I got some advice today from a chef at the restaurant concerning my illegal wage situation (I only earn tips, which is technically illegal in Israel).
Frustrated, depressed me was calculating how much money I could earn if I received a wage in addition to my tips. I was distracted and unenthusiastic. I didn’t give a rat’s left toe what the woman at table 12 thought about the sea bream.
Siona, the chef, pulled me aside to see what was going on. I vented to her about how unfair it was that our boss didn’t have to pay me a cent, how it was illegal, how I didn’t understand why servers put up with it, etc.
“You’ve got to weigh the benefits of the job. Don’t think about what’s ‘legal’ or ‘illegal.’ You have to stop thinking like an American and start thinking like an Israeli.”
OH. MY. GOD. I think I’ve reached the core of the Israeli psyche.
It’s a weird, lawless place.