Thursday, March 27, 2008

Candice hates mandatory tipping

OK, what is up with America? Why do you underpay your waiters and then expect the customer to pick up the slack? Since when did 20% tipping become the norm, with anything under 15% being considered bad service?! Yeah, fairtip.org, I'm looking at you.

You know when you're a kid and you're told you have to do something that you don't want to do, like eat vegetables or turn off the lights. So you avoid it - you dislike like, nay, you hate it. It's not until your parents stop insisting you do it that you realize it's not so bad, and that once in a while, you actually crave a piece of broccoli or an energy-efficient light bulb.

That's how I feel about mandatory tipping. The more you tell me I have to do it, the less I want to. In most other places in the world, a tip is exactly that - a tip - a reward for good service. You actually want to recognize your sweet waiter for being able to take all 4 orders without taking notes, not mess anything up, constantly refill your drink and bring you things in a timely manner. You know, what a good waiter is supposed to do.

The catch-22 is that waiters aren't paid enough to allow for average tips below 15%, so people are forced to dole out the cash even to just plain old couldn't-care-less-but-didn't-pee-in-your-food service, while employers see no need to pay waiters more than the going rate because they expect America to tip enough to cover their wage costs.

I call shenanigans. Employers - yeah you, the one who's paying your waiters something in the range of $2-$3 an hour! Get a grip - learn how to run a business or go back to watching QVC. Other countries can figure it out - pay waiters normal wages and then have a 10% tip be a sign of good service. It's not that hard. Then again, other countries figured out the metric system too...

Ugh.

Oh, and as an addendum, this includes more than just waitstaff. Cab drivers, maids at hotels, bellhops, delivery men... aren't they getting paid to drive me to my destination, clean my room, carry my bag and deliver my furniture? If they do something extra special, then by all means, but I always get this awkward "Home Alone" feeling like when Macaulay Culkin gives the bellhop some ABC gum while he stands there waiting for a tip. Why don't other people get tips as well? I'm thinking salespeople, accountants, garbage men, professional athletes, ushers, shoot, even consultants... rant rant rant! I am so angry!

16 comments:

Kathleen said...

There is a steakhouse out here in SF called EPIC that tacks on an additional 4% gratuity "in order to provide the very best health benefits for all of our employees." I've never even eaten there and it still pisses me off.

Lita said...

Wow....may I ask where you've been to even THINK that someone might pee in your food so that I can avoid it at all costs?

Candice said...

Fight club reference... y'know.

Shawn said...

Teachers too. Where's my tip for making sure children stay out of harm's way, and actually trying to teach them something instead of filling their brains with video games and candy like their parents do at home. I'm underpaid, where's my tip? :)

Cy said...

My problem is I don't want people to think I'm cheap, so I always feel like I have to over tip. And holy balls, I just looked at that fairtip.org site. That thing needs to be stopped. Maybe it's just me, but if somebody wants a 20% tip they should try EARNING it.

Cy said...

I want to see Skippy's thoughts on this...

Candice said...

Oh come on, Skippy got big tips at Steak 'N Shake because he did all the things that garner you big tips - do your job well and kiss ass like there's no tomorrow. It's the half-assed, "I don't care if I stuck my finger in your soup and got your order wrong twice" waiters I'm hating on.

anna said...

Ok but have any of you ever been waiters?? I worked in a mom and pop type chain in high school that catered to the over 65 crowd, and my "tip" tended to be a handful of change or a Hershey's kiss. Bullshit. I stand in these heels for 8 hours and go home smelling like french fries so I can make a dollar a table? If other younger normal-er people didn't come in and give me my 20% for being so charming and polite, my $2.33 an hour wouldn't have been worth the gas money it took to get there.

Cy said...

C'mon, you can't expect us norms to make up for the faults of the elderly. By that logic we'd have to make up for their dangerously negligent driving and their annoying habit of uncomfortably encroaching on your personal space when you're forced to sit next to them on an airplane. Explain to me how we're supposed to do that!

Cy said...

Really, the best solution to your problem is to get rid of the senior discount and start charging them double what normal people pay, then giving you a percentage of that.

anna said...

Sounds like a future blog post... "Cy hates old people" and/or "Cy hates his own grandparents."

matt said...

I was out to dinner with Candice last week, and she actually left a single dollar bill as a tip for a $70 meal. And she even cut it in half, just to let the waiter know she felt a dollar was better spent being rendered useless than to reward him for a job well done.

Candice said...

Skippy DID cater to the over-65 crowd and still managed to get huge tips. Must be something to do with being a Boy scout and helping little old ladies cross the street.

Lita said...

I would have taken a torn dollar bill ANYDAY over a strategically placed smiley face made out of pennies.

Stef said...

Hey candice! you should come to Vancouver (or Richmond) where we only tip 10% if they're lucky..hahah we're cheap chinese people... anyway yeah tipping sucks... especially when the service sucks..TIPS should actually be placed on the table at the beginning To Insure Prompt Service and then you can periodically deduct amounts when they suck..hah!

Paul said...

One time I was out with Candice and she left blankets infected with smallpox as a tip. She's cold-blooded.