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Tipping has gotten out of hand in the US

  1. Nov 16, 2008 #1
    The other day on the radio the DJs were arguing over whether or not you should tip the cable guy after he comes to your house and fixes your TV. Uhhhh why? Why should you tip someone for doing their job? Why should I tip the mailman or garbage man for doing their jobs (which a lot of people do)? Should I start tipping the mechanic too? Should I tip my accountant? Tipping has started to get way out of hand in the US. I never leave tips in the tip jar at coffee joints or at the hoagie shop. I'm not going to give people more money to do their job that they are already getting paid to do.

    Before you respond let's be clear here. We are NOT talking about waiters here. I always leave 20% tip for a waiter. We are talking about tipping people who make salaries at or well above minimum wage.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 16, 2008 #2
    Tipping is fine. I get tips all the time at the physics lab. I get paid per electron, which is really cheap, but I make up most of it from tips. People walk by and go "That's some nice physics there, WarPhalange" and give me $5.

    I also tip my professors and I make sure it's before any tests are graded.

    I tip my local police officers and judges.

    I tip my county and state politicians.

    I tipped the guy who gave me a student loan, too.
  4. Nov 16, 2008 #3


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    Whenever I see a cow, I always tip it to thank it for contributing to the bucolic view.
  5. Nov 16, 2008 #4
    Here's what you do. Make your OWN tip jar and take it everywhere. Take it to a bar. You made it. It's yours. You have the right to have it. Make a collection plate and take it to church. Same thing.
  6. Nov 16, 2008 #5


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    minimum wage? I tip people who brag about making more that I do! I hate them. But I love them. I've known them for years,.... er.... decades.

    Do you work with any people from the region formerly known as the eastern block? They expect something extra for whatever out of the ordinary they do, no matter how much they make.

    I thought it quite peculiar when I first noticed it. But then I ran it through my head, what they had to do to get ahead, and it made sense. It was just just a habit.

    I now ask for chocolate whenever I go the extra half inch at work.
  7. Nov 16, 2008 #6
    I don't tip the people at starbucks, and they are very friendly and I see them every day. Why should I tip them? All they did was make a drink they were supposed to anyways. And I don't feel bad about it one bit.

    I only tip waiters.

    I think you owe me money because I gave you advice not to see bond. I would have saved you $10.00 admissions fees. You owe me a tip.
  8. Nov 16, 2008 #7

    Haha My thoughts exactly. You know I can't stay out of the movie theater.
  9. Nov 16, 2008 #8
    might tip to make an espresso drink, but not to pour a coffee.

    and i get the impression tipping might be more of a big city thing. like in new york where people are expected to tip their doorman or make a big offering at christmas or something.

    but where i'm at, tipping everyone and their cousin doesn't compute.
  10. Nov 17, 2008 #9
    I tip for exceptional service provided... when people go above and beyond, out of their way to make sure Im satisfied... tips are for extra service thats not required, necessary, requested, or paid for... something the person did as a personal favor to you.
  11. Nov 17, 2008 #10
    I agree with that.
  12. Nov 17, 2008 #11
    Mail carriers are not allowed to accept tips.
  13. Nov 17, 2008 #12
    I like it here, we don't tip, everything is so damn expensive anyway.
  14. Nov 17, 2008 #13

    Chi Meson

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    Wow. But he takes it every year!

    I did a climbing expedition with a USPS carrier once, and got some stories from the inside. He said a common occurrence would be an incorrect address. Many times the carrier knows where the letter should have gone (knowing the name and all) but sometimes he has already passed that house. Does he go back with the letter? Or does he file it with other "handling" mail (which need further sorting). "Handling" will delay delivery by a day or two. He said the choice is made by asking: "tip or no tip"? If the person is a tipper, then he goes back and delivers it. If not, then the letter is delayed.

    (I hasten to add, that the correct procedure was to file the letter in "handling." The tip encouraged him to take the time out of his own schedule to add some convenience to the customer. Carriers are usually damn nice people)
  15. Nov 17, 2008 #14
    That's why they aren't allowed. I'm pretty sure your mail carrier is breaking both the letter and spirit of the law.
  16. Nov 17, 2008 #15
    This thread makes me think of http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/12/magazine/12tipping-t.html?pagewanted=all" NYT article from last month.

    I tip pretty heavy. I only get my hair cut every three months, so I might as well make someone's day. The people at the coffee shop and our favorite restaurants are pretty nice to us, especially our P (who is disabled). Why not let them know you appreciate them by not only being talkative and asking how they are doing, but also putting a bit of money where your mouth is? I'm also known to give out wrapped chocolate if I just stopped by the candy store! Maybe i just think life is too short not to make someone's day, even if they are just doing their jobs.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2017
  17. Nov 17, 2008 #16


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    You would not tip a cable installer, these people make decent money and they are not allowed to accept tips, unless it's Bill & Ted's cable service, they may not make as much, but if they are working for a major company, they may make more than you do. It is traditional to give something to your garbage collectors at Christmas time. Probably stems from the days when you had the same ones. A way to encourage them not to destroy your garbage cans.

    Most people working in food services get very low pay because they are told that they will make up the difference in tips.
  18. Nov 17, 2008 #17
    When I worked in a fast food joint, the girls there would get tips all the time. This one really cute girl I dated for a short time would usually get around $20 a day in tips when working the front counter. What did I get when I worked the front counter? I got written up for talking back to the douche bag who wouldn't stop yelling about his fries being to cold.
  19. Nov 17, 2008 #18
    You should tip us software engineers. If not, we'll put a bug in your code.
  20. Nov 17, 2008 #19

    Ben Niehoff

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    I only tip in restaurants where someone else actually brings the food to my table. I always thought it was bizarre that coffeeshops have tip jars. If I have to go up to the counter myself to retrieve the order, then I don't see what service needs to be tipped for (i.e., I've already paid them a hefty markup to make the food, and that's exactly what they did).

    At places where I actually receive service, I tip around 18-25 %.
  21. Nov 17, 2008 #20


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    You paid the owner, not the server behind the counter. Some places realize that not all customers understand tipping etiquette and will rotate people from the counter to the tables (if there are tables) so everyone has a chance of getting tips in case they wait on Ben at the counter and get squat. :wink:

    My first job was at the food counter in a Pharmacy. People sat at or walked up to the counter and I fixed food and drinks for them. I worked for tips. Thank goodness people realized this. The rule of thumb is, if you pay your bill to the person that served you, you tip them because tips are part of their pay. If you pay at a separate checkout, you do not tip anyone. (the exception is a place where you can either pay the server or the cashier, in this case you can skate out without tipping the server without looking at them).
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2008
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