Ur­ban Diplo­mat

Ad­vice on how to be a civ­i­lized Toron­to­nian

Toronto Life - - Contents - Send your ques­tions to the Ur­ban Diplo­mat at ur­bandiplo­mat@toron­to­life.com

I’ve been to a few counter ser­vice restau­rants with debit and credit ma­chines that sug­gest 15, 20 or 25 per cent tips (or another amount, if you choose). They tend to be trendy, gourmet spots in Yorkville and on Oss­ing­ton, but the food prep and ser­vice aren’t much dif­fer­ent from what you’d get at a fast food restau­rant, where no one would con­sider adding a gra­tu­ity. It seems pre­pos­ter­ous to me. Do I re­ally have to tip at these places?

—Tip­ping Point, Oss­ing­ton

Take­out em­ploy­ees are like kitchen staff. They may not dote on you or re­fill your wa­ter like their life de­pended on it, but they still prep your food and deal with restau­rant-in­dus­try woes: lunch rushes, low wages, long days on their feet. Cooks and bar­tenders usu­ally get a cut of servers’ tips; so should the per­son as­sem­bling your poke bowl. As for the amount, use your dis­cre­tion, of course—even 15 per cent is a bit rich. But if you can af­ford to wait 20 min­utes in line for a $9 ve­gan ice cream sand­wich, it won’t kill you to kick an ex­tra buck to the min­i­mum wage–mak­ing kid be­hind the counter.

Dear Ur­ban Diplo­mat, I re­cently started work­ing at a small tech start-up. I en­joy the job and think the com­pany could take off, but there’s one prob­lem: I’m the only fe­male em­ployee, and it shows. My co-work­ers are awk­ward around me, gig­gle about GIFs in a Slack chat I’m not part of and fre­quently say misog­y­nis­tic things as if I weren’t there. I’d talk to my boss about it, but he’s part of the prob­lem. How do I get them to change their bro­gram­mer ways?

—Odd Girl Out, Wex­ford

If there was ever a time that your com­plaints might be taken se­ri­ously, it’s now. Any man with an iota of self-aware­ness and ac­cess to a news feed should be hy­per-alert to loutish work­place be­hav­iour. If you can, strike up an al­liance with your least douchey desk­mate, voice your dis­com­fort in pri­vate and ask if he’ll help call out his bud­dies’ ob­nox­ious

an­tics. If your of­fice re­mains a real-life NSFW Red­dit thread, you might want to start scan­ning the job boards. Don’t quit silently: write an exit let­ter ex­plain­ing what drove you away and share your ex­pe­ri­ence on a work­place re­view web­site like Glass­door.

Dear Ur­ban Diplo­mat, I live near the AGO and of­ten take my dog for walks around Grange Park. There are reg­u­larly OCADU stu­dents milling about, snap­ping rel­a­tively close-up pic­tures of home­less peo­ple or el­derly folks—with­out ask­ing per­mis­sion! It irks me that these kids are us­ing un­wit­ting cit­i­zens as part of some “edgy” fresh­man pho­tog­ra­phy project. How can I get them to buzz off?

—Shut­ter Down, Bald­win Vil­lage

What these wannabe Cartier-Bres­sons are do­ing is not il­le­gal—peo­ple re­lin­quish their right to pri­vacy when they en­ter pub­lic spa­ces. How­ever, I agree it’s eth­i­cally ob­jec­tion­able and down­right icky. Next time you spot such a stu­dent, strike up a friendly con­ver­sa­tion and point out that they might con­sider ask­ing per­mis­sion from marginal­ized or vul­ner­a­ble sub­jects. Back that up by send­ing an email to the head of the school’s pho­tog­ra­phy pro­gram. If that fails, you’re pretty much out of op­tions— short of grab­bing your own cam­era and see­ing how the park pa­parazzi like hav­ing the lens turned on them.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.