Do you think tipping should be an obligation?
Do I tip?
It depends on a lot of things. But more often than not, if the service is good, I definitely tip, no matter how I’m feeling. I consider it a way of saying “thank you,” but with more than just those traditional words. It’s a manner of showing your appreciation for the service or the food or the experience you had in a particular place.
I think tipping should be made into a law and enforced in all places where human interaction is mandatory.
You know I’m kidding, right?
But, honestly, it feels good being able to give some sort of encouragement to people who work to make my experience somewhere a lot more pleasant. I don’t think the actual tip is going to actually make a difference in the recipient’s life, but I do think the gesture itself is worth something – even if it’s just a smile.
There are about two occasions on which I consciously refuse to tip.
- When I’m not so solvent financially; and
- When the person approaches it like an entitlement like maybe I owe them or it is my responsibility.
The first occasion upsets me, not because I am some goody-two-shoes, but because I’m uncomfortable with being unable to show my gratitude. Saying “thank you” sometimes comes across as mere words; words that can sometimes be just the same as keeping quiet.
One thing I do, however, is to make sure whoever I’m tipping knows why I’m tipping them. I say things like, “Your attitude is so encouraging. I was watching what happened with that other customer, and even though it wasn’t your fault, even though he was yelling, you remained polite and professional. Don’t change.”
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I can make speeches for Africa.
The second occasion annoys me. In fact, it flat out irritates me that one could feel entitled to my money. Are you not getting paid to do what you do? If I think you deserve something, I should be the one to give it not you making a demand of me for it.
We’re all familiar with the bank/parking space security guard who comes up to you when you’re leaving with a phony smile and goes, “Well done, sir! Good looking o. I’m feeling this your suit” or some other words to that effect. Usually, I ignore them. Sometimes, I share a phony smile of mine.
I hardly ever ‘tip’ – if that can be called tipping.
I’m the one who usually goes to places instead of having stuff delivered. But in those once-in-a-lifetime moments, I try to leave ‘something’ for the delivery guy.
Like I said before, it feels good. Maybe some people in some jobs earn more via tips than they do via their pay. I don’t know. Maybe it’s what I’m supposed to do – my ‘one good deed’ for humanity. I don’t know. And, frankly, I don’t care. Not because I’m a jerk and insensitive but because I doubt my change is going to significantly improve one person’s life.
I do it for an entirely selfish reason. I do it because I like to see the smile, the glow, on the person’s face and feel ‘hey, I made one person smile today’. Just because in that small moment just before I step outside the restaurant and back into the insanity of the day’s grind, I’ll feel like I have actually done something to ‘make a difference’.
You get the point.
There are also arguments around ‘just how much should a person tip?’ Personally, I try to follow the 15% rule, but I give more whenever I can. Less is just cheap.
You should try tipping sometimes. And, hey, you’re allowed to be selfish about it.
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