In addition, the inherent power imbalance of rollover models is particularly detrimental to female servers. Because their ability to make a living depends on customers, they are more likely to tolerate inappropriate behavior from patrons. One study found that reports of sexual harassment among female servers are more common in states where there is no minimum wage for restaurant workers.
In a model designed to reward employees for good service, we are in fact continuing cycles of discrimination by punishing historically marginalized groups for their appearance and subordinating women to the uncompromising attitude of their customers. So instead of talking about how much we need to tip, let’s talk about how to get rid of tips.
Benjamin Who, 16
10th grade, The Hotchkiss School, Lakeville, Conn.
Re «Books about death and grief can bring hope”, Margaret Rankl (Opinion guest essay, April 22):
Reading did not teach me about approaching death. Death taught me about the approach of death. The only thing that can prepare you for the happy ending will be a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions there is tragedy.
Perhaps some books try to make the anticipation of death, grief, and excruciating pain more realistic. And then maybe when it becomes real life, we’ll see how it happens. When we see an old friend die because of someone else’s mistake, or a loved one exhausted by old age, or three teenagers who can’t bear the thought of living on, dying their own lives six months apart. Maybe we might be prepared for the onslaught of sobs that are so immobilizing that parents are forced to lift us off the bathroom floor, or until grief becomes all-consuming to the point that eating disorders and insomnia cause.
But in truth, we could read even the most infiltrated deaths, vivid stories of grief and loss, but even they could not make it less painful. Only until we witness death can we fully understand it or cope with its consequences, so books just won’t help.
Catherine Haden, 17 years old
Grade 11, Cherry Creek High School, Greenwood Village, Kahlo.
Re «Florida cuts tax district for Disney”(Business, April 22):
Florida’s vote for the abolition of Disney’s special status clearly shows one thing: the struggle for what students should learn is not a struggle for the benefit of students, but a struggle for the career of politicians.
Most students in America, myself included, have faced significant institutional challenges in public education, whether it’s old buildings that often lack decent air conditioning, high teacher turnover, or the financial burden on schools. But none of these problems has become a top priority for politicians. Disney’s revenge for opposing the “Don’t Tell Gays” bill doesn’t help improve student education in Florida, but will lead to more political influence on politicians.