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SpeakOut 4/1

Tuesday, April 1, 2003

Call 471-6636

I would like to SpeakOut about the restaurant clientele in our community. First, I would like to say that not anyone can be a wait person. It takes special skills to be able to put up with some of the people we do. I would also like you to know that we are not stupid. Probably 80 percent of us have a high school diploma and college hours. In our area, where else are you going to make $9 or $10 an hour? You're lucky if you can find a job paying $7 an hour! I would like to let people who are supposedly smarter than us "wait personnel" know that when you go into a restaurant and order a sandwich, read the menu. A sandwich isn't "free" ice cream or the salad bar. If you do serve yourself these items and don't add them to your ticket, you are stealing. If I allow you to do it, then I am stealing, also. I also love you people who come in as a family of three and order two meals. You all three eat and then ask me for a go box. This also pertains to you folks who come in, order a meal, eat the salad and buffet while it is being prepared and then ask for a to-go box so you can eat it for supper. We do not serve two meals for the price of one. Maybe somewhere they do, but I don't think so! Then there are also you people who come in and order one soda with a free refill and share it between the two of you. Last, but not least, I want to let you know that our hourly wage is $2.13 per hour. When you come in with eight people and sit at a table for two hours, then leave $2, it has cost us to wait on you! Wait personnel are allocated 8 to 10 percent of their sales, so when you do not leave at least a 10 percent tip, it has actually cost them to serve you. We have all been trained to treat you like we would a guest in our home. So come on. Give us a break. Tip accordingly and don't try to eat things you didn't pay for!

I would like to respond to your answer to caller who talked about the "shock and awe" effect of our bombing in Baghdad. I think he hit the nail right on the head. He provided a list of reasons why he believes what he does. Regardless of how difficult it is to hear, in no way can it be described as naive and uninformed. I have yet to hear one person in the peace movement who defends Saddam, yet everyone who attempts to defend the U.S. military action brings the issue up as a distraction. The real issue is the legality of the U.S. military action and the long-lasting and varied effects when it is over. Your response was an attempt to censor the caller's point of view under the pretense of defending the Constitution and the First Amendment. You never addressed the issues brought up by the caller. This is business as usual in the U.S. today. Where is the dialogue? Where are the specific answers to the points raised? The message is clear. It's the same message the White House used to destroy our foreign policy around the world. The message is: Agree with me or shut up. This is not a civil answer. It is divisive. It is not worthy of a newspaper that is supposed to serve all people of a diverse community.