Thursday, April 22, 2010

Highway Robbery--er--cough---Tipping

One of the things I don't understand about NYC and probably other large cities is that people are expected to tip just about everyone. Why do we tip really? Aren't we paying money to the company that is supposed to be paying the people we end up tipping? Why pay twice? It seems inefficient.

For example, at this gym I work out at (with my handy-dandy one week membership) I thought to myself cleverly, "M, you can just take your kids to the nursery there, work out, watch your kids on the big screen TV, and you'll be fine." Turns out people pay the monthly fee and leave about $3 per child per half hour (that's what the lady at the desk said). Needless to say I was shocked and appalled.

Isn't the gym paying those people?
Why do I need to add compensation? I thought this was supposed to be a perk of this place. . . LIARS. Probably have to tip the trainers and the people that come by and pick up the dirty towels. Or maybe I have to tip the teachers. . .why not slip some coins underneath the machines-- don't they work for a tip too?

Some people think you are supposed to tip the lady that works at the laundromat. Okay, some laundry people do work hard and if you have her clean your undies, maybe she deserves a tip. But if you do your own wash why would I tip her for watching me? The least she could do is clap when I'm done (I am, in my head).

Why do we tip the taxi people? Thanks for the ride. Here's your cost for your gas, car repairs, mortgage, etc. Here is your tip for not getting in an accident.

You may have figured out that I am from a place where a tip is an exceedingly rare thing! Even my hairdresser in ID considers it a huge plus when I give her a $2 tip for a great haircut. The pizza guy? He was getting a good 10% tip.

Waiters at restaurants are supposed to be tipped--they have a smaller pay grade in expectation for tips. What is that all about? Thank you for hopefully not poisoning me?!?

When we arrived in NYC we were counseled to tip well if we valued our safety (seriously--check your "Visit NYC" books--it's in there).

Maybe I would feel differently if mothers got tips. We do get tips--but usually those are from well-meaning (usually) people off the street about getting our children to stop whatever it is they are doing that could potentially annoy the person giving the "tip." Or occasionally Martha Stewart or Oprah throw in a few on television (if you're into watching it). Why can't I give tips like that and have it count as cash?

Or maybe if I grew up giving everyone cash for some odd job I would be okay with it all.

At this point, to me, it's just some social rule everyone follows--like lemmings follow their social rule. . . . off a . . .

It's not that I do not appreciate these people's hard work. I know they are doing their best to make a living. I am not complaining about paying them--just tipping them--as an expectation.

It is one thing if a person does an exceptional job to say, "You really went above and beyond the call of duty. Here is an extra dollar or two for your extraordinary work." Then they would be receiving kind words and money which would increase their desire to do excellent work rather than compare customers by their tips.

What do you think?


Joe and Kristin Family said...

Tipping is overrated, for sure. Especially when it becomes commonplace and when it's expected for normal (or sub-par) service.

the jensen's said...

OMG I hate tipping. The one that really burns me though is the Dominos Pizza delivery guy. They charge you $2 to deliver and then want to know where their tip is. Talk to your employer about where my $2 went!! I've never heard of tipping the laundry lady. For what? Counting out my quarters? Absurd. (p.s. Do you go to Harbor Fitness? If so, I'm thinking about joining. We could go together! And not tip together!)