Friday, October 9, 2009

Karmic Balance

A lot of my twenties were spent in restaraunts. Not eating in them, mind you, but serving table after table of hungry, impatient, picky, messy, undertipping bozos. This is not to say I didn't have any good customers, but they were few and far between. For the most part, it seemed, when people go out to eat, they love having a SERVER. "Serve me." was the general idea. As a waitress/SERVER, I did feel the need to serve my customers to the best of my ability. I was one of the more patient servers in my restaraunts because I would strive for the end goal-a good tip.

Then, whenever our shift was over and our feet were screaming and our hair stood on end, we would go out to another restaraunt (preferably one with a bar) and drive THOSE servers crazy. But did we tip?? Hell yeah, about 20-30% depending on our service. I think the unspoken rule in waiting tables is WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND! If I don't tip, my next shift will be pathetically low balled in tips. It was almost a superstition for us.

I have carried this superstition for a long time. I still overtip when we go out to eat (perhaps that's why my husband doesn't take me out often), I make sure to be extra patient with those in the service industry. Not just restaraunts, but at the grocery store, the gas station and the mall.

And now, as a writer, I have applied my superstitious beliefs to the world of online networking. I try to make sure that I visit other blogs and leave comments-even if I don't have much to say. I critique other writers' work and always make sure to fill the MS with not only criticism, but praise as well. I try not to write any scathing remarks on my blog that may offend the perusing editor/agent/author and leave a bad taste in their mouth.

Now, for the most part, this blogging community is fantastic. I get encouraging and sweet comments on my posts (Thank you very much!!) Writers are, for the most part, a positive bunch of people. We have to be in order to keep our insanity intact.

However, I read a comment the other day on someone's blog. I'm not going to link to it, as I don't want to spread negativity. I'm not sure of the exact quote, but the wording was something like this: I have four published books that all earned out, I'm the leading workshop author for my county schools, people stop me all the time for autographs. I have twelve WIP's that are dying to be published. Each one of them is a perfect example of literary genius. No agent will touch me, wonder why?

Well, I clicked on his link to see his personal blog and it was filled to the brim with raw political opinions, insults to established authors, insults to the journalists that report the political news he was commenting on, and arrogant claims of his superiority. The first thought in my head? "I wouldn't touch you with a ten foot pole, buddy!"

I just want to remind him of KARMA. Karma has no favorites, no mercy for mistakes and it hits us at the most unexpected times. Of course you don't have an agent-silly boy. There are plenty of ways to critique another author without sounding like an arrogant bastard.


  1. Kristi, Guess what? I was a waitress too. For a looong time. And I tip BIG too.

    A cup-o- coffee gets that waitress/waiter one dollar. And when I met my hubby he was the WORST tipper. I often thought I wouldn't have wanted to wait on him back in the day! :)

    He's learned. When we're out and he lays the tip in the tray he looks over at me. I shake my head either in the affirmative or the negative. If it's the latter, he knows to reach in and pull out more. Then he knows, if I get up that he's put enough in the tray. Too funny! :)

    This writer sounds ARROGANT! Grrrrr, it’s people like him that make me MAD. No wonder he can’t get an agent. What comes around…

  2. I agree absolutely! If someone does something nice for me I try to do something nice for them--whether it's following their blog or beta reading their manuscript.

    And doesn't that writer know that agents read blogs? My agent told me that she's had a couple times when she was going to request full manuscripts when she popped by the authors' blogs and was so turned off by their content she passed instead.

  3. Amen!!

    I worked in food service too (waitress, cook, hostess... I did it all) and I tip well too - and complement them, and try to be extra understanding.

    And the same goes with writers. And people in general. We all have our own life, our own niche, our own opinions. Kindness goes a long way. Not being kind gets you somewhere too - just not where you want to be!

  4. Heidi-Can I use your last sentence as a quote sometime?? I think you hit the nail on the head with that one!

    Natalie-That writer apparently thinks he is so talented that being an $#@hole won't affect him?? I know I don't write any kind of controversial opinions-simply because I don't write stories about them either.

    Robyn-I had to laugh, I do the same thing to my husband. :)


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