8 cents in the tip jar

Have you ever had a job that was below you? A job that you felt under valued, under utilized, and definitely under paid? Have you ever had bad boss? One you felt treated you and the other employees unjustly? Have you ever had a boss you just know you could do better than?

I think most of us have been there- those jobs that we threaten to quit every day when we return home from work. Those jobs that drag us down and make us ask, “is this even worth it?” I think I’m at one of those jobs…
I’ve had around 18 jobs now (no, I’ve never been fired…) and have had opportunities to do some amazing things, but with each job comes a higher standard of the next. When I moved to Chicago last spring I took a job with a coffeehouse at minimum wage. It was right next to school, would give me the hours I wanted, and would be a great way to break in to the barista business. But minimum wage? I haven’t worked for minimum wage since high school. I took it anyways.

So here I am back in chicago and working for the coffeehouse again. I was promised a raise last spring. I didn’t get it, so they told me they would sent me a bonus check over the summer for all my great work. That never showed up either. I went back to work, hoping that raise was still on it’s way, only to here that it was given to another employee because I’m only working for 10 hours a week this year. They gave my raise away?!?

The coffeehouse isn’t doing so well. My first day of work I made 8 cents in tips the entire shift, compared to the $3-$5 an hour I made in tips at EVP coffee this summer. I think it’s because only five people came in during my shift, compared to the 125 that would have come in during the same shift at EVP. My boss decided that she needed to “re-train” me on how to steam milk, something I did about 80 times every time I worked at the coffeehouse over the summer. She watches me like a hawk and makes me feel guilty for sitting down, even when there hasn’t been a customer for 30 minutes and the store is spotless and stocked. I feel like my work is pointless and worthless. I mop the floor to clean up my own footprints to give me something to do. While I’m trying to find ways to clean an already clean store, she’s “working on the schedule” (which really means either talking to her boyfriend online or creating more checklists of things for us to do). And at the end of a shift, we have to split what pitiful tips we get with her, even if we served almost everyone who came in. She tells me I’m her favorite, not only to me, but to the other employees, making me feel extremely awkward. She even told the new guy who came in. On his very first day she says to him, “This is Maria. She’s my favorite.” Then she turns around and has us sweep and mop under all the refrigerators and freezers while she reads the newspaper.

The saddest thing? My boss is a Christian. And not a in-the-closet Christian, but an outspoken one.

I’m fine with working hard. And I’m sorry I’m cynical. But this alarms me. As Christians, are we teaching each other how to be Christian in every realm of our life? Are we asking ourselves if our Christian values and beliefs go beyond church and bible study? Where is the generousity, grace, and love we are to show one another?

So, I’m asking your advice. Do I quit and look for a better paying, better managed job? Do I sit down and, as a friend, talk to my boss? (She’s a few months younger than me and considers me a friend.) Do I keep working and pray to get rid of my bitterness? Do I keep working and just do things my way until I get fired? Help!

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3 thoughts on “8 cents in the tip jar

  1. Maria,
    My advise; Get a new job, tell your boss why you are leaving. That coffee shop will keep employees who don’t care. You care. You need to work for a place that cares that you care. And listen to Steve Musto’s sermon at Blackhawk today on line…it talks about this very thing.

    Miss you two!
    Nancy

  2. God may be preparing a divine moment for you. God is incapable of using the wrong tool for the job and he has chosen to engage you in the life of your boss. I think you should prepare yourself by repenting your bitterness. That should energize you for a heart to heart with this sister who has compartmentalized her walk with Christ into a couple hours a week, so that she can make sharing the Good News a measure harder for the rest of us. Then, look for all the open doors God will undoubtedly lay before you. One of which might be staying where you are.
    Change the world one heart at a time.

    innov8 -2- rel8!

  3. I agree with Nancy. Tell her the things you told us here. We all learn from each other. I think we need to speak the truth to each other. It’s the only way we can grow and change. Well, maybe not the only way…there are harder ways in which we figure things out.

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