My unpopular opinion: tipping

N.B: I have worked in service/as a waitress – so I have a valid opinion on this.

Also, I respect so many other people’s opinion’s, so please do not aggressively disrespect mine because you don’t agree with it.

tippingI have an issue with tipping – this may be a controversial or an unpopular opinion, but I just don’t like the practice of it.

I’m not stingy, cheap or even a bitch (most of the time). I just have issues with tipping people.

I’ll explain:

Tipping seems to have become the norm and even expected today. When you go for a meal you can be expected to give a 20% tip or ‘service charge’ just because someone took your order and brought you your meal – i.e they did their job.

Why should I tip someone just for doing their job?

Don’t get me wrong I have tipped in the past – when the server has gone above and beyond their job to make my experience better – and I will tip in the future. But why should I tip someone for just doing what they already get paid to do?

Some people will say that you should tip because the server relies on these tips as their wages are low. That the tips supplement what they don’t earn. That without tips the servers might not be able to pay their rent or shop that week.

(Can I just note, employers aren’t legally allowed to top up wages to the legal minimum with tips – so don’t be fooled.)

But, I don’t like the idea I should feel responsible for paying for that server’s rent, food shop or even just their job, beyond what I’m already paying for.

Why should I have to go home feeling awful because I didn’t pay enough in tips – this shouldn’t be how a customer should be left feeling.

This should be the responsibility of the owners – they shouldn’t make people feel like they have to supplement their staff’s wages because they won’t pay them enough and, as consumers, we shouldn’t have to feel like we have  to tip.

What really irks me about tipping is this: you go to a restaurant and your server is expected to give you good service, as this is in their job description. If they do, you tip them the full ‘service charge’ 20% and if they don’t you don’t give them a good tip – 10% let’s say – but either way they get that tip – what kind of half-arsed lesson is that? No one’s really learning anything or to be a better server, they’re simply learning they get a reward either way and they expect a tip no matter what.

Now, I won’t fall for it.

Let me tell you a story: my fiance and I went for afternoon tea at Harrods. We got their and the restaurant was rather empty, so I asked if we could change tables – out of the sun – and the waiter was really rude about it. He then was really rude throughout our entire afternoon tea – when we asked about the cakes and sandwiches – he was just down right rude. At the end of the tea he brought our bill- including a 30%(!!!) service charge on the bottom, for his tip. What exactly did he do to deserve this? Nothing, he just expected a tip for doing a half-arsed and rude version of his job!

So, I got a pen, I crossed out the service charge and asked him to recalculate the total (he was also rude about this) I then told him, that I would  tip if I thought he’d done a good job.

It’s like ‘thanks for giving me shit service but I’m still going to tip you any way because your wages depend on it’.

No! I just won’t do it. I was taught to treat people as you’ve been treated – if someone goes above and beyond, I will tip, if not, I won’t!

Plus, I see tipping as so backwards. We tip because it’s expected, not because it’s earned. Also, it only seems to be ‘ok’ in hospitality – hotels and restaurants etc – because, let’s be honest, if I got tipped in my line of work (as a journo) it would be seen as a bribe and against the ISPO code, but in a restaurant it’s fine; what a double standard!

Why can’t server’s do their job without expecting a tip? I don’t ask for a blooming gold star after every good article I write.

Why not just get rid of tipping altogether? Raise the price of the meal and save me some time – I’d end up being expected to pay that anyway with the tip on top – and pay the staff equally. You do your job to get your wage – why should you get extra off people who aren’t your employers for just doing your job? Surely if you want more money you should ask for a wage increase, or seek employment elsewhere?

There’s something wrong in that industry that people should be left to get tips to supplement their wages, but there’s something wrong with us consumers who think we have  to give people money for a job they’re already paid to do.

This is my unpopular opinion – unpopular because, I imagine, it may anger people. But, just because an opinion is unpopular does not mean it’s not valid or should not be respected.

 

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