Oooh, I’m *MAD*!

Over at Queercents, there’s a post about tipping. Here’s the conclusion the person writing it comes to:

That’s a lot of tips. For us consumers it’s a feel-good expense but one that ultimately adds up just like utility bills and car payments. Over the next couple weeks I’ll be taking a hard look at some of the more confusing issues with gratuity and generating some discussion about what is, and isn’t necessary.

So… Why do you tip?

I blasted off a cranky comment after having half-read the post, and cited as the reasons why I tip the ones the author had shot down (basically, because service work sux0rs, because I do have favorite places and the people there really take care of me, and because the tips are often split between the other support staff [bussers, dishwashers] and the waiter).

And also, people who are *smug* about not tipping? Jackasses. What are you going to do with that whole extra dollar you stiffed the *$ employee? Probably spend it on something stupid, that’s what. Maybe that *$ employee is going to night school, maybe that *$ employee is a single parent, maybe that *$ employee is paying down student loans by working a second gig.

I know these things about the waitstaff at my favorite places. Because I am a Nosy Nellie. But it has the secondary effect of making me think of waitstaff as people instead of slaves to cater to my every whim and be glad with the scraps I toss to them.

But I ended my screed with something I thought needed wider attention. I said:

Do you want to know the best way to ’save’ money on gratuities? Don’t eat out as often.

I mean… DUH! Seriously, come on! It’s not like this is brain surgery. No spendy money, money stays safe in the wallet.


5 Responses to “Oooh, I’m *MAD*!”

  1. February 21, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    No worries about the cranky post. It’s a touchy issue for folks who’ve worked in the service industry.

    While most of my examples were restaurants there are other areas where tipping expectations are vague: tipping on take- out, for instance. And fast casual places that use self service: some of their employees make minimum wage, some work for tips. It’s a mess.

    Mostly because people, unlike yourself, don’t know what goes into the gratuity and how they get disbursed.

  2. February 21, 2008 at 7:29 pm

    I appreciated your comment over at Queercents, although the author did have a really good tone. He wasn’t saying that he doesn’t tip; just questioning the system.

    I’m a waitress and bartender so I live off tips. If the country stopped tipping, restaurants would have to pay their servers and buspersons more for the ridiculously stressful job we have. This means that going out to dinner would be exponentially more expensive because the cost would be passed on to consumers.

  3. February 22, 2008 at 6:13 am

    But right now the cost is already passed on to the consumers, right? Because the consumers pay the tips.

    So if we stopped tipping and instead paid servers wages including the implied tip amount, theoretically consumers would pay the same cost. The only different would be that wages would depend on a more standard system instead of social norm/pressure.

    I almost always tip 16%+ for lunch and 20% for dinner, but if gratuity was added onto the bill as restaurants do for larger parties, I usually tip only a little bit over. The out of pocket expense, to me, would remain the same.

  4. February 22, 2008 at 6:17 am


    Just after I read your entry, I hapened to see this on a local blog.

  5. February 26, 2008 at 6:04 am

    Tag, you’re it!

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The Experiment

What happens when I put as much time and energy into keeping track of my finances as I do in keeping track of my fandoms? Let's find out!

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