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My tipping point

August 7, 2009

Mr.P- I don’t tip.

X- You don’t tip?

Mr.P- I don’t believe in it.

X-You don’t believe in tipping? Do you know what these chicks make?They make shit.

Mr.P- If she don’t make enough money,she can quit.

X-Let me get this straight.You don’t ever tip, huh?

Mr.P-I don’t tip because society says I have to. If they really put forth the effort,I’ll give ’em somethin’ extra.As far as I’m concerned, they’re just doin’ their job.

Mr.X- These people bust their ass. This is a hard job.

Mr.P- So’s working at McDonald’s,but you don’t feel the need to tip them.They’re servin’ you food,but society says…”Don’t tip these guys over here,but tip these guys.” That’s bullshit.

Y – Cough up a buck, you cheap bastard.I paid for your goddamn breakfast.

Mr.Pink- Since you bought breakfast, I’ll put in.But normally I would never do this.

Y -Never mind what you normally would do.Just cough in your goddamn buck like everybody else. Thank you.

You have my full support Mr. Pink .

TIPPING IS WHEN YOU PAY SOMEONE EXTRA FOR THAT EXTRA SOMETHING THEY HAVE DONE FOR YOU,something which is not a basic job requirement. A bus driver driving me to my office is doing his job.My maid cleaning my clothes is doing her job.A waiter getting my food to my table , is ,simply put, doing his job.

Tipping, my dear friends, is NOT a birth right.In my world, when you do what you have to do, you get paid your regular salary.How does it go in your planet?

When you sign your employment contract with any employee, I believe,you know the amount that’s going to come at the end of the month,so no shocks there, right?.And when you go beyond what is required of you, you get a bonus,usually at the end of the year. Thus is the norm for all the professions in the world- doctors, lawyers, traders, engineers, the help staff at the mall. Even my maid gets a diwali bonus, not 10% tip on the days my white shirt sparkles extra bright.

So, what, Dear Lord, is this whole big brouhaha about tipping the waiter?

Is it because, something as important and emotional as food  is involved? Then I think heart surgeons would have to stuff tips in their closet.I will any day try to suck up more to the guy who cuts my heart, than the one who places a leg of well marinated lamb leg in front of me.

Is it because the waiter gets paid so less? Is it?Do you want me to list out other professions that are paid far far less, but still not deemed ‘tip-worthy’  by us? How much do you think the auto-rickshaw driver gets? What about the man pulling you in a manual rickshaw? Do we tip them everytime we get on one? Chances are that we haggle over the faulty meter. And you know what? That snooty little waiter in the posh restaurant is most probably a student of some hospitality course and is doing this more as an internship and pocket money. For the auto rickshaw driver, this is his entire salary on which he will sustain.Actually,by this logic, the waiter at Taj should definitely get less tip than the waiter at a Kake’ Da Dhaba. Atleast Raju at the dhaba doesn’t talk in that supercilious tone, which only those  smarty pants-i-know-my-chardonnay-from-my-rose’ guys at a five star can manage.

For that matter, do you tip that guy in McDonald or other fast food joint? Why not? If you are thinking that the burger takes less time and effort than a full course meal, well let me remind you , it is the cook who is conjuring the amazing dishes.The waiter simply gets it to your table.After spitting on it,of course.

And who sets these ‘decent tipping percentages’? if your bill is INR 7000,you pay INR700, and so on and so forth.If it a posh restaurant make it 15%, else 10% will do,Why? Is an expensive sushi  heavier to carry than a cheap dal makhani?

And so you can imagine, how I was seething, when friends and partner ,were deliberating the other night,how little to tip the waiter, since he was obnoxious and an absolute nincompoop.Not whether to tip him or not, but how little to tip him. When we  screwed up big time in some trade,we got a tongue lashing from the boss.Of course, we got our salary at the end of the month, but with every big screw up , we knew our bonus amounts were going down by that much.

So, by giving a tip to that rude waiter, and to all the rude waiters all over the globe, we are, in essence,signaling that it is very absolutely alright to have  bad attitude at your workplace , especially when you are in the service industry- you will still be rewarded for it?

Tip, if you feel the person deserves it.Tip the bell boy ,if you feel your luggage was a bit too heavy.Tip if he gets you warm water to drink at 12 in the night.Tip if the waiter was nice,polite and gave you good suggestions for the dinner. Tip handsomely, if he takes away the his suggested dish because it didn’t suit your palate.Tip if he takes back something that is downright unpalatable.Tip the hairdresser if she suggested a nice haircut to you, and if you are like me,tip more if she kept the small talk to the minimum. I tip if  a small kid came with my home delivery.Or if its a grown up delivering my pizza in a heavy downpour, with a smile.

TIP, because he or she did something he needn’t really have done.Or he did it with such amazing attitude and cheerful presence that you were impressed. For the record this doesn’t include those clowns at TGIF who jump on your table,ifyou make the mistake of telling them its you Bday, and thereby embarrassing the crap out of you.They should be shot to death.

I absolutely refuse to tip, simply because I HAVE TO.No I don’t have to.It’s between me and the person who gave me his/her services.

But who am I kidding.Restaurant patrons in the United States fork over approximately $16 billion a year in tips!!!And on the other side of the spectrum, tipping in Singapore’s airport, restaurants, and hotels is strictly prohibited.Take your pick.

Funnily , the story goes that TIP itself is an acronym for “To Insure Prompt Service”, which was written on boxes,kept next to the counter, in 18th century tea houses, where patrons can leave coins,if they felt like.

And as Mr.P says, “She don’t make enough money, she can quit”.

36 Comments leave one →
  1. August 7, 2009 9:25 pm

    I agree. Unfortunately, I think this is a practice picked up from countries where wait staff are paid very low BECAUSE they’re expected to make money in tips. That’s a weird practice.

    Also, as the Guy once said, why do we tip more in posh places? Don’t the people at the cheap places need the money more?

    I tip when the service is good – or even okay, and don’t when it’s bad. Why should I give them money for being rude to me? (And bad always = rude, I can do with slow service or the occasional mistake.)

    • lostonthestreet permalink*
      August 11, 2009 12:45 am

      Agreed. But then I wonder how it started. The fact that they were paid less, people started tipping them.Or people were anyway tipping them, so management decided they can do with less basic pay?

  2. August 8, 2009 12:02 am

    Depends on how much you think you make…and what you want to project. Personally, tipping is a crappy idea.

    • lostonthestreet permalink*
      August 11, 2009 12:49 am

      Sorry, didn’t quite get your point.What depends on how much I make? Tipping? What I want to project by tipping? That I am mighty pleased with your service.

  3. Galadriel permalink
    August 8, 2009 8:41 am

    i live in the US and here you tip anyone who provides you this kind of service – waiters, cab drivers, fast food cashiers, beauticians, masseurs, airline porters, bellboys, even mcdonald’s servers (they have jars labelled ‘tips’ and you can tip if you choose). the only difference is at mcdonald’s you’re not obliged to leave a tip while waiters and cab drivers expect a tip and will serve you sneeze muffins/show up late or stand you up when you desperately need a ride, if you do not tip them.

    i do not think tipping is a crappy idea, i cannot even begin to imagine being able to do a job like that – i think it really takes a lot out of you if you choose a profession (voluntarily or out of circumstance) that repeatedly assaults your dignity just for the pittance you get paid.

    just because rickshaw pullers and auto drivers don’t get tipped in india does not mean you shouldn’t tip them.

    i tip 7%-10% for bad to average service and 15%-18% for good to exceptional service.

    • lostonthestreet permalink*
      August 11, 2009 12:54 am

      No,no, Tipping per se is not a crappy idea. But,for me,tipping for the sake of it is downright illogical.But my point is, at the end of the day if I don’t tip the rickshaw pullers, no one battles an eyelid.But dare I not tip a rude waiter, I have all eyes giving me the death stare.
      Do I get 7%-10% for bad work? No. Hence for bad service ,you get nothing, and don’t expect anything.

  4. August 10, 2009 2:59 pm

    I hate tipping, especially in these phoren countries where my Indian rupee is worth crap. I plan to carry print outs of this post of yours. After each mea, I will insert it into the bill folder and maybe add a smiley of my own.

    • lostonthestreet permalink*
      August 11, 2009 12:55 am

      Oh yeah,you want to start a underground cult or something? We refuse to bow down to the pressures,and tip when WE want to.

      • August 18, 2009 10:37 am

        I wanna join this club 🙂

  5. August 10, 2009 4:55 pm

    finally someone who agrees with my philosophy on tipping. i must admit though that after reading Steve Dublanica’s blog and book, i usually tip more than i would earlier. this is more out of the fear that the waiter will pee in my food or something when i go next.

    • lostonthestreet permalink*
      August 11, 2009 12:57 am

      Steve is that waiter blogger? Funny that Confessions of an Angry Waiter is one of the automatically generated ‘possible related posts’…
      Oh come on not peeing..Please now you are putting me off food.

  6. Anu permalink
    August 10, 2009 9:23 pm

    Remember that waiter in Shimoga and the one in Turkey (DOOOOOS LIRA) …!

    • lostonthestreet permalink*
      August 11, 2009 1:00 am

      Damn,how could I have forgotten to include these fine example, each at the opposite ends of the spectrum.The shimoga waiter was one of the best I have met.That Turkish one will get a bop from my head if I meet him again. The audacity, to coolly walk away our ‘Dosh’ Lira.

  7. August 11, 2009 1:56 pm

    Well put..I especially loved the fact that you said “I absolutely refuse to tip, simply because I HAVE TO.” ! However, the fact that we don’t tip the auto rickshaw guys and haggle with them over Rs. 5 and 10.. while we would tip a guy at a posh restaurant over Rs. 100.. is ridiculous! If the rickshaw guy puts on his meter for me and takes me to the place I want without any hassles/ haggling.. I want to tip him! And like you said there are numerous places where I want to tip the person for the excellent service they provided me.. and I do out of pleasure not because I have to!

    • lostonthestreet permalink*
      August 11, 2009 8:23 pm

      exactly.Its not tipping per se that I am against.I am against forced tipping.

      • August 18, 2009 10:38 am

        The rick guys tip themselves. Let’s say the meter shows 47 bucks and you give them a noe of 100 bucks, they’l return 50 bucks and approproate the 3 bucks themselvs

  8. Anupa permalink
    August 11, 2009 11:07 pm

    Clap clap clap!!!

    Completely agree with the philosophy – tipping is at the customer’s discretion… not a birthright of those providing the service. I will gladly tip (whether in India or in the US) when I feel that the person has gone out of his/her way to do something nice for me. But when I see that the person (usually waiters) EXPECTS to be tipped no matter how crappy the service, then its just pissing off.

    The hubby and I have been facing such an issue in the US over this. It just kills the joy of a meal when you have to sit and consider the tipping that customarily follows…regardless of how you were treated.

    Classic was what happened when we went on a Cruise. The tip was added to our bill at the end of the trip!! It was like being forced to tip! Not only was the decision to tip or not to tip taken out of our hands, but the amount was also being dictated.. in no subtle terms!

    Apologies for the long comment but this is just such a close-to-my-heart topic!

    • lostonthestreet permalink*
      August 12, 2009 1:34 am

      Refer earlier comment by Anu.
      Something similar happened to us in Istanbul. The guy never came back with the 10Lira.It was a complete WTF moment for me.I might have given him that amount as tip, but to think that he just coolly walks away it with ..
      Actually 10 Lira, was way too much for the bill,would have def not given that entire amount.

  9. Anupa permalink
    August 11, 2009 11:12 pm

    Dug up an old post the hubby wrote on the aforementioned cruise incident. Check out the 3rd comment… just shows what we sensible folk are up against!!

  10. Gaurav Batla permalink
    August 12, 2009 12:03 am

    Bloody some of the restaurants charge more than 20% in the name of taxes and ‘service charge’. If they are charging for the service separately then why the heck does the waiter deserve a tip for his ‘service’!!!

    • lostonthestreet permalink*
      August 12, 2009 1:40 am

      Apparently, the service charge doesn’t go straight to the waiter,but to the establishment, so the waiter will not necessarily have a share in it…etc etc..I know ,convoluted logic,but that’s how it is.

  11. Devlina permalink
    August 12, 2009 5:12 pm

    Ahem Ahem,

    I dont have much insghts to provide esp given the worthy readers of your blog above.
    All I can say babe, is that we Leos, sure love our money and make sure its well spent. Tipping should be for rich kids and black money earners, not us honest hardworking individuals!


  12. August 12, 2009 7:36 pm

    thanks for your comment….why did your dad took off the wheels…you on a tricycle could have been a pretty sight..

  13. August 13, 2009 1:03 am

    I love the header! 🙂

  14. August 13, 2009 3:10 am

    Reminds me of Reservoir Dogs – Thats a classic!!!

    Nice blog!

    • lostonthestreet permalink*
      August 13, 2009 7:04 pm

      Reminds of Reservoir Dogs? yes you might hear something uncannily similar, in the first scene of that movie.;-)

  15. August 17, 2009 2:40 pm

    neat stuff. you just proved my hypothesis – the so-called boring professions actually have more interesting people than the name-sake interesting professions can ever dream of hiring.

    • lostonthestreet permalink*
      August 18, 2009 9:59 am

      now that’s an interesting thought.

  16. December 14, 2009 11:44 am

    You’re a douche.


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