Social Question

Zen_Again's avatar

A question about tips.

Asked by Zen_Again (9911points) April 27th, 2010

We tip the wrong people. We tip bartenders who stand and pour a beverage. We don’t tip the people who stand behind any other counter (drugstores, grocery stores, or any other stores). We tip the guy who cuts our hair – sometimes after they’ve charged (women) more for their hour’s work than a lawyer would.

We tip the waitstaff – although sometimes it’s deserved and they don’t make much money – but not the person who bags our groceries who also makes minimum wage and works just as hard.

We tip nasty taxi drivers, but not bus drivers or pilots.

We tip the gardener, doorman and even mailman for doing their jobs – but not the teachers responsible for our kids education (and they make less, in many cases, than the former).

Who came up with this tipping thing anyway – and when we look a little closer – how amazingly ridiculous is it?

You check into a hotel. The bags are placed on a trolly and wheeled to your room. The tipping begins. For what?

Agree? Should we start a petition?

Any other examples?

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12 Answers

rpm_pseud0name's avatar

I’d love to see a guy tip his surgeon after open heart surgery. Shakes his hand, palming a twenty & says, “Thanks for taking a shot at it. We’ll see how it goes.”

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

All of the examples you site are times I don’t tip. No one is required to tip. One ought not feel obligated.

To be a bit more clear, I travel extensively in the US. Tipping is a custom. We can’t let ourselves forget that. However, good service does require a gratuity to keep the wheels flowing. The amount is dependent on your means an dhow your feel about the service.

I have a rule not to tip into a cup set on a bar. I prefer to give it directly tho the one who served me

lostman's avatar

Most of the people you just complained about tiping dont usually make minimum wage. I’m a Bartender in a college town and I make $2.30 an hour, which is the minimum wage for wait staff or bartenders so tips are what make me money. You expect a bartender to be able to make any drink or shot that you want, on command and also clean up after you get a little to inebriated, your wait staff to bring you your food and drinks in a prompt manner and expect nothing more or less then you order. we dont tip the guy bagging the groceries because they make actual minimum wage, which is far more the $2.30. I never understood the object of tiping until I got into the bar business and now I tip ample amount even if not needed, out of respect.


That’s why I love Japan. No tipping expected there. As a matter of fact, it’s considered rude to tip.

Zen_Again's avatar

@lostman Thanks for the tip.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I think that there should be a law to pay bartenders, waitstaff and similar food service workers the minimum wage at the very least. But I imagine some lobby would breathe down Congressional necks to stop such a thing.

Tipping, once upon a time, was for outstanding service. I worked in a restaurant in a different position, and the only time I got tips is if I managed to seat people in an area that they liked. I never expected any extra remuneration.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I believe that all service staff should be paid no less than the minimum wage. These people need to know what they can be sure they will earn for their hours of service to their employer and the public. Then tips could be offered for exceptionally courteous and efficient service. The existing system of minimal wages rather than minimum wages is shameful and unfair.

Tips would then not be obligatory and the amounts would not need to be 15 to 20% because those staff do not get paid a living wage. The employer is the one who benefits from the labour of a worker and they should pay their wages. Yes, the costs past on to patrons would increase the base cost for meals or drinks, but that would be offset by the elimination of the obligation to tip for minimal or even substandard service.

john65pennington's avatar

I tipped my surgeon for doing a great job with my neck surgery.

I told him that he was “the man” and he loved it. no money involved in this tipping.

casheroo's avatar

I have no problem tipping people who provide me a service. Being a cashier is not a personal service, but making me a drink..cutting/dying my hair etc, are times when tipping is appropriate.
and bartenders do more than you think.

missingbite's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence If bartenders and wait staff made at least minimum wage the cost of all items would go up dramatically. This would hurt the consumer and the bartender/waitstaff. I know a few bartenders that make a lot of money. Some don’t, but a lot do.

BluRhino's avatar

I work at a Starbucks kiosk in a grocery store, (absolute minimum wage) and we are not allowed to accept tips. We were at one time, but some selfish asshole employee ruined it. We still have the jar on the counter, but it goes to whatever charity the store is sponsoring. Occasionally a customer will slip us something on the side. I do not expect tips, and treat every customer the same anyway. I am grateful for the tip when I do get one, ( I might get 1—$3 a week) as I like to think they were happy with my work, and not doing it out of some sense of obligation.

There is a guy who works at a local “real” SB who will bring in a large change jar (about $200 worth last time) that he gets in tips in a week sometimes. (more than a weeks wages for me) We do the same work essentially; I do not really wish to cloud my mind with trying to understand the disparity, I just keep looking for more meaningful work somewhere else.

missingbite's avatar

@BluRhino I applaude your attitude! You will no doubt go very far in life for feeling the way you do. It is very easy to just want to get what someone else has without wanting to work for it or change. Your mindset of not clouding your mind trying to understand the disparity and looking for more meaningful work is amazing. The world needs more attitudes like yours. Good luck with the job search. You will find more meaningful work. Until then, keep doing the best job you can at whatever work you have and someone will notice. Possibly one of the customers that does tip you owns a company and will offer you a better job because of your attitude!

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