American Tipping Culture

Sunday, May 15, 2016

So I just have a few observations on tipping. Not going to touch on waiters and serves and those who are "expected" to be given a tip (which is a whole nother topic on it's own). It just seems like there is a tip "hint" at almost any service provided. I think it would be so much easier if that was just not on the receipt. Maybe it's just me, because I see the option and I just would feel cheap not to tip.

Places I've come across that accept tips but I think could do without are Chinese takeout places, where I get my eyebrows threaded, nails done, and even freaking cupcake and ice-cream shops.

For example, at a restaurant you are charged only for your meal (usually if your party is smaller than 6 or 8). The waiters/servers get paid an incredulous shit wage and they are providing you with a service, so I tipping in this situations are 100% justified (also in cases of valet & hotel bellmans). But in the case of the other "goods and services" it just doesn't make sense.

On the example of the nail or eyebrow shop, they are obviously charging you to cover their costs and it should include the labor. So then why do they have the option on the receipt to leave tip? It's not even just that it's on the receipt (I don't know if they have the option to remove it) but they'll ask if you want to leave anything additional. So I am supposed to overcompensate because you did your job?

Believe me, I hate terrible tippers & I do believe that if you feel you've had exceptional service than you should feel comfortable in leaving a tip to let them know you appreciate it, etc etc. But I just don't like that it's a norm and if you don't tip it's like ??

Or when I get Chinese takeout, I have tipped before and I'm like?? why did I do that?? I paid for the food, why am I giving an extra three or five dollars?
Same case at the ice cream and cupcake shops. The one's I've usually gone to have used ipads as opposed to the traditional register. And at one point where you're tapping away, shows you your total, then an optional tipping page. Will show you the 10%, 15%, 20% options with the dollar amount to add to your total. Am I gonna give you 20% for the 10 seconds it took you too scoop my ice cream when you are already getting you hourly wage? Same with the cupcakes. I went to Camicakes in Smyrna this week and when I checked out there was no option for tipping... . I had a feeling the last time I was there the option was there so they might have taken it off.

Anyways am I a bad person??? I've looked online and it's customary to tip your manicurists and the takeout. And as I said, I actually do tip the eyebrow lady and the nail technician (in the rare instances I get them done). But am I doing it because it's expected of me, or because I felt strongly about what they provided me with? Also, I one hundred percent understand low wages and how much a good tip can help, but I think this is part of a bigger problem that needs to be addressed!!

excerpts from Salon's article of tipping:

"The people who are tipped in the US comprise an ever-expanding number of employed professions. Employers recognize the tipped individual as a great boon to the business: someone who needn’t be given benefits, a living wage, or employment security."

"Cute young white people are often given the desirable, highly visible jobs that tip well at restaurants and bars, while Central American immigrants work for trickle-down tips in the back."

I really feel like the last two quotes would be the idea for a well thought out blog post on tipping, but for now these are just lazy thoughts.

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