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The student news site of Atlantic High School

AHSneedle

The student news site of Atlantic High School

AHSneedle

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SAAC - The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee is made up of 14 girls from all corners of Iowa. The girls met at the IGHSAU headquarters in Des Moines.
Empowering Today to Lead Tomorrow
Claire Pellett, AHS Needle Lead Editor • April 30, 2024

FOCUS - Junior Hailey Huffman focuses on nocking her arrow to get the perfect shot. Huffman  made sure her stance was strong and her bow arm did not shake. Huffman shot 3D where she shot all the different animals at all different distances.
Archery Is On the Rise
Anna Potts, Editor • February 23, 2024

Archery- in its tenth year at AHS, the sport is gaining numbers and more of its events are gaining publicity. On Feb. 25, Atlantic is hosting...

Fletcher Toft and Megan Birge dance with glee as vampire villian siblings plotting to kill human students. The play New Kids at Vampire High will be performed on Friday and Saturday nights at 7 p.m. and 2 p.m. on Sunday.
The Point Episode 11: Spring Play Special
Ella Meyer and Kate NicholsMarch 15, 2024

Hosts Ella and Kate talk with some members of the upcoming spring play "New Kids at Vampire High." Music by AHS graduate Evan Brummer.

IHSSA State Debate last January.
The Road to National Qualifiers
Alyssa Neal, Writer/Editor • February 9, 2024

It’s that time of year when AHS Speech and Debate heads to National Qualifiers, or “nat quals” as the team likes to call them. There are...

The Point Episode 14: Goodbye Seniors
Kate Nichols and Ella MeyerMay 15, 2024

Hosts Kate and Ella talk with AHS seniors about their high school career and their futures. Music by AHS graduate Evan Brummer. This...

THINK ABOUT IT - Kylie Templeton contemplates her answer as she takes one of the Intro to Journalism students quiz.
Buzzfeed Quizzes 2023-2024
Intro to Journalism StudentsMay 9, 2024

Annabelle Meyer and Aubrey Winford: What AHS Car Parker Are You? Aunika Darrow and Rylee Bengel: What Type of Lift Style Are You? Addison...

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Working For Tips

An insider look at how the student body views tipping culture.
Jayci+Reed+takes+a+call+for+an+order+during+her+shift.+Reed+works+as+a+waitress+at+Atlantic+Golf+and+Country+Club.
Ali Williams
Jayci Reed takes a call for an order during her shift. Reed works as a waitress at Atlantic Golf and Country Club.

Tipping. Most people hardly think twice about it. But if a person takes a moment to consider the spare change they put in the tip jar or on the restaurant table, the story impacts almost everyone: the tippers and the tipped.

According to a 2014 Economic Policy Institute article, there are approximately 4.3 million tipped workers in the United States, and roughly 2.5 million are waiters and bartenders. These tipped employees are expected to earn the majority of their wage from tips, which are optional funds that customers choose to pay. Whereas tips were once thought of as an act of courtesy, a new debate has sparked across the country surrounding today’s so-called tipping culture. Customers feel more pressure than ever to pay additional funds, while tipped employees do what they can to live off an uncertain wage in an increasingly inflated economy.

AHS students responding to a survey shared a wide variety of opinions on tipping. The questions in said survey included topics like frequency of tipping, employment as a tipped employee, and more. Thirty-five people partook in the survey to offer their thoughts. For more information on the survey results and overall information on tipping in today’s society, check out the info box below.

The first question asked about tipping frequency, and the results were mainly positive, with 74.3 percent of survey respondents saying that they leave a tip “every time I can.” The next question, a multiple choice, asked about what kinds of workers should receive tips. An overwhelming 91.4 percent of respondents said that waiters, waitresses, and similar restaurant servers should receive tips. Another 64.9 percent said that public transportation drivers (e.g. bus or Uber drivers) should receive tips, 60 percent said that hotel and motel cleaning staff should receive tips, and 54.3 percent said that all workers in an establishment who offer courtesy services should receive tips. In particular, sophomore Eleanor Brummer’s response to the survey question was, “With the current situation of tips being seen as included in a worker’s pay, I believe they should be receiving tips, but ideally tips would be unnecessary because their actual wages would be enough and tips would not be expected in order to make a living.”

With the current situation of tips being seen as included in a worker’s pay I believe they should be receiving tips, but ideally tips would be unnecessary because their actual wages would be enough and tips would not be expected in order to make a living.

— Eleanor Brummer

Sophomore Dasia Baxter believes that the inconsistency of tips is not enough to sustain most livelihoods. Though she had never worked as a tipped employee, she said anyone offering courtesy services should receive tips. She said, “Workers really need to be tipped because they’re servicing you and they deserve it.” Along with the standard restaurant workers and servers, Baxter said that Disneyworld employees should also get tipped, comparing it to the way servers at buffet restaurants earn tips. Overall, she said that tips “should be an even split from regular income,” or tips should be extra money on top of a more liveable hourly wage.

An insider perspective is also vital to get the full picture. Senior Riley Wood has worked as a tipped employee at the Atlantic Golf & Country Club since September of 2023. “The more you get tipped, the better it reflects on your service,” Wood said. She said her job was worth the wage because of her positive experiences with customers. She earned an estimated $100 in tips each night.

Freshman Walker Gary said that in today’s economy, “Everything’s going up right now, those wages and however many hours they work would not be sustainable.” He said that the minimum wage for tipped employees nationwide should be raised. “There are a lot of people that don’t tip, and figure ‘oh they just have a minimum wage to take care of it,’ they don’t have to tip,” said Gary. “In case people don’t tip, [the workers] do have something to kind of rely on.”

The discussion on tipping culture will continue for years. Whether or not people agree with leaving their spare change at the restaurant table for a server to collect, maybe they’ll think twice about where that money goes and who needs it most.

Tipping Statistics
Survey Question 1: Tipping Frequency
Survey Question 1: Tipping Frequency

How often do you leave a tip for restaurant workers/servers?

Multiple choice, 1 per respondent

35 responses

 

74.3% (26 respondents): Every time I can

14.3% (5 respondents): When I can afford it

8.6% (3 respondents): Once in a while

2.9% (1 respondent): Never

Survey Question 2: Who Receives Tips
SCOOT ON UP - Junior Drayce Moore makes a drink at the Scooters in Atlantic. He frothed the milk before he continued making the drink. Moore worked with freshmen Maddie Myers and Rayden Wheeler on a busy Thursday night.
SCOOT ON UP – Junior Drayce Moore makes a drink at the Scooters in Atlantic. He frothed the milk before he continued making the drink. Moore worked with freshmen Maddie Myers and Rayden Wheeler on a busy Thursday night. (Ali Williams)

What type of worker should get tipped?

Checklist, multiple choices per respondent with an option of a short-answer "other"

35 responses

 

91.4% (32 respondents): Waiters/Waitresses/Servers

62.9% (22 respondents): Drivers (bus, Uber, etc)

60% (21 respondents): Hotel/motel cleaning staff

54.3% (19 respondents): All workers in an establishment who offer courtesy services

51.4% (18 respondents): Restaurant cooks

45.7% (16 respondents): Bellhops

34.3% (12 respondents): Counter personnel

2.9% (1 respondent): Other- "Anyone who doesn't make minimum wage. Also, most people probably aren't aware that servers tip out their bartenders, bar-backs, cooks, etc., and that these are tipped employees."

2.9% (1 respondent): Other- "With the current situation of tips being seen as included in a worker's pay I believe they should be receiving tips, but ideally tips would be unnecessary because their actual wages would be enough and tips would not be expected in order to make a living."

0% (0 respondents): No worker needs tips

Survey Question 3: Employment
Survey Question 3: Employment

Have you ever worked a job as a "tipped employee," where the majority of your income came from tips? The minimum wage for tipped employees is different from standard employees.

Multiple choice, 1 per respondent

35 responses

 

45.7% (16 respondents): No, I have never worked as a tipped employee

31.4% (11 respondents): Yes, I have worked as a tipped employee in the past

17.1% (6 respondents): Yes, I currently work as a tipped
employee

5.7% (2 respondents): No, I have never had a job

Minimum Wage for Tipped Employees
Two hands hold a collection of cash tips.
Two hands hold a collection of cash tips. (J. Molina)

The U.S. Department of Labor's table of minimum wages for tipped employees in 2023 lists and compares the wages across the nation and its surrounding territories, including minimum cash wage. Among other employment standards, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938 established a minimum wage for all tipped employees at $2.13 an hour.

7 states and 1 U.S. territory require employers to pay tipped employees the full state minimum wage before tips, meaning that the minimum wage for tipped employees is the same as the minimum wage for other non-tipped employees. 

28 states, 1 U.S. territory, and the District of Columbia require employers to pay tipped employees a minimum cash wage above the minimum cash wage required under the federal FLSA. Iowa is included in this category with a tipped employee’s minimum wage standing at $4.25 per hour.

15 states and 3 U.S. territories have in place a minimum cash wage that is the same as that required under the FLSA, meaning all the minimum wages for tipped employees is exactly $2.13.

The History of Tipping
A restaurant customer tips their waiter.
A restaurant customer tips their waiter. (J. Molina)

The most agreed-upon origin of tipping culture came from medieval Europe and master-serf dynamics, according to the 7shifts blog. The servitude of the indentured would sometimes be met with tips from impressed visitors. This tipping of good servitude in Europe continued into the mid-1800’s, which some wealthy Americans brought back with them after travelling, much to the disliking of those who saw the practice as “un-American”. 

The attitudes eventually shifted and tipping rooted itself in the American South after the Civil War. Restaurant Business Online.com further explains that service jobs like railway porters were often the first entry-level jobs that former slaves took on. Their wages were not always stable nor guaranteed, so they often relied on the gratuity of their customers in the form of tips.

MK Library in 2021 states that in the early 20th century, as more and more establishments switched to a tipping norm, the practice was not always met with positivity. Customer reactions when asked for tips ranged from uncomfortable to hostile. Some hotels and restaurants enacted anti-tipping rules, and several states even tried to ban the practice altogether. This anti-tip movement did not last forever, and tipping culture continues to be recognized in the states today.

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About the Contributors
J. Molina
J. Molina, AHS Needle Editor
If you’re looking for a school staple, look for J. Molina’s bird. They draw the bird as a signature to show who they are in a creative way. Molina is an AHS Needle and Senior Magazine editor who is joining the broadcasting team this year. Molina is involved in many activities, such as marching band as a drum major, concert band as a bass clarinet, speech and debate, AHS theater, international club, QSA, and journalism. They use each activity as a “creative outlet,” and enjoy participating in each. They most enjoy speech and marching band. “I like swinging my arms like a fool,” Molina said. Story by Alix Nath
Ali Williams
Ali Williams, Staff Writer
Ali Williams, a sophomore at AHS, participates in volleyball, cheerleading, track, dance, and journalism. Ali has been pursuing her dance career since she was "two years old," and she says she loves "experiencing new things" and having "many opportunities" in life. Williams's best dance memory is of "the first time doing a solo," which she did when she was eight years old. Williams reads, works out, and takes drives in her spare time. Her favorite thing about her drives is that they are "calm and peaceful," and she enjoys having "freedom" to travel around the town. Williams first chose to do journalism because her mother had been in the yearbook during her high school years and had always "talked about it being fun." This inspired Williams to try journalism and "see what she saw" in the classroom. An achievement of Williams's is getting into honors classes. Williams wants to help people by becoming a physical therapist when getting out of high school but is unsure of where to go for college.  Bio by Audrianna Bayona

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