The Tipping Point

I’m over this societal guilt-trip of needing to tip employees. It was fine when it was just servers, and bartenders and bellmen (bell people? Is that the PC term these days?) But now there’s this societal pressure to tip for pretty much any service and I’m starting to think this is all just a ploy, staged by employers to get away with paying their workers less.

Let me start off by clarifying that I’m not ACTUALLY A dick. I mean, I AM, but not because of this particular topic.

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The significant portion of my 20’s was spent in the hospitality industry and I can say from first-hand experience that those people actually NEED your tips to survive.

Then, there are people you tip because you appreciate their great service, hard work, loyalty, and because they probably don’t make a great hourly wage. This sort of tipping is reserved for cab drivers, airport baggage handlers, golf caddies, valets, car washers, and babysitters. Not tipping them doesn’t make you a scum bag, but it is considered proper etiquette.

Now, what really makes me see red are the jobs that request tips when it’s both asinine and boarder-line psychotic.

Recently, I had an elective procedure done at the doctor’s office that cost $700. This was a private practice, mind you, with two employees. Upon payment, there was an option on the screen, inquiring if I would like to leave a tip…on a $700 procedure in which the doctor will probably pocket at least 70 percent of that.

Please, explain to me why I would tip someone that makes significantly more money than I do on a procedure that is part of her job description? Is this tip money going toward her two week Christmas vacation down in Cancun? No-to-the-hell-NO am I tipping for that.

But I think the absolute WORST scenario of guilt-tipping is the bathroom attendant.

Seriously, WHAT IS THAT? Who decided “bathroom-towel-dispenser-and-cologne-giver” was a market in high demand?

I’m all for working in whatever field or trade necessary to put food on your table, but I also don’t believe in feeling forced to use a service I don’t need. Particularly in such an intimate setting. Nothing is more jolting than finishing your business, only to be greeted by a stranger that seems as happy to be there as you are, offering toiletries and services you don’t need.

And if you kindly dismiss their help or decline to tip, don’t even think about going back to that restroom for the rest of the night. The look of disdain you’ll be met with isn’t worth the enjoyment of relieving yourself. Just hold that shit in and do the awkward pee-dance the rest of the night until you can go home and do your business without assistance or tipping. You know… like any normal-functioning adult in today’s society.

Bottom line: Tip if you know a person’s life actually depends on it. Tip if you are receiving exceptional service. Tip if it feels right and you want to show your gratitude. But tipping out of guilt for a service that you didn’t request or that already pays well? Can we just put this B.S. to a rest?

And if we’re going to be paying for people to sit in public restrooms and help dry hands, could these employees maybe sing to me while they do it? Give me some pick-up lines I could use out there? Tell me how my stocks are doing? Buy me a beer? Fix my hair for me? I don’t know, provide a service I could actually use and feel good about tipping for?

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