As the great prolific lyricist Calvin Cordozar “Snoop Dogg” Broadus Jr. once profoundly stated, “I’ve got my mind on my money, and my money on my mind.” Yes, it’s true, loyal readers: I’ve let my fast-paced lifestyle catch up with me, and it’s time to take a step back, empty the piggy jar and count the pennies. Yes, I said pennies.

Now don’t go getting it wrong: I’m doing just fine. I’m gainfully employed in the booming service industry and the bills, bills, bills get paid. This past weekend at work, however, a table of 15 30-to-40-year-old hooligans as well as an unidentified grocery shopper running around a Food Lion in North Carolina with my debit card number reminded me, once again, of the importance of the almighty dollar.

Allow me to begin with the overgrown hooligans. It’s your average Saturday evening dinner shift and a party of 12-plus people are standing impatiently at the door waiting to be seated. With the largest table in the restaurant being in my section, I anticipated their constant requests for Coors Light pitchers and plate after plate of nachos. And, of course, once seated, I obliged their every request with the best Academy-Award-winning smile. Eleven mojitos, 15 Irish Car Bombs, eight bottles of Stella Artois, 10 pitchers of Fat Tire and eight different entrees later, I sat the $497 bill on their table and giddily anticipated what even the minimum 15% tip would do for my total earnings of the night.* I watched from a distance as they counted up the cash.

Now, I am of legal drinking age, so I have, on occasion, felt the mental effects of alcohol. I’m fairly certain, though, that basic mathematic skills don’t go away until you reach the stage of inebriation I’ve heard the kids refer to as “blackout,” which I was careful to ensure my dear customers did not reach. Yet somehow, these middle-aged party animals seemed to lose their arithmetic skills, for at the end of their stay I was left with a whopping $23. Based on my rough estimate, that’s a 4.6% tip.

Now for this mystery food fan down south. They weren’t quite as kind to give me $23. Rather, they were so generous as to take a rough $800 and go animalistic at Food Lion. (See what I did there?) Now while you gasp and sigh, do not fret — I have fraud protection! All I can hope is that the $500 spent at the grocery store and the remaining difference spent at 7/11 and a Shell gas station was all spent to feed a family and gas up a car that will take someone to his honest, hard-working job that just may not be paying enough at the moment.

So as you can see, it’s been a rough week fiscally for Meagan, not to mention that the temporary freezing of my debit card coincided with my running out of groceries, leaving me to dip into the cash stash under the mattress, Depression-era-style. But upon reflection on this momentary monetary inconvenience. I have been hit with another hard fact of life: People gonna take yo money. Theygonna take it good.

The “real world” is a mere seven months away for me, and there is no square on a board game that I can pass that will just give me $200 willy nilly. And a “get out of jail free card” is just called a damn good lawyer (the fee for which, by the way, would not be covered by that $200 you just got). And while I jestingly tease you B-school kids with your Deloitte signing bonuses, my “love the earth, all I need is happiness and organic produce” way of life does not give me fraud protection or healthcare. But you know what does? OBAMACARE.

There was some sort of important political event this week, right?

*Note: The restaurant I work for does not include gratuity ever, no matter how large the party.

Meagan Kelly is a senior in the College. RING BY SPRING appears every other Friday in the guide.

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