Last night I lost a bet with my wife (long story, the substance of which involves an ironing board, a pair of gardening gloves and some shaving lotion…) and ended up purchasing ice cream from one of your stores here in the larger Portland area. I don’t specify the store on purpose here because (a) all your stores are the same and (b) I lose a lot of bets with my wife.
The point of the matter is this: you keep a tip jar near the cash register, and every time a customer puts money into said tip jar, your employees instantly break into song. This has already been well-documented on The Internets, so I won’t waste your time articulating what I’m sure is a commonplace argument for you now; requiring minimum wage teenagers to sing for tips post-hoc is simply cruel.
However, what I will waste your time nuancing is the fact that I paid for my ice cream with a debit card, and upon writing a tip on the receipt I did not hear the room break into whatever insipid remake of a 1960s TV show theme song you are making your employees sing this week. This isn’t the first time this happened, either; am I to assume, then, that tips granted via debit or credit cards pass away unsung?
Your corporate FAQ makes it clear that you don’t merely interview your employees, but “audition” them as well. That’s well and fine, I suppose. Good on you for making it known up-front that if you are going to pay your employees like singing chimps, you are expecting them to act as such. What your FAQ is not clear on, however, is how the singing is directly linked to the objectification of the tip jar and not the act of tipping itself. If what I’m sensing is true, that’s some serious Lacanian bullshit you’re pulling there.
Don’t get me wrong, please: I am not complaining about the fact that my tip went unsung last night. This is not a letter of complaint. This is a letter of inquiry. That’s all.
And but so?