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I Hate Tipping Everybody for Everything!!!

Updated on June 6, 2013
Billrrrr profile image

Bill Russo is featured in the film & TV show, The Bridgewater Triangle & has written several books (both fiction & non) on Amazon Kindle.

"Thank you for the ticket. No officer. . It's a tip. IT'S NOT A BRIBE. It's 2013, we are supposed to tip EVERYBODY!"

Working the overnight shift at a gas station back in the 1970’s was not as bad as being tortured. Except in the winter time when maybe it was.

Inside, where it was warm, things were okay. Finding ways to stay awake was the major difficulty.

Between two and five a.m. there were few customers. The ones that did come were very demanding. They would drive up to the pump and beep the horn if you took more than eleven seconds to get to them. There was no self service back then. The gas attendant had to do all the pumping and perform a variety of free extra services.

Here’s an example of a typical late night/early morning patron.

The time is 2:35 A.M. A large sedan slowly pulls up to pump number one. The car is a new model, very expensive, and driven by a once attractive, middle-aged woman. Her fingers are cluttered with diamonds.

“Hello M'am, May I help you,” asks the attendant on a clear, starry night as the temperature flirts with zero degrees.

“I would like five dollars worth of gasoline. And check the oil. Then look at my back tires to make sure the air pressure is okay.”

The attendant pumps the gasoline. Next, he cleans the front and rear windows of the car-because that is part of the free services offered by "service stations."

As the frigid wind batters him, he goes from the windows to the hood where he tries to figure out how to get it open. Every car seemed to have a secret hidden latch that was designed to thwart filling station employees. Eventually he pops the hood and is ready for the next mystery. Where's the dipstick? A desperate search finally reveals the location. Yanking the stick out he holds it up towards the skimpy light afforded by the overhead bulbs. It's no go. He has to walk back inside the station to get a reading by the light of the soda machine. Of course it reads full. It’s always full. Customers who need oil never ask you to check it. He wonders why he didn't just pretend to read it and tell her "The Oil's Fine."

Now the attendant tries to put the stick back in the engine. He looks for the hole….can’t find it. Too dark. He tries for another minute or two as his fingers begin to freeze solid. Frustrated, he drags his unwilling legs back to the office again.... gets a flashlight, and makes his way back to the car and agonizingly locates the dipstick hole.

After closing the hood, his frozen toes battle the icy wind again as he begins to check the air pressure in the tires. Dutifully checking all four tires, he goes over to the compressor and untangles the air-line and then puts air in both back tires. The front tires are okay. "It's a wonder she didn't ask me to check the spare tire," he mutters to himself.

Back at the car window, he takes the five dollars, thanks the woman, and tries to turn away to go back into the office where it’s warm.

As he turns his worst fear is realized....she won't go away. She wants something else

“Oh I just remembered. My husband told me to check the transmission oil. Can you check it quickly please. I'm in a hurry.”

With stinging fingers that now won’t move independently, he opens the hood again and goes through the process of checking the transmission oil. He asks her to start the engine. She whines about if it would take a great effort to turn the key.

"Why do I have to start the engine?" she balks.

"You can't get a reading unless the motor is running," he patiently explains.

Several moments later, the customer finally drives off, leaving the attendant with no tip, barely a thank you, and frozen body parts from head to toe.

The attendant painfully goes back into the office, comforted by the knowledge that it will be at least 30 minutes before he has another patron. He makes himself a cup of coffee and tries to get warm.


Forty years later that attendant, now retired on Cape Cod, gets up early in the morning and often goes through the Dunkin Donuts drive thru. He pays almost $3.00 for a cup of coffee and like everybody else in the long line forks over a tip of at least 50 cents.

After coffee he goes to Supercuts and gets a $12.00 hair cut and leaves a $5.00 tip. The dry cleaners is the next stop and he picks up three items, loses the best part of a twenty dollar bill and puts the change in a tip jar that’s prominently displayed on the counter.

If the weather’s nice, he likes to get a car wash. There goes another twelve bucks and guess what….another tip!!!!!!

Now it’s lunch time. He goes to the Olive Garden for soup and sandwich and it’s really good….so he doesn’t mind dropping down still another tip.

Before he goes home he decides to get gasoline. Most all of the gas retailers are self-service but he spots one that advertises full service.

He drives up to the pump and orders $30.00 worth of gasoline. The attendant doesn’t offer to wash his windshield or check the air in his tires. But he does come looking for a tip for filling the tank.

After forking over a few more dollars, he begins his drive home, and he wonders when the scale of tipping tipped so far over to the tipping side of things.

He worked part time at that gas station for five years. It was a second job that he took because he had four kids to feed and clothe. He tried to remember if he ever got a tip.

He remembers frozen fingertips but can’t seem to recall any money tips.

He tries to decide if he’s bitter about everybody getting tips nowadays - and he used to get none.

Then he decides to give himself a tip.

“Get over it,” he tells himself, “Things change. Keep up with it. It’s okay to visit the past but don’t live in it.”

“Nice tip," he tells himself. "Thanks," he replies to himself.


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    • Billrrrr profile image

      Bill Russo 5 years ago from Cape Cod

      Thanks for the great comment Bill. "Tipping intimidation"! I love the phrase.

    • profile image

      Bill Carruth 5 years ago

      TIP is the acronym for: "To Insure Promptness." However, we've been so suckered in, so brain washed, so intimi-

      dated by legions of service folks that we usually tip no matter what. It's one reason I go to self-serve cafeter-

      ias. I'm sick and tired of tipping intimidation. Am I a tight wad? You're damend right.....

    • Billrrrr profile image

      Bill Russo 6 years ago from Cape Cod

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing. Food servers always get tips from me because I am pretty sure that the restaurant industry does not have to pay minimum wage. The waiters and waitresses might be making only four or five dollars per hour.

    • slaffery profile image

      slaffery 6 years ago from Kansas, USA

      This is so true. Less service more expectation. I am not the best tipper I do base on quality of service and not the 15% as expected. Voted up

    • Billrrrr profile image

      Bill Russo 6 years ago from Cape Cod

      Take the tips. You deserve them. The service you perform is unusual and it appears that your clients are sufficiently well-heeled to be able to afford the gratuity. Thanks for reading and for the insightful comment.

    • Alexander Mark profile image

      Alexander Silvius 6 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      I have often pondered the legitimacy of a tip since almost every service given is personal. But the rate of pay for most people is atrocious compared to the costs of living, so if I get a "luxury service" - meaning eating out or getting a coffee at the coffee shop, I tip. But I am glad when certain coffee shops make it a policy for their employees not to receive tips.

      And then there's me. I get some outrageously large tips sometimes and most often it's from customers that I have to work the least hardest for, and when I do work hard, I get less or nothing at all. I try not to begrudge the non tippers because I am grateful I have a job. I try to refuse tips normally and even convinced a few to keep their tips. That makes me feel better about getting them when they do insist because I know it's not out of obligation. Great hub!

      In case you're wondering - I fuel private jets and carry their bags and service their toilets. I am hoping to write my way out of that miserable job - it ain't as glamorous as you'd think!

    • Billrrrr profile image

      Bill Russo 6 years ago from Cape Cod

      Thanks Vickie. I agree with you 100 per cent. I always leave at least 20 per cent at restaurants. This has always been a part of our culture, I just don't like the way the tipping thing has spread like a virus - soon even the undertaker is going to start adding 20 per cent to his bill for his gratuity. If this happens, I'm not going!

    • Vickie Bovender profile image

      Vickie Bovender 6 years ago from Southeastern US

      Great Hub, Bill. I don't mind tipping folks well when they do a good job, especially wait staff at restaurants. Their pay is so low to begin with and far too many folks don't tip them at ALL. The tip jar at a drive-thru, though, is a bit much. Enjoyed this article!

    • Billrrrr profile image

      Bill Russo 7 years ago from Cape Cod

      I found one place where you cannot tip!!! In the BJ's stores, the people that work in the company owned cafes, are not allowed to get tips.

      (Some BJs have leased 'Subway' sandwich places - they take tips.)

      I felt bad when I got my hotdog, chips and soda - I really tried to leave a tip - honest! I wanted to!

    • Lgali profile image

      Lgali 8 years ago

      nice hub

    • Billrrrr profile image

      Bill Russo 9 years ago from Cape Cod

      My jar overfloweth with virtual tips! It's wonderful....and thanks for the comment.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 9 years ago from California Gold Country

      This was a hub deserving of a tip... Sorry I didn't see another jar anywhere. The one at the top seems to be full.