Tipping – Getting out of hand?
I’m not one to rant here on Gather Little by Little and I’ll do my very best to avoid making this article a rant but I really need to voice my opinion on something that I am beginning to think is getting a bit out of hand: Tipping. Is it just me or does it seem like everyone store you visit and every service provider want a tip these days?
I treated myself to a Starbucks coffee last week and sitting right there in my face at the drive through window was a tip jar with a few dollar bills laying in it. I went to Panera Bread later that week for breakfast and at the espresso bar? Another tip jar! I’ve also seen them at a few ice cream shops and other retail type food outlets. We recently moved, and before they started the movers not so subtly mentioned that I could tip them if I so desired. I’m expected to tip the Pizza delivery person, waiters and waitresses at restaurants, the car cleaning folks at the local car wash … Well, the list goes on and on.
Do these people not get paid? I know waiters and waitresses make less due to being in a “tipping position”. That I’m ok with. I’m not really sure I ever understood it, but I’ve been doing it long enough to become used to it. But the other people? They make standard wage.
Incentive to provide better service?
When I’ve raised this issue to friends in the past, the response I always get is that tipping is a way of rewarding a service provider for doing a good job. Well, I don’t intend to be callous, but isn’t keeping your job a reward for doing a good job?
I work in IT and provide support to my internal customers within the company I work for. I don’t get tips, yet am fully expected to provide them with the very best customer service I can. If I don’t, I lose my job.
Seems to me that good to excellent customer service should be the baseline by which these people that expect tips get paid by. If they don’t provide a high level of service, than they probably shouldn’t continue to work there.
Nickel and dimed to death
Given our current economy and frankly the fact that I’m a bit watchful of my money and spending, I literally feel like I am being nickel and dimed to death. I feel like companies are turning into panhandlers holding out there tin cups to me each time I visit them.
Let’s take Starbucks for example. I love their coffee and have since the very first one opened in our area. Their coffee is expensive though. Worth paying for yes, but expensive none the less. Why should I as a consumer be expected to pay $4.00+ dollars for a cup of coffee and then on top of that leave a tip for the barista who is getting paid to make the coffee? By tipping her should I expect a better coffee? No. I expect the quality I’m paying for in a $4.00 cup of coffee…top notch.
Here’s what bothers me the most, whenever I go to these places, I don’t tip and I always drive away feeling guilty or dirty for not leaving a tip. I only tip waiters and waitresses at restaurants and pizza delivery people. Frankly tipping the pizza delivery people irritates me as most pizza places now charge a delivery fee. Who does that go to?
Is guilt the whole tactic? Are they trying to make extra money by making me feel guilty?
Help me understand
To avoid this coming across like a complete rant, I in no way intend to imply I fully understand this whole tip thing. So I’m hoping maybe you guys can set me straight and educate me on this whole tipping craze. What am I missing? Why should I tip? What am I tipping for? Do people that get tips make less money?
For me, it really boils down to this: Why should I tip when I am already paying for a product or service? Why not just skip the tip and put the cost into the product?
Am I completely off base here? What am I missing? Do you get tips? What’s your perspective on this? Please add a comment!
Photo by: pierre lascott