Monday, February 3, 2014

Please Tip Your Waitress

I'm a good tipper. Whenever I go out for food or drinks, I always ensure to leave a little something extra behind. Fifteen percent seemed to be the precident for a long time, but I've been noticing eighteen percent cropping up on a few debit terminals lately. Eighteen percent? Really? Some places just tack it right onto your bill, which I find kind of presumptuous. 

Okay, I'm going to put this out there knowing it might get some backlash. I don't agree with mandatory tipping. I know, I'm a terrible person, but if you have crappy service then you shouldn't leave extra money behind. Why? Because you had crappy service. It's really all very simple. And for me, you really have to be a terrible service worker to NOT get a tip. I'm talking snorts of derision and eye rolls. So, if you haven't received a tip from me in the past, it's because you should be exploring other avenues of employment. 

The funny thing is, and I never really thought about until recently, but tipping extends beyond waitresses and waiters. Now that I work at a salon, I see most people tip their stylist. I am dating a tattoo artist, I see a lot of people tip their artist. Then I got to thinking, who else is being tipped? Delivery people because they lift things we don't want to, or at least arrive with hot, cheesy pizza in a timely manner. Bellhops (are they still called bellhops?) because they monitor your bags and ensure they don't get stolen. 

But where does it stop? Or, why does it stop? 

I certainly don't tip my doctor for a gynecological exam or my dentist for a root canal, even though both these people are helping to keep me in my most tiptop shape. Maybe these people make too much money? Or maybe it's just awkward trying to slip an orthodontist a fiver.  

Waiters and waitresses often tip out the kitchen from their gratuities. And tattoo artists frequently tip out their counter staff. So, in some ways, these make sense and can reasonably rationalized. Delivery men do grunt work. And Pizza boys get tips because they risk their lives driving from point A to point B so you don't have to. Maybe that's all this comes down to? We tip people for doing things we should be doing ourselves but just can't be arsed. 

Except, that really doesn't apply to tattoo artists! No one should be doing their own tattoos. Go to a clean, respectable shop and get a clean, respectable artist, with a clean respectable past, and a clean respectable portfolio to give you a clean, respectable tattoo. So you see a pattern, clean and respectable, people. And, while I never thought it prior to a year ago, most people shouldn't be doing their own hair either. 

When I was little, I remember my mother tipping when she used full service at the gas station. Full service is pretty much a thing of the past these days. At least up here in Canada, and more accurately, on Canada Island where I reside, I can't think of a place that even offers full service. Granted, when I drove down to San Francisco, I tried to pump my own gas when a very nice gentleman took the hose from my hand and told me that was his job. 

So, I guess it depends on where you're from. I did tip the man in Frisco who filled my tank, if you know what I mean. It's pretty clear, he took me from empty to all filled up. Made the little arrow rise. None of these sound even remotely appropriate to be writing in this post. 

Today, I tipped the person who changed my oil, air filter and serpentine belt. It felt good doing it, too. Because it wasn't expected. I'm grateful to have had a little extra cash to do so. Why did I tip her? Because she was cute, kind of looked like a gelfling, and is a woman in a male dominated industry. I also told her to split the tip with the guy helping her out, because I am not sexist. And you know what, she was super appreciative for the extra bones. It wasn't going to buy her a new house or Rolex watch, but it might get her a quick bite to eat when she made it to her lunch hour. 

And why not tip these oil change aficionados? I mean, they are at least ensuring my vehicle runs smoothly, letting me know if anything is on the verge of breaking and, possibly, killing me. They've kept me healthy and alive by ensuring my serpentine belt doesn't break while going 110 down the highway. Kilometres, not miles. Canada, remember? 

It makes me think that if anyone does a job well done, goes above and beyond, delivers great customer service, then we should tip them. Go ahead, tip someone who doesn't expect it, it feels kind of awesome. 

Well, I've talked myself into it. The next time I go to the doctor, I'm going to slip a ten in her lab coat pocket. 

For those of you unawares, this is a gelfling. 
Rent Dark Crystal and be prepared to have your mind blown. 

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