At the risk of sounding like a "get-off-my-lawn" kind of guy, I have a few questions for Ryan Bradford regarding his experiences at the recent Neil Diamond concert ["The night I crashed Neil Diamond," June 3]. One, why did you go? Two, did you enjoy it? And three, have you ever been to a concert and were annoyed by someone next to you talking loudly while you were trying to listen?
Mr. Bradford has a condescending attitude to those who wanted to be there, and actually enjoyed the show. It must be nice to be able to park free, get in for free and hang out with the "sad sacks" in the lounge. With the $12 beer and the Jim Beam in his system, you would think he would have enjoyed the experience and not be so snarky. But I guess he was blinded by that one lady's "ND bejeweled" shirt.
Rob Cohen, Kensington
GIVING PEACE A CHANCE
Terrific voting rights analysis piece by new CityBeat political writer Chad Peace in the May 20 issue ["Right to vote is under attack"]. I was considering changing my political affiliation to Independent or Green this year, but after reading about the "private party" primary elections, I will hold off until I can figure out a better way to have my vote always count. Also, hopefully he can help our San Diego electorate with advice on how to take apart the gerrymandered voting districts that allow a small minority in the country to control elections, to get all money out of politics (Wall Street out of Washington), to mandate that all citizens vote, and then if he has time, to analyze why Americans have become so vehemently divided into the Red and the Blue. Could it be the old aristocrat colonialists' "divide and conquer" plan is alive and well in the 21st century? Looks like a full plate, so welcome, Chad!
Donna Shanske, Bankers Hill
MORE THAN THE TIP
In your article: "Should the tip system be toppled?" [May 27], you talk about a "disparity of compensation" between the waiters/busboys and the kitchen staff, and the amount of restaurants that are adding a "service charge" to customers' checks to direct more compensation to the kitchen without altering the menu prices. This is really the heart of the problem for me, since, why doesn't the restaurant compensate it's kitchen staff better itself, and also for that matter, its wait staff and bus staff?
You have a quote by Jay Porter who says, "our food improved, probably because our cooks were being paid more and didn't feel taken for granted," when what he implied and meant to say was "our food improved probably because our cooks were being paid more by our clients, and they didn't feel taken for granted."
And you have quotes that try to defend tipping: "That is what pushes service to a higher level in my opinion," and "What incentive to sell would a car salesman have if he wasn't given a percentage?" In my opinion the restaurant should be giving the percentage, and not the client of the restaurant.
All restaurants pay their wait and bus staffs minimum wage—the lowest they possibly can, and then expect that their clients will further compensate their employees beyond that, in addition to paying the already inflated prices for food and drink. Message to restaurant wait and bus staff: Giving good service is your job!!
Even though I have 10 years of experience in the restaurant industry, and have received tips, I always felt that the clients were unfairly put in the position of compensating me beyond the hourly wage, for delivering them food and drink—they are already paying the inflated price of said food and drink. Why couldn't the restaurant calculate the total sales that a waitperson generated on a shift, and pay them a (tip) percentage?
At one of my favorite spots, Café Chloe downtown, I recently noticed that they had upped their prices across the board two or four dollars per plate, and also the wine. Maybe they are giving more to their kitchen staff, but more likely they are not, and it's just passed on to the customer.
Yadda yadda yadda—I wish you had also explored a similar stance instead of letting the restaurant employer off the hook at the expense of the customer, or had asked Jay Porter: "Why don't you compensate your employees better opposed to having your clients do so? Is it even legal to charge customers a service charge' to compensate their employees?"
Brian LaVander, Chula Vista
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