Has Conor Friedersdorf ever worked for tips?

I’m sorry, but if you’re going to say something like this at the Dish, I’m going to join in the dogpile:

First off, I never sneer at servers or bartenders. And I’ve gone so far as to end a date who didn’t share my feelings on the matter. Second, I have worked answering the customer service line at Mazda where I got yelled at for hours on end by people whose cars were broken, and at a mortgage company where I got yelled at for hours on end by people whose refinance had been messed up by my bosses. Also, I get emails like yours a lot! So I know what it is to be abused by the customer (and you know what it is to abuse the people providing you a service, complete with profane insults and sweeping but uninformed judgments of their character).

So, first he establishes his customer-service cred, and then he suffers Death by Wrong-Headed Analogy.

The reader of a blog is not a customer, and the blogger is not providing a service, or if he is, it is not a comparable service to fielding calls from irate car owners or frustrated homeowners. The readers can visit the blog, or not, they can read any given post, or not, and they can agree with the blogger’s insights, or not. The blog’s revenue comes not from the readers’ satisfaction, but with the institution’s ability to attract advertisers.

Furthermore, if Conor Friedersdorf had ever held a job in which his income was mostly tips, he would have said so. An important difference between Conor’s hazing at Mazda and his irate reader’s dealings in bottle service is that Conor got the same paycheck every time regardless of whether his customers were satisfied with the way their cars were repaired. Has Conor ever worked for tips? Does he know what it’s like to be suffer the abuse of asshole customers who have the power to pay you for your services—or not?

In his recent posts on bottle service in which he has been sparring with torqued-off servers, he has not only been talking to them, but about them and others in their lines of work, in front of a lot of people who might not know what their jobs are like. He needs to keep that in mind before he compares himself to a lowly worker offering a service to the self-important drunk at the bar.

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About alysonmiers

Alyson the Incorrigible of House Miers; High Priestess of Sparkly Fractal Flames; Summoner of Creative Insults; Wrangler of Adverbs, Semicolons and Conditional Clauses; Bane of Euphemisms; Mixer of Genres; and Mother of Witches.

2 thoughts on “Has Conor Friedersdorf ever worked for tips?

  1. Alyson,

    For bottle service girls, the biggest source of income isn’t tips, it’s commission. They’re paid to bring in people who pay for tables and buy lots of expensive champagne or vodka.

    They’re just not comparable to typical wait staff or bartenders.



    • Hi, Conor! Thanks for stopping by.

      Regarding the difference between bottle service girls and bartenders/servers, point taken.

      Any further thoughts on the relationship between a blogger and reader as compared to a bartender/server and patron?

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