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Saturday, February 2, 2013

In which I point out that Kathy Shaidle is still

In which I point out that Kathy Shaidle is, apparently, still a woman (in the pejorative "feelings" sense of the word), and apparently still hasn't wholly freed her mind of the naïve "liberalism" and libertarianism of her youth, and appears still to have not wholly freed her mind of the feeling of superiority, undeserved and unevidenced, over Protestants that so many Catholics seem to ingest with mother's milk --

I believe that Kathy Shaidle is mature enough to take this post in the spirit it's meant, as (constructive) criticism; but I expect that by now Gentle Reader understands me well enough to realize that should I be wrong on that, and she were to decide, for instance, to hate me for the rest of her life, it won't bother me in the least.

Kathy Shaidle: Dear Protestants: This is why people hate you.

Kathy Shaidle: Another take on ‘Why People Hate Protestants’: Tipping at Chain Restaurants edition

I've explained before some of the things wrong with the whole culture of tipping, so I'm not going to rehearse that here again. Instead, I'll address what I see a Miss Shaidle's bitch:
1) Christianity (even if it's just "cultural christianity") in the public square;
2) the "unfairness" of not tipping waitstaff "what they're worth".

1) Christianity (even if it's just "cultural christianity") in the public square -- Surely anyone who has read Kathy Shaidle for any length of time, read with discernment, understands that she is impatient with, or embarrassed by, public expressions of Christianity, and by explicit appeal to Christian moral understanding. I see this as being, at least in part, a holdover from the "liberalism" and libertarianism of her youth, with possibly a bit of influence from her on-again off-again renunciation of Catholicism.

But, *every* question of how we should live, of how we should deal with and treat one another, in private and in public, is a moral question. Now, the Christian moral understanding just happens to be the best that has ever been available to any society; and it happens to be the one around which all Western societies, and none more so than the American, are oriented and organized -- you can't get, much less maintain, a recognizably Western society without a bedrock of Christian morality.

Thus, since:
1) all important questions of how we ought treat one another are moral questions,
and 2) all Western societies presuppose Christian morality,
in a Western society, such as America, it is all but impossible to find anyone -- even 'atheists' -- who does not make explicit appeal to the Christian moral understanding, even if his appeal depends upon intentional distortion of it, to justify his behavior, especially behavior that others are going to condemn. And black Americans are Westerners, just as much as you and I are.

So, here's the situation --
1) a chain-restaurant seated a party of black Americans;
2) the menu from which these Americans ordered listed various items at various prices;
3) these Americans consulted their appetites, and their finances, and decided to order this and that;
4) then, after these free-born sons and daughters of America had consumed the meal which they had been told would cost a certain amount, which amount they had agreed to pay before ordering, the restaurateur says to them: "By the way, I expect/demand that you pay me 18% more than I first told you I wanted. Plus the sales tax."
5) then, the customer scribbled out the "tip" and wrote on the bill presented her: "I give God 10% Why do you get 18";
6) then, the greedy-and-self-righteous waitress posted a copy of the bill on the internet, so as to embarrass the customer, and to show the whole world how put-upon, what a righteous martyr, she is;
7) then, the stupid-and grasping waitress was fired by the restaurant manager, for embarrassing the corporation;
7a) he should have been embarrassed by the fact that his corporation dares to "volunteer" the "tip" their customers "ought" to pay ... while also leaving a blank line for an additional tip.

I sorry -- by which I mean I'm not sorry at all -- but my sympathies are with the outraged customer, and I think it's fitting that the stupid bitch (the waitress) was fired for posting a copy of the bill on the internet. But, you know Kathy, if you're going to "blame" this woman's (the customer's) "outrageous" behavior on anything other than her shock and outrage at being ordered to pay 18% as a "tip", why not blame it on her being a woman, rather than on her being Protestant or being black? I mean, simply everyone knows that women "shaft" the staff at restaurants when paying the bill ... besides that women frequently treat the staff like dirt even before the bill arrives, which shitty treatment they "justify" in terms of the tip they may or may not add to the bill.

Now, even in the best of times, even when they're not upset and outraged, most people do not communicate all that well when speaking, and most people communicate even worse in writing than they do in speaking. Further, a restaurant receipt doesn't offer quite enough room to write a treatise on why you are declining to pay the "tip" the restaurateur so generously added to your bill. On the other hand, most people neither listen to what is said, nor even attempt to read-with-comprehension what is written, so I suppose it all evens out in the end.

Anyway, the point is, given that *everyone* in a Western society tries to appeal to the Christian moral understanding to justify himself, and given that America is the most Western of Western societies, and given that the customer was a pastor (*), and given that most people do not know how to express themselves well in writing, and given the smallness of her composition paper, I quite understand why she wrote: "I give God 10% Why do you get 18". I *also* understand why those persons who hate Christianity, or are merely embarrassed to be associated with it, are having themselves a real good hate-on over this.

(*) At the same time, women as priests/ministers/pastors is even more a recipe for social disater than woman as governors and legislators.

2) the "unfairness" of not tipping waitstaff "what they're worth" -- What is a waitress "worth", anyway? And how and why (and when) has it become the customer's job to determine what waiters "ought" to be paid?

Since it has apparently become the customer's job to determine what waiters and waitresses "ought" to be paid, why is the customer not being given an accounting of the server’s YTD earnings, so that he can make an informed decision? If the waiter or watress has already received more than he or she "deserves" for the year so far, is that particular customer off the hook? And, does this mean that a severely "underpaid" waitress's last customer of the year is obligated to make good on all the "tips" she "deserved", but didn't receive?

And, what about the busboy? What's he being paid? Where is the customer's proof that the waitress is giving him the "appropriate" cut of the "tip"?

Further, in any event, once the public has "determined" that the staff of this or that restaurant isn't being paid what they "deserve", why in the hell is the public still patronizing the place? why is the public enabling the "immorality" of that restaurateur, rather than taking its business down the street to a "moral" restaurateur who pays his staff "what they are worth"?

At the same time, if a waitress feels (*) that she isn't being paid "what she's worth", why is it the customer's job to somehow figure out what she "deserves" and then pay the restaurant whatever extra that is (**)? Why isn't it her job to get her unmotivated ass down the street to a place that will pay her "what she's worth"?

(*) Because, you know, women in general, much as children, are pretty much uninterested in appealing to abstract justice, preferring to (ahem) argue on the grounds of their feelings and an appeal to some amorphous semi-concept of "fairness" (which, generally, as with children, means "whatever I happen to want, right now")

(**) I must salute Appleby's -- apparently that chain is so solicitous of their customers’ moral well-being that they go to the trouble of printing that extra amount right there on the bill! And, it seems, they *also* add an extra line for an additional tip, should the customer be so inclined. Still, wouldn't it have been far simpler to set their prices high enough that they could pay their staff "what they're worth" out of the corporation's direct income, without expecting/demanding their customers to make good on the difference?