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Giving the Boss a Break

When employees at a pancake house in Muskegon, Mich. noticed that traffic was down a bit, they found a way to give the owner a break: for one day they worked only for tips. The idea was the brainchild of lead server Mary VanDam, who asked her co-workers if they might be willing to work a shift without wages to help out owner Dave Barham, according to The Muskegon Chronicle.

The 17 servers, cooks, busboys, dishwashers, cashiers and hostesses who worked the day shift on Jan. 18 received only tips for compensation. “This is a wonderful business. We want to see it succeed,” VanDam, 51, told the newspaper. When customers heard about the workers’ effort, they tipped a little more. The shift’s workers divided the gratuities equally and each took home $51.

“Isn’t that something?” asked Barham, who has met payroll more than once by dipping into his own pocket . He doesn’t want people to think his buisness is going under, but “it’s tight for everyone all over.” Said VanDam: “We wanted to give back to him, lighten the load a little.”


  1. Image Architect

    This kind of things give me assurance that we will pull out of these tough times, because that’s what Americans do! We pull together.

  2. Let us hope that cool gestures like this get us through the tough times and into better days.

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