Voice Letters: Readers Scrutinize New Tipping Practices and Injection Facilities
Addiction Knows No Boundaries
Junkies will continue to bang dope for as long as they are in their addiction ["Could New York City Soon Offer Injection Facilities for Heroin Addicts?" Voice, Dec. 23]. Whether people like it or not, that won't change. Some of us recover and function. But it sucks when you are not able to do some simple tasks at your new good job you never thought you would get, because you have nerve damage from teaching yourself to shoot up ten years ago. Just sayin'. Educate us and provide clean shit, cuz not doing so will NOT stop us.
— Kelly Ann Healey, via Facebook
I may be in the minority here. However, indulge me for a minute. Sadly, individuals will continue to use heroin (and let's face it — it could be your lover, your kid, your mom), there are socioeconomic and health costs to such use (overdoses, increased risk of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C), and remember, these communicable diseases impact both the people who use the substance and their lovers. In any case, the proposed model is simply harm reduction, and studies have shown this model increases the likelihood that hardcore addicts will seek treatment. And no, it's not a perfect solution, but few public health interventions are. As a health care professional who has seen many parents crying because their nineteen-year-old daughter overdosed and didn't have Narcan, I am for anything that may reduce the likelihood of death. Also, this isn't new. Canada, Switzerland, Germany, and the U.K. implemented similar programs. Sometimes you have to meet the sick and suffering where they are. To reduce HIV/AIDS, you don't necessarily distribute condoms at the local Presbyterian church, but rather do targeted outreach to sex workers. (Not that Presbyterians don't need it also, but sex workers on the whole are at a higher risk.)
— Ca KM, via Facebook
To Hell With 'Em
Yeah, hey, come inside, we'll give you a blanket and a gram and a CLEAN needle. Wow, we're making such a difference, guys. If you're dumb enough to overdose on anything, then fuck it. Die. Same with suicide. Don't flaunt it or threaten it in public, fucking do it. Hurt everyone who ever cared about you because you're a selfish prick. The government should not be condoning this shit. "Injection facilities," go fuck yourself.
— Kay Burroughs, via Facebook
If You Build It...
It's really hard for people to seek treatment if they're dead. Safe injection facilities also serve as resource centers for people to explore avenues to treatment — if they desire.
— Renae Kathleen Corcoran, via Facebook
Blame the Docs
Let's put blame where it belongs: This new generation of heroin addicts is strung out because doctors overprescribe meds like OxyContin. Once the meds are cut off, they are already hooked.
— Aaron Brumley, via Facebook
Gee, great idea! Let's keep enabling their addiction. Might as well give them the drugs, too. And this is going to be funded by drug-free taxpayers, hmm? Unbelievable.
— Brittaney Jen'a, via Facebook
If you need a tip to incentivize you to be a professional, you are a scumbag ["No More Tipping? Servers Sound Off," Voice, Dec. 23]. I think this scares to death a lot of people in the service industry because it's a con that allowed them to exploit the fact they don't have any real skills. If I buy a product, I'm not going to send the vendor more money if I find I really like it. When I go to a fast-food place or deli, I'm not expected to tip at all. But open a bottle of beer, and it's like "Wah-wah, subsidize my salary." No, this needs to change, and the primary focus should be what is best for the consumer — not those who exploit a broken system.
— Lupa Alexander, via Facebook
Meanwhile, Across the Pond
In Europe, we tip if we want to — when we really want to appreciate someone's work and extra effort. But we expect them all to serve in a professional manner. This is their job, after all.
— Sylwia Kamila, via Facebook
Customers Doing Management's Job
It's about the customer experience. There is always this weird tension of knowing I'm evaluating this person who's taking my order and serving food, and I'm responsible for paying them based on how they perform. I'm essentially doing the job of management. But you know what? I'm a customer, and I'm just here to eat and enjoy myself.
— Jon Brooks, via Facebook
Why Do We Feel Obligated to Tip?
We were at dinner the other night and our tab was $75. The waiter dropped a wineglass on the table, which shattered all over my lap, which caused a sliver of glass to cut my toe (not fun). He forgot an entrée, did not open the bottle of wine or pour it for us, and ignored another couple in our party. My fiancé refused to tip him 10 percent, as I intended to. We tipped him 20, but he didn't deserve it. My thing is: Why are we giving away our hard-earned money to people who won't even work hard at THEIR "job"?
— Lilly Logan, via Facebook
It's About Time
Finally! I think it's about time things start to change. The restaurant business designed a way to have free employees. Mandatory gratuity is absolutely absurd. A server's pay should come from the employer, and tips should be for servers who went above and beyond for their customer.
— Giovanni Valerio, via VillageVoice.com
What About the Rest of the Service Industry?
This article is based off of nothing. It assumes that the service industry only encompasses waiters and waitresses. The service industry is pretty much anyone in retail — or even further, you can add in plumbers, mechanics, e-commerce companies, or HR departments in companies, etc. I don't remember tipping any of those folks. Also, bringing wages up and not requesting that customers tip is not a done deal for the customer. If the server makes, say, $12 an hour but is a great server, the customer can still leave them a tip. To say that because servers would make a flat wage — you know, like the fucking rest of us — they would give shitty service and not care to bring my food while still hot is stupid. That's when management steps in. You fire the bastards for not doing their job. Customers are not stupid. Just because you smile and chat me up at the table like we are old friends isn't why I tip you. Hanging one's tits out of a low-cut blouse isn't why I tip you. I spent half my adult life running kitchens in the back of the house and I'm well aware of the industry. And I'm a patron of restaurants several times a week. I tip because I know what you make an hour and I tip because you did your job well. That's all. To be honest, if I were being fair I would be walking to the back and tipping the cooks and dishwasher. Good food and clean, sanitized plates and eating utensils are far more important to me when eating out.
— Ginger McJingles, via Facebook
One for All
If you read articles on restaurants that have already eliminated tipping, the entire staff and their customers are happier. Everyone from the dishwasher up makes more money, and the quality of the food and service goes up because of it. Employees are working for the good of the company rather than just their tables.
— Jon Pacific, via Facebook
Andrew Cooper/The Weinstein Company
"Unconventional" for Quentin Tarantino would be a lack of gratuitous violence, fewer than two dozen F-grenades, actual people instead of stoic posers populating the picture, a healthy pace that doesn't get lost in the insipid banal chatter of the script, and a general grasp of film syntax ["Quentin Tarantino Is About to Drop His Most Unconventional Film Yet," Voice, Dec. 16]. Otherwise we are just being served another Sergio Leone ripoff that will have all the accompanying detritus listed above. As if this guy were capable of doing anything besides spaghetti westerns and chopsocky Seventies B films with an unlimited budget. "Unconventional," indeed.
— Phil Barber, via VillageVoice.com
Same Old Tarantino
Shocking. Tarantino makes a movie about psychopaths and human predators? Gee, no one saw that coming...again. It's all he seems to know and understand. The dude's a vapid narcissist.
— Thorne Alexandra, via Facebook
For a musician about sixty, this move will work out for him ["Richard Lloyd Is Leaving New York," Voice, Dec. 23]. He will be able to make music in his barn studio and have the space to paint his canvases and collect his books. Too bad he couldn't do this in upstate New York, but Tennessee is a lot cheaper. Best of luck to the guy — seems like a nice guy, and the article had a pleasant tone.
— Glen Krasner, via Facebook
First article I've read where they didn't complain about how New York is dying or how it's lost its edge. He's just moving on. Gracefully. That's a class act. Best of luck.
— George Robertson, via Facebook
The Voice encourages readers to reach out and weigh in from our website, on social media, or at email@example.com. Letters are edited for length, accuracy, and clarity.
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