Ignorance is best served with a burger and fries.

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Scrolling through my Facebook timeline had been always been a favorite pastime of mine.  I could easily catch up on what’s going on in my world, and openly ignore any other responsibilities like homework or washing any of the dishes soaking quietly in my kitchen.  On this particular evening I happened to cross a news story about a defiant St. Louis pastor who refused to give in to an automatic gratuity for an Applebee’s waitress, after dining with several other people one night.  Adding insult to injury, the rebellious pastor decided to write “I give God 10% why do you get 18” on the top of the check.  Several emotions hit me at once after reading about this incident:  Anger, Sadness and eventually pain after I tried to punch the nearest wall (only kidding).  For some people, it’s no surprise that servers go through a lot and tipping is automatically a must when dining out.  For others, they live in dark ignorance assuming servers do not deserve anything because they don’t see what goes on behind closed doors.   I immediately connected with this story, because I have worked in restaurants for years.  I even worked for a place that did not offer auto gratuity, and I have seen servers work all night for big parties and end the night with absolutely nothing, because tipping is not practiced by every individual.   I have gone through days of pure hunger and physical and mental exhaustion, and even days where I wasn’t allowed to go to the bathroom, sit down, or stand still for hours on end.  What is most compelling is that these working conditions are considered “normal” in the business and rarely is there ever anyone to speak out against it.  I never really considered myself an activist, I still don’t.  But over the past few weeks I have felt compelled to try getting involved somehow, and changing the way things have been for years.  What’s next is finding a way to do it.

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