Now that I am an adult, I still tip the waiter and my barber. I also tip the delivery guy when I have a pizza delivered. I also tip the cabbie when I take a taxi, and the bell hop who brings my luggage up to my room.
Sadly, at least to me, is that everywhere I go now, I see a tip jar. Today I saw one at the cash register at Subway. People tell me I should give money to my mail carrier and the guy that picks up my garbage. Where does it stop? Next thing I know, I will see a tip jar in the checkout line at the grocery store.
Seeing all of the tip jars made me think. Am I cheap because I don’t tip? I started to think about who I tip and why.
- I tip waiters because I know most of them make less than minimum wage and rely on tips.
- I tip my barber because for as long as I can remember, I have seen it done. I have no other reason. He owns his own business, so unless he has a huge amount of expenses, his ‘pay’ can’t be too low.
- I tip a cab driver because most (from my understanding) split the cab fares between themselves and the cab company. The driver is responsible for most of the maintenance and gas for the car. Quick math tells me they don’t make that much because of this.
- I’m not sure what a bell hop makes. I’m sure at the nicer hotels, he makes a decent wage, plus might get to stay for free at the hotel chain. I tip him though because he loads and unloads my sometimes heavy bags, brings them to my room, and is usually a good source for local places to eat and see.
From my list above, the common theme that I can see is low wages. So that begs to ask why I don’t tip the guy at Subway? He is probably making minimum wage or a little more. I guess the reason why is because I am offended. You read that right. I am offended that they would have the tip jar out. With my barber or the cab driver, there is no tip jar. A tip might be expected, but there is no physical acknowledgement of one.
Put another way, by having a tip jar out is saying you deserve a tip, regardless of your service. At least to me that is what that implies. I tip my waiter. If he isn’t very good, I tip him less than the standard amount. If my cabbie comes close to killing me on the ride to my destination, I tip him less. You have to earn the tip. The tip jar makes it feel like it is required when it is not. It is optional.
What are your thoughts on the tip jars? How do you see them? Am I looking at them from a distorted view?