I just had the occasion to visit the "sunny" south, specifically Myrtle Beach in South Carolina. One evening we decided to visit a Denny's for a quick snack after a hard day on the golf course. In the next 20 minutes my perception of how just how well we have it in Canada, hit me between the eyes. Our server seemed to be pre-occupied and anxious. We noticed it throughout the meal. After we finished eating, we approached the counter to pay the bill. Our server asked us if we were from Canada. She then said that she hears that "servers" in Canada make upwards of $8.00-9.00 per hour. When I agreed ( I really don't know ), she shared with us that her hourly rate was $2.13 per hour. I must have looked like a deer caught in the headlights as I was shocked when she told me this. A quick calculation told me that this lady was working 8-9 hour days for $16.00-$18.00 base salary.... or $4,000.00 per year. I was about to sign my visa and "smoothly" changed my tip from $3.00 to $8.00. I couldn't get this reality out of my mind for the next few days.
I came to the conclusion that even with all the issues we think we have to deal with in Canada, one thing we do have is opportunity and the chance to realize our dreams. I'm sure that when I visit the "golf meca" next year, that lady will still be living her life of quiet desperation , but more significantly, she will have no hope! I wish there was a way to help her. I will make sure that I do my thing everytime I receive my bill for my meal.