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AN AGGIE LINE: USU cheerleaders perform during the Aggies' final exhibition game. It's time to cheer for basketball. / Photo by Brianna Mortensen

Today's word on journalism

Friday, November 10, 2006

Q&A with Ed Bradley:

Q: What single issue should be covered more at CBS News?
A: Foreign news.

Q: Have you ever been assigned a story you objected to? How did you deal with it?
A: When I first started in New York at WCBS radio, the assignment editor automatically assigned any story that had a minority in it to me. I objected to being typecast and told him if I didn't get a variety of stories -- as other reporters did -- then I would take it up with the news director.

Q: If you were not in news, what would you be doing?
A: If I had the talent, I'd play bass guitar and sing in a kicking band.

--Ed Bradley, reporter, "60 Minutes," died yesterday of leukemia at age 65 (2006)

Some tips on tipping your restaurant server

By Alexis Lear

October 4, 2006 | "If it's good enough for my god, then it's good enough for my waiter." If you have ever served in a restaurant or performed any other service requiring a tip, you have probably heard this phrase which many people use to justify tipping 10 percent. But comparing a religious tithe to what you tip your server after a five course meal seems a bit sacreligious, If not just plain weird.

Most people are unaware of the fact that in Utah, minimum wage for a tipped server is $2.13 per hour; with most of the $2.13 going towards taxes. Leaving the rest of that waiter's month's rent to be paid in tips received from customers. Depending on the restaurant, waiters end up tipping out anywhere from 10 to 20 percent of their nightly profits to busboys, bartenders, food runners, and hostesses. In the end, waiters make a lot less than what one might think.

Going to school, paying for rent, paying for food, paying for the extra charges on your cell phone because you text messaged a little too much last month; life tends to get expensive. Sometimes our financial problems get the best of us, and tipping for services rendered falls to the bottom of the totem pole. But it's that extra dollar you spare for your waiter that makes the difference.

With a little help from Google and a search for "tipping etiquette," one can find on many different websites that 15-20 percent is standard when tipping a waiter in a restaurant. Now, this of course is assuming your waiter remembered that you didn't want tomatoes on your burger, and that you didn't ask them for something for your fries every time they came with in earshot. It is also tipping etiquette to tip a little extra if your table has been a bit difficult for the waiter. Yes, the waiter is there to help and serve you, but don't treat them as if you have rented a slave for an hour.

Through my two years as a server I have seen it all, tips of $1 off a $100 ticket and tips of $100 off a $10 ticket. Some nights a waiter will leave with $150 in their pocket, and other times they'll be lucky to make it out the door with $20. The life of a waiter can be very inconsistent.

If you receive great service, nothing goes wrong, and your waiter was there every time you needed them, maybe tip a little extra at the end of the night. There are, however, those times when your waiter doesn't quite make it up to par. If that is the case, grab a manager and tell them the problem. Talking to a manager if you have serious problems is the best solution for everyone. Don't always drop the tip of the waiter. Because you talked to the manager, that waiter will know what they did wrong and work that much harder when waiting on their next table. Simply tipping poorly or not tipping at all will not resolve the problem. The waiter will never know what they did wrong, and the service will never be improved.

So the next time you are leaving a restaurant agonizing in your head over how much to tip the waiter, think one more dollar. One more dollar probably won't throw off your checkbook that much, and will probably make that waiter's shift that much better. If Uncle Bob is the one leaving the tip and barely makes the 10 percent mark, throw a couple more dollars on the table to help out: believe me, from a waiter's point of view, it will be greatly appreciated.


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