Tuesday 5 June 2012

Apparently tipping is the most controversial thing I could write about...who knew?

So for those of you who haven’t seen the debate (on Facebook) about my previous blog post about tipping, well....there was/is a debate. I like debates! But reading some of the comments by my peers has lead me to believe that I’m not as good as a writer as I once thought I was. 

I used to consider myself to be a clear and concise writer, but If my audience isn’t understanding the key points I’m making through my writing, then maybe my writing needs work. Here are some quotes from the post below ladies and gents; I’ll do my best to translate. 

“Now, I don’t “hate” tipping, just the idea of it.”
This means that the act of tipping is okay with me, but the circumstances around it don’t ALWAYS make the most sense. Sometimes. But not always.

“It seems that nowadays you HAVE to tip whether the service is great, good, or terrible.”
Tipping for terrible service is lost on me. Maybe you had a bad day, maybe you had a bad week, maybe you’re not good at your job. How am I supposed to know? I could ask, I suppose....but that seems rude.

“Your tip at the end of the night is a bonus; something you get in addition to your regular pay”
If someone leaves at the end of their meal and doesn’t leave you a tip, you can’t chase them down the street, or call the police on them for stealing your service. 

“The bigger question is, why is it that waiters, waitress, and bartenders are the only people we tip?”

Alright folks, the above quote is the FOCAL POINT of this post. Hence my decision to use the words “The bigger question is...”  I know it’s hard to interpret, but I don’t have the smarts to make this any simpler. I just....I can’t do it. You think a million years of University would have instilled to knowledge in me to be able to break this down so everyone understands it; perhaps I fell asleep during that lesson.

“They didn’t offer me a tip, nor did I expect one.”
I’m not complaining that I don’t get tips at my own place(s) of work. I knew when I took the job that tips weren’t a customary thing that I was to expect from everyone who passes through. But I’m questioning WHY isn’t a customary thing? Not just for where I work, but at most establishments where people work minimum wage. 

“I’m not saying I’m going to stop tipping (it’s “socially acceptable” dontcha know) and I’m not saying that you should stop tipping”
I tip. I’ve always tipped. I’m not going to stop tipping. I tip. I’ve always tipped. I’m not going to stop tipping. I just needed to repeat that so people don’t rudely and inaccurately call me out as a “stain on society.” This above quote is also saying that my point is that everyone shouldn’t stop tipping their servers. Keep tipping. Tip all you want. Want to tip 15%? Go for it. How about 25%? Sure. Interested in tipping 50%? Then by all means, feel free to open up your wallet and tip that 50%, my friend. Do what you want. It’s your money.

“If you’re going to tip one group of workers, why not tip ‘em all?”
 This quote has similar meaning to this one... “The bigger question is, why is it that waiters, waitress, and bartenders are the only people we tip?”
Do some cooks, servers, and bartenders work their asses off? Of course they do? Are they the only people in the minimum wage workforce who do so? Of course they aren’t. Do they have the hardest minimum wage job of all time? I don’t know, I haven’t worked for every minimum wage job out there to draw a 100% accurate conclusion to that question. But I doubt it.

There are tons of minimum wage jobs out there that are hard or stressful to do, and not all of them get a tip at the end of their shift. Tipping is a trend created and carried out by different people in society, and it’s not going to last forever. Will people still be tipping on 50 years? Probably. In 100 years? Maybe. In 150 years? Who knows. Trends change. Trends end. Some have more longevity than others, but things are always changing.

*There have also been comments that if people want to work in a place that has tips, then they’re more than welcome to work as a server. Hmm…if you think of the most common restaurants in Winnipeg, you will notice a certain age category (along with other qualifiers) among the servers who work there. But that’s a different topic.


  1. I have to say, I've wondered the same thing at times - for example, when it's fifty below and some poor guy is freezing his skeleton pumping my gas while I sit in my warm car. I've even tried to tip, and my offer has been politely declined (through chattering teeth) because they're not allowed to accept tips. Why doesn't the gas pump guy get a tip, when the pizza driver does? I don't get it either.

  2. charmaine, i gotta admit, when i saw that "strain on society" comment, it really really annoyed me! a strain on society because someone doesn't tip? puhleeeze! lol