Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Here's another tip. Wait. NO.

My husband is an excellent tipper. It's one of his many great qualities. I didn't have to reform him. He was tipping well before I ever came along.


I'm a pretty good tipper. I understand the difference between tipping, and oh, say... tithing (I'm looking at you, UTAH). Answer: at least 5%. AT LEAST.


Here's what I don't understand about tipping:


Why do I have to tip EVERYBODY?


It's because of freaking Starbucks and their stupid tip jar. They're ruining it for the rest of us.


Example: I worked at an upscale Chinese restaurant in high school. I seated people and packed up take out orders for people. I never once expected a tip. It certainly wasn't as hard as what the servers did and it was just part of my minimum wage job. Not a big deal.


I managed Nielsen's Frozen Custard in Orem during college. I made a lot of sandwiches and concretes. We never put out a tip jar. We never even thought about it.


And then Starbucks happened in a one-on-every-corner kind of way after I graduated college and somehow I'm sure that's to blame for why I see tip jars everywhere I go and WORSE, why I see a look of expectation on people's faces with the tip jar.


I'm like, permanently George Constanza and the deli tip jar.


The thing is, I'm always happy to tip for good service. My hair girl? I do right by her. Ditto my waxer and manicurists (although mine are PUSHY. I tip 20% and they always act like I shorted them by $10. Puh-leeze. And no, I don't want a stupid flower on my toe.) (Um, on a $30 mani/pedi, is a $5 tip okay?). We often tip the babysitter. Always the server. 


But the hostess at the Thai restaurant who packed my to-go order? No. And not the Subway sandwich clerk. And not the grocery bagger who walks me out. In fact, even when I desperately need the help to my car, I won't accept it because I never have cash for a tip.


Also, girls at Golden Spoon yogurt? You did not have to work very hard for me to get my yogurt. So no, I'm not tipping you. And I'm definitely not tipping at the self-serve yogurt place. Why do you even have a tip jar out?


Not every single service worker deserves to be tipped. 


They don't. 


But I wish they would quit looking at me like that!

23 comments:

Barbaloot said...

Ditto a thousand times over! Standing behind a counter at a fast food place is not even kind of the same as taking orders, serving food, cleaning up etc. I hate those tip jars.

Also, it's possible my family and I were very much in love with Nielsen's Frozen Custard back in its Orem days. We were crushed when they moved--but maybe in the mean time I went there and you served me:)

Alisa said...

If there's a tip jar out and I'm paying with cash I'll throw the change in. Not to be stingy but I agree. There are too many tip jars where there used to be none. But for sure, pay a GOOD tip to the people who deserve it!

My kids friends set up a lemonade stand on our street and on it was a tip jar. They weren't my kids so I let it go but it seemed over the top to me. How hard is it to pour lemonade?

Kristina P. said...

It's so true. And the things people tip for. The Sonic worker? Really?!?!

Brittany said...

When I was head bag lady at the Smith's Food King in Burley, Idaho, we were NOT allowed to take tips. Ever. But one time a little old lady forced me to take a dollar, so I did. When I worked at the Burgers Etc. taking orders for burgers and etceteras, the thought never crossed my mind to expect a tip. What is this world coming to?
P.S. $5 is fine.

Chantele Sedgwick said...

Ha ha ha! Seriously, your posts crack me up.
I hate tip jars too. And I never ask for help out to my car when I'm getting groceries and my three kids are freaking out and climbing out of my cart. Awesome.

And I heart Nielsen's Frozen Custard. Best ever. :)

Kimberly said...

Oi. Amen.

I'm a proportionate tipper. If a waitress is surly and offers poor service? I barely tip if at all. If the waitress is FABULOUS, I give a GINORMOUS tip. Karma, baby.

Melinda said...

I don't even notice those stupid tip jars, if they didn't earn it, they're not getting it. I worked at a grocery store, you're not expected to tip the people who help you out to their car, so don't worry about that. I'm the same as Kimberly, I tip well to those that deserve it, but if you can't keep my drink coming or be polite, you're not getting much a tip.

Jenny P. said...

Yeah, my grocery store has a sign that says "Please don't offer tips. We can't take them." So I get the help every single time and never give anybody nothin. (Should I tip my english teacher for that line? heh.)

Vivian said...

So true! I'm so glad someone has the guts to spill it out. I've been thinking about it for a while and never dared saying a thing. My question is, do their bosses know their employees are playing the tip jar game??? I personally do not tip those type of "services" and I will continue "sponsoring" that same behavior. On another note..I could NOT LIVE without Nielsen's Frozen Custard...could NOT!!

Kelly O. said...

I wish that people would tip nurses and teachers!

Sierra Gardner said...

Yes, yes and yes! I usually ignore tip jars as well (unless the employee was off the charts awesome). And I always tip people well who should be tipped (once you've been a waitress you understand).

Susan said...

Nielsen's. Yum. I miss their grinders. Becky used to hook me up good.

I never tip at Coldstone and they have that tip jar. And then they sing some embarrassing song when you do tip, which is probably why no one ever does it.

Susan said...

PS: I am now officially ahead of you on my WIP. I bet you didn't know it was a competition, but I figure if I can keep up with you I might finally finish my third book. It's looking very promising.

Becca said...

Okay, really? I know. I'm all about the tip when it is a reflection of good service. Or any time anyone has to serve my entire family, just for the control factor. But at a stand-up-to-order place? No chance.

CaJoh said...

I never think that I should tip unless they actually serve me, not just hand me the stuff. It's an art to be able to recognize when someone needs their water filled and when to clear the table. They should be rewarded for that.

~T~ said...

For several years I've been shopping at military commissaries, where the baggers always help you to the car. They have special carts to do it with. They are almost exclusively older Asians. And they don't actually get paid, so tips are expected. But no one has ever told me what a reasonable amount would be. So I probably stiff them pretty seriously. It's not a good system, but it is part of the institution worldwide.

NIKOL said...

And what is the deal with people tipping at Souplantation? I am not going to tip someone at a buffet. I had to get my own food. Just because you come clear the table at the end doesn't mean you get a tip.

I go to the same Starbucks several times a week. They all know my name, and I know theirs. I LOVE the baristas at my Starbucks. I have never once put anything in that tip jar. Nor do I ever plan to.

But I go way, way overboard tipping when I get a pedicure. I can't tell you how much I appreciate that they're willing to scrub the callouses off my feet and will work to make them look pretty. It can't be pleasant work. They DESERVE a big tip.

Sarah said...

I am completely on your side. I also don't understand these new types of fast food places where it's typical fast food fare, it looks like a fast food restaurant, it has a drive through... and then they have a waitress. What there? They have the drinks where you can get them, you pay up front... all the waitress does is take your order. It doesn't make any sense and left me a wreck because I'm a BIG tipper when it's appropriate. Big as in, we pay more in the tip than the dinner. But she didn't even bring me my drink...

annie valentine said...

Seriously, we had to tip the guy who detailed our car this week. I wanted to vacuum his face off.

Also I swear I don't suck, my kindle broke and we left on vacation and well...don't hate me. I love you.

myimaginaryblog said...

I'm a good tipper in restaurants and the other normal stuff you mentioned, but honestly I wish we'd just do away with the system and businesses would just pay their employees well. My brother worked as a waiter and at least here in Utah, a LOT of people are jerks about not tipping. I think Australia has the right idea.

Karen Peterson said...

This drives me CRAZY. I am so tired of tip jars that I refuse to tip whenever I see them. Except at Cold Stone. But that's because they have to sing.

Dedee said...

Amen. I look at those jars and wonder. I'm also with Kimberly on the "If you treat me right, I will tip you, if not, don't expect much".

In fact, my husband was so mad at a waiter once that he wrote on the tip thing, "Your tip is that there are no such things as potato pits". (I wouldn't have done that, but he's more hotheaded than I am.)

Charlotte said...

I have tip anxiety. Do I tip the Sonic carhop? Do I over/under tip my hairstylist? What about Walmart greeters or parking lot attendants (just kidding, I hope). Perhaps I should be insulted when I hold the door open for someone and they don't tip me for it.