Some interesting thoughts concerning the tyranny of “the tip jar” from the Wall Street Journal. [Wall Street Journal]

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  1. Beerad says:

    An interesting read, but man the WSJ sucks. “In fact, one of the best arguments to be found in favor of tipping is that Fidel Castro tried to eradicate it in Cuba.”

    Uh, no. And if that’s supposed to be a joke, it’s not funny.

  2. rkmc12 says:

    I guess I’m still confused as to why you need to tip people who make above minimum wage. We tip waiters because we know they need tips to survive. The guy making coffee or my sandwich usually make minimum wage or above usually.

    I’m open to other ideas as to why it’s a good idea though.

  3. gorckat says:

    I refuse to use a generic tip cup. They’ve popped up at Dunkin Donuts, Mickey D’s, pizza and sub shops- forget it.

  4. nuch says:

    I was working my ass off in a Borders cafe making $8/hr, not allowed to do overtime, trying to go to school full-time and pay my Brooklyn rent. Those dollars thrown in the jar pretty much saved my life. When you provide a service (especially food service where the amount of work is not remotely commensurate with the pay rate), you deserve a tip. The person who wrote this article is clearly a cheap bastard.

    In my opinion, if you can’t afford or don’t want to tip, don’t eat out. There’s no tipping at the grocery store.

  5. arch05 says:

    @danisaikou: But there may very well soon be.

  6. BugMeNot2 says:

    “When you provide a service, and you go above and beyond the standard, you deserve a tip.”

    Fixed that for ya.

  7. rkmc12 says:

    @danisaikou: But isn’t the whole modern day concept of tipping based on the fact that tips help people who are being screwed by not being paid minimum wage?

  8. Parting says:

    @danisaikou: Depends. If I get take-out service with a sour face, the guy will get no tip from me. I suppose for regulars, they feel obligated to give, even if service is bad, because they feel like hostages. These rude people handle their food ;)

    For take-outs, tips should be less than 15% (between 5% and 10% maybe), because not as much effort is needed from employees. And only if service is good. I won’t tip if the guy is rude/indifferent/lazy.

  9. Parting says:

    I had horrible service from a waiter once. He even had the guts to tell he was insulted that he was tipped 4$. (We were 4 at the table). I still regret not taking the 4$ from him and telling to get lost, since he was tipped for bad service anyway.

  10. cmdr.sass says:

    @danisaikou: Everyone who works provides a service. Your customers don’t know how much you make or anything about your self-imposed hardships. Tip cups are an insult to the customers.

  11. Beerad says:

    @danisaikou: I worked at Borders years ago, working in both the cafe and bookstore. Why should I earn more more just because I slung coffee for people? We had a tip jar and I sure loved it when people tipped, but it wasn’t like I worked any harder and I just considered it a bonus on the days I worked in the cafe. It ain’t table service.

  12. ancientsociety says:

    It’s a tip jar. It isn’t “expected” in these situations, and it certainly isn’t a “tyranny”. It’s something extra to reward good service. If you liked the service, throw your change in if you’d like. It’s polite and generous.

    Jesus f’ing Christ, has America become so self-centered, greedy, and materialistic that a f’ing tip jar becomes “tyrannical”, meanwhile our gov’t is wiretapping w/o warrants, stripping away our inalienable rights everyday, and spending $3 TRILLION on an unpopular war!

  13. Rompcat says:

    @ancientsociety: Bravo!

  14. Murph1908 says:

    I usually don’t tip for takeout (unless it’s curb-side or otherwise special). Local, non-chain pizza place that I frequent has a tip jar. After a while, they would recognize me and grab my pie off the shelf without me having to tell them what order I was picking up. They are also always very friendly, and for that, I tip there.

    I worked as a waiter and a bartender for many years, and am a good tipper at restaurants, and an excellent tipper at bars…if the service is good. If the service is mediocre, I still tip pretty well. But having worked in the industry, I know when you are in the weeds or just non-attentive.

  15. nerdsavant says:

    @danisaikou: Your argument would get my vote if you were a waiter making (typically) $3-$4 an hour. Understandably, at $8/hr getting some cash tips is really nice. But if you make more than minimum wage, you deserve a tip when you give me exemplary service.

    In fact, that would solve the problem. On the tip jar should be written “Tips for Exemplary Service.” That holds the server to a standard, and gives the customer the option, and an out.

  16. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    I’m one of those people who resents being made responsible for the portion of the payroll the restaurant sloughs off on customers. I do not want to have to worry about whether I’m taking food out of the mouths of the server’s children by not tipping whatever the so-called “standard amount” was last jacked up to. I do not want to have to make each time I have dinner out a charitable fundraiser. I am not eating out to prove my compassionate and generous nature. I am not eating out to prove anything. I simply want to eat in peace and enjoy myself.

    May I point out that the more difficult servers make it to enjoy eating out, the less I will do it, and the less they will earn from me in tips?

  17. jd342 says:

    Why should we tip for getting above average service? Ultimately, your job is to keep me, the customer, happy. If I don’t come back, for whatever reason, you lose money. So why should I tip you? If my money as a customer isn’t enough incentive for you to provide good service, then I’ll gladly spend my money elsewhere. If the wages you’re making at the time suck, wait and see what they’re like when the business closes shop.

  18. SpdRacer says:

    @rkmc12: It may be the “Minimum Wage” but it isn’t a “Living Wage”

  19. The Porkchop Express says:

    @danisaikou: Come on. You weren’t working as hard or for as low pay as a waiter. $8 an hour is a bit much to be getting tips for handing people coffee and snacks. If you did something that was above and beyond, sure but otherwise no. Oh and at that job, being nice, happy, and attentive isn’t above and beyond.

  20. plustax says:

    Of course the problem I see in this situation is the tips they recieve are most likely not being declared for state and federal tax purposes. Some of these people make quite a bit of tax free income from tip jars. At least at most restaurants there is a system in place that will allow an employee to declare their tips for tax purposes but at Starbucks and other similar shops there is not (there wasn’t one when I worked there for a short time 10 years ago). I feel if I have to pay taxes on all of my wages there is no reason they should not to pay taxes on all of their wages as well.

  21. humphrmi says:

    In my opinion, tips are for people who go above and beyond the standard when they serve us. I tip well at restaurants when the service is good, when it’s mediocre I tip around 15% and if it’s bad I stiff ‘em. Or leave them a penny, so that they can ponder why they get tips in the first place.

    IMHO, counter service in most cases doesn’t deserve a tip. Dumping my fries upside down in a paper bag and plopping it unceremoniously on the counter in front of me doesn’t count as “serving me” in my book. And what’s up with making the customer pour their own drinks, anyway? They make me do more of the work of getting me my food, which I paid for, and then want a tip? BAH! If those guys want a tip, they gotta do something spectacular, like sing me a song when they hand over my food… maybe then I’ll think about it.

    I’m of no opinion about Starbucks though, since I don’t drink coffee for health reasons, I don’t buy Starbucks.

  22. Sudonum says:

    I generally tip 15% to 20% at a sit-down restaurant if the service was good. If the service was terrible, and I don’t mean something that was the kitchens fault, then I tip 10%-15%. Delivery and buffets get 10%-15%. Tip jars at the counter get nothing from me unless the person at the counter made the experience memorable.

    I went to a local coffee shop the other day, they were having problems with the POS terminal and couldn’t ring me up. I was standing there with a $5. They told me the coffee was free because of the problems with the terminal. I dropped the $5 in the tip jar.

  23. ncboxer says:

    Why should one industry expect tips and not another? I can see tipping waiters and such that make less than minimum wage, even though the restaurant should really pay more. This is the practice in America, and there isn’t much to be done about it (besides not eating out). I refuse however to place tips in a tip jar. Why would the service at Subway warrant a tip, but not the service at a shoe store or a department store (though some of those places might now have tip jars)? It is getting ridiculous in my opinion. I used to work at Lowes making a little over minimum, why should the Borders guy make tips and not me? Answer- neither of us should make tips. Thanks the person who helped them and move on. Don’t like minimum wage- do something about it.

  24. kwk9 says:

    “Tipping was seen to foster a lord-and-vassal relationship that the prouder professions resisted. Well into the 1910s many bartenders refused gratuities as an insult to their status.”

    I think there is something to this old-fashioned way of thinking. Of course, I’m basically with Mr. Pink on this one. Companies should pay service employees what they are worth. Instead of a tip, they should hand out a survey and give employees raises based on customer feedback.

    The key is that when you tip, you help the business that isn’t paying their employees enough. You support the tradition of businesses treating service employees like easily replaceable commodities – they don’t have to worry about salaries, benefits, or human resource expenses. And do you think service workers respect their positions when they are earing $5.50 an hour? The stupid tradition of tipping casts a negative light on all service jobs, and in my opinion lowers quality of service overall.

  25. yesteryear says:

    @plustax: actually, each starbucks store compiles the tips at the end of each night and splits them up evenly between all of the employees at the store. it is paid on the employee’s paycheck, so it is taxed. i think this is unfair. if you work your ass off on the 4-10 am shift you should get more tips than those working the 1-7 pm shift who hardly have any customers at all.

    in metro areas working as a waiter or waitress (or “server”) can net you a lot of money – especially if you don’t claim all of your tips. i have friends who will sometimes bring home over $300 in one night.

  26. edrebber says:

    Just drop a few pennies in the jar to give the appearance of tipping without actually giving much money.

  27. RickinStHelen says:

    I tip the person who cuts my hair, I tip the person who serves me food. If I walk up to a counter or go to a drive through, I do not tip. The person at Starbucks makes more than the clerk at the credit union. Should I tip my teller, who usually is more pleasant and gives better service, too? How about the fella who changes my oil? He makes less than the Barista and does not get health care. Should I tip him? When the guy who drives the street sweeper comes buy, should I run out and tip him? He only makes about $8.00 an hour, and I really appreciate clean streets.

    So let’s say I tip them all, how much do I tip? When I was a kid, it was 10% but now I am told it is 20%. I don’t think service has gone up 100% but the tipping has. That seems wrong. What about those who do not charge a set fee. If you help me with my bag at the airport, do you get a dollar a bag, or five, or twenty? Heck, should I give you 20% of the ticket fare? This is just a ridicuolous system. I am tired of being shaken down by folks who think they should extort money from me.

  28. SaveMeJeebus says:

    @danisaikou: Pfft not if you are in the military and shop at a commissary. The little Korean baggers stare you down until you tip them. If you ask them to put your stuff back in your cart so you can carry it out yourself they get huffy and throw your shit around. They work for tips only and don’t answer to anybody.

  29. missbheave (is not convinced) says:

    @edrebber: aren’t pennies considered an insult? I am anti-tip jar, but if you are going to tip I think you should actually tip.

  30. I don’t see the need for ANGST. If you don’t want to tip, don’t tip. It’s not bad karma. It’s not bad form. A gratuity, by definition, is gratuitous. If the WSJ author doesn’t understand the meaning of gratuitous, he should break out his dictionary. Here are some synonyms:
    unnecessary, superfluous, redundant; causeless, unreasonable, groundless, unprovoked, unjustified.

    Again, unnecessary. The tip jar is just that. You are not required to give a tip to anyone. Not even sub-min wage waiters.

  31. AndyMan1 says:

    If you are making minimum wage, or somehow got stuck making less than that, you still don’t deserve a tip. You deserve a raise. I don’t care what you make. Sympathy is not a factor for tipping. Extra service or exemplary service is.

    If your doctor gave you a sob story, would you tip him 20%?

  32. missdona says:

    I am anti- tip jar. If I walk to a counter and carry my food out, I do not tip.

    I do tip 15%+ on restaurant meals and deliveries. I tip my UPS guy around the holidays. I generally tip valets or shuttle bus drivers. If the cashier at the parking lot tries to shaft me (which they often do), I do not tip as a protest.

    It seems as if business owners (hairdressers especially) expect tips now, where in years past they would refuse it. I find that really tacky. I would rather pay a higher flat rate to have an appointment with the owner rather than tip her.

  33. missdona says:

    What really irks me is tip jars in non-food/drink related establishments. There was a tip jar at a souvenir shop at the Grand Canyon. What’s up with that?

  34. uberbucket says:

    “I don’t tip because society says I have to. All right, if someone deserves a tip, if they really put forth an effort, I’ll give them something a little something extra. But this tipping automatically, it’s for the birds. As far as I’m concerned, they’re just doing their job.”
    -Mr. Pink

  35. QuantumRiff says:

    In the Northwest, we have Safeway grocery stores. Most now have starbucks inside the store. The “starbucks” employees are actually Safeway employees (just like the Deli employees, or checkers) and are not allowed to accept tips. They can lose their job if they accept a tip. What a good start!

  36. bravo369 says:

    i’m not a big fan of tips in general but i still do it except for tip jars. I also agree with the article in that people are becoming too tip happy. It seems like if you give the customary 15% tip now, the waiters are insulted. I wonder how long before tips become a normal fee on EVERY bill regardless of service. You know some place is going to do that sooner or later

  37. uberbucket says:

    @bravo369:
    There’s a “prepared meal” tax where I live already. I believe it’s around 15%.

  38. The Porkchop Express says:

    Also, what’s this automatic tip added to bill on parties of 6 or more? That’s shit, I understand once you hit double digits, but six people. Come on, a table with six people is not automatically more complex/harder to serve than 4 people. I would wager that at most tables of six in most restraunts, two people get the same damn thing or almost the same making it even easier.

  39. missdona says:

    @Lo-Pan: Or automatic tips and they still leave the blank for the write-in tip? That’s always nice.

    I went to a club once where they had an automatic service charge and automatic gratuity and a blank for a write-in tip. Nice.

  40. melvin22 says:

    I can’t help but feel like I’m one of the few people here who got the point the author war trying to make.

    The conclusion to the article sums it up quite nicely, if not clearly:

    “Generous? No. But economically sound. It’s not that we tip waiters because they are paid so little; they are paid so little because they can expect to make up the difference in tips. Starbucks is known for paying relatively well and providing respectable benefits. Yet, without the tip-jar take, the company would have to raise its wages commensurately to maintain the same caliber of employees. Perhaps prices would rise too, but I suspect many would be happy to have the full, unambiguous cost of the transaction up on the board. As things stand, the tip jar subsidizes the company’s payroll costs. So when you toss a dollar into the cup, you’re really making a donation to Starbucks — and I can think of needier beneficiaries.”

    Businesses take advantage of the the “tipping culture” to pay abnormally low wages, and put the responsibility of paying that waiter’s salary on you, by way of your generosity. And the author makes the argument that it would be nice to have the FULL price of the service (which should be enough to pay decent wages to the employees) advertised up-front, so we wouldn’t have to play the “tipping game”. Then, and only then, if people feel like throwing an extra couple of bucks because they think the staff deserved, they should be able to do it without feeling any guilt.

  41. QuantumRiff says:

    Been thinking more about this… what if every job expected tipping.. Would you tip your car salesmen, because he barely made any money? Of course not. He gets a commission. (if they don’t sell any cars, they get much, much less than minimum wage, since they work so many hours!) So why don’t places include it in the prices.. IE, if you want starbucks employees to be motivated to be faster, friendlier, etc, then give them a small commision of the stores monthly revenues. They would be much more encouraged to be nice, and helpfull.

  42. @SaveMeJeebus: True, in countries outside the US it seems that tips take precedence over paid wages in most cases. I’m not claiming to be a world traveler, but I’ve been to Mexico a few times and the Dominican Republic, and a lot of those people live on tips alone (or at least they convey that impression very well, thus earning more tips).

    Everything from the common taxi driver, tour guide, food server to the much more unusual: For example, there is usually a guy hanging out at parking lots who “watches over your car” and when you return he approaches you or stands at the exit for a tip. It can sometimes be overbearing for someone not use to it, but its easy to throw a few dollars here-and-there just to get it out of the way so you can concentrate on your travels.

    I am against the tip-jar and other unnecessary tipping, I only want to have to deal with that one or two weeks out of the year while on vacation.

  43. samurailynn says:

    If tipping is supposed to be for service that is above and beyond, why don’t we tip someone at a bookstore who goes out of their way to help us find a book we’ve been looking for? Why don’t we tip the employees at clothing stores who go above and beyond by helping us find an outfit that looks good on us for that special occasion? Why is it only people who handle food that deserve tips? And why is that even surly people who handle food deserve tips?

  44. bravo369 says:

    @LastVigilante:
    Don’t you get annoyed by that though? I went to DR for a week and everyone wanted a tip, ie a handout. it was fine at first but it got to a point with me that i said no one is getting anything so just leave me alone. I know they live off the tips from tourists but i didn’t go on vacation to financially support a country and its people. i think this is what people are complaining about now. You go to lunch and run a few errands are see tip jars everywhere.

  45. KristinaBeana says:

    I actually keep a Starbucks gift card loaded at all times just to avoid the tip jar. I go to the one near where I work a few times a week, and the money given to the tip jar was really starting to add up, but there was never any change in the service I received.

  46. shortcake says:

    @samurailynn:
    I worked retail in high school and college and *my job* was to find that book or help create the perfect outfit. I never even dreamed of tips. I don’t consider any of those things to be above and beyond – it’s doing your job. If you are helping someone create the perfect outfit and their size is out of stock, but you call a nearby store or the warehouse and arrange to have it shipped to their house or the store for pickup, that’s going above and beyond. When the person helping me goes above and beyond, I find a manager and tell him/her. You’re right that it’s too bad that person doesn’t get a tip, but the surly waiter does!

  47. Softly-with-a-Big-Stick says:

    First time posting, but long time reader. Great site and most helpful!

    I just had to jump in on this tipping issue. It is one of my *biggest* pet peeves. If I ruled the world there would be no such thing (blackmail)!

    Having said that, I tip based on the service I receive. I don’t expect “special” treatment, but friendliness and considerate behavior go a long way. Since I feel blackmailed (and guilty) if I don’t tip in “standard” tipping situations, ie. food service, hairdresser, etc. I leave a tip based on the quality of the service I receive. Mediocre service gets a mediocre tip, great service gets a great tip, lousy service gets zip. If I have to get up and get the coffee pot to pour my own coffee, I might as well stay home and pour it. Lot cheaper and no tip!

    As far as tip jars—I feel I am held hostage and not given the chance to make that call. If my barista gives me great service, is cheerful, friendly, I’d gladly give a tip. BUT—and that’s a BIG but—why should I reward every other employee working the shift because she/he did a great job? Shift tips are divided equally among the shift employees, so the guy who’s a jerk gets the same tips at the end of the day as the guy who works hard to give good service. So where’s the incentive to give good service???

    As someone pointed out, a tip is known as “gratuity”—from the word “gratitude.” I tip out of gratitude for great service.

    Since the tip jar seems to be with us now, how about tip JAR”S” with NAMES??? I’d gladly drop a tip in the jar for the person who takes care of me, but in the meantime, I’m not leaving a tip for the guy sitting around while his co-workers do the work, or shoves a drink at me and won’t even offer to wipe the cup when he spills it.

    Tips—just another way to justify low wages and reward poor performance in my opinion.

    Don’t even get me started on the “Gratuity will automatically be added to your bill.” thing!

  48. PabloPablo says:

    @danisaikou: Dude if you aren’t making enough money get a different job. No one is putting a gun to your head telling you to have that job. If you want tips be a waiter and make less then minimum wage and hope you get enough tips.

  49. SirKeats says:

    claiming that service employees all deserve a tip is ridiculous. we’re all in service positions of some sort, and most all of us started at the bottom (min wage) and worked our way up from there. there’s nothing about FOOD service that makes it any different from any other service. the guy at the grocery store is no different from the guy pouring me a cup of coffee. both jobs require certain skills the other doesn’t have. just because you make minimum wage doesn’t entitle you to anything from the customers you serve. you should be valued for your skills and paid accordingly, but have no expectations of anything from the customers you serve other than their respect (which does not equate to a tip). i worked for minimum wage in my youth and didn’t expect a tip from anyone. i did my job to the best of my ability and served my customers well each and every time. the fact that there’s an expectation these days of a tip at all manner of food service locations is quite sad.

  50. samurailynn says:

    I really wish that our society would do away with tipping. When I feel that someone has gone out of their way (beyond the normal scope of their job) to help me, I make sure and tell a manager about it. Likewise, if I feel that someone has gone out of their way not to help me, I’ll talk with a manager. Getting feedback about their employees could help businesses decide who deserves raises when it comes time for reviews, and the businesses could reward their employees that help keep their customers coming back.

  51. The Porkchop Express says:

    @LastVigilante: That’s in Mexico and other third worldish places. In Europe, wait staff gets a decent salary. That’s why wait staff here hates waiting on European customers, they sometimes don’t know about or understand tipping.

  52. Narockstar says:

    @danisaikou: My grocery store allows people from the neighborhood to bag groceries for tips. So, sometimes, yeah, there is tipping at the grocery store.

    I usually bring my own bag, but I also usually try to give the bagger something as well, even if it’s just a quarter.

  53. BugMeNot2 says:

    @PotKettleBlack:

    I think you missed the point of the article. There was no angst, the author was pointing out how compulsory tipping goes against the concept of tipping, yet that seems to be the trend in some areas of the service industry. It’s expected that you tip, and the employees’ wages are based around the expectation of a tip. That is not sound economic planning.

  54. Steve Trachsel, Ace says:

    @samurailynn: I tip bookstore employees and other folks when it calls for it. If someone really goes above and beyond I have no problem with tipping. I dont usually tip counter service at starbucks or subway, thats their job, but if someone does something extra I will reward them. It rewards good service(hopefully assuring more of it).

  55. nuch says:

    @Lo-Pan: Actually, you are incorrect. I have also worked as a waitress, and while there was less running around, the work was a lot shittier and dirtier, and the hours longer. We were responsible for placing and unloading the weekly order, cleaning the disgusting cafe which was overrun with cockroaches – and not just wiping down counters, I am talking industrial cleaning. There were thirty-odd different drinks to learn how to make properly, and it took work and time to do them. We were always understaffed, so it was frequently one person running the entire cafe for 5 hours straight before getting any sort of a break, while customers loudly complained about the wait. I’m not saying that other jobs aren’t difficult, but $8/hr is not nearly enough compensation for the amount that we were expected to do. It’s not just “handing people coffee and snacks”. On top of being cheery all the time to insane, fickle customers.

    Also, tip jars are not the same as tipping a waiter or waitress. The change and dollars that people would leave added up to bring my wages to about $10/hr on a very good week.

    @PabloPablo: “Get a different job” is not always a viable option for a college student who has to work around class schedules and doesn’t have a degree yet. You’re right, no one was holding a gun to my head, but I enjoyed not being homeless.

    If you don’t want to tip, don’t go out. It’s that simple.

  56. dantsea says:

    I finally reached my limits on tipping when I moved to Seattle in 2004. The local not quite Safeway not quite mom-n-pop neighborhood store had a tip jar at the cashier’s counter.

  57. samurailynn says:

    @Tracy Ham and Eggs: The problem with that for me is that tipping those kinds of employees is very rare, so even if I gave them $5 it wouldn’t make much of a difference to them. When I was in college I worked in a bookstore and I don’t think any of the employees ever made a single tip (not that any of us expected to). Even if someone had given me $5 it wouldn’t really have made a difference in my hourly wage if I averaged it out over a week or a month’s time.

  58. mistaketv says:

    I frequent a local sandwich shop that has a tip jar and a line on the credit card receipt. What irritates me is that the placement of the jar (and the line of the receipt) suggests that it is reasonable to tip before the employees actually perform any service. Therefore, it’s more likely to be done out of some sense of goodwill or obligation than as a reward for service received. As such, it’s a simple wage subsidy that really isn’t justified. If I were to leave a dollar, then take it back when I am made to wait ten minutes for an incorrectly filled order, I would be considered a reprehensible cheapskate, if not an outright thief. Of course, there are far more grave injustices in the world, but I can definitely see the author’s point, even if he does write for the WSJ.

  59. AndyMan1 says:

    @danisaikou: If it was not nearly enough compensation, ask for a raise. If they don’t give you a raise, find another job.

    I’m paying for the goods and services rendered. If the bill says $10.00, that’s all I should be expected to pay, because that’s how much the cost of the good and/or service is.

    If you don’t want to tip, don’t tip. That’s how simple it is.

  60. cde says:

    @danisaikou: You’ve never been in a spanish grocery store before, huh? Both the butcher/dairy section and the baggers have tip jars.

  61. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot says:

    I get annoyed when I go to gas stations or corner grocery stores and there’s a tip jar. All the cashier is doing is ringing up my groceries/gas purchase. They get paid minimum wage – just WHAT are they doing “above and beyond ” their job description that deserves a tip anyway?

  62. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    @Neecy: Nothing. They are being brazen, bold-faced beggars. It reminds me of the fellow many years ago who posted an ad in the paper that said (i paraphrase), “Act fast! Send your $5.00 to this address!” And then he sat back and collected something like a hundred thousand dollars. Many people see a hand out and jump to put something in it, I guess.

  63. Steve Trachsel, Ace says:

    @samurailynn: Thats the point, its not supposed to be a supplement to salary. When I was a cart-monkey for the local grocery store chain years ago we would occasionally get tipped. We were paid a little over minimum wage, and our main job was to put peoples groceries in their cars. If it was particularly hot or cold I may make $30 a shift, which was a nice bonus, but most nights I made an extra 4-5 bucks from grateful customers., enough to hit subway on my break but not more. Thats the whole point, it should be a reward for service, not a wage supplement

  64. @bravo369: Oh yeah, its annoying, what I was trying to convey was that I hope that sort of tipping mentality doesn’t start creeping in to the US, so I am anti-tip-jar.

    I noticed it a bit worse in DR than Mexico. Arriving at the airport for departure there are hordes of guys waiting to help you with your luggage to the check-in counter, something we’re completely capable of doing on our own mind you, but the guy actually had the nerve to request the amount of tip he received! “Oh I do a good job and help you all the way to the counter, see? I love my job, and you give me a good tip right? Help me pay for my lunch, $5 is a good tip for my good job right?” I, of course, gave him the 5-bucks just to get him off my back, but I wonder what it is about different cultures where that is an acceptable means of income.

    @Lo-Pan: I guess now I know why when I visit these “third worldish” countries like Mexico, they all flock to us Americans instead of the European tourists.

  65. kable2 says:

    Tipping is for suckers.

    /that is all

  66. humphrmi says:

    @Tracy Ham and Eggs: Correct. And legally if someone makes less than minimum wage due to being in a tip job, their employer still has to ensure that they make at least minimum wage after tips, which is partly why they require employees to declare tips. Anything above and beyond minimum wage is gravy and earned entirely at the discretion and pleasure of their customers based on their service.

  67. Steve Trachsel, Ace says:

    @humphrmi: Well, the way you throw away minimum wage like its the be-all end all is odd, but I tend to agree. Restaurants are the exception though. Any sit down restaurant requires tipping (scaled to service 15% average). Im kind of sick of the “If you dont make enough without tips change jobs” crowd. Someone needs to do those jobs, its not like they are being lazy working there, and it is supposed to be a well paid job if people tip to form.

    I worked for two years as a waiter. Busted my ass every night and was paid accordingly (700 a week or so, not bad at 19).

  68. Misztrez_Mish says:

    When an employee goes above & beyond or is genuinely nice (doesn’t happen often enough) – yes I believe that it’s good to tip – but by no means should you feel like it’s obligatory. Tipping in restaurants, where you actually sit down and have someone serve you is fine. But if a waiter/waitress is a prick, takes way too long (are you killing the cow in the back there for my steak – cause it’s been about an hour since I’ve placed my order), or just completely disregards you (I order a soda and have to remind 3 employees 5 times each to send it over – by the time I’m usually done eating) – hell no.

    There’s a deli around the block from my office – 99.9% of the staff are complete ass hats. They have a tip jar on the counter (in a deli – odd) and always hand your change back over the tip jar – as if that will make customers want to drop something in there. I mean – I could be at the opposite end of the counter and they will always migrate over to the tip jar side before handing back change. Absolute bull.

  69. dantsea says:

    Since this was probably for me:

    @cde: And in Australia they don’t have tips at all. Nice trivia, but what’s your point?

  70. evixir says:

    Here’s an annoying practice I’ve noticed recently in sit-down restaurants:

    You receive your bill (let’s say it’s a $15-$16 tab). You put a $20 in the bill folder. Guy/gal takes the folder, looks at the cash, and asks you if you want your change. Why doesn’t s/he just be honest and ask you in front of your whole table and the rest of the patrons “Are you going to give me a $4 or $5 tip on this bill?”

    Whoever teaches waitstaff how to handle a bill should really take note of this as extremely bad practice. The next time someone asks me if I want my change back (illustrating that they are too lazy to make the change for you) they’re going to enjoy a lesser tip than I may have otherwise given them.

  71. Spooty says:

    @Murph1908:
    Not addressing the topic, but thanks for teaching me a new (diner lingo) phrase. Nobody else commented on “in the weeds”, and I’d never heard it before.
    [en.wikipedia.org] defines it as “a waitress/cook that can’t keep up with the tables. Refers back to chefs’ military roots, where being in the weeds would cause your army to be slaughtered.”