DEAR ABBY: I am putting myself through college working nights as a server in a small, family-owned restaurant. There are only two servers working nights, and a couple of nights a week, I share my shift with "Jane."
Jane takes her table orders, then expects me to deliver the food, refill drinks, and anything else the people at her tables might need -- in addition to working my own tables.
My problem is that many of the patrons at Jane's tables directly hand me their tip, saying I deserve it more than she does. Even though I don't think Jane deserves to be tipped, I feel guilty taking the money and always end up putting it in Jane's tip jar. Also, according to our employer's policy, I could get fired for keeping the money.
To make matters worse, Jane is the boss's niece. This makes me reluctant to take the problem to him. Would it be wrong for me to tell the patrons at Jane's tables that I can't keep their tips, and leave it up to them whether they leave anything for Jane? Maybe it would force Jane to work harder. Or should I keep things "as is" and not cause trouble? -- WORKING MY WAY THROUGH SCHOOL IN INDIANA
DEAR WORKING: I have a "tip" for you. The boss's niece feels entitled, and in the interest of family unity, your boss will probably back her up. This can't be the only restaurant in town. With your experience, you are an attractive candidate for a job elsewhere. Start looking.