Saturday, January 19, 2008

Resistant People

Personal Truth
I'm a very multi-faceted person. I usually like keeping things separate from each other. Sometimes when two facets of my life bump heads it's hard to pick which personality should handle the situation. This situation involves work and finances. Just about as ugly as work and politics. I know.

Are you going to talk about work ... HERE, Wendy?
Yes, you'll hear it here and now.
I work in a very high traffic family owned restaurant. We seat over 500 guests which puts us in the top 5 largest restaurants in the state. The only downside to this monstrosity of a restaurant is that it only fills those 500+ seats about half of the year. We are in a tourist town that lives for it's summer and early fall traffic. Winter? Not so much - but what are you looking for? I will say this - I am not a part of the 50 year round servers or the 95 +/- combined summer serving staff. What I am is the one who has to listen to their grievances etc.

Okay, so you have the background of the restaurant. Super busy in the summer - not so much in the winter time - not so much AT ALL if the weather is really bad.

Here's where the story starts ---

More Money Than God
Before I really start - how much you be happy making in 6 hours? Not even always 6 hours of HARD work because the server's shift has it's highs and it's lows EVEN when it's a busy day.

Well, our servers in the summer make More Money Than God! Honestly all said and done - there are NO servers that make less than $20 an hour during a full 6 hour shift in the summer. I'd venture to say that they make more on the lines of close to $30. And I'm not really talking what's made on Saturday night alone. That could be any day or any night basically. The servers are RICH in WEALTH during the summer. In fact, if we were to match up W2s half way through the year, the servers make a BOAT LOAD more money than I do - and I'm THEIR BOSS!

Servers will PLAY HARD in the summer as well. Daily bar trips, fancy purses, clothes etc. Some even go to restaurants that are pretty posh posh. They buy their hot cell phones. They stop at Starbucks before their shift every day or to the corner deli for an early meal. We're talking CASH FLOWING HERE! You're catching my drift here right?

Does it get COLD in Wisconsin?
Hmmm, I pretty much think that as sure as the Packer's take the field in Lambau every year, that it is expected that it might get a little nippy here in Wisconsin. Needless to say, winter isn't a surprise. It does come every year. The tourists go back to their localities and only venture out on those days where it accidentally hits 60 in December or something. Now, guess who doesn't have money? Guess who is getting their cell phones turned off? Guess who is having collection agencies calling their workplace looking for payments? Guess who STILL goes to Starbucks though? Guess who complains that they aren't making any money? Guess who says they should find another job until summer? Guess who complains they don't have money to put in their gas tanks? Guess who gets eviction letters because they haven't paid their rent? Guess who stands at the office window daily asking if W2's are ready because they NEED the refund check to SURVIVE!?? It's not me. I've got money in savings.

So which personality do you put on?
The optimistic manager, who says - "You know, it's winter. Spring Break is coming and we'll get really busy again then. We'll all be fine."

The mother who wants to help, who says - "Maybe I can help find you figure out how this can work."

Or my true feelings of - "Are you kidding me? You make MORE money than me most of the year and you didn't think of SAVING anything for winter? You should do automatic withdrawal from your checking to savings in the summer. Guess what? YOU WON'T MISS IT. But you'll really love having money in the winter when you KNOW IT'S GOING TO BE SLOW!

I can't.. I need the money
But again....those in debt have attraction to the drama of debt. I've talked to more than a dozen of them throughout my career there. Even when I served there I used to do the same thing. Automatic savings. Save for a rainy day - save for when you will need it more. Nope. Nothing. Even the smart ones.

Tell your story walking
God helps those who helps themselves.
The debt that surrounds my place is incredible.
Most everyone lives for July, August, September, October, and Tax Refund Day.
Most everyone is resistant to changing their spending and saving habits.
Most everyone will still complain about how they have no money.
How many days until July 1st?

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