LJ - Arkansas edition!
Mood: sick
Location: near a sweeeet jacuzzi!
Posted on 2006-08-24 20:17:00
Tags: moving travel
Words: 400

Howdy sports racers! This post is brought to you by the good folks at Clarion Resort who provide tasty tasty free high speed internet in every room. Not to mention the sweeeet jacuzzi in the room - we're totally going to use it again and watch TV in it after this :-)

The drive today went relatively OK. We're in Hot Springs, AK now which is right about on schedule in terms of distance (maybe a little farther than we needed to go), and the nice part is we got here around 5:30, so we got some relaxing time (sweeeet jacuzzi!) before heading out to a nice Italian place for dinner. The bad news is that my allergies are freakin' killing me. I don't know if it's a cold or not, but I was blowing my nose all day long and it's really starting to get raw from all that. I bought some of the fancy Kleenex(TM) with lotion on them which usually helps, so we'll see how that goes. Hopefully a good night's sleep tonight will help too.

Hot Springs (population 36,000) seems like a relatively nice place, although we drove through downtown to get to dinner and it looked a bit run down. Bill Clinton grew up here, and they converted his old high school into the Cultural Center of Arkansas, which is "a large complex where artists and performers may live and work". Although now that I search on that, one of the only places this shows up is in the brochure I'm currently reading. Maybe it's not finished yet?

Here's a random question - why is it standard practice to tip waiters 15% of the cost for food and drink? I can understand based on the number of drinks and entrees ordered, but is it harder to keep track of and deliver an expensive steak than a simple angel hair pasta? Or is this just an easy approximation to the number of entrees and drinks ordered? I know hosts and busboys get part of the tips - do the chefs as well? Because that would make sense, since presumably the more expensive meal is harder to cook.

Tomorrow the plan is to stop somewhere in Tennessee (we'll be spending a ridiculous amount of time in Tennessee, going from the southwest corner to the northeast corner), so hopefully I'll be able to post again if we can find another nice hotel :-)


Comment from amorphousplasma:

I suppose in fancier restaurants the waiter might be required to know more about the steak (type of beef, side orders, dressing or sauce) than a bowl of pasta, as well as making sure it's done to the customer's liking.

Tipping by number of entrees.... well would you really want to tip as much for your Coke as you do for your steak? And what about refills, in that case?

I know bartenders get a percentage of the tip. I don't think chefs do, but they get paid more.

Tennessee is really pretty! Enjoy the drive!

Comment from cifarelli:

My family went to Hot Springs on vacation one year when I was a kid. Unfortunately, I can't say I really remember much about it.

Sorry you're not feeling well. Here's hoping you're better tomorrow!

Comment from onefishclappin:

Tipping: Tipping based on price of meal makes sense between restaurants (you expect better service at a pricier (ie. nicer) place), but I agree - a cheap entree is just as easy to bring out as an expensive one. And in fact, a beer is easier than a coke (free refills) but actually costs less so => less tip. I don't understand tipping all together - I would prefer a set price which includes a living wage for the workers (since all too often servers get screwed by bad tips/tippers).

AK: We drove through Hot Springs and did the cross TN drive as well. We actually did Little Rock (where David's bro & fam live) to N.C. in one (long long) day. All I really know of the state is Bill & Judy's house, the nearby grocery store, the fact that their Papa John's didn't like AMEX, & a couple of gas stations and whatnot.

Hope the trip continues well!

Comment from traigus:

Most large chains have the cooks and greeters on salary, but I have seen/worked at palces where both have been tipped( In the last 2 years, TGI Fridays, where my bro works, has switched their greeters to tips and back again).

Thr history of tipping is a long an complicated story. The reasons are pretty far from the origional roots.

Short version:
Started off as a "keep the change" kinda thing. It was also the "bribes" given to people at swanky places (for a good table etc.)

Later lower income places actually started deducting from pay becasue of tips (up here in RI bas pay for a waiter is $2.65 plus tips an hour).

At some point it became a flat %, so people knew what to put down... However, it isn't illegal not to tip. Instead of extra $ now it is a majority of proplr's income, so we feel bad. In reality is it just an excuse for companies to not have to pay their employees. The next step is on the horizon.

The new Minimum wage "compromise" bill from the W crowd in congress actually takes away that local $2.65. Provision states, that if the employee is owed that money only if their total pay (pay + tips)is less than min. wage. So if The waiter makes $5.75? (I think that is what min. wage is here.)the company doesn't have to pay the $2.65 because the waiter has "made min wage" through tips.

Effectively, in tip jobs, the Reppys revoked the $2.00 over 4 years they added. In my state, everyone on tip jobs actually loses $0.65 /hour by having minimum wage raised, if it passes.

Comment from brittongregory:

Note from an ex-AR hillbilly for future reference: AK is Alaska. AZ is Arizona. AR is Arkansas. :)

Comment from onefishclappin:

My (& Greg's) mistake. I really should know that... I guess Alabama is AL?
Forgot you hailed from AR...

Comment from brittongregory:

Heh -- no skin off my nose. In this context, it's pretty clear, but I can imagine in the future really confusing the heck out of someone by talking about Hot Springs, Alaska. Just doing my part to preserve clarity of communication. ;)

Comment from gregstoll:

Whoops! Upon further reflection, I totally knew that. My bad :-)

Comment from wildrice13:

Glad to hear you're doing well! Thanks for the txt :) And those lotion tissues? Good stuff, just don't wipe your glasses with them...

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