Do You Remember When You Tipped for Good Service?

When did tipping become a requirement instead of a reward for good Service?


The whole point of tipping your waiter, taxi driver, hairdresser or anyone else in a service industry was to reward the person that went above and beyond the basic requirement of the position.

A taxi drive takes you from A to B for which he (or she) generally receives a percentage of the fare. If they also open your door and help with your luggage then they are entitled to a tip. Hell, I’d even settle for a pleasant disposition. But, I really get pissed when the cab is dirty, the driver is unpleasant and smells, I struggle with my bags and then the driver holds his hand out for the customary gratuity.

My wife and I were at a restaurant in Key West a few years ago called “Red Fish Blue Fish”. We had never eaten there before but the menu looked interesting so we decided to try it.
The food was excellent and our waiter was polite and attentive. He pointed out his menu recommendations and checked back several times during the meal to make sure we had everything we needed. We enjoyed the meal so much we decided to return the following day.

Unfortunately our waiter from the previous day was not working this night, so we were seated by someone else. This one took our order and delivered our food – presumably the basic requirements that he is paid to do. At the end of the meal I paid the bill and added the customary 15% because I have become a politically correct, spineless whimp that doesn’t have the ‘cojones’ to make a stand for decent service.

At least, I thought I left 15%. Perhaps my unconscious was doing what my conscious mind couldn’t. Anyway, regardless of how much the tip was, it wasn’t enough for this waiter because he followed us out the door hurling abuse. It was one of those, you want to curl up in a dark hole moments. I should have demanded to see the manager and had him fired but I missed the moment.

The point is, why are we now required to supplement the wages of service workers that provide no more than basic service? Worse yet are the restaurants that automatically add a service charge to the bill. If you don’t notice it you can easily double tip.

The corporate takeover of independent restaurants has meant rising prices well beyond what can be blamed on inflation. A fairly ordinary meal for two can easily approach $100. At 15%, or the now suggested 20%, that’s 20 bucks for carrying two plates from the kitchen to your table.

If you are in a service industry and rely on tips for your income, I’m sorry but you are going to have to start earning your tips. I for one am fed up with playing the politically correct games and handing over my hard earned wages and getting nothing in return.

What do you have to say? Do you agree or do you think I’m just a cheap SOB?

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