David Sax has got a lot of nerve.
The coiffed, snazzy-dressing author of “Save the Deli” calls himself “underpaid” for earning $500 for every article he writes in a paper, the poor dear, then goes on a rant against people who earn minimum wage or less in restaurants and ask for tips so they can eat. (The tip-whine article he placed in the Times? A mere snack of 495 words.)
On David Sax’s Save the Deli website, you can support Sax’s tailored lifestyle by buying a “Brisket on Board” t-shirt. The “light t-shirt” with Sax’s design retails for $17.99 and the “ringer t” for $17.99. These prices include a $3.00 tip paid to David Sax every time an order for one of these shirts is placed. The $3.00 tip is compensation to David Sax for the idea of a “Brisket on Board” graphic design. Sax doesn’t print the shirts. He doesn’t ship the shirts. He doesn’t make the shirts, either. He just gets a $3.00 tip for his design work. That’s a 20% tip, in case you don’t have your calculator handy.
Who does the work for Sax? CafePress has factories in California and Kentucky that print a design on an already-made shirt and ship the shirt to the consumer. The “light t-shirt” and “ringer t” shirts Sax gets his tip from aren’t sewn together in the United States, though. They’re made in third world nations chosen by producers for their weak labor laws and dirt-poor pay. You can bet your boots that the third world people who sew David Sax’s ringer tees don’t get paid $3 a shirt for their hands-on labor.
Yes, I am complaining, but I’m not complaining about David Sax getting paid $3 every time a shirt with his design sells. After all, Irregular Times sells shirts and gets a cut of sales too. I am complaining about David Sax’s lax inattention to the sourcing of the shirts he makes money off of. I am complaining about David Sax’s description of the ordeal of regularly going out to eat at restaurants, having people wait on him and serve him like a lord, and then in completely expected fashion being asked to pay a tip so that his servants can cover their rent. I am complaining about David Sax’s identification of a tip to working-class people as being the problem in our society when he regularly rakes in a big, fat 20% tip of his own.
You’ve got some nerve, David Sax.