Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Sept. 10, 1998)
Kiss my grits
Restaurant servers deserve decent tws
JOSH WIMMER is a
major and a Daily
A little bit of money can go a
And I want to get back to that
subject in a moment First though,
speaking for my hometown of Fargo,
NJ)., I want to thank you all for your
support as we struggled through this
Mark McGwire thing.
It wasn’t easy, watching him
break our boy Roger Maris’record. It
hurt But seeing as how we’re a peo
ple who go ice fishing naked and use
our kids for bait - it makes ’em
tough -1 think we’ll pull through, by
Besides, McGwire seems to be a
pretty decent guy. In fact, I extend to
him a permanent invitation to come
see us in North Dakota, where no
one will hear his screams.
But that is neither here nor there.
As I was saying....
We’re three weeks into the
semester and, as usual, money’s
starting to get tight for the J-Dogg.
I’m sure this comes as a surprise to
you, because you probably assumed
this newspaper was paying me an
exorbitant wage to enlighten you
Well, it’s not
Thankfully, I’m otherwise gain
fully employed at this fine Mexican
cafo and cantina up on N. 27th
(OK, it’s Carlos O’Kelly’s. This
isn’t a plug - believe me, as much as
we want it, we don’t need your busi
ness. I’ve done a comprehensive sur
vey of all Lincoln^ Mexican restau
rants - comparing margaritas based
on price, flavor and alcohol content -
and on any given night, we’re drop
ping the competition like they were
sucker MCs. So come for the food,
stay for the fun.)
Anyway, on a good night, in an
hour and a half of waiting tables, I
make as much as one column nets
me. And there are a lot more women,
and I don’t have to worry about
But I could be making more
And if you'll help me out, I will.
And so will my co-workers, and
most of diem are better-looking than
I am; and they’ll all be very grateful.
How can you help?
Just remember this simple figure:
OK, there’s more to it than that
You have to remember to give me 15
They’re called “tips,” and I like
diem; and every one of my col
leagues at every sit-down restaurant
in town likes diem too. They’re sim
ple to figure out and the math is
good practice for most of you.
Imagine you’re dining out and
your check comes.
(And for the record, it’s a
“check,” you provincial peasants -
not a “ticket.”)
The total on die check is about
How much do you leave your
I know what all y’all are shout
ing, because you’ve left it for me so
many times before - $2.
That would be 10 percent
Etiquette demands that for good ser
vice - and the J-Dogg always treats
you right baby- you leave 15 per
To figure out 15 percent of the
total - ami I’m going through this
because I assume your parents never
taught you, because mostly, they tip
worse than you do - you determine
how much 10 percent is. So you’re
already one step ahead of the spider.
Then you cut that 10 percent in
half, for 5 percent.
So if 10 percent is $2,5 percent
And then you add the two num
bers together. Get it? Ten percent
plus 5 percent equals 15 percent.
And $2 plus $1 equals $3, which
is a dollar more than you were plan
ning on leaving.
It’s just a dollar. But it means the
world to me and my colleagues.
Why does it mean so much?
Oh-did I mention we make
$2.13 an hour?
Yes, folks, that’s why it’s impor
tant to tip well. See, as some of you
might not know, we’re not bringing
home minimum wage plus the tips.
No, after two weeks of work, we’re
lucky if our paychecks total more
than $40, after taxes. And that’s true
of just about every restaurant in
Now if that sob story
doesn’t get you for some
reason - like, you’ve seen
me driving my spoiled ass
to Homer’s in my par
Explorer - there’s another good rea
son to tip appropriately, if not daz
Should you ever leave this waste
land, if you try to drop the 10 percent
in, say, Chicago or San Francisco,
everyone at your table will know
you’re a cheapskate.
And they’ll know you’re from
They’ll be like, “Damn! Even
Iowans tip better than that!”
And I know, from speaking to
many of you, that once you leave
Nebraska, you don’t want anyone to
know you were ever here. And you
sure don’t want to lose to Iowa.
Now if that doesn’t have you con
vinced - maybe you’re going to stay
here and spend the next 40
Labor Days at Holmes Lake, \
too, or something - I’ll give
you one more good reason to
tip your servers 15 per
cent. And this one
applies across the
And we’re unforgiving. We deal with
the public all day and we grow bitter.
And if you don’t tip us appropri
ately, we do remember you some
And we always clean up your
tables. And if we don’t, the busboys
do; and they like us better than they
So comes that day you leave your
keys - or your gloves, or your glass
es, or your husband - in the booth
and walk out of the restaurant
You better hope to Tone Loc’s
ghost you left 15 percent too.
- Or I see a round of dumpster div
ing in your stars.
Dry cleaning can be pricey. And
dumpsters stink. And it will bite,
having a bunch of restaurant peons
laughing at your predicament
Didn’t I say a little bit of
k money could go a long way?
Si se aoesn t determine content of character
LESLEY OWUSU is a
major and a Daily
Who am I? What am I? I am
black. What does this mean? It is
merely the color of my skin. I am a
black, young, independent female.
What does this mean? It simply
means that I am a strong, motivated,
I look at myself and I do not let
the color of my skin determine my
potential, as a person of color and as
a woman. These barriers and obsta
cles I take in stride, and they need to
be eliminated from my mind. If I am
to be successful, such worries me
really not worth my time. But we live
in such a diverse ami multicultural
world that the color of a person’s
skin can play a significant rolein die
achievement of certain goals and
ambitions - if a person allows this
factor to rule his or her life.
Being a minority student is a
unique quality. Obviously, we were
all created to be different, which is
why we have such a variety of ethnic
races and skin shades of different
tones and colors. If the Creator had
wanted us to be the same, then per
haps we would all be identical. But
we are not
What makes us all similar is that
we are all human beings, regardless
of our skin color. We all came into
this world with a pair of legs and
arms, and one day we will all leave
this world. Genetically, we are the
same, and physically we are alike.
The only distinctive difference is the
color of our skin.
So I am black, yet I would not
regard myself as an African
American, because I am not In fact,
I am British. However, I am from
Africa because my family is from
Africa. To be more specific, I am
from Ghana, which is in West Africa.
I could classify myself as a black
British or British-African or simply
British, because I was bom in
, There is such a wide range of
ethnic groups and classifications, at
times it is really hard to know what
or who I am. Who am I? 1 wonder.
I look around in this office and
observe that I am the only black per
son working here for the Daily
Nebraskan. Why is that? It does not
disturb me or even bother me dpt I
kind of stand out. The fact that so
few black students attend die univer
sity could help explain why I am the
only person of color in this work
When 1 say there are few black
students at the University of
Nebraska, I mean it! There are so
few black students and faculty, one
would barely know we existed, if
people like myself didn’t represent
i- ' ' .. • ....
If there were no black athletes or
any existing groups like Afrikan
People’s Union, you wouldn’t even
think there were any black people at
As a black student I feel so happy
when I see a fellow black brother or
sister on campus. It makes me feel
like there are more of us, even
though I know the numbers are few.
For a school as large as UNL, one
would be surprised by the shocking
statistics on minority students. Out
of nearly 25,000 students, fewer than
500 are black. Yes, it’s quite hard to
believe, but it is the truth. *
Being black and young should
mean an individual is willing to work
that much harder than a white per
son, who is in the majority.
I’m not saying white people do
not work hard, because they do. I’m
saying that I am among the minority,
and I have a desire and a drive to
achieve my fullest potential. I want
to give 110 percent effort and dedi
cation towards my studies, work and
my sport. I am willing to compete
against all people if I am given an
Black people have never been
given die same opportunities »
white people. We are among the only
group who were slaves and involun
tarily brought into die United States.
Black people have only been free for
the good part of this century.
We all know blacks have suf
fered, that we’ve been oppressed. It
has existed all over the world.
Yet as we reach the 2^1st century,
The struggle goes on. Changes
are happening gradually. These days
there are more black men and
women running their own business
es. We are seeing more black doc
tors, lawyers and politicians world
wide. There is a growing number of
successful black actors, entertainers,
musicians, entrepreneurs and ath
But blacks are still outnumbered
by whites who dominate our society.
However, it is good to see blacks
helping themselves and each other in
many different ways. We have our
own television networks, which cater
to black people’s needs, but do not
seclude themselves from other racial
groups. Black Entertainment
Television, for example, is watched
by people of all colors.
So I am black. Black by nature,
proud by choice. I would not want it
any other way. Whether one is a
black person in America or Britain or
Africa- black is black.
Whatever color you are is the
color you were meant to be. llove
people of all colors, and I have
grown up mainly around white peo
ple. If I were meant to be while or
Asian or Hispanic, then 1 would have
been bom that way. But I was not, so
I will not complain. I am black and
very proud to be black, just as you
are proud of your color.
I’m just comfortable being who I
am. And just who am I? I am Lesley
Owusu; that is my name, and lama
black, independent, self-motivated,
hardworking woman. I know that if I
am determined enough and work
hard to achieve whatever goal I set
for myself, I can - despite the color
of my skin.
Just because 1 am black does not
mean that I get a job, or that I don’t
get a job. I’d like to believe that is
true in a world that should have
equal opportunities and justice for
all. I hope that I get a job because of
my qualifications, communication
skills, hard work and most impor
tantly, because of who I am. My per
sonality, not my color.
The sky is the limit My ambition
is to be a successful journalist and an
Olympic athlete. I will achieve this if
I remain focused, positive and deter
I think people of color should
avoid complaining or worrying about
being a black person, and concen
trate on being a person who has
many talents to offer. As a person of
color, be willing to work just as hard
as any competitor, black or white.
Study, learn your profession and set
out to achieve your aim.
The great Dr. Martin Luther King
• “I have a dream that one day my
children will not be judged by the
color of their skin, but by the content
of heir character.”
These are he wise words I hope
we can all live by. We are all special
and unique. We all have a number of
great qualities. Let’s all make the
most of what we have instead of
what we don’t have. Let is not worry
about who we are not, but concen
trate on who we are and where we’re
: . tM
V- - '..V.*'~ ~ pjg|£
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