Femtalks Blog

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Tipping and its hassle!

Posted by editor On March - 9 - 2009

I grew up in a country where tipping is commonly practice. The act of tipping is perceive generally as a polite gesture to appreciate someone who provide you with a service by giving that little extra thank you in a form of money (extra payment).
I just read this article entitled “The mechanics of tipping US-style” in brief summary he mentioned:

Americans think it is the most natural thing in the world to pay for a service, at the point where you receive it, person-to-person. First, they reason, it keeps whoever is doing the serving on their toes.
Everyone knows, I am assured, the scale of charges. A dollar for a doorman, $2 (£1.40) for a shoe-shine or a taxi-driver, double the sales tax for a server in a cafe, $1 for a drink in a bar, 20% in a full-service restaurant and so on. But there is of course very little logic to the whole business of who we tip and who we do not.

Think back to the restaurant. It does not take any more effort or skill to serve a $10 bottle of wine than it does to serve one that costs 100. Multiplying the service charge by 10 is a kind of a private, self-imposed wealth tax, rather than a tip.

And yet somehow when the bill appears, most of us, most of the time, do add that little something, or indeed that rather substantial something, all to avoid the fleeting disfavour of someone whose professional charm has passed briefly over us like intermittent illumination from a distant lighthouse.

Not me of course.

Actually I have to agree that tipping might improve service to some point, but not always. For instant in country like Japan where service and presentation is almost always excellent and tipping is not required – Japanese even consider tipping to be a rudeness. I learn about in Japan, it embarassed me everytime I remember my rude tipping gesture: I insisted tipping a cab driver because he helped me with my luggage aside from dropping me off to the Narita airport, so I really want to thank him – by tipping and he rejected and so I leave all of those tips money at the back passenger sits just like that (he musta think I am weird and rude because this apparently imply that I can pay his service, hence seeing him as lower than myself). Now that I look back after learning their culture, I realized what a terribly rude thing I did – because for some culture they have their own pride at serving their clients and tipping consider something that their act of service can be bought by money (seeing them as a lower status compare to as a fellow who wants to serve whith a whole happy heart) so after all tipping is not just about “thank-you” business.

another tips from the article, there’s a commenter stating:

Kevin [the writer] forgot the one more recent tipping phenomenon in the US that defeats its own purpose: The pre-added tip. Really popular in Florida is the trick where 13, 15, 17% has already been added to your bill. You can ask to have them change the amount, but the effort, the confrontation, the shame means they know you will not.
David Huntley, Canada, ex UK

source: BBCnews’ article.
related post: tipping for wine.


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A homemaker who is trying to fill up her free time blabberring about things she finds exciting through blogging!