Does anyone pay you extra just because you did it?
When you buy groceries, do you pay your, say $100, then give a few more bucks to the cashier who took your money and bagged your groceries?
Do you tip a server for good service? Do you also tip a server for poor service? Well, 98 per cent per cent of you do.
Throwing money in the garbage isn’t illegal, but perhaps if it were, people would stop tipping, because it has indeed become just as counterintuitive.
Some argue that the government should butt out; it has no place in the world of tipping.
On the contrary, based on minimum wage alone, the government enables and necessitates the world of tipping.
Tipping is a multi-billion dollar business – a business that makes owners money, by saving money in paying their employees. This business receives somewhat of a backhanded grant from the government, in the form of minimum wage.
I am against tipping. More specifically, I am against subsidizing the wage of the underpaid and widening the gap between the haves and the have-nots.
The Canadian economy has consistently grown since 1989; yet, the “low income cut-off” (Canada’s euphemism for poverty) has remained virtually the same from 1980 to 2005. A blatantly clear (and ignored) indication that the gap between the rich and the poor has grown conversely at a parallel rate.
So who are you really paying when you tip someone? And isn't that welfare for the wealthy?
According to a scientific study, there are two main reasons we tip: to conform to social norms and to avoid embarrassment. If service were the reason we tipped, we would all leave restaurants a lot happier.
Gratuities have become gratuitous.
We give voluntary additional payments on services, for which we are already charged and over-charged.
At one time, 10 per cent seemed a reasonable tip. Now, at restaurants, it is between 15 and 20 per cent.
If you tip less than 15 per cent, it is assumed that you felt the service fell far below your expectations.
Of course, gratuities are not exclusive to the restaurant industry. At salons, we are forced to leave tips for almost everyone: the hairdresser, the hairwasher, and the coffee-getter. By the time I dole out all the tips, I almost feel bad for not leaving one for the customer who sat next to me and said she liked my hair.
In North America, we tip bellhops, estheticians, cab drivers, business owners - over 30 services in fact, including bathroom attendants for getting their bathroom bacteria infested hands all over a fresh paper towel.
But, what about janitors? They clean vomit, urine, and defecation. Should we tip them?
What about nurses? They clean vomit, urine, defecation, and save lives. Should we tip them?
Stephen Dublanica is a best-selling author, whose book Keep the Change advocates tipping.
He claims, “It gets you better service. If I know you’re a good tipper and you call me for a last-minute reservation on a Saturday night, I’ll find you one.”
So, tipping is bribing?
By the way, most Canadians are not looking to get a last-minute reservation on a Saturday night. Besides, places like “Buffet World” and “Sal’s Spaghetti” do not accept them.
Or, perhaps owners would see an increase in business, because all of sudden, a portion of the money you were to put towards the tip allows you to purchase an appetizer or two. People would be able to afford eating out more.
Certain workers could easily have their hourly wages increased to a point that would match their tips. You know, tip for tap.
These low hourly wages that are earned by the largest portion of society have set horrible precedents.
The lower-class can’t afford to go out to eat. The middle-class must tip at the same rate as the upper-class. And the upper-class can continue to bribe its way in and around the other classes, while at the same time, widening its distance from them.
So, as much as I am against tipping, I will continue to voluntarily pay extra for mediocre service, because I am more against feeling embarrassed.
In all seriousness, I really appreciate the work that the underpaid and under-acknowledged do. And I always remember that a sincere thank-you is more valuable than a few bucks, but a few bucks can at least buy a tiny (misleadingly named “tall”) Starbucks beverage. So, I will continue to tip. More important, I will never forget to thank.
That said, I will not tip for poor service, nor will I tip owners. But, I will definitely be gratuitous about my thoughts on tipping.
So next time you think of tipping - the trickle down economy bin - think about this: If you were to stuff a whole bunch of food into a donkey's mouth, would you really want to eat what comes out its ass?