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Life is only what you wonder.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Every Day Is Payday

The best part of being a waiter is that every day is payday.
You're flat broke and don't even have two pennies to rub together? Go to work and you'll have a fat wad o' cash when the day is through.
The worst part about that is, in order to pay your bills you have to learn to save.
You have all this money, but you can't spend most of it, because bills have to be paid. Saving was never my strong suit. I've got money in my pocket, I want to spend it!
Saving is one of the hardest things I had to learn.

But there's the alternative, which is just as bad. If you work a "regular job" and you collect a paycheck every two weeks, you've got to learn to stretch.
Oh, you get your fat paycheck but then you have to take x, y, and z amount out for rent, electric, telephone, transportation, food, and your other bills and whatever's left has to last you until your next paycheck.
I've never been that good at stretching, either. I know what it's like to be totally, hopelessly broke and payday is five days away. It sucks.

"Don't you get a paycheck?" I hear you asking. Yes, I get a paycheck for the measly $2.30 an hour they pay me to wait tables, but by the time they take federal, state and local taxes out, my check is barely enough to pay for drinks at Happy Hour.
My paycheck doesn't pay my rent, my tips do.

OK, here comes the "true confessions" thing. I'll admit I don't claim 100% of my tips to the IRS. If I did, I wouldn't even get a paycheck at all. I'd feel really bad about this, but the fact of the matter is this: nobody claims 100% of their tips.
I've worked in restaurants for years and I've never ever seen anyone claim everything they made. I claim 50-75%, which is more than some waiters I know.

Speaking of waiting tables, I gotta get ready for work now. Hopefully, I'll be charming, polite, and helpful enough so I'll make lots of moolah.
I've got bills to pay.