Unfair Criticism

For a long time, I feel like I have unfairly criticized people for things they do and the way they act. My post today is really about trying to understand why people feel a need to spread such angry criticisms of things they couldn’t possibly understand even if they wanted to.

It happens all the time; people get blamed for things they have no control over. This can be as simple as a pizza delivery driver blamed for arriving late and getting tipped less to as complicated as an unemployed college graduate blaming Obama for not having a job.

My friend is a delivery driver for Pizza Shuttle here in Norman and says that IF people decide to tip(yes, isn’t it shocking that people wouldn’t tip someone who relies completely on tip money?), he is tipped significantly less if he arrives just 20 to 30 minutes or more after the order is placed. Before I knew Chris, I thought it was common practice to tip 10-15% at least to a pizza delivery driver, no matter what. I guess I can thank my restaurant-owning and understanding parents for this.

I have worked in the service industry in Dallas as a server/barista and received such brutal treatment from customers that it has made me never want to do it again, no matter the pay. Most of the things service-industry workers are blamed for are either not their fault, or a byproduct of the customer being misunderstood. There are terrible workers out there who couldn’t do their jobs even if they wanted to, but for the most part I’ve always been able to accept someone’s mistakes as long as they are trying their best in the circumstance.

Another thing that happened today that I seem to read about all the time with my friends and in the media is unfair criticism of government. I am a journalist, so ofcourse I think fair criticism of government is necessary for society to function successfully. But when did it become okay for people to blame their everyday problems and failures on people who are busting their ass every day to try to figure the problems we face today. I am a huge critic of our political system and how things never seem to get done on a multitude of issues, but I would never blame what I have now or the situation I’m in now on ONE individual in government.

I read on a friend’s Facebook page a status update that reads, “I’d like to thank all those who voted for OBAMA…. I have no JOB and he’s done nothing…!!!! If he gets re-elected I am moving out the country!”

I would hate for my personal political biases to shine through here, but I can’t honestly believe that someone could pinpoint their job situation on one person. The funny thing is that this Facebook status update has 61 responses after only 4 hours of being up, with many of them personal attacks involving race and absolute anger.

Look at this gem from that comment conversation: “I agree with everything you have said, it was a race issue. If he wasn’t black people wouldn’t have voted for him. He was underqualified and had little experience from the gate. The only “change” people voted for was the change for race in office. I am def proud I did not go with the majority on that one….not that it matters I’m still getting fucked like the rest of america. Did you watch his interview the other day where he literally said the words “I demand people to stop placing the blame on me for this oil spill” no joke, look it up…..enraging.”

Are you kidding me? And these people are voting and walking around among us. People who think Obama was voted in because he was black, and who also think he was under-qualified.

And just reading these things makes ME angry. It makes me want to respond. But whenever I have in the past with my own views and judgments on these issues, it turns into something unbelievably enormous.

This post, while not a complete rant, because I feel like I could go on for hours longer with 100 more examples, is exactly why I will never waste my time engaging with people of unfairly-critical mindsets.

This is what I mean by unfair criticism.  Everything they are standing around paid for by taxes :/

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About spencerpopp

Journalism senior at the University of Oklahoma. Originally from Omaha, Nebraska but consider Dallas, TX my most recent home.
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8 Responses to Unfair Criticism

  1. gettingitdonemyway says:

    You know there are even stereotypes about different groups and whether they tip or not. Is service sometimes based on that? I don’t know but I have worked in the service industry and I know that you can try and try, but sometimes stuff happens and it is not your fault.

    Ahhh, Is there anything that can be said regarding that facebook post? What do you do if you are in a personal conversation with that person or a group? Therein is the question? 2010 is relative. Good job.

    • spencerpopp says:

      i have definitely had experience dealing with coworkers who make snap judgments on a customer’s likely tip amount before they even talk to them. These stereotypes have mounted up for a lot of these people who have worked in the restaurant industry for many years and I can see how service could be based on their personal experiences. like Bryan mentions in his comment, there seems to always be a person who fits into a category of people who don’t tip well and they surprise you with a large tip. These are the experiences that show how wrong it is to categorize customers based on how they appear to look and tip because it is important as a server or anyone receiving tips to ALWAYS give the best service they can.

      In reference to that facebook post, I would say the person is extremely misinformed and obviously doesn’t want to change their beliefs. When I am in a conversation with a person like this, it is hard for me to hold my tongue. I usually end up downplaying what they say and trying to get out of the subject as quick as possible to avoid a fight. I must say that my ability to hold my tongue to people who preach so much about what they don’t know drops significantly with a little bit of alcohol in my system.

  2. Hey Spencer, it’s your classmate Bryan. I just wanted to comment on your blog because I can relate to it. I have several held job positions where tips is my source of income and I know the feeling where you deliver someone’s food late and you get tipped less because of it, even if it wasn’t your fault. Not only do I think that this is wrong but it is upsetting when your cook messes up the order and it is the delivery boy who gets the blame. The cooks usually don’t care because they are getting paid hourly not by tips. I just got a job at Logan’s roadhouse and I am hoping that things go better, tip wise, than they have in the past. I have heard many stereotypes at Logan’s about what kind of people are going to be good tippers and who are going to be bad one. I have learned to stay away from stereotypes because the other night when I was working I waited on an older couple who tipped me 54 dollars, so now I go into this job with the perception that you really can’t stereotype anyone or you will become part of the problem rather than trying to fix it.

    • spencerpopp says:

      I agree wholeheartedly. I have been guilty of thinking people I’m waiting on are not going to tip me well, but this is usually because they are being rude to me. I have never gone into waiting on somebody or serving someone before talking to them with a preconceived idea about their tipping nature. Good luck at Logans, I’ll have to come visit sometime. I’ve never actually been there to eat, is it any good? Steaks and burgers I am assuming? And damn, a 54 dollar tip from 2 people is unbelievable!

  3. dladd2 says:

    Spencer,
    I really wanted to comment on your blog because I’ve worked in the service industry, and I hate it. I think every person should work in the industry because you learn so much about people and you do suffer harsh criticism. I had to learn quickly that people tip based on performance. I’ve had food thrown at me because the cooks accidentally put a tomato on a sandwich. One man got angry because his beer cost 35 cents more then he expected. He also threw a pen at me and decided he didn’t want to tip me. I waited tables for three years and you truly experience people. I experienced kindness and hatefulness that I hope has prepared me for the world. As far as stereotypes go when it comes to tipping, I’m going say they’re true in my opinion for most cases. I worked in a small town and old people do stink at tips. College kids are very needy and suck at tipping. That’s the majority, but not every one. You get the occasional one that surprises you. Hey, maybe I was just a really crappy waitress too, you never know.
    -Darci

  4. nader824 says:

    Spencer,
    I wanted to comment on the part of your blog that deals with the unfair criticism of our government. I agree with you 100% on everything you mention. Something that really bothers me is when people forget that the majority of our country has elected someone to represent us and they decide to criticize everything that person does. For example, a lot of people HATED President Bush during his terms because of the war and his “lack of intelligence.” This made me furious. Yes, I’ll agree that I didn’t support our going to war and liberating (invading) countries that weren’t really involved, but it was our president’s choice and I support him and firmly stand beside him in all his decisions because we as a society have elected him as our leader. I think it’s dumb when people say “Obama is an idiot” and “Obama is only the president because he’s black, he doesn’t know shit!” (actual quotes). It just makes me so mad because at the end of the day he is still our president and he still deserves that respect he’s rightfully earned. In England you can’t criticize the Queen or the royal family, why should people be allowed to bad mouth the president here?

    good blog man.

    -Nader

  5. I agree with you Spencer, Nader, Darci and Bryan. I think it is very unfair that tips for delivery men are optional. Blame usually gets put on the delivery person or the waiter/waitress. I worked in a very big and popular restaurant last summer and it was soooooo difficult. I think it is very important for every individual to experience a service job at some point in their life and learn that perspective. I usually found that people I served thought it was surprising that I was a full-time college student. Their is often a stereotype that restaurant workers are not pursuing a college degree and are just working jobs like service jobs. I found that if my college career got brought up while I was serving, people would tip me better. I think that is crazy.

    • I also would like to address the Obama issue you brought up. I agree with Nader, he was elected by our own to be in the position he is now and we should stand behind him. We can’t blame our issues solely on one person. That is not fair. His position as president has nothing to do with his blackness. As a whole, we elected him. So what if he’s black? Facebook posts like the one you shared with us just goes to show how ignorant some people are.

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