From a Black Person to Niggas: Why the Food-Service Industry Hates you.
Before I begin this letter, allow to me to first properly classify who and what niggas are for the purposes of this letter, and for those who may not be aware of their status or have failed to recognize how their behavior affiliates them with this flag.
Nigga(s): N, Adj: person (s) that are rude, rowdy, disrespectful, ignorant, ratchet, and may or may not be wholly uneducated on social propriety. (note: being a nigga is not a genetic predisposition, nor is it contingent upon phenotype, ethnotype, socioeconomic assignment, tax income bracket, nationality or creed. )
For those of you who climb out of your bed of recklessness with intentions of patronizing restaurants solely to terrorize, humiliate, scam, stiff or cause chaos for members of serving staffs or management; For those who believe their monetary exchange for food and customer service has actually purchased them a servant or a slave; For those who don’t understand the purpose of social etiquette, the luxury of dining out or the nature of tipping in general: You are despised by anyone who has ever pushed a plate, taken a complaint or greeted guests in the food-service industry. Your presence is seldom welcome, and as a matter of fact, waiters, waitresses, and management do everything in their physical capacity to avoid addressing or entertaining you on any level. On every occasion, and in every experience, you are a waste of time, money and energy for all parties exposed to you in public.
Some of you will read the opening statement of this letter and take that as great news, while taking even greater comfort in the awareness that there isn’t any way to spot you when you arrive (due to lack of ubiquitous aesthetic), as well as the fact that any unassuming person (regardless of race) possesses the potential to become a nigga.
I can’t speak to the convulsion of your spirit, or on why you seemingly gain satisfaction from the misery of others. However, the games you play (from sending plates back, being intentionally disruptive or ordering the most expensive plates you can and then running out on the bill), make you unfit and incapable of participating in society’s luxuries with the rest of the considerate and couth world. If forced to consider your motives, perhaps your superficial and tyrannical behavior comes from some sort of anarchic bent or retaliation against social niceties.
But then again, something tells me your actions aren’t anchored by that type of thoughtfulness. I sincerely doubt you enter eating establishments with the intention of disrupting profits for a campaigns’ sake, or have intentions on making anything “better”. My anger with your archetype lies in my convictions that your motivation rests in the pursuit of free food and drink, and the amusement of fucking with someone at whomever’s expense. Maybe you suffer from an inherited or taught sense of malevolence. Or, maybe you’ve deemed your existence so insufficient that your antics are a natural reaction to never having shit. This theory still wouldn’t explain the mass cross section of people who have proclivities towards becoming niggas while dining out.
In truth, being a nigga was once an American phenomena that was a direct byproduct of the white power structure’s need to isolate African inhabitants culturally and socially through commodification. The machine has now gotten so large that it mass produces “niggas” of all colors and creeds. This is why I, a Black woman, find it unfair that attributes of “niggadom” (as my mother would say) are considered foundational to the souls of black folk.
However, one has to wonder how W.E.B Dubois would react if he knew his “talented tenth” theory would be blown apart by the saddening proof that upward mobility and access to education don’t necessarily serve as metaphysical evolutionary platforms for all African-Americans. In fact, some of the most socially prominent brothers and sisters display truths that impoverishment, once instituted as a norm for a group of people, becomes intrinsic. For those most deeply culturally afflicted, no matter how materially wealthy they become, to have better is not to necessarily know (or do) better.
That brings me to the last part of this letter, which is dedicated to niggas who happen to be Black: If inferiority is your chagrin, work harder to demonstrate true superiority in public. If you think I, your server, believe I’m better than you, kill me with kindness and reverse my misconceptions. Lastly, to the Black woman with an attitude, let me make this clear:
No one, (not even I, another Black woman suffering from the same disenfranchisement and inequities) gives a fuck about your displeasure. Your complaints, imagined offenses, and little-to-no tips don’t make or break my pockets. I will never understand why the presence of another working Black woman elicits anger on sight, but you only serve to make yourself more unhappy by being that damn cantankerous.
In closing, for those who weren’t aware of their behavior, or have read this and would like to repent, allow me to offer you this:
If you don’t have money to tip, you don’t have money to eat. Also note that you tip on service, not on food; 15-20% of the bill is the standard and humanely acceptable tip amount. Most servers are required to share their tip not only with bus staff, but the restaurant as well, which means only a percentage of that 20 percent tip actually reaches your waiter or waitress. If the server doesn’t make the full percentage of “tipout” on the meal they sold, then the server is left to basically pay out of pocket for the meal you bought. And that is simply no bueno.
So, for niggas (of all races and persuasions) in the world that enjoy eating out: Respect your servers position, and everyone will leave the restaurant happy and unscathed. Always remember: “Don’t start none, won’t be none.”