I’ve not been in the US too long, but I think it’s time to address this issue of tipping in the States. What is this malarkey all about??
Only last Saturday I was a victim of this tipping culture. The bar-guy thought I wouldn’t notice that he had short-changed me $10… When I went over to ‘remind’ him about his blatant blunder I’m still expected to leave this meaningless gesture of goodwill. Why am I tipping him for doing (or not doing) his job?! I used to naively believe that we were tipping if the service was good, but it seems we’re expected to tip even if the service is terrible.
Now; I work in an office, as such we have clients I ‘serve’. Should I therefore be getting tipped from them for doing my job? I don’t think so! I have an hourly wage I’m fixed to. It is in fact probably illegal to accept monetary ‘gifts’ from my clients, so why doesn’t this extend to other areas of commerce??
Here you have to tip the terrible bar-man for opening your bottle of beer and short-changing you (I would happily do it myself if he would just hand it over) You have to tip the taxi driver for charging you rip-off prices to get you from A to B. The barber the cutting your hair how You want it, even the pizza boy for dropping off your pizza?! Something about this all seems very wrong to me.
Now my cousin gets paid a ridiculously low wage working at the bar she works at. On this, tipping bar-people a buck or two might seem the right thing to do, but why do I need to tip the barber who is charging $20/cut; or the taxi driver who never charges less than $15/ride? These jobs are also a lot quicker to finish than serving drinks for an hour.
It seems to me like an unfair system whereby people are being rewarded above their wage level to simply do their job. I think there are 2 ways of sorting this out; either, raise/introduce the minimum wage of the bar-staff, so they don’t have to rely on tips, and so tipping becomes less of a forceful gesture for customers (satisfied or not); or, bring in something equivalent to ‘negative tipping’, whereby they are being judged solely by their service. So if for eg Katie is a rubbish bar-girl, then not only should I not tip her, I should get the price lowered down a possible 20% because of it. (i realise neither is ever going to happen)
I’m tired of looking at the price of something and knowing it’s not that price I’m going to be paying at all. I think it’s a dishonest and deceiving system that takes advantage of people’s ‘goodwill’ and generosity. If indeed we’re expected to tip every time you order a beer, why not just add that into the price and leave the ‘gesture’ side of it out?
Ok blog, that’s my little rant over. Just had to get that out of the system...