A server went viral on TikTok after posting about how little they made during a five-hour shift, which sparked a litany of responses from other users who said that they too are experiencing a lull in receiving gratuities ahead of the holiday season.
TikToker Rockman (@rockman.cal) uploaded the video which has received over 356,000 views as of Sunday.
Rockman writes in a text overlay for the video: “POV: 5 hrs into ur server shift on ur third table with only $20 in tips made and my manager says I’m cut after this table.”
The TikToker sports clown filter makeup in the clip as he dances on camera with a deadpan stare. He writes in a caption for the video: “The good days are amazing but damn school time gon have u questioning why tf do I work here.”
@rockman.cal The good days are amazing but damn school time gon have u questioning why tf do i work here 😂😂 #fypシ #serverlife #server #restaurante #restaurantlife #waiter ♬ original sound – Kayla
The food service and hospitality industries are purportedly still experiencing significant labor shortages in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Other business sectors and retailers that were once short-staffed have managed to receive enough applicants to shore up their workforce deficiencies.
According to Career Plug, dishwashers and servers are still very much in high demand. However, judging by Rockman’s post, if other servers are experiencing similar sentiments, then it could be understandable why many restaurants and eateries are finding it difficult to fill open positions in their establishments.
Rockman’s post went viral shortly after another TikToker, Amir, called out servers who complained about not getting tipped enough during their shifts. Many users on the platform said that it was unfair for restaurant servers to publicly complain about not getting tipped enough.
Rockman does, however, acquiesce in his caption that “the good days are amazing,” intimating that he is aware of the peripatetic nature of server income.
Chron penned an article about the “unstable” nature of working as a server and citing the lack of bi-weekly income uniformity as a primary cause of burnout among those working in the food service industry. This leads them to rely on gratuities to make ends meet.
The outlet explored the question “Is it hard being a waitress?” in an October 2021 article and wrote: “for example servers – especially waitresses – earn some of the workforce’s lowest wages, for a job that’s both physically and mentally demanding. The job’s duties, working conditions and poor pay can make waitressing an especially difficult way to earn a living and contribute to server burnout.”
TikTokers who saw Rockman’s post remarked that the lack of tipping seems seasonally based, and that they’ve been experiencing a dearth in diners coming to their respective restaurants. Others speculated that people are trying to keep their spending at a minimum in order to prepare for the holiday season.
One user wrote, “THIS SEASON IS SO SLOWWW,” while another added, “Bro yesterday I made 40 for 5 hrs.”
Another user echoed the low gratuity gripes: “Me as of rn 3 1/2 hrs into my shift with $10” and a TikToker named Sam wrote, “Dude it’s so bad everywhere.”
The Daily Dot has reached out to Rockman for further information via TikTok comment.
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*First Published: Dec 11, 2022, 1:27 pm CST
Jack Alban is a freelance journalist for the Daily Dot covering trending human interest/social media stories and the reactions real people have to them. He always seeks to incorporate evidence-based studies, current events, and facts pertinent to these stories to create your not-so-average viral post.