Bartender shares her $9.28 paycheck to remind everyone why tipping is so important
via Aaliyah Cortez / TikTok

A server in Texas shared some personal information on TikTok to remind everyone why it's so important to tip those who serve us our meals, drinks, and cut our hair.

The reminder is important at a time when restaurants, bars and hair salons are reopening across the country and many service industry workers are reeling from the downturn in business during the pandemic.

Aaliyah Cortez filmed a video of her paycheck where she shows that although she worked 70.80 hours during a pay period, she only received a check for $9.28. "So this is why you should always tip your bartenders and servers, anyone who waits on you, or provides a service for you," she said.



The video shows that even though she was paid the criminally low federal minimum tipped wage of $2.13, the money she received in her check was further reduced by taxes, social security, and Medicare payments.

"Of course, I got tips, but this is what I got for my hourly," Cortez said. "This is why you tip."

The rules for wages in tipped industries vary across the country. Texas is among the 16 states where the state minimum cash wage payment is the same as that required under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act ($2.13/hr.).

Now, if a server making $2.13 an hour doesn't reach the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour with tips, then their employer must make up the difference.

The best state to work in for tipped wages is California where the minimum wage is $13 to $14 an hour, depending on the size of the business.

In a follow-up video, Cortez further discussed the issue, noting that she doesn't agree with "state laws that allow restaurants to pay under minimum wage and expect the customer to pay our wages," she said.

"I make great money in tips, she added, "However, this is not the case for all service industry workers." According to Cortez, people aren't always that generous with their tips, even though their "state is expecting them to tip."

Cortez's video is a great reminder of two things:

First, that we should all be mindful to take care of those who serve us by giving them a decent tip. Secondly, that the U.S. needs to address the issue of the tipped minimum wage because it hasn't changed in 30 years.

"Since 1991, the federal tipped minimum wage has been frozen at $2.13 an hour," gender economist Katica Rot told NBC. "Meanwhile, the non-tipped federal minimum wage has risen 70.6% and consumer prices have gone up 90.24%."

In fact, tipped employees are twice as likely (and servers three times as likely) to live in poverty than non-tipped workers.

Women bear the biggest burden of the tipped minimum wage. They represent 70% of all workers in tip-dependent occupations.

Recently, the Senate rejected attempts to raise the federal minimum wage as part of the Biden administration's wide-sweeping COVID-19 relief package. Although that fight is far from over, it means the average person needs to step up and do their part to help out.

Cortez says that a big problem with her industry is that people just don't tip enough. Let that be a reminder that in a world where it's been painfully difficult to raise the minimum wage, we are all deputized to help those who serve us by pitching in with a generous tip to show appreciation and humanity.

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

Keep Reading Show less
Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less