Sunday, 3 February 2013

Tipping

I really hate the system of tipping (as in paying someone twice for a service). This isn't because I'm mean, but because I find the whole thing cringily embarrassing. Whom to tip, and now much? On the rare occasions when I use a London taxi, I tend to over-tip wildly in my efforts to keep the driver happy (one of my sons was thrown out of a US taxi because he had apparently not given a big enough tip).

You ask for a service, you get it, you're charged, you pay. Fine. Then you pay a bit more. Why? I don't get tipped, and I doubt whether you do, either. I'm sure the whole thing was set up so that employers could pay their staff as little as possible, but wouldn't most of us prefer to pay a bit more for services, and not be expected to tip as well? At least we'd all know where we stood.

Yesterday, fourteen of us had lunch at a certain well known pizza place. I never add the tip to the credit card payment as I KNOW it doesn't go to the right person. I gave our lovely waiter a nice tip, and he kissed me on both cheeks.

Maybe there's something to be said for tipping after all....

21 comments:

  1. Tipping drives me crazy. I get anxious about the whole affair and don't feel that I should be made to feel that way. When someone serves me in a shop I don't give them a tip...why should someone in a taxi or a restaurant be treated any differently? There is a good scene in Pulp Fiction that discusses tipping....I hate being made to feel mean because an employer underpays his staff!

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  2. Much like tax credits.
    The system is geared to the wealth holders. Minimum Wage is poverty.
    The answer is easy. if a cab driver goes out of his way....takes you to a shop switches the meter off and starts it when you get in again or finds you something you need buy him a pint.
    In restaurants pay by cash...delete any service charge and then leave a tip for a waiter or waitress that was helpful with the menu. Or the sommelier that recommended a good value wine.
    If at your local car repair place and you get a fix done immediately then give the cashier a fiver for their next party..tell the boss you have done.
    End of problem....if you are a bit careful like I am. Don't tip for nothing.

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    1. That sounds sensible but complicated, Adrian!

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  3. If you don't like tipping my advice is...never go on a cruise!

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    1. ....unless you go on the one we used, where there was no tipping! But it was very expensive, and a bit of a treat...

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  4. The whole tipping thing is a headache. I usually tip my hairdresser but that is because he's usually made me a couple of cups of coffee and provides lovely biscuits. I also tip the driver who brings our takeaway because we live a bit out of the way so they are doing me a favour. However in a restaurant I never add the tip to the bill because I know for a fact that it doesn't go to the person who served you. Tricky.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. It sounds as though you feel as confused as I do, Colette!

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  5. I find it embarrassing, Frances. My husband always gives the tip to restaurant staff in cash even when we're paying the bill by credit card.

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    1. Yes, I do that too. But as you say, the whole system is horribly embarrassing!

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  6. For service as expected, I don't see why I should pay more than expected. But for service better than expected (at a restaurant or hotel), I show my appreciation by a (sometimes rather generous) tip.
    Grumpy waiters (hey! it's not my fault you work here, is it?) don't get a tip from me.
    But the people who were so helpful when RJ fell ill at the hotel on Majorca last year got tips, and I think they deserved it.

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  7. I find it an embarrassment too, Frances. I always worry that I'm giving the hairdresser too little or too much. It's wildly different every time because I'm so unsure. Maybe the over-generous tips are balanced by the meaner ones, is my philosophy.
    I think it's best to give a small amount when it's truly deserved.
    We gave something at Christmas to a courier who delivers parcels to us quite often. She is unfailingly cheerful and uplifting to talk to, despite her really difficult life.
    My mother still leaves a 'Christmas Box' for the postman and dustmen, but I must admit I've never done that.

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    1. We do tip the paper boy, especially this year, when he heroically struggled through deep snow!

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  8. In the US I tipped regardless of service level. I was reminded forcefully that tipping is compulsory not optional. I was weak.

    In the UK I acknowledge good service with whatever I think is appropriate at the time.

    In New Zealand tipping is not the norm and usually not expected. Some cafes in tourist areas do have a tip bowl though. I occasionally acknowledge exceptional service but as good service is the norm that can be a bit difficult to judge sometimes.

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    1. I think the French are largely tip-free too, GB.

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  9. In the US we were given guidelines on tipping hotel staff. e.g. One dollar for every suitcase carried. They admitted it was because staff are on minimum wage.

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  10. I agree it's a real minefield and I hate to think in some services people have to rely on tips to make up a living wage.

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