Thanks For The Tip

I believe I’ve mentioned before that I work in a salon.  It’s not glamorous, but it’s something.  And whom among us hasn’t had a job that was just “something?”

Anyway, I’ve been at this place for a year and a half.  Keep in mind that I’m not actually a stylist; I’m just help.  I wash hair, towels, answer the phone.  I’ve pretty much refused to do anything else (ie sweeping, dish washing, etc) because I won’t get paid for it.  Maybe that sounds bad,  but I’ve worked in places where I’ve tried to prove myself and volunteered for all sorts of shit and then I’m taken advantage of and wind up doing shit for free.

I should also point out that I’m not actually paid hourly–I get paid a certain amount to wash towels and am paid per person/head I wash.  Other than that, I sit around a whole lot, which, honestly, isn’t the worst thing in the world.  But this goes a long way to explaining why I won’t do other shit.  You wouldn’t believe how many people ignore the phone, just shoving it at my face, because they think I’m now supposed to answer it.

So, to sum up–angry white girl gets paid very little, and certainly not by the hour.


Well, apparently, I’m simply the best.  Allegedly, I have really good hands, and am very good at washing people’s heads.  I’ve been doling out foot rubs and such since I was about five, so this probably accounts for why I am able to do this.  People are constantly telling me I should become a masseuse, though aside from the fact that I don’t particularly want to take classes again, classes cost money.  Money I don’t particularly have since I work for what may amount to $30 a day.  But I am constantly being complimented, which can be nice (hell, even the stylists are always worried I’m going to get a real job since I do lots of random crap around this place.  I’m quite the problem solver it seems), and there are several regulars that tip me.  Quite honestly, I really don’t even care if those little old ladies tip me–I just like to see them, and am glad they’re here from week to week.  Most of them have shit to say that’s really interesting; I just enjoy their company.

That probably comes from never having grandparents of my own.

But the frustrating part…the people who have tons of money, who rave about my skills, then stroll out of the building without a backward glance.  It’s not dissimilar from going to a restaurant, having the service/experience of your life, telling your server how fantastic they are, then walking out without tipping.  You can’t pay bills with compliments.  Am I supposed to go down to PSA and tell them sorry, I don’t money to pay the water bill this month, but someone told me I did a great job washing their hair?

It gets really old, and borders on offensive, especially after this length of time.  I understand to some degree…people may not realize that they can actually tip the person who washes their hair, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt the stylists to encourage their customers to tip (one, Patty, actually does, so at least there’s that).  Anyway, at one point last week, I’d reached my limit with the compliments from the obscenely rich, and on Saturday brought in a little jar for tips.  I put it on a table in the shampoo room and carried on with my life.  I informed Patty, who had encouraged this from the get-go.  I didn’t want to be pushy, so I’d held off, but, as I said, I reached the end of my rope.

Patty started telling all of her customers about it, and even managed to get people to contribute to the jar.  Sweet, huh?

I also thought having a jar would be a good idea for anyone who wanted to give me money but were unable to find me, which has been known to happen.  This way, money wouldn’t just be left hanging around in the open.

On Tuesday, Crazy Bible Lady asked about the jar, so I told her.  She’s not the type to be overtly…I don’t know, confrontational maybe, but that’s not the right word.  She’s very low key and isn’t the type to get very angry or upset.  However, she didn’t seem too thrilled with the jar, especially because the jar says, “Girls Night Out Fund.”  I’m not sure why this bothered her, but I said I’d turn it around if need be.  She also said she’d like a jar that said something else.  Ooooookay.  I told her that was the only jar I had.

So, I walked into work this morning and guess what was on the table in the kitchen, right next to where I sit?

My tip jar.

Isn’t that sweet?

Apparently, this jar is just that offensive to CBL.  What the fuck, man?  I’m not allowed to try to make more money?  These women have styrofoam cups next to the coffee maker for tips, and a little money bucket so people can pay too much money for tiny bags of chips (these things, at least the coffee, should be a free service).  Random people and their mothers (literally) are allowed to bring in crap to sell, including, but not limited to–food, earrings, and potholders.  But apparently, the girl who comes in every day, the girl who has missed ONE FUCKING DAY OF WORK in over a year, the girl who can solve stupid technological issues that any moron should be able to work out, the girl who doesn’t actually earn a paycheck isn’t allowed to attempt to supplement her income.

Fine fucking christian behaviour, isn’t it?  Seems real charitable and generous to me.

It’s not as if this has been the worst job I’ve ever had–quite the contrary.  The amount of freedom I have is pretty phenomenal, and since I don’t get paid hourly, I can leave pretty much whenever I want.  I fart around on my computer all day and can wear pretty much whatever I want–it’s not bad.  But I just don’t make a whole lot of money.

The thing is; these women can increase the prices of their processes if they need more money.  I’m stuck making the same crap money no matter what.

But believe me…this whole passive-aggressive maneuver is just the kick in the ass I need to move my job search into high gear.

It’s nice to know the sort of people you work with, isn’t it?  The thought of me attempting to make just a little more money is that offensive…it still pisses me off.  All day, I’ve been waiting to see if she says something, and she hasn’t.  But I’ll be damned if I’m taking the jar home.  Nope…it’s going to sit right next to me, and when people notice and ask what it is, I’ll let them know it’s my tip jar, but that I’m not allowed to put it anywhere where people can see it.

If you want to play passive-aggressive, I’m game.  And I’m better at it than anyone else.

If nothing else comes from this particular blog, just make sure you tip the people who do a good job.  You tip a doorman, a taxi driver, a waitress, a hairstylist, your mechanic…hell, you even tip the barista at a coffee shop.  If someone washes your hair and they do a good job and make you feel better, it’s okay to tip.  I can promise you that your shampoo girl isn’t making a living wage.  Even if you throw her a dollar, it’ll go a long way to her mental state.  She’ll remember the ones who tip and the ones who don’t.  If you’re willing to shell out an extra ten or fifteen dollar to your stylist, you can certainly spare an extra dollar or two for someone who’s done a service.


~ by raspychick on March 1, 2012.

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