A Pittsburgh restaurant is banning tipping. Here’s why more should follow suit

Getting rid of a server’s tips seems like an usually cruel and and heartless thing to do, but that’s exactly what one Pennsylvania restaurant is doing — for good reason. 

Starting in April, the nationally recognized Bar Marco in Pittsburgh is eschewing employees’ tips for a salary with health benefits. It joins a handful of restaurants across the country that recognizes that the tipping system doesn’t offer workers the stability they deserve. 

Getting rid of tipping is a good thing 

Everyone should be required to work in a restaurant at least once in their lives

Maybe in college or something, so they know how hard it is, both FOH and BOH; so they understand why it takes a little longer to get their meals when the restaurant is slammed.  Even for just a week or something, just so they can get some idea.  Because customers are just so fucking clueless.

The universal symbol indicating to the front of house staff that one of us would like a soda from the bar.

If you are a server, take note - getting into the good graces of your kitchen staff can do wonders for your work life.

We are watching you and taking notes on how you treat us, who says hello on their way in for the day, who treats us like servants, who grabs our sodas, who takes the wrong food without checking tickets, who helps us, and who screws us. Try to be the one doing little favors for us, instead of griping about helping us out - and we’ll do little favors for you too. Little treats when we have snacks back in the kitchen. Your orders done especially nicely and quickly. Not too much shit talked about you when we trash the servers…

But try not to come onto the line too much, that’s still overstepping your bounds.

Protect Your Messages: Skip the Servers

Time and again users of online platforms become victims of privacy invasion. While there seems to be no safe haven from hackers or governments, a new messaging app called Cyber Dust may just rise to the occasion, protecting you and the raunchy details of your life.

Cyber Dust is the creation of venture capitalist Mark Cuban, renowned owner of the Dallas Mavericks and judge on the show Shark Tank. Cuban invested in the app after his fight with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). A link to the case details can be found here. After an uphill battle lasting five years, he was cleared of the charges. The events leading up to the charges became a catalyst for Cuban; the need for a surveillance-free messaging platform was clear to him

“When you send a message, the minute you hit send, you lose ownership,” said Cuban in his interview with Henry Blodget at Business Insider.

The Cyber Dust app boasts simplicity:

  • It does not store your messages on a server.
  • Once the chat room opens, your message is only visible for 100 seconds.
  • Android users cannot screenshot your message.
  • iPhone users can screenshot, but you’re notified if they do, and your name will not be visible regardless.

Once a message sends, it’s stored temporarily. Only the sender and the recipient will have access to its contents, and only for a short period of time. . It does not need to go through a “middle-man,” or server, to reach its destination. Once the message is gone, it’s gone for good.

As a libertarian, I was obviously skeptical. I did my research. In this techno-world where privacy violations occur on a daily basis, it’s important to know how mine is protected. Cyber Dust’s website states the following in their Privacy Policy:

“We collect usage Information, including time, date, sender and recipient of message, the number of messages sent and received, and the amount of time you spend on Cyber Dust. We collect information about your use of our websites, including your browser type and language, access times, pages viewed, your IP address and the website you visited before navigating to our websites.”

To verify for myself, I contacted Cyber Dust and spoke with a staff member who remained anonymous. They told me that they only store the time stamp, recipient, and sender information for 24 hours. Although when I asked about where the servers storing this 24-hour data  is  located, they gave no response. It’s safe to assume one does exist to hold onto this information, even if only temporarily.

Despite concerns over its central server activity, Cyber Dust is ahead of its competition. Messaging each other without our content  tracked on servers 24/7 is a huge relief. In a world where the NSA can tap into your iPhone’s backdoor, Cyber Dust offers to give back to its users the very privacy we are struggling to hold on to.