Thursday, September 16, 2010

Do You, Have You, Would You Tip?

I don't. I detest the practice in the same way I detest people who wear ugg boots when they go out shopping. While scoffing dessert on the couch this evening, I watched a segment on The 7pm Project about tipping. Most Aussies dislike it as much as I do, though apparently it's us Gen Y-ers who tip the most frequently. My partner does it more often than I'd like, a habit he seemed to pick up when we were living OS. But stingy ol' me would rather look at the bill, and pay that amount, despite my growing notice of death stares from wait staff on the till who wait expectantly when they swipe your eftpos card.
"So...the full amount?"
"Well, take 50% off if you like," much forced laughter while I try to guess the amount in the tip jar on the counter and avoid looking at the slightly miffed waiter. I wonder if thyey'd give me a prize for guessing correctly, like those 'how many jelly beans in the paint jar" competitions?

It seems that the tips we give, when we do give them, are pretty stingy anyway. I thought the general rule was 10%, or to at least round it up, and the average tip that most of us give is between $10 - $20. The general attitude is that our workers get paid accordingly depending on the industry they work in, unlike in, say, the States where tips can form a large part of your earnings for a shift . If I was in the US, sure I'd tip. I did it in Europe and the UK, not that I was very happy with most of the service we got, nor the shithouse exchange rate (this was about 5 years ago), but it's the culture in those parts of the world, and when in Rome...(eat dinner in a restaurant where a man is happily re-tiling the floor next to you, apparently).

But shouldn't we try to keep a culture of tipping being for exceptional service? Not as an expected add-on? I don't know if tipping makes people work harder in order to earn better tip, or if it makes them slacker because they know that etiquette means they will  get x amount, regardless. Really, customers shouldn't have to foot the bill in order for workers to get a fair go - it's up to the employers and regulating bodies to provide a fair working environment in accordance with their industries, surely?  But mostly, tipping sucks for the customer because we all fell asleep or doodled formal dresses in our maths classes in high school, and can't really be bothered working out how much extra we have to pay in order to save face at the end of a meal/haircut/hotel stay. Admit it, that's a large part of the reason I we avoid it...!

Do you tip regularly? Do you think it's a good practice to have in place?


  1. I don't tip. I do think if we were to become a nation of tippers, I should only like to Tip those I did receive good service from. For sure.