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Myrhaf

A World Without Tipping?

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Can you prove that what I require is not customary? Everything I ask is the most basic job requirements for the server -- take my orders, bring my food to me, and fill my waters. Are you seriously telling me that it's customary for people to expect their waiters to small talk them and give a fake show of intimacy?

It may depend on the restaurant to some extent, but anyway, the very fact that you complain about it suggests that you think it's a widespread problem. Even if service styles had no discernible pattern, you should still explain your wishes ahead of time and judge performance accordingly, because it matters to you. Some folks might not care at all. They're the ones who don't need to explain anything. It's not that your requirements are "basic", it's that they're specific. And to ensure compliance you should say what they are, at least until the day comes when most everyone agrees with you and won't tolerate the kind of service you dislike, and the prevalance of small talk and such ceases to be a problem worthy of discussion.

And yeah, it does not follow that there is no such thing as poor service. Obviously if you bring me my food 45 minutes after I ordered and it's cold, that's poor service. That's irrelevant to my point however, since what I'm saying is all I ask is the most basic service. I don't ask for nor expect extroardinary service, so why should I pay for something that I never wanted?

Actually, that's non-service - which is outside the realm of tipping completely.

Edited by Seeker

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criterea that is up to you. Wow, the damn bastards!

PS. As a bartender, I'll want photos of all those here against tipping in case you ever come to my bar. I have a heirarchy of preferred customers. I believe you know your place on that heirarchy!

Thats funny and true...if anyone here decides to eat at a restaurant and not tip, I would suggest they never return to that place ever again.

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"Hi, how are you? Let me put this right up front for you: I don't want you to be my pretend-friend. I don't want you to be my personal butler. I don't want you to blow sunshine up my *ss. Just get the food out here in a reasonable amount of time, fill my drinks up, and don't make me wait for the check. You do that, you'll get your 10%. Why 10%? Because I'm not asking you to do any of that other baloney. So, is it a deal?"

Now, even so, the waiter is just an unnecessary middleman for me. I'd rather not even pay 10% and just go pick up my own food.

I would have no problem receiving a 10% tip from you in those circumstances because it would require very little of my time and effort, as long as you didn't stay too long dawdling after you ate.

There are restaurants where you can go pick up your own food called buffets or fast food style places.

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No analogies necessary. You can tip away if things are extraordinarily good. It's the idea of always tipping that creates the problems.

That, I think, is one major issue I have with the system. I don't really want to be fawned over and chatted with and so forth. But they just give it up front and then expect you to pay for it. Like the homeless man who "washes your window" with a newspaper and dirty water. Not in the sense that they're filthy awful parasites (most of them anyway!), but only in the sense that they are providing a service that I don't want and then expecting payment for it.

Again, I totally agree with you here. I am the same way as a customer; I don't want to become friends with my server, I just want my meal served the way I've ordered it. As your waitress inspector its easy to identify someone by their manner who, doesn't expect conversation, knows what they want, and requires minimum interaction. I would be doing a good job if I RECOGNIZE that and faciliate that. If you came back to that restaurant and had a different server who didn't get it and made annoying small talk, you might request me next time because I was better able to provide the service you prefer. I might even remember you always get meat loaf on thursday and just say "the usual" to your 'yes" limiting your interaction to one word. (smile) would I get 15% then.

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It may depend on the restaurant to some extent, but anyway, the very fact that you complain about it suggests that you think it's a widespread problem. Even if service styles had no discernible pattern, you should still explain your wishes ahead of time and judge performance accordingly, because it matters to you. Some folks might not care at all. They're the ones who don't need to explain anything. It's not that your requirements are "basic", it's that they're specific. And to ensure compliance you should say what they are, at least until the day comes when most everyone agrees with you and won't tolerate the kind of service you dislike, and the prevalance of small talk and such ceases to be a problem worthy of discussion.

Actually, that's non-service - which is outside the realm of tipping completely.

If I go to a restaurant and you take my order and brought me food and water, that's a service. How is that an non-service?

And my requirements are basic, because it's the bare minimum of what a server is supposed to do. If they do other stuff like smile a lot and chat a lot, I will tolerate it. But since I never asked for it, why should I pay for it? Yes, I could spell out exactly what I want from a server every single time I go to a restaurant, but everything that I'd want are things that's in the job requirement. And besides, why should I?

As a side note, I currently live in a country that doesn't normally tip. As far as I can tell, in a nice restaurant, whether the service is good has less to do with tipping, and more to do with how stringent the management quality control their employees. If the employer pays the waiter a set wage, and give good service less they get fired, it'll equally guarantee quality service but without the whole subjective hassle of figuring out tip. On top of that, you still have the option to tip if you really want to. That too mean seems much more rational than an ambiguous tipping system.

If you don't want service at all, then you are free to not frequent sit-down restaurants that insist on serving you.

But, if I happen to like the food at a restaurant, why should I go to a different restaurant? Do you think the guy who actually owns the restaurant is likely to turn my business away because I don't like being hassled by the waiter's small talks?

Bottom line is when I go to a restaurant, I'm doing business with the guy who owns the place, not with the waiters.

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I would have no problem receiving a 10% tip from you in those circumstances because it would require very little of my time and effort, as long as you didn't stay too long dawdling after you ate.

Wow, cool.

Thats funny and true...if anyone here decides to eat at a restaurant and not tip, I would suggest they never return to that place ever again.

Just to say it for the record once again, I am not advocating not-tipping in restaurants and bars under the circumstances of today. Unless it's for pizza where they specified a delivery charge or promised that delivery was free. And even then I support a tip if they brave a snowstorm or something.

There are restaurants where you can go pick up your own food called buffets or fast food style places.

Yeah, but a man does not live on fast food and buffets alone.

I might even remember you always get meat loaf on thursday and just say "the usual" to your 'yes" limiting your interaction to one word. (smile) would I get 15% then.

Yes. Yes, you would.

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If I go to a restaurant and you take my order and brought me food and water, that's a service. How is that an non-service?

No, he means they utterly failed to serve you.

Yes, I could spell out exactly what I want from a server every single time I go to a restaurant, but everything that I'd want are things that's in the job requirement. And besides, why should I?

Well... if it really worked and didn't piss them off then I wouldn't so much mind it. I mean, face it, you and I are not in the majority in terms of what we want from our waiters, apparently. I mean I don't like having to say "hold the mayo" on everything because I hate mayo, but I recognize that most people do and so I only joke about how they should take it off all sandwiches and make the mayo-eaters say, "yes, I would like mine with some vile, rancid goo, please."

As a side note, I currently live in a country that doesn't normally tip. As far as I can tell, in a nice restaurant, whether the service is good has less to do with tipping, and more to do with how stringent the management quality control their employees.

That is true. Tipping is by no means the only way to guarantee good service.

If the employer pays the waiter a set wage, and give good service less they get fired, it'll equally guarantee quality service but without the whole subjective hassle of figuring out tip. On top of that, you still have the option to tip if you really want to. That too mean seems much more rational than an ambiguous tipping system.

It is a hassle. But I think this last bit of the thread has really helped me figure out why it hassles me so. It's not a "deuces wild" thing, like Thoyd suggested, so much as... well, a lot of things. One is the thing that they try to earn it with things I don't want, and then I'm uncomfortable when the bill comes because I don't want to pay for what I don't want but I also don't want to stiff someone who did something for me, even though I didn't want it. (you see, despite how it may look, I really am a nice guy, which is why this is so much trouble for me. If I was just a jerk, I'd stiff people and not give a second thought) If leveling with the staff pans out, then that could be a non-issue. That might also deal with the fear of being poisoned if the staff really is okay with dealing with me on those terms. Finally, it would take a lot of the ambiguity out of the situation as all parties would know what they are getting into at the beginning, the lack of which was one of my big problems with the whole thing. That just leaves the fact that I can't be a heartless businessman when doing this, as I outlined above (again, not because I don't have a heart but because I have too much of one and I therefore would prefer to keep it out of the equation), but if I really truly can get what I want for 10% then I guess that would satisfy the deal-seeker in me. Mostly. I would still prefer that tipping weren't standard but I would be a lot more comfortable and probably enjoy eating out more if I could get at least this.

And I'd still go across the street if they offered to let me pick up my own food.

Bottom line is when I go to a restaurant, I'm doing business with the guy who owns the place, not with the waiters.

Yes, that's what I would prefer as well. I mean I get how it's fun for the waiters to be their own business but it's really just a headache for me. And my big problem was that there was no way to opt out of it without risking people doing horrible things to my food.

But, seriously, I want to hear from more people in the service industry how you would react to my speech.

Edited by Inspector

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I think it would be nice if I got tipped at my job. When I arrest people, I endeavor to make that experience as pleasant as possible, and I can see how tips might give me even more incentive.

Eh, isn't that called a bribe? Not that I'd be against tipping you if you were arresting me...

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I've been giving the matter some thought.

Let's start with the assumption that it's rational, for the employer, to pay his workers according to their pereformance. In some professions, the evaluation of the performance can easily be done by the employer. For example, a department store knows how much a given clerk has sold, thus it awards a commission. It can be flat, or it can rise as sales rise (2% for up to $15,000 in sales, 2.5% for 15,001 to 25,000, etc for example). Likewise a factory owner can easily monitor the performance of each worker, and reward him accordingly.

How do you rate the performance of a waiter, or a delivery man, or a barber? I submit the customer is a much better position to rate these performances than the owner or mannager. Still, can the owner figure out reasonable compensation? Not really. People tend not to complain at restaurants because they don't want to "make a scene," or don't want to get the waiter fired. If you give your customers forms to fill out (as some restaurants do these days), a significant portion of them won't fill them out. You could ahve people supervising the wait staff. But that's an additional expense, and they'd probably get in the way.

The same applies to delivery men, although their performance could be objectively assayed by how long it takes them to make a delivery and return (of course, if they hit traffic on the way back, it doesn't mean they took too long to deliver); or, better yet, by having the customer sign for the delivery with some kind fo time stamp (some courier companies like DHL do this).

The point is if an employer is going to leave the rating of his staff's performance to the customer, it makes sense to leave the compensation up to the customer as well.

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I submit the customer is a much better position to rate these performances than the owner or mannager.

That's true of ALL service industries, yet only waiters get tipped.

Restaurants outside of the US don't require tipping, yet the service is roughly the same. Take Japan for example. I guess somehow they manage to got the same performance out of their employee without an inefficient and ambiguous system.

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I completely agree with Inspector and Moebius on this topic, they have made some great points.

Another telling sign that the general view on tipping is irrational is that it is mostly calculated as a percentage of the price of the food. What is the reasoning behind this? Is it harder to transport fillet mignon to my table than a $1 burger? Or is it harder to get the chef to hold the mayo from more expensive food? Of course, on more expensive food there may be more things that one could potentially "hold", but to say that the difficulty that arises from this directly matches the price of the food is ridiculous. Because of this inconsistency, the waiters are not being paid according to the actual value of the food transportation, order taking service, etc, but rather, according to the price of food, which is related to the skills of the chef, not the said waiter service.

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That's true of ALL service industries, yet only waiters get tipped.

Not really. Barbers, cab drivers, bell hops, delivery men, the guys who carry your luggage at the airport, grocery baggers, and I hear dealers get tipped sometimes.

Restaurants outside of the US don't require tipping, yet the service is roughly the same.

Maybe in Europe and Asia. I'm telling you in Mexico and Latin America, tipping is even more prevalent tha in the US. Lots of people live on tips alone, without any formal salary of any kind.

Oh, and when I was in Great Britain, I clearly remember tipping at restaurants.

Take Japan for example. I guess somehow they manage to got the same performance out of their employee without an inefficient and ambiguous system.

Possibly. I'm no expert in restaurants. The question is how do they manage it in Japan?

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Not really. Barbers, cab drivers, bell hops, delivery men, the guys who carry your luggage at the airport, grocery baggers, and I hear dealers get tipped sometimes.

Right. So like 4-5 professions out of thousands. The point is it's completely arbitrary.

Maybe in Europe and Asia. I'm telling you in Mexico and Latin America, tipping is even more prevalent tha in the US. Lots of people live on tips alone, without any formal salary of any kind.

Yeah that's true, except the only people who tip there are American tourists and extremely rich natives. A regular Mexican doesn't tip every time he buys a burrito. In the US though, for some reason everybody is supposed to do it?

Possibly. I'm no expert in restaurants. The question is how do they manage it in Japan?

The same way any manager does? Probably by observing how the employee operates, by listening to the customers, and presumably by their experience in the industry. And if the manager doesn't like what he sees, he tells the employee, give him a chance to improve, and if he doesn't the manager fires him. I mean, is it any different in the US?

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Another telling sign that the general view on tipping is irrational is that it is mostly calculated as a percentage of the price of the food. What is the reasoning behind this? Is it harder to transport fillet mignon to my table than a $1 burger?

Yes, that is another issue that I've had problems getting my head around. The system does break down with expensive food. I mean, if there are more plates or more courses then I can see paying more for service, but if it's just that the food is pricey? That I don't see paying more for service for.

Not really. Barbers, cab drivers, bell hops, delivery men, the guys who carry your luggage at the airport, grocery baggers

Grocery baggers?!? Gah, it's the creeping crud!

, and I hear dealers get tipped sometimes.

Drug or blackjack?

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Yeah that's true, except the only people who tip there are American tourists and extremely rich natives. A regular Mexican doesn't tip every time he buys a burrito. In the US though, for some reason everybody is supposed to do it?

You're wrong. I live in Mexico. "Regular" Mexicans tip waiters every time they deal with one. Certainly not all of them, as there are stiffs everywhere (not just in America).

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I'm now very seriously thinking of putting up a tip jar in class with a cute slogan like "Tipping is not a city in China"

Are you really? That would be unprecedented. I think people only like tipping minimum wage workers though, not people who make over 40K.

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I've only read the last 1.5 pages of this thread, so if this has been answered elsewhere just point the way... But for those of you against tipping, are you against it being a custom or mandatory, or are you against it completely? Also, how is tipping a bribe?

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Are you really? That would be unprecedented. I think people only like tipping minimum wage workers though, not people who make over 40K.

Waiters at high end restaurants easily makes over 40K -- thanks to tips.

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I've only read the last 1.5 pages of this thread, so if this has been answered elsewhere just point the way... But for those of you against tipping, are you against it being a custom or mandatory, or are you against it completely? Also, how is tipping a bribe?

I'm against the idea that tipping should be mandatory. I think it's not the most efficient custom. I think it's ambiguous. I think it's arbitrary.

I tip consistently however at 15%, but never over, unless the waitress is totally and utterly stunning. I tip because I think it's what their basic service is worth, and I don't think there really is such a thing as an extroardinary service given what I require of them (unless they for whatever reason gave me extra food or drinks or something). But again, I agree with one of the previous posters that the valuation of services is warped when we're talking about high end restaurants.

Think about this: a decent bottle of wine cost anywhere between $100 - $200 on average at a restaurant. At 20% tip, you're basically giving the waiter about $30 just for opening a bottle. I mean a landscaper does an hour of hard, physical, and productive labor for something like $10 - $12. Contrast that and you'll see why I find tipping a dumb system.

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Are you really? That would be unprecedented. I think people only like tipping minimum wage workers though, not people who make over 40K.
Yes, I am. I don't know what to make of your observations. Perhaps it would be unprecedented, but does that negate the validity of my doing so? After all, if a tip is given to ensure the best possible service and to directly reward a person for their work, shouldn't my customers also have the right to tip me and reap the benefits of tipping?

I don't know about the minimum wage thing since I don't have a wage chart at hand, but let's suppose it's true. Does that matter. You're not suggesting that the real reason for tipping is some "social justice, living wage, liberate the masses" kind of reasoning, are you? Should tipping really be tied to a person's income? I don't see why it should be.

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But for those of you against tipping, are you against it being a custom or mandatory, or are you against it completely?
Personally, I'm against mindless tipping (I'm generally again mindless action, but we're just talking about tipping here). I'm not opposed at all to rewarding people for extraordinary work, but I am opposed to me giving extra reward to people -- people who I don't employ -- for merely acceptable work. I also oppose the "because everybody else does it" reasoning that is implied with tipping, especially the arbitrary list of people who you "should tip" versus "don't need to tip". So I don't oppose tipping, I just oppose mindless tipping. I also oppose rationalization for the sake of evading the conclusion that one is acting mindlessly, but would be a topic for another thread.

However, if I can pick up another $10K from a tip jar in class, I'm willing to see how many people are willing to pay me a little extra.

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Yes, I am.

Do you really think that would be fair? I mean, look at who you would be recommending tips from: the students. Arent those students pretty broke as it is? And also, they may shy away from interaction with you when they need some explanation on something because they might get the idea that you are expecting a tip afterwards.

Perhaps it would be unprecedented, but does that negate the validity of my doing so?

No. I just meant that it would be unprecedented. Or have you heard of teachers recommending tips before?

After all, if a tip is given to ensure the best possible service and to directly reward a person for their work, shouldn't my customers also have the right to tip me and reap the benefits of tipping?

Somehow, I think you are already providing the best possible service you can give to them, even without the tips. I may be wrong though. Maybe you'll work even harder for that extra dollar.

You're not suggesting that the real reason for tipping is some "social justice, living wage, liberate the masses" kind of reasoning, are you? Should tipping really be tied to a person's income? I don't see why it should be.

Im not saying it should be tied to the service persons income, but it usually is. I think what drives a lot of people to tip is that they think its their responsibility to make up for the rest of the workers income. Therefore, when they see a person with a larger salary, I think they dont feel that responsibility.

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Do you really think that would be fair? I mean, look at who you would be recommending tips from: the students. Arent those students pretty broke as it is?
Okay, you're right: I wasn't applying the underlying Marxist principles correctly. So how about pizza delivery peple -- do you only expect tips from the bloated rich or middle class customers, or are your expectations more egalitarian?
And also, they may shy away from interaction with you when they need some explanation on something because they might get the idea that you are expecting a tip afterwards.
I wonder if that holds for pizza delivery -- like, do people shy away from delivery because that don't want to tip?
Somehow, I think you are already providing the best possible service you can give to them, even without the tips. I may be wrong though. Maybe you'll work even harder for that extra dollar.
I'm not certain, but I'm assuming that you're right on that last point, that I'll try harder to get the extra dollar. Just like with pizza delivery boys, who at some point started to try harder because people started to tip them. It didn't used to be that we felt we had a "responsibility" to tip the pizza boy, but somehow the leftwing guiltologists prevaled, and it became a standardand widespread assumption that we owe a living to the pizza boy. I don't see any reason why such a tradition can't be started for teachers, because the logic is just as good for teachers as it is for pizza boys.

BTW, are you a member of the union? This page really clearly exhudes the anti-Objectivist socialist mentality that I've been talking about. Are there any aspects of that FAQ that you repudiate?

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Okay, you're right: I wasn't applying the underlying Marxist principles correctly.

I just meant that these students are paying thousands of dollars for the schooling already and probably a lot have to take loans and work extra hours as it is, and thats trying to pay all those fees associated with school. Now you want to add another expense to that bloated list. And this is when you already have your career established and a pretty good salary. What about compassion?

So how about pizza delivery peple -- do you only expect tips from the bloated rich or middle class customers, or are your expectations more egalitarian?

Just to clarify, I'll mean "expect" as in regarding as likely to happen, not "expect" meaning obligation. From my experience, I now expect some richer people not to tip and some poorer people not to tip. I havent noticed any major difference between the classes. As for who I think should tip(when deserved), it makes sense to me that poorer people should be less willing to tip(or smaller amounts) than richer people because of their budgets. One can be a little looser with their money and the other should focus more on their essential necessities.

I wonder if that holds for pizza delivery -- like, do people shy away from delivery because that don't want to tip?

I would think so. Probably because they dont want that reputation or certain service that may come with constant no tipping. I think the customer may actually start feeling guilty each time he gets the delivery without including a tip. It would be hard not to feel guilt or some unpleasant emotion if you are constantly subjecting yourself against the majority.

I'm not certain, but I'm assuming that you're right on that last point, that I'll try harder to get the extra dollar.

So youre saying you dont always try hard at your job?

Just like with pizza delivery boys, who at some point started to try harder because people started to tip them.

I think tips are more relevant in terms of motivators with low-level type jobs than say, a more professional profession that tends to be moreso a choice than just a means to make ends meet. You know, like if I began playing baseball for a living(which is my passion), tips would not make any difference whatsoever to me, even if I was just getting peanuts for money in the minors. Im not sure if you know this, but baseball players did used to get tips when they played extraordinary, and the fans would throw coins onto the field.

BTW, are you a member of the union? This page really clearly exhudes the anti-Objectivist socialist mentality that I've been talking about. Are there any aspects of that FAQ that you repudiate?

Sure. Most of it I dont agree with now. I think the founders of the website are just lacking an understanding of what a tip really is. I think they were hoping it would reaffirm or persuade more people to tip the pizza guy in order for them to make more money. Although I do think its an issue that should be brought up with the company rather than the customers.

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