Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Guilt Tipping

Are you guilty? I am. Sometimes, anyway. And when I stop to think about it it kinda pisses me off.

It's like tipping at latte stands. When did that become a "have to" deal? Now, I tend to over tip at the stand I go to all the time. But the girls there are super nice and they have my coffee done as soon as they see me pull into the drive. So...I'm ok with that.
But what about when I go to a stand where I haven't been before? Habit says to give them a buck (or whatever) when they hand you your coffee. But I have to ask for straws. And a cup holder. And I haven't tasted it yet; what if they gave me "coffee" flavor instead of "toffee" flavor? What if they gave me whole milk instead of non-fat? What if they burnt the milk? Or it's just plain awful?

What got me yesterday is I went to Bruchi's. If you don't have a Bruchi's where you live, it's a pseudo-cheesesteak place. (I say pseudo because I don't know how "authentic" they are. They make a mean chicken and cheese sandwich, though!) And they had a jar on the counter by the cash register. It said "TIPS" and then in smaller letters it said "thanks!"

Tips? For what? I order at the counter. You take my money and give me change. Then the guy standing next to you makes my sandwich. Then you wrap it in paper and hand it to me. Then I leave.

Now, I appreciate a good sandwich, but tips? Again, for what? I don't tip the guy who makes my burger at McDonald's. And let's be fair - at Bruchi's you throw some chicken on the grill, put mayo and cheese on the bread, slap the chicken on top and you're done. The guy at McDonald's has to grill the burger, and the bun, and he's got "special" sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions to remember! Plus he has to wear that gross uniform (I know, I used to work at a McD's back in the day)! Now who deserves the tip?
But there's no tip jar at McDonald's.

And really, it kind of offends me to see a big jar labeled "Tips" on the counter. 'Cause I'm back to the same problem I have at the coffee stand: what if the sandwich you make me sucks? Or it's the wrong one? It happens, you know.

Maybe places need to pay their employees decent wages so they don't feel the need to ask for tips. Or maybe it's really my fault, because I don't want to seem rude, or stingy. Maybe I just need to not give a darn.

What do you do?


  1. As a former coffee barrista, waitress, cheesesteak maker and order taker, I think the idea at most coffee places or pizza shops is not that you have to tip every time. Just tip whenever you feel generous, or you get your food extra fast and the person was nice. There shouldn't really be any guilt for not tipping. At most places the jar is just there in case someone feels like tipping. Anyone who expects a tip for every latte is just feeling a little too entitled. But it's a good idea to keep in mind that most companies are never going to pay their servers much. Small places couldn't afford it and larger facilities just don't want to. Anyways, whenever i pay cash i usually chuck the change in there just because i don't like jingling when i walk.

  2. I used to wait tables myself (for about 15 years) so I know it's appreciated. And I know that restaurants will never pay an appropriate wage... I just hate the jars with the great big signs attached! :)

  3. I am a GREAT tipper! But I never tip for food that isn't brought out to me. It's just silly to do otherwise. I realize it's not a high paying job, and I'm sure there are people who DO tip... just not me! And it's not because they do a bad job! They just don't do a job that I think requires more than standing behind a counter and saying "next", no matter how enthusiastic the person may be. Other than that, I'm a darn good tipper!

  4. Oh geeze, I never know what to do. It stares at me, haunts me, damn tip jars. Change always goes in the jar and I tip a dollar at the places I frequent often but sometimes they don't even deserve it when they just ring me up.

  5. I have to admit, after working 20 years as a waitress, tipping for counter service perplexes me. When I think of how hard I ran my ass off for 15 or 20%....

    Occasionally I leave something, depending on the place.

  6. Its all about service. If Im standing in line, they aint getting a tip.

  7. I have a big problem with tips. Tips were designed for wait staff whose hourly wage is below minimum BECAUSE their tips are supposed to bring their hourly wages up to minimum at least. Now everyone wants a tip even when they are making a decent hourly wage. I especially get pissed when it's a small place and the owner is the one I'm supposed to tip.

    I think I'll just put a tip jar on my desk and see how many people I can guilt into paying me just because I layed a guilt trip on them. I'll let you know how that goes. :)

  8. I just had this conversation recently. It is so stupid to expect a tip for handing someone a cup of coffee. Forget the tip, I will just go behind the counter and get it myself!

  9. I tip at restaurants, the hair salon, places like that. But I rarely tip at coffee places and such. Sometimes if I have extra money I will though. Like at Baskin Robbins I tipped a few bucks.

  10. Tipping for something I could have gone behind the counter and done myself? Ah, no.

  11. I think the original purpose of tipping has become dulled through the years. Everyone wants a tip these days. Let's face it... none of us is making enough $$ to pay the bills anymore. Whether we're working at McD's, the coffee shop, or the hair salon, or even the salaried employees at the big corporations... we ALL deserve extra money to help us out. What about the unemployed? Don't they deserve a "tip" to help them out too? LOL

    Maybe when I finally get that job I need, I'll put a jar for tips on my desk. Maybe my new boss will put a few bucks in there everyday for me. LMAO....

    Bottom line: I'm a great tipper in most restaurants because my son and his wife used to be servers so I know that good service deserves a good tip. I draw the line at the counter jars. I don't think so.

  12. I always tip very generously when at a sit-down restaurant. But it does drive me up a wall when I'm at Cold Stone, for example. I'm buying ice cream and you almost feel goaded to put money into the tip jar just so they'll sing. That's BS. And I feel the same way when I go to a restaurant where I'm walking through the line and the food is being made in front of me. No tip necessary. I loved the picture, by the way.


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