Opinion | This one goes out to every whiny brat restaurant customer


You go, girl.

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Nicely written but ultimately the issue isn’t the many lousy customers but the need to pay unbelievable amounts of money to get a decent education (and yes, I am aware college tuition isn’t by far the only reason for the high cost of living for many but it adds a very significant part of debts to way too many Americans). Many countries in Europe show that you can provide the same level of education practically for free - and the sad thing is that even high end universities like Harvard, MIT don’t provide you a better education - having actually experienced both myself, it’s sad to see that schools like Harvard are inferior to many of European universities.

No, it’s not. The cost of an education has fuck all to do with people being assholes in restaurants. The author just wants to do her job without being mistreated.

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That’s pretty tangential. Maybe in some countries in Europe a poor 17-year-old that’s a superior student wouldn’t have to work a shitty restaurant job thanks to subsidies and grants, but lots of restaurant jobs there are still shitty and pay badly.

No they are not - many waiters work their whole life as a waiter in many European countries like Germany, Scandinavia, France, Belgian, Spain etc. have a family and don’t need to work two additional jobs just to survive. Those jobs are actually pay a salary you can live from.
And you apparently don’t know the university system of many European countries but it has nothing to do with living by grants or being a superior student - if universities are free and rents are reasonable it is often no problems for many parents to pay a small amount to their kids every month for rent.

Cost for college education is one of the biggest (if not the biggest) reason why Americans accumulate depth, have to pay multiple jobs etc. If this problem wouldn’t exist, there would be much less need to work in this underpaid jobs and restaurants would actually have to pay livable wages. We see know with people moving away from such jobs and the desperate search of restaurants for workers how the salaries are starting rise.

Warrior: Elon Musk has it right about higher education. It is a waste of time and money; a parasite on our society. And it is not an equalizer at all. Quite the opposite, it creates artificial barriers to entry into the workforce. And it gives companies a free license to discriminate against poorer folks by hiring only elite college / professional school graduates who in fact learned no useful skills in their “education.”

That is too general - higher education is very useful and necessary for certain/significant number of jobs but there needs to be more paths to jobs (which pay a living wage) than just higher education. In addition, higher education in the US is way too school-like structured and would strongly benefit from a different approach.

Lemme see if I have this right: You’d like to blame “the system,” while letting the customers who scream at teenagers over ranch dressing completely off the hook.

I didn’t read @honkman’s opinion as excusing customers’ bad behavior. The author herself explains that she doesn’t necessarily want the job at all but feels compelled to do so, while keeping a very high courseload, b/c her family can’t afford to send her to college.

Perhaps not much can be done about customer behavior, unfortunately, but waitstaff (and people in entry-level jobs in general) can’t “save themselves” b/c they have debt or expect to have debt.

But I would say that the main issue is healthcare costs (not for the author, but in general) since it’s the number 1 reason in US for bankruptcy. I work in the healthcare industry, and I’ve had international clients say that the common occurrence in the US of people staying in a job that they hate simply b/c of the benefits is rather foreign to them.

And, in all other industrialized nations, healthcare costs are also quite diff vs. the US.

I don’t think it’s so much of stretch to say one reason why restaurant customers yell at waitstaff is b/c waitstaff is seen as “less then.” If waitstaff positions earned a living wage and weren’t seen as less then, then maybe one contribution to bad behavior would disappear.

It’s also easy for tech billionaires to dismiss the importance of an education when many of them have or at least started said education themselves…


As @paranoidgarliclover said of course shitty customers are shitty customers and should be also pointed out and there is no excuse to treat anybody like that. But the question I am trying to raise is if the fundamental issue is that those jobs and dependencies mainly exist because of a very unbalanced system (in particular towards, but not only and healthcare is definitely also a big factor, around the higher education system which “forces” most people who don’t have rich parents to work those jobs and be exploited by restaurant owners

Public education may be free in some European countries, but only to the limited number of students with better grades / scores (similar to the US where some get full scholarships). Thanks to demand exceeding supply there are 3,000 private colleges in France.

That couldn’t be further from the reality - in Germany for example the education is free for everybody independently of grades. Some in other countries

I don’t know about Germany, but it’s not true in France or Italy, where there are also lots of shitty restaurant jobs.

I have many friends in Italy and I know from them that the universities are mainly for free. The university system in Italy has more of a problem if you want to stay in academia, e.g. want to become professor when many will fail because of missing “connections” and move to other countries

I think absolutely. Do we have a middle class here in the US?

Yes - but it is much smaller today than even 20 years ago

Or get a job. Or move out of your parents’ house.

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