Tuesday, March 25, 2014

My Tipping Point

In the past week or so I've seen several stories on TV about tipping etiquette. These stories always stress me out. I never know who all I should be tipping or how much I should tip them. We all know that we're supposed to be tipping waiters and hair stylists but what about the less obvious services. Should I be tipping the person who cuts our dog's nails? What about the person who delivers the newspaper? 

To hear these "experts" talk about everyone who should be tipped regularly and everyone who you should be giving money to at Christmas time, I can't help but feel both overwhelmed and a little annoyed. If I'm paying $14 to have my dog's nails trimmed I don't also want to pay another 15% on top of that to tip the person who did it. If that means I have to pay $16 for to get her nails trimmed then that is what it costs and what I will have to pay. I don't want to have to try to do the math in my head every single time I pay for a service. My migraine brain simply can't handle it. Just tell me what it costs.

I don't want to be put in a situation where I don't know if or what I should be paying in addition to what a service costs. I almost never carry cash with me and I don't want to be forced to in order to tip people. AND I don't think it is appropriate to put the service worker in a position to depend on people knowing if and how to tip appropriately in order to make their wages. I've turned down help I really could have used at airports and hotels on several occasions because I didn't have cash to tip the people who were offering help. But if I'm paying $175 a night to stay in a hotel that employs bellboys I think that fee should include some assistance with my bag. And if I'm going to spend $25 on room service eggs and toast, I think that should include paying the person who delivers it to the room. Why else would it cost so much? The same goes for those annoying tip jars at coffee houses around the country - my $4 cup of tea should cover the 30 seconds worth of work it took the employee to put it together. 

I know for a fact that waiters and waitresses make less than minimum wage and therefore depend on tips to make their money so I always tip them. But I fully believe that tipping is something our culture should do away with entirely. Restaurants need to pay their wait staff regular wages - every company needs to pay ALL of their service workers regular wages. Doing so will ensure that they get paid for the work they do and  help us consumers to know what all of the services we use actually cost so we can better plan and budget. 

Hubby said it best the other day when we were talking about this very thing. He said that tipping essentially forces the consumer into taking on some of the responsibility of an employer. Not only is it inappropriate to make us decide what a person's service is worth but it forces us to do so without the necessary knowledge to make the right decision. 

1 comment:

  1. I have to agree. It is rather annoying because you don't know who to tip and how much. I don't tip the coffee shop with the $4 tea because, really, it is already $4 so I don't. but the waiters and waitresses in restaurants I do. I don't carry cash with me either so I turn down some help I could use to in hotels.