwards of $400,000 a year.. (I'm no where near that but I have friends who are.)
The same goes with servers, If they know that if they do a better job, they will get a better tip, they're going to work a lot harder for you to make sure that you're happy versus what they would if they made a flat $10 an hour no matter what.
Separate names with a comma.