While working as a waitress in Michigan and trying to put myself through school, I was making $2.71/hr. I recall a disproportional amount of days when we hardly had any customers. I was expected to stay busy by cleaning and organizing the restaurant, even if, for example, the ketchup bottles had already been wiped down a few hours earlier. For a standard 5 hours shift with no customers, I would make a whopping $13.55 (before local taxes). Parking in a local parking garage cost me $20. Thus, on many days, I actually paid money to clean the restaurant for 5 hours. I would have been much better off spending those 5 hours a day studying, thereby putting myself in a better situation to be awarded an academic scholarship.