From Morningsiders With Love: Tips to the Public from Working Students

By Claire DeRoin ~
“They don’t pay me enough for this.”

According to a study by Jonathan M. Orszag, Peter R. Orszag, and Diane M. Whitmore, 57% of college kids find themselves working some kind of job during the school year. The schedules of college kids make them candidates for part-time jobs in the retail or service industry. These jobs may not be glamorous or even desirable, but they do help many students pay for textbooks and tuition.

Balancing classwork and a job can be hectic. Most of the time, job stressors could be eliminated and better service would be given if the general public knew a few things:

 Tips from Waitresses and Waiters:

When we ask if you want anything, speak up. We don’t mind getting something for you, but running back and forth gets tiring. We’d rather bring three sodas to your table at once as opposed to three sodas during three separate trips.

If we did well, tip us. Please. The staff of a restaurant typically makes an hourly wage below minimum wage. We depend on your tips to pay our rent.

Don’t loiter! If the restaurant is busy and you’ve finished your meal, please get a move on. We’re losing precious tips and table space. Someone else could be sitting at that table and enjoying a meal instead of you sitting and chatting while ordering nothing.

Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Is something wrong with your food? The chances are that something got mixed up in communication between the kitchen staff and the wait staff. Being rude about the problem won’t get a new dish to you any faster.

Don’t play with your food. When you are at home, do you mush your food together on the plate when you’re done eating? You wouldn’t want to clean that up yourself, and neither would we.

Tips from a Basketball referee:

Remember who controls the game. Yelling at a referee isn’t going to help your case. While referees are supposed to be completely objective, having a coach screaming in his face isn’t going to make a referee cut your team any slack. If you’re going to scream at a referee, especially if it gets personal, expect calls to tighten up… on your team.

Trust us. We’ve gone through training, read all the guidebooks, and most of us have played basketball for years. We probably know way more than you, and have been around the basketball court for quite a few years.

Thank us! Fans and coaches sure are eager to make sure everyone knows if a bad call is suspected. What if a referee does a fantastic job? We never hear about it. We don’t get paid very much for running up and down a court all day while people yell at us, and thanks are very much appreciated.

Tips from Salespeople:

Don’t get mad if you fail the “Buckle Challenge.” Most sales associates are instructed by their managers to greet every single customer and ask if they need help. Just because you’ve been in the store before doesn’t mean that the next person won’t have a question!

Pick up your clothes! Don’t leave clothes in a pile on the floor of the dressing room. There are usually rails or baskets provided. At the end of our shifts, we hate finding a dressing room full of wadded-up clothes.

If you’re honest, we’ll try to cut you some slack. You have a coupon that expired yesterday? Depending on store policy, we’ll try to help you out. If you’ve switched tags to make your item less expensive, don’t expect us to feel sorry for you.

Listen to what we have to say. Sometimes we’re offering you legitimately good advice and deals just because we like helping people save money, not just to make commission.

March 19, 2012