Ask most servers and they’ll tell you, Sunday morning is one of the worst shifts of the week to work – if not the worst. It’s busy, people are rude, impatient and tip lousy. Which is ironic considering that Sunday mornings the majority of the “rush” comes from churchgoers who had just left a building that supposedly told them to be kind, giving and “love thy neighbor.”
I should know, I did it for over eight years. In fact, Sunday morning shifts are where I really learned first hand how hypocritical “churchgoers” often are.
Let me give you a quick background on the service industry. Most places servers make below minimum wage (often $2.13 an hour). This means most servers rely entirely on tips to survive. Not only that, but most restaurants force serves to pay a “tip out,” which is usually based on a percentage of sales that goes to bussers, hostesses or bartenders.
Let’s say one table’s tab is $100, and the server has a tip out of 3 percent, that means that server pays $3 to wait on that table. So in reality, if that table doesn’t tip – that server paid to provide them service. And that’s if the tip out is just 3 percent. I’ve worked at restaurants with 5 percent tip outs. I’ve also worked at places that you pay 10 percent of your alcohol sales to the bartender. So if you run up a bar tab with a server of $100 and don’t tip, they still have to give the bartender $10.
Is it fair? No. But I’m not here to discuss the semantics of the rights or wrongs of how the service industry works.
I am here to salute a Tennessee pastor who has apparently noticed this hypocrisy. He says the motivation came from a story in St. Louis where a pastor wrote on a server’s receipt, “I give God ten percent, why do you get 18?”
Maybe because God doesn’t have children at home to feed? A car payment? Rent? Tuition? This ridiculous argument some churchgoers use – and they use it often – is exactly what that pastor wrote.
That or they might not even leave a tip at all. Instead they’d leave a little piece of paper, often one that looked like money, saying they gave your tip to God.
I could honestly write a 5,000 word article on how horrible Sundays were as a server. And even in retail, Sundays were the worst. Though at least in retail you’re making hourly.
Well, in response to this ignorance, Tennessee pastor Chad Roberts decided to create a website called Sundays Are the Worst where people who serve at local restaurants could vent about how they were treated.
Is this a perfect idea? Of course not. But I still love it anyway.
Being in the service industry isn’t something everyone has done or can even do. It’s hard, backbreaking work where your faith in humankind is constantly tested and so is your sanity. Situations that are often made much worse by the good “churchgoing crowd” on Sunday mornings.
And as a former server, I applaud pastor Chad Roberts for taking a stand against the hypocrisy and ignorance so many in the church community display every Sunday when they’ve been told to be giving, caring and kind – yet when they leave church are often none of the above.