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Tips: A Never Ending Project

Updated on December 17, 2011

Have you ever noticed how everyone wants a tip these days?  What is up with this?  I am what I consider a "big tipper."  When I eat in a restaurant, which I do frequently, I typically leave about 20% of the bill.  I don't have a problem with this, in fact, I think the server deserves it.

Did you catch the key term in the last sentence?  The server deserved it!  When you are in a restaurant the waitress or waiter is very key in your dining experience.  They literally wait on you as if they were your servant.  They come by frequently to make sure your meal is going well and to see if you need anything.  They keep your soda filled or your coffee hot and bring you what you need so that you can enjoy the meal.  If you have ever had the unfortunate experience of spilling something they promptly come and help you clean it up.

Contrast this server with the cook.  While he/she is vital to your dining experience (who likes a poorly cooked meal) they don't "wait" on you, nor do they "serve" you.  They have a skill set for which they trade for an hourly wage.  Nothing wrong with that, but it is far different than the server who literally served you.

My one complaint about tips in restaurants is the fact that many restaurants automatically add the "gratuity" (seems like an oxymoron) when the party is over eight people.  I realize they do a lot of work and they want to make sure they are compensated for it, but a tip is no compensation.  It is a "tip" or a "gratuity."  It is an expression of our thankfulness for serving us as they did.  When I am paying and a party of more than eight the server actually hurts themselves.  They will typically add a 15 - 18% tip onto the bill, but I would have given 20%.  Do I make up the difference in the spot designated "additional gratuity?"  Absolutely not.  I feel that if they want to force me to tip then they can settle for the reduced amount.

I travel quite a bit and have eaten in restaurants in different parts of the world.  I remember once in Uganda where we were the only ones in the restaurant and the cook and waiter sat over at another table until they felt like working.  I have also eaten in restaurants in the interior of Russia.  Service is not the priority.  The word "tip" actually stands for, "to insure promptness."  I am not sure when it was changed to "you owe me this."

Now everyone wants a tip from the barber to the shoe shine man to the cabbie.  Why do they deserve a tip?  The barber, hair stylist, or massage therapist learns a marketable skill and then sells their skill.  There skill has a value, but why must I feel obligated to "tip" on top of the skill I have purchased.  They don't "serve" me like the waitress/waiter in the restaurant.  The cab driver has a car and is willing to drive me from point A to point B for a healthy fee.  Should I tip the driver just because he talked to me or is it because he did his job and arrived at the destination?

What ever happened to excellence or satisfaction in a job well done?  It seems that our society continues to transition to a "something is owed to me" mentality.  My mechanic doesn't ask for a tip for servicing my car, no does the hygienist ask for a tip after she cleans my teeth.  Why?  Because they are selling a service and the fee for the service is sufficient.  Nothing else is expected.

Even when I was a teenager working for the local grocery store, I didn't expect a tip for carry the groceries out to the car.  It was my job for which I was being paid an hourly wage for.  In order to provide better customer service we offered to help with the groceries so that the customer would come back and shop at our store again the next time they needed groceries.

If we are looking for people who deserve tips we should tip nurses.  If, unfortunately, you ever have to be admitted to the hospital you will find that nurses really do serve you.  What a necessary and thankless job.  I salute those who have gone into nursing.  A good nurse will make a huge difference in your recovery.  Surely they deserve a "gratuity."

Well, in the whole scheme of life I doubt this HUB is very important.  It just wearies me that nearly every business I go into the little jar is stuck out there as the next person is trying to get their "gratuity."  Maybe if we just focused on serving one another, helping each other, and making life more enjoyable for one another that we would find that the rewards of service is of far more value than a couple of bucks.

If you want to send me a tip for this HUB simply use paypal.  My email address is


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    • Writen4u profile image

      Writen4u 8 years ago

      I like your rant/article and it love the last sentence. I think the waiters that read this should throw you a tip! Anyways I linked your article to mine on tipping, along with some others. I just want to make sure it's ok with you. If not send me a message and I'll take your link off in a snap. Awesome, true and funny post.