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Tipping: Why I Hate Giving Tips
I Shouldn't Write Your Paycheck
I hate tipping. I said it. No matter how much you tell me, “But they get paid next to nothing.”, “They are just working their way through college.” or “But, come on, man. Have a heart.” I am not going to change my mind. It’s not that I dislike the idea; I think that people who do an exceptional job should get a little extra. I get that. The idea of mandatory tipping of servers because their bosses can pay them two dollars and thirteen cents an hour, because if I don’t do it I’m a huge jerk, or just because it’s a nice gesture, makes me angry. But, I am not totally against tipping. I do think if you do a pretty good job – getting my food to me correctly and warm, refilling my drink before it gets empty, and maybe even suggesting what is good—you should get a tip. Anyone who does a good service should get paid well. But, most of the time, that’s just not the case.
I Don't Want to Seem Like a Complete Jerk
Hear me out first. I would like to say that I dislike that the government allows servers to be paid so little an hour just because they get tips (and they get tips because they get paid so little. I don’t really get their circular reasoning.) The government is required to pay up to minimum wage if the servers don’t make minimum wage with their tips plus the two-thirteen an hour. But, I hear from a lot of my server friends that this isn’t always the case. Also the government can take taxes out of their reported tips from their wage paycheck. Essentially they are getting double taxes taken out of their paychecks. That’s not right. If I could vote on something or sign something to change this, I would. But just because this is currently the case -- and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to change -- I’m not going to buy into the whole tipping thing. I don’t want to take it out on the servers. I really don’t. I wish bosses had to pay all servers minimum wage and the food cost more. I don’t feel it should be up to me what the server gets paid. That’s not fair to me or the server.
When I go to a restaurant I just want to get some food. Not that big of a deal. If I could have made this cheaply or easily (read: not five hours of cooking) at home, I would have. I can understand paying eight dollars for a cheeseburger and fries that costs two dollars to make when you get the service you do at a restaurant. But, I don’t understand why a server should get paid by the customer at the end of the meal. They should get paid a fair minimum wage, even if it means by eight dollar burger is now nine-fifty. If I choose not to tip because I feel the service was poor or if I’m just broke, I don’t think it’s fair that the money I don’t give them is money essentially coming out of their paycheck. The government is the jerk in this equation, not me – the non-tipper. I’ve been told by some server friends that if people are notorious non-tippers at a restaurant they will usually get their food messed with in some way, and that “some way” is usually pretty disgusting. That’s not right, and it’s not professional, but that’s just the way it is, I guess.
Jobs That Get Tips
- Delivery People
- Hair Dressers
There are benefits to giving most of these workers tips. Masseuses you might get a little longer massage, delivery people may bring you your order first if you are a good tipper, bartenders may give you stronger drinks, hair dressers make you feel more comfortable, barbers will give you a better deal or feel more like family. However, there are few benefits to giving a server a tip other than you’re decreasing the chances of your food getting spit in the next time you eat there. The server can’t give you a bigger portion, that is the cook’s job. The server can’t really make your dining experience any better than what you would expect from a fast food joint, and those guys don’t get tips. So why should I tip if there’s nothing in it for me? Just to feel good? Well sure it’s always nice to tip someone, but sometimes I just don’t have the cash. Or sometimes the server wasn’t very nice to begin with and it makes me feel better to not tip at all. And there are plenty of people who never get tipped or even thanked for some of the work they do. And some that work is just as bad as being a server, and is pretty darn important. I am not trying to say being a server is unimportant, but I'm trying to say that some of these jobs save other people's lives and get paid the same as servers.
Jobs That Don't Get Tips (But Probably Should)
- Police Officers
I don’t understand why these jobs -- jobs that are often paid very little – are not tipped or usually even thanked for what they do. I worked in the restaurant business all throughout high school and in college. I worked mostly as a cook because that was the job that opened up at the restaurant I worked at, and it just stuck after that. However, I did work as a waiter sometimes, and when I did, I enjoyed the tips I got. I was always very gracious and never complained when I didn’t get tipped. I didn’t feel that I deserved them in the first place, they were just a bonus. A lot of coworkers, however, felt otherwise. They felt as if they deserved 20% tips on every check, whether they did a good job or just chatted with their friends or coworkers the whole time. While working as a lifeguard, I got yelled at by parents when I had to kick kids out of the pool for fighting or when I sent them home for harassing other kids. I got paid under minimum wage because it is “seasonal work”. They don’t get tips for keeping children and adults safe. At most they get an occasional thank you for pointing people towards the bathroom. Many firefighters are volunteers. Many police officers put their lives on the line dealing with all sorts of criminals, and they get spit at. Most teachers would do anything to help your children learn and thrive. There is no community tip jar for these people. And all the while I’m expected to give at least 15% tip on every check that a waitress, who forgot my iced tea, brings me.
When It's All Said and Done
I do think they have a crappy job. It sucks. But, it’s one of those jobs that requires no experience to jump into, and you can still be very good at it. Should I have to decide whether or not they have enough money for rent? No. I don’t think so. The government seems to think so. Their bosses think so. But I don’t and that’s why I don’t play into the system. If I could change the system, I would. I know some places where the servers get paid quite decently and aren’t expecting tips and get them anyway. In many other countries tipping is not expected. I don’t like it, but it’s just the way it is. I’m not going to change and tip every server I have just for because I “should”. If that makes me a jerk, well then I guess I’ll claim the title.
All in all I don't hate waiters or waitresses. I know they go through a lot of tough work and make very little. I generally do tip fairly well. I was just expressing my feelings on this topic and trying to justify how I feel. Thank you!