HearthBeats: Notes from a Kitchen Witch

Merry Meet and welcome once again to my hearth. I was torn this month about what to write.  I try to create a magickal page that will make you think and challenge you to think outside the box; but this month and for a few months before I have been troubled by something. Something we all have been being hassled and troubled by… the economy.

But this is a little different. Many of us, Pagans, Wiccans, Witches are having trouble with the economy because we sell our wares or talents and in these times of trouble less people seem to be buying then ever before. But I must say that something I rarely think about was brought to my attention that I had not really dwelled on. Tips… and the people who rely on them to make the ends meet, the Waiters, Waitresses, Take out clerks, Bus drivers. These people count on the small generosities of their customers to make the very small paycheck work. Did you know that many wait staff make like $4.00 an hour because their tip making abilities are factored in.  Many Tour bus drivers are making $10 an hour but only get paid for the time they drive, or they get paid mileage… only for the miles they actually drive. And if they are stuck somewhere for 8 to 10 hours they make nothing, but they have to stay around the bus in case they have to move it. So they cannot do anything except buy something to eat or drink. This freaked me out.

I recently went on a “staycation” you know.. that new catch phrase for vacations more local. I took a tour bus from Albany, NY to Boston Ma for a whale watch. Not very expensive.. wonderful ride out.. air conditioned bus.. great driver who played good tunes on the way out and a good movie on the way back. I gave him a $5.00 tip. Many others gave him $1.00 or $2.00. now there were 55 people on the bus, I joking said to the driver” you must make out like a bandit.” And he said he wished.. people trust him with their lives.. he drives then hundreds of miles in a day and he make maybe $80.00 before taxes on the trip and $46.00 in tips that he had to share with the escort.. WOW.. that made me stop for a minute… that means that many people did not even think that their lives were worth a few dollars in tips for this man who went way out of his way to safely get us there and the wonderful escort who have us juice and snacks.. asked after our every need and provided nibbles for the ride home. WOW I say again.. if everyone had given  a few dollars that trip would have been worth him working a Saturday to take us on vacation. Would you have given up YOUR Saturday for less than $150.00 before taxes??

Then the waitress or waiter that serves you a meal, do you think about what they have to do every day they work for 8-12 hours a day??  They do what you do at home but they do it for hundreds of ungrateful people who make messes on the table, grumble about the food and leave a dollar or two for the $40.00 meal they had. This person waits on us, to look at the menu, decide what we want, order it. Then they wait for someone else while waiting for our order.  Then they wait for others while they wait to see what we need. And during this time they have to clean and maintain their station, making sure that the food, condiments and tableware are clean and ready for the next group. And in many cases they may have to share the tips that they do make with the other wait staff.  So when you leave a dollar or less than 15% of your tab you are hurting someone who may only be making $4.00 – $6.00 an hour.

This holds true for many laborers in our lives. The kid who mows the lawn, you know the lawn that it is too freakin hot for you to mow. You are paying him like $15.00 for 2 hours work.. nasty sweaty backbreaking work. Or others that you rely on.. but do not really think about… yet.

I only ask you this… Think about your life. Think about the people who do for you that deserve more than a thank you. If they perform a service for you that you must pay for chances are they are not really making very much.  Leave them a tip…. If their service is good.. leave them a tip.  If they drive you somewhere.. well what is YOUR LIFE worth? My life is worth more than a dollar or two.. so I give what I can afford to give. But if I can afford to get a large dunkin donuts coffee then I can afford a .25 or .50 tip for it. If I can afford to eat out then I should factor in at least the 15%. If I take a tour on a chartered bus then I factor in at least $5.00 even though I would LOVE to give more. But think about it, what would we do if they made what they were worth? We would NOT go anywhere. If  they decided not to work because they are mistreated and underpaid. Well we would have to stay home or drive ourselves..

Well I can hear it now… “ They should be glad they have a job.” Or “ They knew what they were getting as part of the Job”. Well they also know that if they do a great job some people will tip them for good service. Well you know what  I know some that don’t care and the service they provide show it; Dirty busses, cold food, late arrivals, Nasty attitude. Well you know that saying..you get what you pay for. It is true for your service as well as the price of the trip. Think about what YOU would do if it was YOU in that job. Then tip accordingly.

Until next time

Blessed Home and Hearth

The Hearthkeeper

PS. If there is anything you would like to see here.. please email me at  [email protected]

Blessed be…