Somebody Stole My Tips

I work at a drive-thru coffee shop, a national chain. I would say it’s a living, but it isn’t, since I just make minimum wage, but that’s supplemented some by the tips (and honestly the benefits are the real reason to work there). I used to work at a cafe and the tips there were good, but the drive thru tips sort of stink. I’m not sure why – I think some of it is that the speed of drive thru makes the kinds of customer connections that lead to tips hard to create, and because people aren’t trained to tip at other drive thru establishments – but since I started working at drive thru my weekly tips have really nose dived. 

The way it works at my coffee shop is that everybody shares tips, and all the tips of the week are pooled and parceled out by hours; ie they count all the tips, divide that amount by the number of hours worked total, and that gives an hourly tip rate. Then you get that rate times your worked hours; ie, if the tips are worth $1 an hour and you worked 20 hours, you get 20 bucks. 

It’s not a lot, but it’s spending money. I saved up about six months worth of tips and used it to finance a trip to Las Vegas for the big Star Trek convention this summer, and it was a delight. Sometimes I use the tip money to buy food, or to get a record. It’s a small sum that feels extra and brightens the week.

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Donald’s Dharma: Trump as Cautionary Tale

Donald Trump is my greatest teacher.

I look at how this man acts, how he reacts, how he gets in his own way, how he fucks himself up at every step, and I learn how to not be. This is such an incredibly valuable learning tool.

Looking at Trump I recognize some of the character traits – the insecurity that manifests as ego and anger, the inability to rein in momentary emotions, an inflated sense of self – and I see how ugly they are. But more than that I truly see how they don‘t work. When you’re inside those mindstates you believe that your actions – as crazy and awful as they are – are the only actions that are reasonable in the moment. You’re out of your goddamned mind. But from the outside it’s quite clear how self-destructive all of this is. And how PATHETIC it is.

What’s more, Donald Trump proves that you can get everything – become the most powerful and famous person alive! – and still be completely unfulfilled, still be roiling with resentments and self doubts and anger and hatred. Success doesn’t make you whole. 

So thank you, Donald Trump, for being a great teacher and showing me the unskillful ways of living. For showing me the ways to not be. For showing me how all of these negative traits don’t work, and that whatever victories they bring you they also poison so you can’t even enjoy them.

I usually hate “Resistance” slacktivism (“RT this if you think Trump should be impeached right now!” or half-researched image macros) but in this case I think a little capitalist slactivism couldn’t hurt. Go to Amazon and buy FIRE AND FURY. It’s 14.99 on Kindle. Let’s get this book up to the top of the charts.