There’s a dirty feeling I get every time a check comes and I see that stupid tip line. I’ve never like tipping, not because it’s rewarding those who do their job well, but because it’s how employers use customer’s tips to pay their staff. There are many people who think tipping is good, but also those who think it’s bad. I’m one who thinks it’s bad and I hate it. While hate is a strong word, I don’t mind using it here. I’m not stingy or cheap. I just don’t want to be responsible for paying for someone’s job beyond what I’m paying for said service. Let me explain why tipping rubs me the wrong way.
What is Tipping?
OK, let’s just dig into this practice a little bit. It’s also called gratuity, but some think tipping originated in the 17th century in England. It might be hard to pinpoint when that happened, but those in the bar would slip a little something to the waitress to get their drinks quicker. Technically, it was a bribe to jump you ahead of others. Over time, at least in the US, tipping has become customary and expected. You are expected to tip 18% when at a restaurant. You are even expected to tip maids at hotels now. Don’t believe me, then check out some of the cards at some hotels. They are asking for your tips to give to the staff.
Remember, tipping originated as a way to bribe your waitress in order to get your beverages earlier. It’s still kind of that way. If you want someone to go do something for you, then give them a little extra cash. I know some have tried this, but the “$20 sandwich trick” is simply a way to get something you didn’t really pay for. This is used in hotels, especially in Vegas. You put a folded $20 bill between your credit card and driver’s license when checking in. At the same time, you ask to see if there is an upgrade available. Now, I have used this trick at other hotels no in Vegas, but it still works majority of the time. Why? You are giving the person behind the counter money to give you an upgrade. Now, it’s not free, but you also didn’t pay for it by normal circumstances. Plain and simple, it’s bribery. Hey, it works, so why not do it?
Bribing tipping has been around for a long time in the US. Many other countries don’t do it or find it offensive. You better be careful trying to tip someone depending on where you are. You don’t want to offend anyone in a country you might not be familiar with. That could end poorly for you!
Why Tipping Irks Me!
OK, the main reason why tipping irritates the hell out of me is because I’m expected to do it in so many places now. Tip at the restaurant, the sub shop, the coffee shop, valet, car wash, and so many other places. It’s freaking irritating. Let me tell you why. This explanation really has to do with restaurants, the evil kingpin of tipping. When you sit down at a restaurant, your waiter/waitress is expected to give you good service. If they do, you tip them 18% or more. If they don’t, you don’t give them a good tip. The problem is you’re still expected to tip. What kind of half-assed lesson is that? Thanks for giving me crappy service, but I’m still supposed to tip you because your wages depend on it.
Yes, most restaurants put tipping in their wage scale. This is how they get away with paying their servers nearly $2 to $3 per hour. They incorporate tips. If your waiter doesn’t get tips, they don’t make a living wage. They might not even make minimum wage. This little loophole is exploited each and every day by restaurants and I find it irritating. I don’t want to be responsible for making sure your employee is able to buy groceries and pay their rent. I want to eat my damn food, have good service, and not do math at the end of the meal. I patronize your establishment because I want good food and a good time, not because I need to make sure your employee is getting paid properly.
I have talked with some who say tipping is a way to weed out the bad workers. While that might be right, it appears many other businesses are doing just fine weeding out the bad workers without resorting to tips. If I don’t do my job, it will catch up to me sooner or later. If a server not working for tips doesn’t do their job, management will hear about it. Some people, like myself, aren’t afraid of calling management over to discuss poor service. It can be articulated much easier with a 5 minute conversation than a small tip. That’s just my opinion.
Lack of Tipping Would Increase Meal Prices
You’re damn right it would and I would be happy to pay it. I’m already paying it with tips. I’m already expected to pay money for a meal, but also expected to contribute to your employee’s living wage? I’m not cool with that. The reason is I don’t get tips at work. I work my butt off each day, but there aren’t any tips coming my way. Why not? It looks like bribery when you do it in a corporate setting. This seems like a double standard to me.
I would be happy to pay more for a meal if I didn’t have to tip at the end. It would all end up canceling each other out at the end, but I wouldn’t have to tip someone. Trust me, I have left $0 tips before and I had a fight in my head about it. On the one hand, the server gave terrible service. I’m talking terrible. I can only put up with so much. If you can’t do your job, look for a different one. On the other hand, leaving zero tip also makes it harder for this server to make a living wage. Not cool with me. Restaurant owners need to pay wages above minimum and strike tipping from the record. I’m done with it and would be able to enjoy my meal without having to add extra.
Do Away with Automatic Gratuity as well
I’m sure you have all been with a large group of friends and you see the restaurant charges a mandatory 18% gratuity on groups of 6 or more. Well damn, now the tip is already going to be pushed out, but how well is the service? The service could be terrible, but that stupid little tip is already going to be on the bill. Now, you have had a meal with terrible service, but you are still giving a 18% tip which typically means good service. Counterproductive much? I think so. I understand that taking care of a large group is harder on the staff. You have to remember more orders, their drinks, and provide them with what they need. Guess what? That’s part of your damn job. I think you should be paid a good wage and not worry about tips. Don’t automatically tack it on just because the group is large. That’s just asinine.
The main reason I”m talking about this was because I went to a pizza place to pick up a carry out order the other day. It was paid for online and I was picking it up. When I got there, they handed me the receipt to sign. There was a tip line. I just signed it and went on my way. When doing so, the cashier put out her hand in the universal sign of “tip please!” Umm…No, you didn’t do anything for said tip. I put through the order, drove there, and picked up the pizza. Why do you expect me to tip you? Yes, the people in the back made my pizza, but that’s your business. You make pizza. It’s not like I went to a place to order something extraordinary and not even on the menu. I ordered what was on your menu and did most of the work. Give me a break. We’ve become too comfortable with the entire tipping process. Not me, not now, not yesterday, not ever. I hate it!
Anyway, this encounter really got me reminded how much I hate tipping. The practice feels sleazy to me and an easy way for some employers to pay their employees less. I’m not OK with that. Yes, you can chant and yell about they could just get another job, but remember, you’re already paying for the meal and their wages with tips. Just do away with them and pay people more. It’s really a simple thing. Customers won’t be paying more, but businesses will. It’s easy when you can deal with cash transactions and call them tips. I know this might controversial to some, but I just really hate tipping. I’m not mean or grumpy, but I think we need to do away with this accepted practice of bribery. Remember, if I want to tip, it’s because you blew my freaking socks off with your service. Don’t make me tip in order to make sure you can eat tonight. It’s not cool!
PS. I worked in an establishment that ran on tips and hated every minute of it. People there for a long time would figure out how to rig the system as it was for shared tips, based on the amount of hours you worked, not the effort you put in. It left a bad taste in my mouth!
What’s your take on tipping? Love it or hate it?