How To Destroy a Waitress  

My mom called this morning at 7:30am. She should be at work. My mom is a 62 year old waitress in a family restaurant in my hometown. She's been at this restaurant since I was 4. Yep, 34 years. Clearly, this is a career for her.

So, this morning she calls me. She used the cell phone I got her and that I pay for so she can call me anytime she wants. Only, she's never called me from work before.

Mom's workday begins at 5:30am every morning when she opens the restaurant. The restaurant has been broken into several times over the last year now, something previously unheard of at this establishment. This morning, at 7:30, mom had been on the job for 2 hours and hadn't had a single customer. No railroad guys having coffee. No teachers before school. No parents picking up a to-go order. Nothing. 2 Waitress and no work. The place was empty. That's when I saw a report on MSNBC about folks with good paying stable jobs cutting back.

The frugality of the Kimberlins and Scanlons and millions of other Americans who still have their good jobs feed back on the economy, holding down growth and encouraging other worried workers to trim their spending — causing the whole vicious cycle to run another lap.

"It really can become and does become a self-fulfilling prophecy," Denise Kimberlin said.

We're all connected. My mom the waitress, depends on the money she earns in tips from those who have stable employment to make it through a recession. But if the railroaders, teachers and UPS drivers aren't coming in to the restaurant to grab a cup of Joe, she's going to find herself, and many more women like her, standing in an empty restaurant.

So, if you're employed and not going through a tough financial crisis, remember to eat out once in a while, and also, TIP YOUR WAITRESS WELL. It could be my mom you're tipping.

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