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Random Ramblings: Tipping Is Very Popular

Submitted by:

Aubrey Lou

As for my next rant, I thought I should write about how tipping has become so very popular in a lot of stores. I actually think its a bit comical asking for a tip while you make the money for the job you are suppose to perform.

Now let me be straight and say that I am not talking about bartenders, waiters, waitresses, hair stylists, cosmotologists, massage places, ect. I am speaking about stores asking for a tip from a tip jar. For example, going into an ice cream parlor or Subway waiting in line to get my order placed, and then at the end of the counter where you pay for your order there is a tip jar. I am sure I should research if these people get minimum wage, which I believe they do, but in case they don’t, well just ignore this past paragraph.

Recently I had an “email conversation” with my friend who moved to Puerta Vallarta, and he told me that the Dollar General store he goes to has a tip jar out. Now this is ludacris to me! He says he never places tip in the jar because the cashier is so rude and has no concept of customer service. My friend tells me that this cashier has such a horrible demeanor and when she checks him out she nevers says “Hi”, “Bye and thank you”, and NEVER tells him how much the price is after scanning all the products. What part of this yells out you deserve a tip. I will be happy to give you a verbal tip but you will not like it.

My problem or “rant” about all this is when your job is to take my order, make my food while I wait in line, or give me my soda you are doing the job you are getting paid for. What part of that service requires me to give you an extra tip unless you were outstanding and were over the top helpful and nice. Most of the time I find a lot of these places wanting a tip but have no concept of how to have customer service to earn that tip. I think it is so expected now that people forget that they must earn it respectfully.

When you are taking care of me and my needs, such as, my hair stylist, pedicurist/manicurist, or waiter/waitress then yes you should deserve a tip unless you were seriously crappy or caused me pain! You are spending a great deal of time trying to meet my needs or wants at that moment. Your time and how well you work is how you make most of your money.

For me customer service is key these days. There are so many places that have the worst customer service in places that deal with people constantly. For example, today at a doctor’s appointment there were 2 receptionists at the front that basically checked in the patients. As I was waiting in line the woman in front of me was waiting for one of those girls to check her in. One girl was looking something up on the computer, but the second girl was just sitting there doing nothing. This is what I heard:

Patient: Can you help me?

Receptionist: Yeah, I guess I could.

You guess you could? No, “how can I help” or “Hi”. Just “yeah, I guess.” Excuse the hell out of us lady. Thank heavens they weren’t asking for a tip there! Oh Lord help us, doctor’s offices as the next people to ask for tips in a tip jar. Let us hope that never happens!

Aubrey Lou is a founding contributor of You can find her on Twitter @aubreylou.

Reader Comments (2)

This is something that bugs the Hell out of me as well. If you are doing the job you are paid to do then "no tip for you" unless you go above and beyond your duty.
Now as for jobs where a tip is expected (waiting tables, etc.) I tip depending on the service. Standard service equals a standard tip, 15% (I usually tip closer to 17% as I double sales tax which is 8.5% where I live). If you do a good job, I have no problem tipping more. But if you are not attentive, rude or just suck as a human being, I'm not going to tip you well or even at all in some cases. I know a few people who own restaurants and they make the case it is how that person makes a living. True, but if you suck at what you do, maybe you should be doing something else.
That being said, I'm also smart enough to be able to tell when a bad experience is not the waiter's / waitress's fault. Should they be penalized when the manager fails to schedule enough people to cover the floor? What about if a cook quits in the middle of a shift. If this is the case, tip responsibly and talk to the manager about it. But if the waiter is just a dick or is spending more time flirting with the girls at the bar then refilling your cup, don't give him a dime.

November 18, 2010 | Registered CommenterOptimusgene

I always have a hard time with Sonic. I feel bad if I don't tip the carhops, but then sometimes I don't have the extra cash or pay with the card and don't have cash. It would be REALLY nice if the little thing that lets you pay with your card let you also specify a tip.

I also sometimes just dunno how much to tip. Tipping only a dollar seems like it would be insulting no matter what the meal cost, but then again $2 is a 20% tip if your meal was only $10 and obviously even more if you spent less.

I usually just flip flop between overtipping and not tipping because I don't have cash, and hope somehow it evens out. heh But then again not everybody tips the carhops at Sonic.

Cashiers and such which aren't the usual jobs the rely on tips for salary, though... I'm with you guys. I only tip said people if they are really nice.

As for waitresses and waiters ect I tend to tip based more on attitude than the actual service. Of course if the service was great that influences me, but even if it wasn't that great as long as the service was friendly and done with a good attitude that didn't make me feel like burning the place down just to make a point I generally tip okay. If stuff that's not their fault interferes with the service then obviously it wouldn't be right to penalize that, but really I look more at how they react to it. If they get frustrated and are short with me I don't care how bad a day they are having, they aren't getting much of a tip from me. On the other hand if they manage to do their job with a smile I'm liable to give them an A for effort even if they did screw up.

Then again maybe this isn't a negative trend, at least from a consumer's point of view. If tipping becomes popular people will begin to depend on that money, whether by their employer's paying less or by simply adjusting to the extra income. If the receptionists at the doctor's office have a financial incentive to treat patients better that could improve service and give you a means of rating their service with some teeth... financially speaking. *shrugs* But, meh... I'm not overly fond of the whole tipping thing. It makes sense in some contexts as a financial service feedback mechanism for customers, but it rightly sucks for the employees who then have incredibly variable income, and while they can improve their income by improving their service the fact is that it's mostly out of their control. For every good tipper there are 5 assholes...

November 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMannon

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