First of all I know you are 18 and older. I know most of you were in your twenties because my husband saw your ID’s. However, I address this letter to kids and not adults because you did not act maturely.
I know your in a world right now, living on campus, doing life how you want between classes and whatever you do for money and fun. But there is an entire other world out there that you will soon embark in. A world that my husband and I had to taste earlier than others because I became pregnant when we were in high school. You hear that and you automatically judge us, I know. But what you don’t realize is that our son forced us to grow up a little faster and it was tougher. While you went to prom and partied all night, I was on bed-rest. While you were applying to colleges and visiting Frat houses, I was setting up my son’s crib and figuring out how to balance continuing education, working, and being an 18 year old mother.
I am only about 4 years age difference than most of you, while some of you were actually my age in low to mid-twenties, and others even older in grad school.
This letter is to explain that you need to respect. This letter is to explain that you need to be an adult, because you are one. This letter is educate you that your actions cost people their livelihood. This letter is to show you that your little world of college life and getting the next buzz is not what the world is about. And not realizing that soon and acting immature is going to get you in trouble when you leave that little college life bubble.
When you came into the restaurant my husband works at you had the intention of having a night out eating and drinking together. You all knew that those two boys were underage and had fake IDs. You all knew it was illegal. Maybe you didn’t realize that if my husband served them alcohol he could lose his job, get fined, the business can actually lose its liquor license and legal ramifications would screw everyone involved (including you). What was the point of risking that? A little beer? A short-lived buzz?
Apparently, it was worth it to you because you let those boys show the fakes. But my husband has been in this business for awhile, he can see a fake ID when it’s presented to him. We are young too, we know what goes on we’re not stupid. He was not trying to wreck your night when he said he couldn’t serve those two boys and offered them alternative non-alcoholic drinks. He was trying not to wreck our life.
Believe it or not outside of those four walls your server has a life. And that night you got my husband. A man who has been doing food industry for 8 years or so and is good at what he does. A man who saw those fake IDs and immediately thought of his wife and child. A man who knew that serving you meant possibly losing his job while we are trying to buy a house. A man who knew that serving you would be a bad example to his son. A man who knew his family’s livelihood was too important to jeopardize over your want for a margarita with your taco.
But you didn’t get it.
Instead when he came back and denied the drinks to the underagers you took it out personally on him for doing his job, following the law, and working at providing for his family. You sat with your huge party taking up almost his entire section for hours, ordering tons of drinks, food, and racking up a large bill of a few hundred dollars.
You sitting at that group of tables for so long meant other people could not get sat in the section for my husband to serve. He lost money by you just sitting there, which I am sure you knew. If you had tipped him more because you sat that there and realized he lost money for you doing that it would have been okay. But you didn’t.
On a saturday night closing shift, one of the best shifts a server can get, he made next to nothing. He sacrifices time with his family to work those shifts. He misses eating a home cooked dinner to work those shifts. He misses spending time with his son and wife when he works those shifts. And he worked 5 of those shifts in a row to make extra money to put towards bills and a downpayment as we had put an offer in an a house.
But you didn’t think of that. You didn’t think past your inconveniences. You didn’t think that he makes $4/ hour and serves you for tips for our livelihood. Although it is a known fact servers get paid crap an hour and rely on tips, you still did what you did.
You racked up a huge bill >$300, you sat in his section taking away opportunities for more money, you made faces at him because he wouldn’t let your underage friends get wasted in his section, and then you stuck it to him by tipping him $0.69.
You could have stiffed him with nothing. But no, you had to make your point by leaving 69 cents…. mature.
My husband has been doing this for awhile. He’s a big boy and knew that he still made the right choice of not serving those boys alcohol and saved his job even though it cost him income.
But it still stings.
In the end I want to explain something to you boys.
Maybe you don’t care about people in the real world making money for their families. Maybe you don’t care that customer service is one of the hardest jobs because employees have to deal with people like you that makes their job harder. Maybe you don’t care that the people serving you are doing their best because they make nothing an hour and purely need to make you happy enough with your experience to get a tip to make an income. Maybe you don’t care that I had to go another night of not seeing my husband and going to bed without him and not having him at the dinner table just so he could serve you. Maybe you don’t care his son didn’t get to see his dad or get tucked-in by him (again) so he could serve you, just to have you treat him that badly. Maybe you don’t care that your friends could have gotten in legal trouble, could have gotten in physical trouble, could have gotten behind a wheel and hurt others.
But remember this.
Where you are in life is one chapter. You have an opportunity right now to utilize what your learning with no dependents and little responsibility. The cheap price of living, the convenience of roommates and room and board and scholarships or Financial Aid or even parents paying for college and cell phones. This chapter was provided for you out of privilege and not of a right to you for just being alive and ‘college age’. You should treat your privileges with respect, not trash it with getting wasted, getting your friends fake IDs and treating the people in your community with disrespect. This community is shared with families that are making their own stories, not just the college students. A part of our story is my husband working at this restaurant right now while working on a film and just finished another stage play.
You don’t know what’s going on in everyone’s life.
Next time you have a server that is DOING THEIR JOB don’t punish them for that. It affects their entire income as well as their mental state for the rest of the night.
Not only my husband, but any server. Every one of those employees has a life outside serving you food and drinks. Every one of them has a family or schooling or housing they are paying for. The waitress you don’t see for 15 minutes and you get upset because some other server checked on your table instead? She may be a new mother and pumping milk for her baby in a back room. That guy who took extra tables and you see him running around working hard unable to get your credit card within 20 seconds of you putting it down? He may have done that to pay for some medical bills for his family. Don’t get upset that he is busy, be patient and understanding that he is working his hardest.
I know what you did. I know why you put that exact number. I don’t think it’s funny.
After working until 2am after you guys came in saturday night and screwed him over, he worked a monday shift, notoriously slow in restaurants. And he made more than he did even the previous saturday night… Sticking with morals and not pleasing your underage friends in the end was rewarded by God, Karma, Fate all of it.
I’m proud of my husband.
Put yourself in others shoes. If someone treated you the way you treat people for a good laugh or because of a slight inconvenience as small as not getting a drink while underrage with the big boys, how would you feel? How would you pay your bills? How would you provide for your family? How would you mentally handle that discouragement in the middle of a 12 hour shift on 4 hours of sleep because you worked all night the night before until 1am and woke up at 7:00am to take care of your son when your wife went to work before you went into work again today? All while knowing your son has a broken hand and you have to pay the insanely high cost of seeing a specialist in a week on top of paying for a new house (which I forgot to mention earlier in my letter as well).
I sincerely hope this letter finds its way to you boys.
I hope that it puts how you treat people into perspective.
As Ellen DeGeneres says “Be Kind to One Another”.
That is my current challenge to you.
-Krystal, a proud wife