I have been working in restaurants for 13 years, in every position, and they all have serious problems in regards to the pay structure. As a woman, I have been subjected to sexual harassment from customers, coworkers, and employers that would be unthinkable in other professions. When I was younger, the girls I worked with and I had what we called a “tip shirt” or “tip dress”, something revealing that we made more money when we wore. Still, I find myself allowing comments and behavior from customers that make me feel uncomfortable, although I am an otherwise outspoken person who stands up for herself. I play along because those guys are paying my rent. The management is also often guilty of giving unwanted sexual attention, which is also tolerated, because they decide which shifts I work, which makes a big difference in my income. I used to live in Washington State, where there is no tipped wage, so the servers make WA minimum wage which is quite high, plus tips. There it was easy to make a decent living. For some years, however, I worked as a cook there. I remember my boss complaining whenever minimum wage went up, and using it as an excuse to not give any raises to her cooks that year. Cooks are also unbelievable underpaid, and suffer their own set of indignities. In fact, I quit working in the kitchen in order to make more money as a waitress, and to escape the tyranny of the chef. All of these troubles, and yet, I love restaurant work. It is interesting, fun, fast paced, honest work. I earned my college degree four years ago, but never even tried another career because I am happy where I am. I keep at it because I want to, not because I am stuck. That said, it is time for a change. We deserve more respect, more money!