In my boyhood youth, I remember countless instances in movies where a character (usually male) would walk into a party/large event and delicately whisper to another character, (also usually male) and furtively pass this character money. Granted, I was in my early years of life, approximately 6-13 years of age and did not understand the function of money in societies across the world. In fact, as most young children would probably imagine moneys usage (from television) I had seen it as something that either was given to people in a suave form, as previously noted, or just that “Proverbial Bad Guys/Girls” were always attempting to steal it.
Well, when I became an adult, legally at the age of 18 years, I still had a bit of misunderstanding of money’s premise in our world; The essence of currency had not yet fully dawned on my conscientiousness. Eventually I learned, if I was to happen upon some sort of gathering or important event, it was not necessary that I slyly pass an employee money for an imagined V.I.P access. I also discovered that my prior nebulous mental construction of currency was slightly incorrect: It was not just “Proverbial Bad Guys” who stole funds because they wanted to commit ungrateful acts upon innocent people. While the former is certainly a possibility in some realms, a more plausible realm would be that in reality an individual needed the money for X reason and had lost all hope of getting it legally.
For reasons of convenience and simplicity, many full time and part-time employees of the modern world are not compensated fairly for what they do. Think of fast-food employees and department store employees (Macys, Sears, Walmart etc.). While the genres of service workers I have mentioned thus far is not exhaustive, they fall under a specific category: minimum-wage jobs (and not careers).
There is an element of character reflection I look for in each and every individual I meet. I have, upon certain occasions, encountered some very professional, mature, responsible minimum wage workers, who for multifarious reasons, have not been able to mobilize to higher ground in their lives. At the same time, there is a dastardly rule these employees are to heed to: they (as minimum wage workers) are legally not allowed to accept tips. I didn’t misprint that. You can even read it again to make sure you read right.
I found this out, because many years ago, like the individuals to whom I am referring, I worked several minimum wage jobs and was informed of this. At first, being in a life stage of not being able to fully mentally encompass the role of money and its power, I didn’t really give this terrible human folly much thought. It was in later years I realized the absolute absurdity and unfairness in this arrangement: Here we have an individual, working approximately $7.25/hour (In New York State prior to 2013) or $8.00/hour (slowly increasing/year since 2013) who is not allowed to accept tips. My question is: What happens if they do accept a tip and the manager of the establishment finds out? Are they fired? If reading this upsets you, it means you feel the pain these workers feel.
I am writing this blog, to start a new trend (No, No … Not to take money illegally. I very much frown upon this action). This trend is to tip grossly underpaid workers, (with what funds you can bear to donate) specifically those who provide outstanding service. Should this be done inconspicuously as done in countless movies? Yes. Though as far as I’m concerned this action isn’t a wrong on either the role of customer or employee.
By doing this, you are rebelling. Mahatma Gandhi, Dr.Martin Luther King Jr., and Rosa Parks are individuals (not an exhaustive list) who would agree with this act of social reform. Civil disobedience is an act that these historical model citizens had become all too familiar with. I of course do not wish the employee to lose his/her job. I wish many of these individuals become able to afford a comfortable living wage. By tipping employees who are not allowed to be tipped, the quality of their lives improves greatly, if this practice is made mainstream.
On this site I posted my video for: “How to Solve Homelessness for just $12/year.” While minimum wage workers are not homeless, in most cases, I will note that they are not compensated fairly for the amount of work they perform. Their jobs are tedious, stressful and their complaints about such conditions are understandable when considering that unless they receive outside financial support (other than themselves) they cannot comfortably pay bills, and daily life expenses.
In all of this argument about minimum wage workers, many readers may think of Karl Marx’s theory. I have studied Marx, but I don’t wish you (the reader) to believe me to be a Marxist.* I am an intellectual humanist.* When I witness injustice, which in a post 2008 world, is an unfortunately common phenomenon, I have a burgeoning desire to take action. Not only do I have this desire, but I have the ability, based on maturity, self-education and experience, to calculate a humane solution.
If you do part-take in this behavior of helping underpaid minimum wage employees who provide exceptional service, you are doing a right for this world. You’re giving someone a means based on judgment of meritocracy. By doing this on a large scale, were creating a society that reduces the chances of individuals becoming “Proverbial Bad Guys[Men]/Girls[Women]”. By doing this, you are partaking in a betterment for human life quality in the course of history.
I dedicate this blog post to the mistreated, under-represented, and under-paid minimum wage workers, as well as other employees who receive less than minimum wage due to the fact that they are assumed to receive tips. A lot of people know your work is hard. A great portion of you are far from lazy. It is about time you got the payment you deserve. I, and other supporters of the Concepts of Humans Are We* would like to sincerely say: Thank you.
*On Mentioning Marxist/Marxism: I don’t wish to make readers feel they must be aware of specific historical theorists/theories to understand my (Brian Berger’s) creative notions. However, having said knowledge does help greatly.
* Intellectual Humanist: I am sure I am not the first to use this term. However, in its many interpretations, I am referring to individuals who are educated and are continually attempting to expand their knowledge and educational life experiences in conjunction with appreciating intellectual stimulation and using their knowledge and experiences to change the world’s operation for the betterment of humankind.