Tip in Hand

After looking reading though the discussion thread from the last post I noticed that some people find that actually having to physically hand a tip to a worker is a stressful experience. Why is that? Why is handing a tip to a bellhop, valet, baggage handler, taxi driver or bathroom attendant different from tipping a waiter on a bill?

If it makes you uncomfortable, why? Is it because you might be caught without cash in your pockets? (A very common NYC thing!) Is there some kind of social status thing in play that gives you the hebbie jibbies? Does it embarrass you to press a bill into someone’s hand? I find this fascinating. Look forward to your comments.


Comments

Tip in Hand — 150 Comments

  1. For me its because they can look at the tip you give straight away, that brief second where you look at each other you get the impression the person you are tipping looks down on you for leaving a poor tip (even if we can’t help it!)

  2. It makes me feel like Lady Bountiful giving some of my excess wealth to a member of the great unwashed – ugh. Or else like some horrible middle manager ending a performance evaluation of an underling – double ugh. I feel as much embarrassment for the recipient of the tip as I do for myself. A dreadful convention.

  3. I think it’s the fumble factor for me. If I know I’m going to be in a tipping situation, like when I’m travelling, I tend to try to get $10 or $20 worth of $1 bills to carry around with me. So then I pull out this “wad” of cash and fumble off a few bills … and then I wonder if the person I’m tipping is looking at this roll of money I have and wondering why I’m not tipping more … and then there’s fumbling around to peel off a couple of bills … and then shoving it all helter-skelter back into my purse or pocket so I don’t hold up a line or whatever.

    If I can prepare ahead of time, it’s much easier, but the whole *process* of tipping in cash is a pain.

    Not to mention what happens if I run out of $1s and then either have to tip a larger bill (too much) or not tip at all.

  4. It makes me feel dirty. Like I am paying them based on their performance or paying them to do a better job next time or thanks for being great, here’s an extra dollar. It just makes me feel wrong…very wrong. I don’t get some money slipped to me for finishing a project on time…it’s the only business that I can think of besides hookers that the money they get is probably mostly based on performance!!

  5. Oh and here’s another reason for anxiety – this is something that happened to me in NOLA once.

    I was travelling on a very strict budget and had separated my “fun” money from my “necessary” money. While out on Bourbon St one night (shortly after Hurricane Katrina) we ran into a guy selling something (I think it was baseball caps) as part of a charity thing. It was one of those “give what you feel like” and we’ll give you a baseball cap. So I reached into my “fun” money to pull out a $10 bill, got my cap and the fervent thanks of the guy (so fervent I was surprised), and left.

    Turns out I’d given him $100 bill – it was dark, I’d been drinking, and I just grabbed the wrong bill. It explained his over-the-top response and thanks, but it put a serious crimp in the rest of my trip because I’d just given 1/2 my fun (drinking and eating) money for a baseball cap.

    Now I’m very paranoid about peeling off cash in any situation – tip or otherwise.

  6. As a recent college graduate, I grew up in the suburbs, which essentially meant I only ever had experience tipping people in restaurants.

    While I try to never leave less than a 20% tip in restaurants, I’m highly uncomfortable tipping others, because I’m never certain which positions expect/deserve a tip, and entirely unaware of what the ‘expected’ tip conventions are.

    Overall I feel foolish trying to guess what is expected, then the fact that they can instantly judge you upon receipt makes it even more uncomfortable.

  7. Generally I pay in plastic so I will tip with it too. If I happen to tip in cash I will leave it inside the bill folio/folder thingy, or use a table item as a paperweight. I will usually leave the tip after the waiter/server has left the table and right before I leave. So generally I can avoid any awkwardness of tipping directly. As far as where that’s not possible such as valets and bellhops I’ll fold up some singles and hand it off in a semi handshake as I’m getting in my car or or as I or they are leaving the area where the service occured.

  8. Definitely sharing Marsha’s sentiments. I feel almost like “here am I, the almighty customer, deigning to bestow upon you a few pennies oh needy one.” It makes me uncomfortable because even though it’s supposed to be a reward for good service, it feels like a handout.

  9. Here’s a question about how much to tip. Generally I do the 15%-20% (1-% seems to low and 20% is just as easy as 10% to figure out in my head, and some where in between is 15%. But what if you at a restaurant and the bill is higher than what you generally encounter. I was in Stockholm, and took a friend out to dinner once my treat, the bill came up to about $250 US (I was in a bit of a shock at the amount I didn’t pay attention to the cost on the menu and conversion rate). To me $50 seemed a bit extravagant for a tip, even $25 seemed high. So I left what I felt would have been a generous tip at a more moderately priced restaurant.

  10. Since I’m never totally sure that I’m tipping the ‘proper’ amount in those circumstances; I hate the immediacy of them knowing how off or on the mark I am. I just imagine them glancing at the tip – which I’m always convinced is too low – and looking back at me with dagger eyes.

    I tend to overtip in compensation for my undertipping fear.

    I’d rather be out of the room when the person discovers how well I’ve tipped. I’d rather imagine the judgement happening on the memory of me than be there in person for the imagined judgement.

    It’s so crazy isn’t it!?! But it’s just one of those little social anxiety moments that make you sound like an oversensitive freak when you actually put it in words. Like not wanting to shake hands with someone when you come out of the bathroom. Your hands might still be a little damp from the washing but you hate for the person to feel your damp hands and wonder – damp from soap and water or….?

  11. I grew up in the country and was completely untutored in such city conventions. I am also very uncomfortable with the inherent connotations of class distinctions, since I identify much more closely with the working class than the tipping class. All of which is to say that I’m a hillbilly!

  12. I hate being judged by the person receiving said tip. I always tip more than I can afford, ad it still isn’t much. I have had more than one person look at me funny over a fiver. The only place where that doesn’t happen is Las Vegas.

  13. Because I don’t know how to do it. I grew up outside the US and have only lived here a few years. I still don’t know, in many cases, who I am supposed to tip and how much I am supposed to tip them and how to transfer the $ from my pocket to theirs.

  14. My problem is lack of cash. We live in a world where plastic is king and I no longer carry any cash. I was in Vegas last weekend standing in line for a taxi in front of the Paris Hotel & Casino with my best friend and we were desperately trying to figure out if the cabbie would accept a credit card. We then saw people tipping the attendant who was putting luggage in the back of the cabs and opening the car door for the passengers. Panic set in and we had to leave the line, go back into the casino an find an ATM, then go break the twenty dollar bills and get back in line for the Taxi. We tipped the attendant (I gave him two bucks, is that enough?) got a ride back to Excalibur and were able to pay the cabbie and tip him in cash. The whole experience left me rather flustered because I just don’t normally carry cash. I live in Boise, Idaho, where everyone and their dog has a car. We are not a public transit friendly city. We have no subways or commuter trains. Our bus system is dreadful, it runs 6AM-6PM with limited routes, and you rarely see taxis out and about. We literally had no idea what sort of tipping was appropriate in that situation and it left me with a lot of anxiety because I like to think of myself as a damn good tipper. When I’m at a restraunt, a lousy server gets 20% and an excellent server gets 40-50%. Our taxi ride in Vegas lasted four minutes and the total came out to seven dollars. I tipped him five, is that good or bad? I’d appreciate feedback from you guys just so I know how to handle a situation like that in the future. And damn it, maybe I should just start carrying more cash (you do not want to know the fees from that ATM withdrawal in Vegas).

  15. It’s very personal and intimate. Money is intimate, both physically and psychically. How much am I tipping? How much do I look like I can afford? How do I convey the proper attitude of “I’m tipping you because I appreciate your work, even though I may feel uncomfortable not doing it myself (as in carrying bags, opening a door)” along with “I don’t think I’m better than you, I want to treat you well, as a fellow human being, not as an underling”

    Also, the money was just in my pocket. It’s probably still warm from my body heat. And then I’m handing it to a perfect stranger, touching their hand. Hopefully appropriately.

  16. i think there is something intrinsically wrong with tipping, if the person made a decent living we wouldn’t have to do that, so it becomes uncomfortable to be in a position to judge what little thing or big thing they did as worth such and such. its superior inferior love hate gimme gimmi.

  17. My problem would also be lack of cash at hand. I work at a bowling alley as a front desk attendant/cook and I know what its liked to get stiffed a tip because some people just don’t realize that your suppose to! I get nervous giving a tip straight to their face because I know they judge you by how much your giving them. And they probably will look down on you if you tip them too low. So the whole thing in general is just unpleasant and confusing!

  18. The way my dad worded it once when I mentioned being uncomfortable was something like, “it’s a kind of noblesse oblige, and you don’t necessarily feel like the noblesse.” That’s true, but I think there’s more to it.

    Giving someone something which is for them personally is a personal act. When you’re dealing with other types of customer service people, you might hand them a form, or a returned item, or a payment for their employer, but when you give someone money which is just for them–especially when it’s supposed to reflect what they deserve!–it makes it personal. Personal act + stranger = uncomfortable.

  19. I agree with Marsha and Andrea AND also that I come from a small(er) town and so never have to do that sort of tipping except when I’m traveling. So I don’t know how and it feels wrong and weird.

  20. This is not an answer to the original question, but all this angst could be avoided if people just got paid fairly for their work.

    I’m a CPA; I get paid well for the service I provide….but it’s a service, nevertheless. I would feel totally silly if someone tried to tip me. Why can’t all companies pay their employees – and charge the customer appropriately – for the work?

    If all companies did this, and included the cost of the service in their fees, then yes, everything would “appear” more expensive, but it wouldn’t actually be. And it would take the guesswork out of how, when, where, and how much to tip the worker. Easier for the tipper; easier for the tippee.

    Until that happens (not holding my breath), I always make sure I have enough ones on me to give the appropriate tip to bellmen, luggage handlers, etc. No, I don’t feel uncomfortable doing it, though it does seem that females like me do have more problems with it, but it adds an unnecessary complication to my travel. I WANT my service personnel to be well paid. Please! Just charge me for it and stop the pain!

  21. Laura -
    Yes, you are overtipping! You don’t need to spend 50% of a meal on the tip, not almost 100% of the fare for a cab ride. While people in the service industry don’t get a great base pay, they are *paid*, and the amount you’re giving is ridiculous. What’s next? Will people start giving more in tips that what the original purchase was?
    For the record, I tip 15% at restaurants, because I am poor, and will not be made to feel guilty for doing otherwise.

  22. I’ve been a travel agent for more years than I care to disclose. About five years ago, the CEOs of all the major cruise lines got together and decided that cruise tipping had become a major roadblock among people who had never cruised before. During various surveys, it was revealed that the major objection to cruising by first-timers was that people didn’t know who to tip, when to tip, how much to tip, etc. How did they solve it? They now put a flat per-person *gratuity* charge on your cabin house account before you even board the ship. For most cruise lines, the fee is $10 per person per day. Among the premium lines, it’s as high as $15 per day. Of course, if you feel the fee is too high, you may dispute it with the purser’s desk. However, I’m told that a list of these cheapskates is kept in the crew quarters and your service for the rest of the cruise suffers greatly should you make that list.

  23. I totally enjoy tipping for service things, especially when someone goes the extra mile. Being able to give the tip directly to the person feels *better* than hiding it on the table. You know the person gets the tip, and you’ll find out straight up if you’ve been a cheap bastard (or if you’ve misgauged your server). I did find it a bit awkward at first, but now I travel with a few small bundles of bills in my pockets for tipping, and it just feels great to discretely let someone know they’ve done something excellent. FWIW, I’ve started telling servers that do an excellent job that they’ve done so (and referees, etc.) … it seems to make their day.

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  25. What works best for me is just to make it part of the game, the routine, and I’m part of that as well as the act of tipping itself. I depersonalize it, I’m saying. Which isn’t to say I always know how much or when or even remember all the time. I’m not so special that the person will remember me forever for a large tip or a way too smalll one. Someone better or worse will be along soon. I’m usually with my wife and she does the tipping so I’m empty handed anyhow and hope they know we’re together.

  26. If I know I will need money for tips I keep a stash. Handing out a good tip to someone who has done a great job makes me happy. I tip too well and that’s fine with me.

  27. I believe it is because when you leave a tip on the table it is a bit more passive; If the tip is less than the waiter is expecting, you are already gone. When you physically hand someone a tip they have the opportunity for some type of interaction. When tipping my barber I physically hand him a couple dollars and await a response.

  28. It’s rather like that scene in “Trading Places”, where the rich characters Randolph and Mortimer Duke are in their private downtown Philadelphia club, and Randolph Duke hands a waiter (butler?) character a $5.00 gift as his Christmas tip.

    The servant says, with barely restrained contempt, “Five dollars! Maybe I’ll go to the movies. By myself.” At which point, Mortimer Duke says, “Half of that was from me.”

    (ha!)

    I think that we worry that we’re not being generous enough, and the recipient gets to immediately “judge” the value of that tip. It is an awkward moment for all concerned.

  29. Well, I live in Germany, and most of the time in a pub, bar or restaurant (at least in the ones I can afford as a student), you pay directly to the waiter in cash, so you always have to tip in hand, if you do. The thing that is more uncomfortable here is if you are at a table with several people and everyone pays. usually, you will not share but everyone will pay what he had, announcing the tip to the waiter (something like: “10.20 please” – “make it 11″), so it might get uncomfortable, if some tip and some don’t.

    And sometimes it’s weird if you’re in a student cafe with only students working there, who study with you (or could be studying with you). Then it almost feels like tipping friends and I have actually no idea if I’m supposed to. But this is probably different from the US anyways.

  30. Anon-

    I was unsure what to tip the cab driver, and I can see how I may have overtipped. Servers however, make just enough money with their paychecks to cover taxes. They live off of their tips. I have absolutely no problem tipping servers high when I know that it’s helping them pay their water bill or rent or buy groceries.

  31. Anon-

    I was unsure what to tip the cab driver, and I can see how I may have overtipped. Servers however, make just enough money with their paychecks to cover taxes. They live off of their tips. I have absolutely no problem tipping servers high when I know that it’s helping them pay their water bill or rent or buy groceries.

  32. I’m afraid I’m going to tip someone who normally isn’t and look foolish. One summer I was working at a daycare and one of my student’s grandpa was visiting and picked him up all week. On Friday he tried to tip me $20. I was shocked and kind of offended. Of course I didn’t take it and I think he felt embarrassed.
    I’m worried I’ll be in that position, not with waiters or taxi drivers or my hair stylist, but other people who I’m unsure of receive tips.

  33. If my tip is inadequate or inappropriate and I didn’t give it directly to the person there, I’m long gone before they realize my lack of social graces and I never have to know about it. But if I’m pressing a tip on someone who doesn’t want one or cheaping out to someone’s face, they’re going to know.

  34. I always carry a stash of $5 bills for tips. It’s really not that hard. Carrying cash is not a bad thing. Whenever I go out, I have this stash available for tips. Preparation is key. If you think ahead and are prepared, it becomes much easier.

    One note to Steve (The Waiter) – in reading the comments on this posting and the previous one, it seems that your readership is a bit of a skewed demographic from a socio-economic perspective towards people who are comfortable with technology/internet, readers of blogs and open to commenting on blogs. All of which is generally (not entirely) skewed towards a younger demographic that may have less familiarity with carrying cash (I remember the world before ATMs), and other dynamics that surround a cash tipping culture. What do you think?

  35. I think I get nervous in case they aren’t in the habit of accepting tips and they get offended. I don’t want to come off as the entitled rich moron who thinks she needs to tip people that actually don’t need tips.
    I’m not rich or a moron, hopefully. I’m just afraid they’re going to get offended and go off on me, causing some kind of a scene.

  36. I hate doing it because I’m never sure exactly who gets tipped, how much you’re supposed to tip them (percentages or a flat rate?), & when to do it. The hand off is always weird, because it’s just like ‘oh, here’s some money.’ Maybe it’s just me, I personally don’t like to handle money at all & stick with credit cards, which of course makes tipping even more difficult.

  37. Just because you tip only %15 doesn’t mean those who leave 40% are over-tipping. It means they appreciate good service. And in fact they’re helping you get good service too.

    I’ll take 15% all day, but don’t run me around, and make unreasonable requests. Even though I’ll always say yes with a smile. And yet you think that 15% is appropriate. Some people have no idea how to eat out in a restaurant.

    If I know I can’t leave more than 15% you can bet that I’m not going to be asking for my child’s bottle to be warmed up. Or for an extra free slice/loaf of bread to take home. Or expect immediate refills of soda every 3 minutes. Or have a new request for the staff at every single interaction (being one-timed).

    I’ll be the best server you’ve ever had, but I expect (hope) to be compensated. And that is what the low tippers don’t understand. It’s the big tippers who subsidize the great service for everyone. I go to every table hoping to make a 50% tip. Treat everyone the same. Go above and beyond with a smile. It pays off, but only sometimes. And when it does, I pay my rent.

  38. For me, I think it’s a combination of instant judgment and charity mindset. It’s not a set amount, so with a glance they can tell whether you’re cheap or fool easily parted with his money. And there is no way to know from one situation to the next where on the scale you will be ranked.

    I’m not sure why, but I often feel like tipping is like saying, “Here, I know you make shitty wages and I am well off, so let me help you out.” I sometimes wonder if the suckups are begging and the genuinely nice and helpful might have their pride hurt. Noblesse oblige can be an honorable idea, but face-to-face it feels awkward.

  39. You are basically saying to a stranger “Here. Have five dollars. This is the value you are to me.”

    It runs contrary to every doctrine of ‘love thy neighbor’, ‘respect others’, ‘the Golden Rule’ etc etc (that strive to have society reach more virtuous heights), by having a monetary value represent a person’s value to you. That’s what makes it uncomfortable for me at least. Unless the tip is substantial then no discomfort is felt.

    On another note, have you ever considered a book about your experiences at the seminary? You made an interesting observation in WaiterRant regarding politics and how the seminary was no different. Would probably make another fascinating read..

  40. Wow. I’m kind of surprised to read how people feel uncomfortable or awkward with tipping. I can’t ever remember a time when I felt uneasy about it. I don’t have a lot of occasions to tip, but when I was growing up, I watched to see how other people did it and how it was received. I’ve never seen a person in a tipping profession seem uncomfortable about receiving tips, but that might have something to do with the way the customer offered it.

    In restaurants, I usually leave a tip in cash tucked into the folder, and write “cash” on the tip line of the credit card receipt because I’ve been told that servers prefer cash in most circumstances (especially in employment situations where they might have to share their tips.) If I don’t have cash with me, I add the tip to the credit card receipt. I would add the tip to a credit card receipt if I dined out for business and needed the receipt for expenses, but I don’t do that, ever. I tip a minimum of 20%. I honestly might consider tipping less if I were to get bad service, but I can’t remember ever getting bad service.

    In a salon, I usually ask whomever is checking me out if I can add the tip to the amount they’re putting on my credit card. Sometimes they’ll hand me the cash difference, and I will walk over to the stylist and either put it in her tip jar or tuck it in the pocket of her smock. (The stylist is usually someone I am friendly with, so she doesn’t mind that kind of contact.) If the stylist is checking me out at the end of my visit, I indicate that the extra is for her if she hands me cash: “That’s for you… thanks very much!” I tip my stylists pretty generously (30-50%), and at the end of the year will tip 100%.

    In the rare times I’ve paid for a taxi ride with cash, the taxi driver will tell me the amount (say, $11), I’ll hand him a $20 and say, “Five, please” to indicate that I only expect five dollars change, and the rest is his tip. Cab drivers always understand this and never get it wrong, so I’m sure I’m not the only one who does it this way.

    For baggage handling at airports, I keep a bunch of singles in my coat pocket and fold up a couple of them twice lengthwise, and hold this packet between my forefinger and middle finger, so I can discreetly put it in the hand of the skycap (no fumbling with bills.) They never miss this. I tip about $2/bag. This two finger handoff works for doormen hailing taxis, bellhops, etc., though I can’t remember the last time I encountered a doorman or a bellhop. ;-)

    If I stay in a hotel for a few days, I will leave the maid something in an envelope on the dresser. (Some hotels provide an envelope for this.) I usually leave a tip after my first night there, and perhaps some more when I leave. I find it helps with the service to tip a little bit up front.

    I can’t ever remember a time where someone waved off a tip that I was offering, or stuck their hand out in expectation of receiving one when I didn’t have it ready. If I encounter a situation where I wonder if I should tip, I take that as a sign I should, and it’s always well received — which tells me that I’m doing it right.

  41. It just feels … like giving them charity somehow, like giving a buck to a homeless person, like I’m looking down on them or pitying them so I give them money. I always tip when appropriate, but I’d always much rather leave it on the table or on the credit card receipt.

  42. Maybe some people feel like if they are handing the person money, and the person can see the money straight away, that it feels like you are telling someone “this is what your time was worth to me”

  43. STEVE, get over yourself!!!! You have not been out of “the business” that long to realize why…. if it’s a good tip. it’s so the server remembers them, if not…oh well!!! Come on!

  44. I think there are a few factors. One is that people are afraid that what they are planning on giving will not be enough and therefore seen as rude. Countless times I’ve wanted to give a dollar or two but thought that it was too little and offensive. So I gave nothing. Second, and I would love to hear your thoughts, is that as a younger person I’m always afraid that an older person would feel weird taking a tip from me. Is that ever the case? And lastly, when you mentioned fumbling through one’s pocket, I realized that sometimes I’m afraid of showing a bigger bill and giving a smaller one.

  45. I’ve never had a problem with that. There is no reason for me to be embarrassed or shy about giving the tip. I tip well and usually go over. I think why a lot of people get nervous with handing over a tip in hand is because they feel as though the waiter may not feel that the tip was adequate enough. If that’s the case then the people may know that they have tipped less than they should have and feel guilty about it. If they feel guilty about it, then they should ask for the manager and give him/her the tip so they can deliver it to the waiter/waitress.

  46. I think there’s a practicality standpoint to it – I might not have enough cash, or, more likely, I have to stand around for 20 seconds to open my purse, open my wallet, get out the right amount, etc. If I can prepare ahead of time (e.g., a bellman is hailing a taxi and I have a little bit of time to get money out), then I don’t find it so bad. But, it’s the wait, wait, I want to give you a tip, so you have to stand there for 10 seconds while I get my act together, that can be flustering. When you’re tipping waitstaff or a bartender, you have the time to think about the tip, get out the right amount of money, etc.

    I also think that there’s a psychological aspect to it. Someone above mentioned that it is a very personal interaction, to give your money directly to an individual instead of leaving it on the table/bar/tip jar. For me, I guess it’s that when I physically hand someone a tip, they are expected to thank me and be appreciative to me, which sometimes makes me a little uncomfortable… isn’t my tip supposed to be me thanking them for whatever they’ve done for me? It may also be that it seems like if you’re handing someone money, it’s highlighting the fact that they are serving you, and some people are uncomfortable with being in the position of being served. It’s easier to ignore that you’re being “served” when the tip is more transactional in nature, as opposed to more personal.

  47. I think its that people don’t want to feel judged right there for the amount that they tip. When I settle checks with my debit card, I leave the tip on the little slip and the waiter or waitress doesn’t look at it right in front of me.

    I’m always afraid that when I hand someone cash they are going to count it right there (which has actually happened) and then feel like I didn’t tip them enough. Or then I worry that I didn’t tip them enough when really I did. I almost feel pressured to leave a good tip, even if the service that was provided was lacking.

    For example, I get my car washed at the same place every couple of weeks. They only charge $6. The wash isn’t the best, but the price is right and I just don’t have the energy to do it myself. At times, they do a great job, and at times they miss spots. I never complain cause like I said, its a $6 wash. But I only leave them a $2 tip (which percentage wise, is pretty good, in my opinion). All they do is use a damp rag and dry the spots that the dryer missed…so its not a ton of work. But I still can’t seem to stop feeling guilty when I hand over the dollars.

    And every time I go back I worry that they remember me and my possibly bad tips!

  48. This is a really interesting thread.

    I’ve had a chance to think more about the act (or the art) of handing money to someone and how it might create discomfort. I guess I might feel uncomfortable if I found myself in a situation where I wasn’t prepared and had to pull out my wallet and fumble through the bills in it and pause while the person was standing there and I’m deciding how much to give the person — are they worth two dollars or three dollars? — but the vast majority of the tipping situations I encounter are ones that I can anticipate well in advance. When I’m traveling, I know I’m going to encounter skycaps or taxi drivers, and I have bills in my pocket and it’s easy for me to reach in and arrange them and hand them off quickly and discreetly.

    But now that I think of it, I realize that the times where I actually hand a tip to someone (like a skycap) I’ve arranged the transaction to be rather impersonal, which might explain why I don’t feel uncomfortable about it. (I can’t speak to the feelings of the person receiving the money, but I hope s/he is comfortable with the transaction.) I always say “Thank you” when I hand off the money, and usually the recipient thanks me as well. I notice that I avoid saying “You’re welcome”, because to me, that seems a little smug or condescending and puts the recipient in the position of being a supplicant, which others here have mentioned: “Yes, you are benefiting from my largesse.” So I just stick to the “Thank you”, hand off the money, good day and so on, and am on my way.

    I guess there is also something about how I hand it off that makes it impersonal, too. If I am giving a tip only — as opposed to paying a fare or fee and adding a tip to it — then the bills are folded; I hold the folded bills between my forefinger and middle finger, so I can slip the money into their hand and they can pocket the money easily.

    I also realize that I’m conscious of the level our hands are at during the transaction. I don’t hold the money up — the handoff is done at about waist level. I think it would be insulting to the recipient to have to reach up to receive the money, (again, the kind of supplicant posture), so I aim to put the money into their hand at waist level.

    (Gee, there really is a lot to this, now that I think of it.)

    If I’m paying a taxi fare, I do hand the bill(s) unfolded to the driver, because he has to see the amount and calculate any change. I really don’t feel uncomfortable about tipping when it’s in addition to a payment I’m making, and so I’m not as conscious of the body language.

    The person I’m handing the tip to is far more experienced in receiving tips than I ever will be in giving them, so I take some comfort in that. Hopefully I’m not going to stand out among the dozens of tippers this person encounters in a week.

  49. A Wendt: I’m all for over-tipping, especially if the employee in question has gone above and beyond; but if you come to my table expecting a 50% tip, you’re in for a rude awakening. And I would assume anybody who makes less than 100K a year would agree with me.

  50. I agree with most of what everyone else has said; that tipping makes me feel like I’m acting all high and mighty, and gracing the lowly people a pittance for their service, or that I’ll be judged if I tip wrong.
    I’m only 20 years old so there are some situations I’m still unsure about, such as haircuts. It hasn’t been too long since my mother used to cover the cost of that so I’m always uncomfortable figuring out how much to tip. Also, cause of my age, I always feel slightly uncomfortable tipping people obviously older than me, I feel like it’s rude for some reason.

    And, to everyone who says they carry around $1 bills to tip with, you have it better off than I do. I live in Canada, where our smallest bill is $5 and then we have $1 and $2 coins. It’s always awkward trying to figure out how much to tip, and even though the monetary amount would work out the same, I feel it’s slightly insulting handing somebody coins. I try to get it to a multiple of five, but then I worry that I might be rounding down too much.

    And.. most of the information I read about tipping (on this and other server blogs) is based on American minimum wages/etc and seems to be becoming standard in Canada as well (15-20%) despite the fact that Canadian servers make far more than their US counterparts. For example, the minimum wage for people who serve liquor in my province (Ontario) is $8.25/hour (increasing to $8.90 in March), while I think in New York it is something like $4.65, and yet we are supposed to tip the same percentage in both situations? It seems a bit ridiculous.

  51. I have trouble with it because 1) I don’t know how much to tip people and 2) since I don’t know how much to tip I’m afraid they’re going to look at how much I’ve given them as soon as I put it in their hand then think “what a cheapskate!” or something along those lines. Then, if I’m staying at a hotel, I’m always afraid that they’re going to remember how much I gave then maybe take longer to get my car from the valet parking, or whatever.

    Related: Are you supposed to tip the guy every time he gets your car from the garage? Or can you wait until the end of your stay? What if you have to get your car several times a day? It’s so hard to know what to do! And what if I don’t have any cash on me because I didn’t realize I was going to be in a situation that required it? Can I come back and tip later? Should I even bother? Maybe they should teach this stuff in school then people wouldn’t get so freaked out over it.

  52. With me, it’s because I don’t know what to SAY. It seems wrong to just silently hand over the cash, and anyway, you have to say SOMETHING to get their attention so they know a tip is happening! But what’s the appropriate phrase? I fall back on “Thank you — this is for you,” but I squirm as I say it. So much easier to just leave it on the table!

  53. I don’t like the ‘tip’ culture because the boundaries between tipping and paying for a service are getting blurred.
    I have heard of hotel staff obstructing a customer and demanding that they are paid their tip for carrying a bag .. in that case it’s not a tip it’s the cost of a service and should be accountable and have a receipt.

    I don’t want to give someone my money because they did something I didn’t want them to do in the first place or that I could do myself or that is part of their job.
    If a decent hotel offers a bag carrying service free of charge, I expect it to be free of charge, not something I need to pay for in the guise of a tip.
    I don’t want to accept a service without being sure the cost of it or if there is even a cost.

    Why should I pay a server $8 for bringing me a steak but only $3 for bringing me a salad?
    At what point did a $2 tip become more important that a sincere ‘Thankyou’.

    I have heard of places where tipping is not allowed. Where staff are fired if they accept tips. It is expected that the staff do a decent job regardless of any expectation of reward. This means the kid in the jeans gets just as good a service as the stiff in the suit.. what a wonderful world that would be.

    Tipping feels like charity to me. Someone without money begging for money.
    My largesse as a customer deigning to hand them some cash because I have plenty and they have little. Where I dictate their worth and my worth in the amount I tip.
    It’s bull**** – just tell me the cost of the service and I’ll decide if I want to pay it and give you the money as a fair and square business transaction – lets not try and pretend it’s some sort of tip for good service when we both know you’re just doing your job.

  54. As an Australian, I’ve worked in both jewellery retail in Australia and waitressing in the UK.

    Once I had an elderly lasy hand me $10 after I’d helped her pick a $150 necklance – the only time somebody has ever attempted to tip me, and I had to politely refuse as my manager was standing next to me. Instead, she put it in the charity tin we had on the counter. I found it strange that, although the retail industry doesn’t accent tips (I was paid $13 an hour), when a lady did try it wasn’t for one of the more strenuous purchases (engagement rings, wedding rings, expensive gifts etc which take up HOURS of my time).

    When I was waitressing in the UK, an American man tipped me in American dollars. Totally pointless and insulting. You should never ever tip or pay for anything with anything other than the country’s own currency (with obvious exceptions). I used to have people ask me if they could pay for their Australian purchases in US dollars, and act surprised when I told them no.

  55. Because the act of tipping is a voluntary, and therefore may be seen as a gesture of the financially strong to the financially less strong. Maybe it underlines social inequality. When living in a society that values social equality above all, tipping another person plainly (i.e. not using a check folder) is going to be uncomfortable. People want to get out of an uncomfortable situation as soon as possible, or try to avoid it altogether, and then may just not tip at all.

    There’s a lot less awkwardness when one is paying a set fare for a job done. It is not voluntary but mandatory and doesn’t create insecurities about possible mismatched expectations (am I tipping enough?) or upset social relationships (I don’t want him to think I feel superior).

    Steve, hope you talk to a sociologist, or someone who knows a lot about human social (or pro-social, altruistic) behaviour. There have been so many studies on why people tip, and how much, and in what contexts. Also on what influences a tip and why people feel so uncomfortable. Then maybe you can set up your own experiment :)

  56. I don’t know how to do it. I don’t live in a big city so those type of tipping situations rarely come up. And when they do, say when I have an appliance delivered, I never know the proper way. I still hate tipping the hairdresser because she pretends like she’s not expecting it and I don’t want her to think I’m cheap. It’s just an awkward dance I wish I didn’t have to deal with. When ever possible, I pick up all furniture, food and whatever else myself to avoid the tipping thing. Give us some rules to follow. I want to tip, I just need to know how.

  57. My anxiety is two-fold. One is the logistic. When? How? What do you say? Tipping a server is easy; you do it with the bill and it is impersonal. But what about situations where there is no bill (a bellhop) or someone provides a service but you pay at a counter (salon/spa)? It takes experience and observation to be familiar with the SOP, and I have neither. Some of this anxiety is concern that I’ll embarrass myself if I do it wrong, but I’m mostly fine with acknowledging my own ignorance. Most of the anxiety comes from concern that I’ll embarrass the person I’m tipping.

    Concern over embarrassment relates to the second source of anxiety, which Marsha and Seth explained quite well. Directly handing someone money feels like you’ve downgraded the person from a service provider to a servant. If the person being tipped feigns surprise (Oh! Thank you!) or reluctance to accept (both of which my hairdresser does), the anxiety is worse. Like I insulted a favor.

  58. I struggle with it in situations I am unfamiliar with. I don’t know what is expected and right. I know the proper thing in restaurants but rarely ever go somewhere with a doorman, bellhop, cab driver etc.

    Is ignorance bliss in these situations?

  59. I don’t like tipping directly in any circumstance, not just to a waiter. Bellhop, barber, waiter, whatever. I don’t mind tipping, and there’s only been one occasion that I didn’t tip a waitress (and that was because she was so blatantly and unapologetically awful that you would be ashamed), but I prefer to leave the tip on the table than physically hand it over.

    Maybe it’s because I’m self conscious, or maybe it’s because I feel I’ll be somehow judged for the amount if I physically hand it over, but I dunno.

  60. I don’t travel as much as I used to. I found when I was doing it often; tipping was something that I planned for and carried the appropriate amount of cash is smaller denominations. Now that I do it less often; I find myself stressing over the things that I forget or are not as familiar with. That coupled with the fact that many more people seem to expect tips versus people that I feel are deserving of them makes it uncomfortable. I don’t tip at McDonalds so why would I tip at a coffee shop for a cup of tea? Will my tea be hotter, stronger, better tasting? I don’t have any choice when getting a cab at Las Vegas airport; there is only one queue. Why do I tip the guy with the whistle? Will I get my cab quicker, get a “better” driver, get to my destination faster or more directly? No, I won’t. What service am I tipping for?

    I don’t think that I am cheap, but sometimes I wonder if tipping isn’t getting a little out of hand.

  61. It reminds me of when we were kids and my dad would throw the contents of his change jar on the floor and watch us scrabble for it.

    “Alms for the serfs!”

  62. I agree with so many people that its awkward to hand someone a tip because they can see how much you are giving them. For example, it seems almost insulting to me to hand a baggage handler at the airport a dollar bill for hoisting my 10 pound cary-on bag into the shuttle bus. A dollar? What is a dollar really going to get them? I know the idea is a dollar a bag, but in that situation it seems less insulting to not give anything than to hand over a measley dollar.

    Stupid measley dollars.

    Also, its awkward to tip for a service that i could do on my own. Like I’m admitting that I couldn’t manage to put my bags on the shuttle bus myself. When, of course, I am perfectly able to do that- had the shuttle bus person not literally pried the handle from my hands against my objection.

  63. I was one of the people who mentioned it. It definitely feels like a weird class thing, as if I’m some rich, snobby person who bestows a buck or two on the groveling servants around me who I expect to be thankful for it. Of course that’s an exaggeration, but it is that sort of feeling. Maybe part of it is that I don’t know how to handle the interaction. Do I make it obvious how much the tip is, or fold it up? Do they thank me for it? Isn’t it weird for someone to thank me for what’s usually a pittance, given that it’s for a cheap cab ride or the like? Do I look them in the eye?

    I put a lot of stock into being nice to strangers, especially service people. It makes their lives easier (anyone who’s waitressed or worked retail would agree), and if someone does a good job I make a point to verbally thank them. Adding money into the mix just feels weird to me, even though it serves the same purpose.

  64. if i don’t know whether to tip or not, well…honestly, i’m cheap and keep my money. ignorance is bliss. if i know what to tip, i tip well and have no problem giving the tip directly to people. i also just ask what a customary tip is if i know a tip is expected, but don’t know how much. i can spot the BSer’s by how outrageous their answer seems. a quick joke about it and they usually are honest.

    isn’t there an iphone app for this?

  65. I don’t have any particular hatred of handing someone a tip, but I do dislike the confrontation of it. If I’m tipping a waiter, they won’t necessarily see it until I’m on my way out the door. But if I’ve just tipped in cash face-to-face, they can judge me while I’m still there…

  66. I agree with the statements that have been made thus far about feeling judged at the time of the transaction of cash from tipper to tippee. I am a very gracious person and always thank people for the kind services they do for me, and handing over cash at the same moment I am smiling warmly, looking them in the eye, and saying “Thank you” feels like….the cash is demeaning my ‘thank you,’ somehow.

  67. I think it’s the fear of being judged by the recipient: you could be thought miserly or cheap if it’s too little, or an unself-confident rube/nouveau-riche fool if the tip is too much.

  68. As others have said, more or less: I don’t enjoy playing paternalistic Victorian, more or less: “here you are, my good man, job well done.” I don’t believe people should have to depend on tips for their living, but I do tip because they _have_ to live. Nevertheless, handing it to them personally makes me realize that I’m part of a system I don’t like.

  69. The whole tipping thig is a scam… ridiculous that we are forced to tip out of guilt, why cant the establishments pay their employees.
    Why should we have to pay them for a service that should be included with the purchase!!

    I am sick of paying all these tips out!!

  70. @PN – I expect to be compinsated fairly. I don’t expect a great tip, but I’m hoping for one.

    Don’t think that just because you don’t meet your standards of rich that you can’t tip well for above and beyond service. It’s just that many people don’t know what lengths I go to, in order to provide a stellar dining experience.

    For as many people who know how to recognize and compensate appropriately for good service, more people don’t.

  71. someone wrote on here that the money diminishes that power of their “thank you.” fuck you asshole, I work a part time job that involves tips, and if you don’t tip me, my time working for you, whatever it is (valet, cabbie, etc) was wasted. If you come in again, expect shitty service. And people wonder why their luggage gets lost, cheap ass’s. For $20 you can guarantee your luggage gets to the correct gate, for a sincere “thank you” with no money, your luggage will end up far far away from your destination.

  72. Argh!!!! You anti tippers don’t get it. I, as a server, have zero incentive to give you any service if I’m making a flat rate from my employer. Anything extra that you might want I’m going to decline, or lie to you, to make my life easier. I’m getting paid either way.

    You might then say that I’d be in the wrong business. You’d be right. If you think I’m going to subject myself to the way I’m treated for anything close to $9 to $14 per hour, you’re crazy.

    You’d also argue that you just wouldn’t patronize that particular restaurant I worked at. If you got bad service there – sooner or later my place of employment would be closed. Sorry, but if nobody was tipping, this lack of service would be ‘par for the course’ everywhere. Maybe some really nice place would pay their servers enough to really care about you and your meal. Only to cover costs, their prices would be exhorbanant. And you’d still only be getting just ‘run of the mill’, average (what you are used to now) service.

    Restaurants can’t afford to pay us enough to care about you and your food. Resaruants had to restructure their whole business model when wages went from $2.13 to $4.25 (Denver, CO). If there’s a demand for service people will tip.

    The people who do tip well subsidize the service for everyone. You don’t have to tip at all, but we remember.

  73. In Australia tipping isn’t as widespread as in the states. In general the situation is as gharkness points out. Staff in general are paid more than in the USA. As a result tipping is even more awkward. Part of the awkwardness comes from having to ensure that I have sufficient cash in these times of plastic fantastic. The other part comes from being confident as to how much to tip and not feeling that I’ve over-tipped or under-tipped. Thanks to all the other comments, I don’t feel as bad about the uncertainity now.

    Have come up with a few strategies that work for me. When dinning in restaurants with a group, we always round up the share for a tip. If I’m on a night out, I’ll tip the bartender well when buying the first round of drinks, get much better service for the rest of the night. When going out on the town I will tip the taxi driver on the trip into town and ask if he will pick us up later; a trick that ensures a taxi when rides are scarce in the early hours of the morning.

  74. I’m with the people who are uncomfortable handing people money. I had my hair cut at a discount-type place a few weeks ago. It’s normally $15 to have a simple haircut — no wash, nothing special — but they had a sale for $9. I tipped the stylist $3 cash and she sneered at me. That would have been a 20% tip if I’d paid full price. I still don’t know why that was so bad, and I was too embarrassed to ask if it was too little. On the other side, I’ve been in situations that clearly call for a tip and the person has scurried away before I could hand them money. Most often that happens to me with the people who help the disabled (ex. push a wheelchair & the like) in airports. It’s all so confusing and a little scary. Creepy, maybe? I dunno.

  75. Hi Steve,

    A situation came up at one of my favorite local eateries just this weekend that I wanted to tell you about. It’s a tiny family owned & run pub just down the street from my house. The atmosphere is great and we’re really treated like family every time we come in. The waitstaff all knows my preferred drinks, my boyfriend’s preferred beer, and what food we really like. The service is excellent, what I would generally expect from high-end dining but with a family/friend touch that you wouldn’t get elsewhere. The prices are great (a hamburger plate with a hubcap size burger and as many “homemade” fries as you want is about $6.95 if I recall correctly), the also have some featured pasta/steak/seafood dishes that run in the $12 – $20 range.

    When we went there to eat on Saturday, I noticed most of the prices had gone up, change to $1 on apps/sides & $2 – $5 on the entrees, so about 10 – 15% overall. I also noticed the new comment cards on all the tables & little signs on the tables to ask about their new tipping policy. I asked our favorite waiter (the owner’s son) and this is how he explained it.

    They’re paid tip wages (but higher than the minimum tipped wage for our state). Noticing that the “family atmosphere” has backfired on them a bit as apparently people don’t feel the need to tip waitstaff that they see as friends (we always tip 20 – 30% there, what their superb service deserves). Their new experiment is that you are not to leave a tip on the table either in cash or on the credit card receipt. Instead, you are to fill out the comment card (very short, takes less time than figuring out the appropriate tip amount would for those of us who are mathematically challenged). The comment cards are dropped into a bin on the table that is locked and apparently only management has the keys. They read each and every one, and the restaurant itself tips the waiter accordingly for the meal. There is a spot where you can write in what you would have tipped. So, the servers are still performing a service and striving to achieve good tips through said service, but their employer is ensuring that they get tipped according to the service provided, not according to the wishes of the (sometimes) cheapskate customers.

    We’ll see how it goes, but I’m all for it, as long as they still get the 25% that I wanted to give my server on Saturday. I thought it was an interesting mid-point between standard tipping practices & a flat rate service charge. If no comment card is filled out, the waiter gets 10%. All you have to do is write what you would have tipped (dollar amount or percent), any comments you have (if any), and the server puts your ticket number (to match up at the end of service) on the card before you fill it out.

  76. I think the federal government should require that all gratuities be included in the bill and that it be paid to the restaurant. It seems to me that they get screwed to the tune of billions by under reported tip wages. I have no problem paying 20-25% more for restaurant food as long as I knew that the restaurant was using the increase to PAY their wait staff.

    I also have no problem with universal healthcare, however I’m not holding my breath waiting for either to happen.

  77. A Wendt:

    I worked retail for years. I ALWAYS went above and beyond for my customers. I couldn’t accept tips. I didn’t really feel I deserved them anyhow…I was doing my job. The job I was paid for…at a normal wage. So don’t tell me there is no incentive. Keeping that job would have been incentive enough for me to go that extra step for people. Just because you feel you should be rewarded for your job doesn’t mean others feel the same.

    I am not against tipping by the way. I generally will tip 15 to 20% even for bad service. But I rarely go above that cause I’m struggling too, and a dinner out is a luxory.

  78. I prefer to tip the recipient directly because I know THEY’RE getting it. I’m often dubious as to whether the receive what they should when I add it to my credit card bill or when it’s rung through on Direct Debit. I’m not looking for thanks or a reaction, if they deserve it, I just want them to get it.

  79. If you nervous tippers are reading this, take note: As a server, I can honestly say, we don’t even have time to judge you on how much you tip.. and you probably don’t tip poorly enough for us to judge. As the economy continues to lag servers are getting bigger and bigger sections to cut down on restaurant costs and we are so darn busy it’s only on the rare occasion that someone tips exceptionally that we can even bat an eye. Taxi drivers are the same, they are so busy to get to their next fare that they barely take note of how many ones you put in their hand as a tip. Stylists? Ditto! They have to clean their station nice and quick because the salon overbooked so if you leave the tip at the cash desk they won’t even pick it up for another hour.

    However, we don’t mind that if you want to acknowledge our good service by handing our tip in person and thanking us… we’ll make sure you get even better service the next time… hint hint ;)

  80. Re: Lauren’s comments on $USD in other countries

    I agree that everyone should tip in whatever the local currency is, but/and… I don’t know how common this is for other currencies, but many, many countries will accept $USD, and in many cases are grateful for it (or act like they are, at least). I’ve been permitted or encouraged to use $USD in Canada, Mexico, England (near the airport, granted), Jamaica, and Antigua. I’ve seen signs posted in shops and restaurants all over the Carribbean encouraging people to use $USD. Any change you get back is always in the local currency, which is fine with me – if I’m inconveniencing them by giving them currency they have to exchange, then the least I can do is pay a little extra for it. This has come in handy many times in places where credit cards are not accepted, and the shopkeepers make out because I wouldn’t have been able to purchase anything otherwise.

    I did feel bad the few times I was forced to tip in $USD, or a mix of local and $USD… plane’s delayed, gets in at midnight, currency exchange is closed, in a city for one meal, a hotel for one night… my choices are to tip nothing, or to tip in foreign currency.

    So let me pose a question to the servers here – obviously, local currency is far and away the appropriate choice, but when your diner realizes he doesn’t have either enough local currency or none at all, would you rather get no tip or a tip in currency that you’d have to exchange? Lauren has stated that it’s insulting, which surprises me. I’d think it’d be a sign that your services were valuable.

  81. My biggest issue is — who sets these rates? Thirty-five years ago, the going rate for a tip was 10%. Ten years later, it was 15%, and stayed that way for a while. Then in the mid-90s, I hear that the customary tip has jumped to 20%, with 18% being used as a compromise, or intermediate step.

    Who decides these things? What board of standards is in charge of determining tip rates? I grew up in the 70s and 80s, and so by the time I was an adult the tip rate had been established at 15%, and that’s the rate I’m comfortable with. The earlier 10% rate seems chintzy to me, and 20% seems extravagant. But 15% seems just about right, if for no other reason than it’s what I first encountered. It’s also pretty much just what I give, good service or bad service. If I get bad service, I will bring it to the attention of a manager or host rather than diminish my tip. If I get good service, I’ll tell the manager that too. But the tip remains at 15% unless the service goes WAY beyond the call.

  82. It makes me uncomfortable because we are out to enjoy ourselves and relax, not turn this into 60 min relationship with painful breakup at the end. It goes both ways, every once in a while you will get a waiter (mostly female) who will think they are somehow special and wants to confront us about not tipping enough. This is bad enough when they have been complete shit as a waiter and we give our minimum (10%), but when you have some nut confronting you cause you gave them 20% (of total including taxes) and they think they deserve more… it makes you gun shy about giving them the tip before you are leaving and out the door.
    But its the same the other way, I don’t even like to hand the tip in person when i am leaving an absolutely massive tip. “I am paying you for the job you have done for me, I think you did much better than average, but lets not make this an emotional commitment, have some pride in a job well done and just take the money and thank us for coming.”

  83. It’s old fashioned and it’s respectful to the individual and shows that you recognize their efforts in serving you to the best of their ability….THAT is why some people feel uncomfortable these days when they have to put a tip in someone’s hand – they can’t handle one to one contact in this technology infested age. The arrogance of new generations! (And I’m only 36, so gimme a break)

  84. Hi Steve,

    I guess I’m like most of these folks. I don’t live in a big city where most people don’t own a car. I have my own car. I do my own laundry. I can open my own doors and pick up my own suitcases when I travel by air plane (maybe twice a year.)

    I use a hotel maybe once a year. When I do, I usually don’t tip the maid. I just never thought about it. I mean, they don’t make only $2.50 an hour like waiters do. Why tip them? When did this start? I mean….should we tip everyone who make low saleries?

    If so, I’d like to be tipped. I have to use services like airlines, shuttles to and from the parking lots / car rental places/ etc. I have to stay in a hotel for business. It’s usually not for pleasure.

    I can understand tipping a waiter since they actually make less than minimum wage — by law no less!

    But as far as I’m concerned, anyone else who makes a least minimum wage shouldn’t be tipped. I know this is harsh, but gee…..I’m not rich. I don’t make any extra money so I can tip anyone who I come into contact with. Taxi drivers? They make more than the minimum wage. Hair stylists, barristers (sp?), car repair technicians, etc.

    Just my thoughts.

  85. I feel very strongly about tipping. I always tip at least 20% for good service and any kind of service (not just servers in restaurants, dog groomers, plumbers, airconditioning servicepersons etc.). Consequently I am on the receiving end of excellent service more often than not. If I can’t afford the meal and tip then I don’t eat there. I prefer to hand my gratuity to the person responsible for the experience as it is my way of thanking them, along with my verbal thanks, and that is personal.

  86. @Dennis. My sister-in-law used to be a hotel maid. I’m not sure if it’s the same everywhere or at every hotel, but she worked at several different ones and they were all the same. They got paid a very low hourly rate (less than minimum wage) and then got paid a “per room incentive” that was usually pretty low, like a dollar per room. If there was more than one maid working on the room, they had to split the dollar. Therefore, I would think that tips would be intended to bring them up to minimum wage, as is intended for waitstaff.

  87. To continue my above comment… I would want to leave a tip to ensure that the maid spent more than the quick bare-minimum 15 minutes in my room so that she could get to the next one as quickly as possible to earn her per room incentive. I want her to be able to take her time in my room knowing that I’ll take care of her wages rather than rushing through because she’d be making less than minimum wage for that hour if she didn’t get 4 – 5 rooms done.

  88. I grew up a country boy (a poor preacher’s kid to boot), so the only experience I had with tipping was watching my father carefully calculate the 10% tip at Shoney’s Big Boy on occasion. Now that I’m more experienced, more worldly, and more fortunate, I feel (like some of the other commenters) as if I’m acting like Mr. Bigshot sharing my wealth with the unwashed servant class when I tip anyone (besides at restaurants – I’m comfortable with that, and I always tip 20% on the pre-tax bill). I’m even uncomfortable paying our housekeeper (we pay her in cash, I won’t mention why though it’s probably obvious) for the same reason.

  89. A couple more random comments.

    I don’t always know when I should and shouldn’t tip. Do I tip the housekeeper (who comes once a week and we’re already paying pretty well by community standards)? What about the exterminator guy? I agree with Steve (after reading his blog post about the tip jar at the hot dog stand) that it’s gotten out of hand! Where does it end?

    My hairstylist is also a friend. He cuts my hair for free (he insists on it), and even though he’s struggling financially, he refuses to accept a tip from me (he has a pride thing going on that he can’t seem to get past). That’s frustrating to say the least.

  90. I enjoy putting money in the hands of waiters and waitresses…especially if they did a good job because I’m going to tip them well. The ones who did a poor job serving me, I like to put it in their hand to and tell them what I thought of the service and why they didn’t get tipped more.

  91. I have no problem handing someone their tip. I have a bigger issue leaving it on the table because from experience I can tell you, not all bussers and table resetters are honest. I’ve had more than one tip shanked like that. I’ll never leave a bad tip, so many years of waiting tables has carved it into my head that no matter how bad the server was, I will not stiff them and always at least hand over 15%. I will concur, though, that people like to hold onto their money and generally the people who are not ‘restaurant people’, only hand you their tip when it’s a fat one and they want undue praise.

  92. Wow, I’ve never heard of such a thing. I grew up in New York and can see how it could be a problem in an almost cashless society. From the perspective of the person on the receiving end of the tip, I can tell you they would rather get something than nothing. When I know I am going to be in a situation where I will have to tip, taxi, valet etc, I try to make sure I have tip money handy. I enjoy handing tips to people, almost more than I enjoyed having them pressed into my hands when I was a tipped employee.

  93. I feel socially gauche, never quite sure I’m doing the right thing. Say someone picks up my bags for me and puts them on a conveyer belt. Should I peel off a couple bucks or a fiver? When is the correct moment to tip, that point at which it can be done gracefully and smoothly, without either party feeling awkward?

  94. I find it annoying that I always have to go through the possess of tipping. Tipping to show appreciation for good service, or tipping to get better service is one thing, but now there is a full class of workers that depend on those tips. Why are we tipping 20%? In another 10 years will we have to tip 30% so wait staff can make a living? Why not actually pay these tipped workers a decent wage, or a percentage of the sale. It makes tipping seem less special, to be more or less required to do it. It feels like I am not tipping to reward I am tipping to keep this person feed. I can’t even feel special about doing it. Who do I tip? What do I tip? Its like hiring day labors to do every little task. Why would I want to go through that several times a day.

  95. In situations where I don’t know whether or not I’m supposed to tip, I’d think it might be insulting for the other person if I were to give him a few dollars or something where it wasn’t warranted, or if it wasn’t enough. I also like being discreet so it’s not like I’m broadcasting to the world that I’m giving this person xx amount of money. I don’t want to be judged! haha.

  96. Dear Lord, it’s just a tip! And as far as I’m concerned, it’s a 20% tip minimum, and get over it if you’re pretty sure that’s too much. I know it’s mentioned elsewhere on this website, but it bears repeating that waitstaff hourly rates are BELOW minimum wage. Last time I checked (which is something like 6 years ago, so it may have gone up infantessimally), the PA waitstaff hourly was $2.83, and that’s what your taxes came out of. If you had to live on that alone, could you do it? For that matter, even if it doubled, could you live on $5.66? The PA state government doesn’t think so; our minimum wage is $7.50/hour.

    Look, if you don’t want to tip, eat at home. If you are uncomfortable tipping or have a problem with the class differential, see a therapist. Obviously you have difficulty relating to others and I’d bet your relationships suffer because of it, whether you know it or not. I don’t care how a server/busser/hairdresser/cabbie/bellhop/etc. gets my tip, because if I’m having any kind of verbal exchange with him/her, I know (because I was raised well and not by wolves) that I’m being friendly and as courteous as I can be, and if the person providing me with service (who I am subsequently tipping) has some kind of issue with class-related issues, well, not my problem.

  97. The one situation where I am nervous of tipping is when what I am charged is up to the person I am tipping. You know, like a tow truck operator taking my car to the shop to get fixed and then the service writer. On one hand, I like the idea of tipping so hopefully the person treats me fairly and doesn’t rip me off on the back-end. But on the other hand, I have no idea that they’ll take my tip and also rip me off as well, making a double insult.

    However, I do find that usually if you tip a person well they are far more inclined to actually give you a break and you end up paying less overall.

    I’ve seen this with wait staff as well. At places I’m a regular at and tip well, I usually get extras left off the tab, like beverages or some sides. I then split the savings and add half of whatever he/she saved me to the normal generous tip. We both win.

    In both of these cases what’s really happening is the tiper and tipee are conspiring to screw the employer out of some revenue — which is fine by me. For that brief moment I’m paying that person’s rent, not the employer, and they work for me — so if employers don’t like that, screw ‘em, they can pay them better and forbid tips then.

  98. Oh, and to get back on topic — some of these bribery tips like slipping a service writer a twenty has to be done by slight of hand, not in the open. It’s awkward, but who on the receiving end is going to object?!

  99. J -

    I’m fine if you tip in USD with an aplogetic face and a “I’m sorry, I just flew in”.

    But in the UK it’s very easy to tip on a card. So it’s just more annoying if they tip in a forign currency.

    The insulting part comes from working retail in Sydney, Australia, where I had US customers asking to pay in USD because “Australian money is just so worthless” as one customer told me, or because “it’s the currency of the real world anyway”.

    Maybe at tourist places and airports (like I said, obvious exceptions), but you’re more likely to get ripped off with a terrible exchange rate anyway.

  100. I feel awkward personally handing the cash, because it always seems somewhat classist. Even though, in all reality, I probably make the same or less than the person I’m tipping. Also, I feel really awkward when a place is fairly inexpensive and a 20% tip works out to be a dollar or two. I round up because I feel silly leaving that little. I’d be a lot happier if restaurants paid a freaking living wage. I’d gladly pay a premium for a restaurant or bar that operated as a co-op and guaranteed their staff a living wage, health care, etc.

  101. Someone who lived in Germany talked about tipping. While I haven’t been to Germany I have to other European countries where tipping at restaurants is not expected at all (I even once had a waiter in France give the tip back and refuse to take it).

    Waiter/Steve I hope your new book will include a chapter about tipping in other countries, for as a frequent traveler, I find this subject VERY confusing. When is and isn’t it expected.

    Thanks.

  102. julie @ #96: Get over yourself.

    And as far as I’m concerned, it’s a 20% tip minimum, and get over it if you’re pretty sure that’s too much. I know it’s mentioned elsewhere on this website, but it bears repeating that waitstaff hourly rates are BELOW minimum wage. Last time I checked (which is something like 6 years ago, so it may have gone up infantessimally), the PA waitstaff hourly was $2.83, and that’s what your taxes came out of. If you had to live on that alone, could you do it? For that matter, even if it doubled, could you live on $5.66? The PA state government doesn’t think so; our minimum wage is $7.50/hour.

    The tipped employee wage is $2.83/hr here in Nowheresville too. And I rarely go out to eat at places with full-service wait staff, because I myself am not exactly rolling in dough; I make perhaps $25k/yr in take-home pay. Most often I go to buffet restaurants — but I tip 15% there too. And that’s more than the typically expected amount for buffet staff.

    I think I know why tip rates go up — because the minimum wage for tipped employees has not gone up for many years, though regular wages have, and so have prices, so the difference obviously has to be made up somewhere. Once upon a time $2.83 plus 15% was almost a reasonable amount. Now, even though the prices of the meals have gone up (which should therefore make that 15% a larger amount in raw numbers), the fact that the base wage is sinking against inflation means that the overall pay is dropping too, and the difference is being made up by asking for a larger amount. I get it. I understand it. That doesn’t mean anything to that part of my brain that wants things to stay the same and objects when something seems to have been arbitrarily changed by an unknown group of people via an unknown process. There was an announcement on the local news about it, as I recall. But the local anchor didn’t say where this decision to ask for more had come from, nor did they explain it at the time. So while I get it, I don’t have to like it, and it shouldn’t prevent me from being able to go out and enjoy myself on occasion. If I’m a little low with the tip, I’m sorry; it’s what I can afford, it’s only a little bit lower, I’m just one customer out of your shift, and it’s better than nothing, right?

    And like Egon said in #96, “Why are we tipping 20%? In another 10 years will we have to tip 30% so wait staff can make a living?” I’m not trying to be one of those out-of-touch customers who thinks that completely stiffing wait staff is going to result in a social uprising that gets living wages instituted so that tipping can go back to being a reward for good service instead of a necessary component of one’s income. But I am going to continue to be a little behind the times.

    Perhaps if I lived in the Tri-State area, where money flows like water compared to here in Podunk, and I’d have a job paying me $60k and still consider that a small amount because my 300 square foot studio apartment costs me $1250/mo in the “low-rent” part of town and a can of off-brand soda costs $3, I’d be more willing to spend 20%.

  103. I like tipping. Particularly at places I return to frequently. Very quickly you are known as a “good tipper” and you therefore get a premium on service.

    If tipping were eliminated, the premiums would disappear, and there would be far less incentive for the staff to move quickly and deliver superb (rather than “adequate to keep their jobs”) service.

  104. It took me awhile (um…20 years?) to feel comfortable tipping cabbies, but I’ve finally figured out how much my fares are likely to be and make sure I have the change in my pocket.

    I like giving tips directly to some people – the guy who does my hair and the waitress at my favorite diner. That’s how you become known to folks – and when I have a hair emergency, I can call my guy and he always fits me in. This is a privilege I don’t abuse. It’s like hair insurance.

  105. I think what bugs me about restaurant tipping is I would rather tip the cook and the dish washer than the server. Those guys in the back are the ones that are the ones really making or breaking my meal, and they are the ones only making $22,000 a year.

  106. there was a scene in the movie up the yangtze (re: cruise on 3 rivers/dam) where the foreign/white tourist tip their cabin stewards. it’s so akward as it’s done in front of everyone, tippers and tippees. no one knows how much is being given but just the fact a tip is given is meant to be shaming for those that recieve nothing and reverse peer pressure for those that do recieve a tip.

  107. I had a bad experience many years ago when a doorman got a cab for me and my date. My date was ill & I was flustered about that and I didn’t know anything about tips so I gave him what I realize now was too little and he got mad and spitefully said “Just enough for a cup of coffee!”–which embarrassed the hell out of me. I know better now, but its still an awkward situation.

  108. If I have truly enjoyed someone’s service I tip more than he can expect, else I dont tip at all. If Im not happy with the service, I feel the only way I can say that is by not tipping.
    I always tip bartenders and waiters well cuz I appreciate them working late hours and putting up with people patiently. A handsome tip also ensures higher standard of service the next time u visit.

  109. I always hate the feeling that a tip is expected, whether or not I particularly liked the service! I like to tip when I feel it was awesome, but just by ‘default’? I don’t get that at all.

  110. [And as far as I’m concerned, it’s a 20% tip minimum, and get over it if you’re pretty sure that’s too much. I know it’s mentioned elsewhere on this website, but it bears repeating that waitstaff hourly rates are BELOW minimum wage. ]

    Sorry this is my problem…how? I mean, there are children starving in africa. If I’m making donations, I’d rather donate to them.

    If you really feel so bad about the waiters, start to have the prices include the tip, then you know exactly what you are buying, and the people get a kickback.

  111. I have been a server and a bartender. Getting tipped on the bar or with the check payment isn’t strange for me. Right now, I am a hotel manager and often help guests with bags, or parking cars etc, when we are busy. Often people tip me and I hate to take it. Not just because I am a manager (I always give the tips to the hourly employees) but just because it’s generally an awkward situation. You either get the people who are discreet about palming you the money, or people who make a grand gesture about it like they want to make sure you realized that they are tipping you. The most awkward part is when you get a really big tip and can’t see it until they’re gone so you can’t thank them properly.

    I also don’t feel awkward about asking for change for a larger bill and tipping out of that. I personally don’t feel that everyone that works for tips is greedy and expects $10 or $20 tip for something that warrants a $1 or say $5 tip. Truthfully, when I was working for tips, I would rather have had the extra few bucks than nothing because they were embarassed to break the twenty.

    I do however HATE it when the server automatically asks if I want change. No matter how small the amount of change is. I always told my restaurant employees to just pick up the check and return the change, no matter what it is. Just let the customer decide what they’re going to do with the leftover money. Often it’s only a couple of bucks and I have reserved extra cash to leave as a tip when I get my change back. Sometimes we want to break an extra bill to pay for parking, etc. and the leftover money has nothing to do with the tip we will leave. Ok, rant over on this subject. :)

  112. Oh, another comment…

    Whenever my dad goes on vacation, he always gets a pack of $2 bills from the bank to give as tips. He always has small bills to give to bellman, doormen, baggage handlers, and servers. He likes to be different. As a bartender, I used to have this old couple that would leave me dollar coins as tips once a week. I just threw them in a bank and after a year, I had a couple hundred bucks!

  113. Maybe a different perspective: I live in a country where tipping is optional and quite uncommon. For a short period of my life I dealt with American customers. They almost always tipped me and that made ME (not them) feel awkward and somewhat uncomfortable.

  114. I always appreciate any tips I get as a server, but when someone hands me the cash tip directly into my hands it makes me feel awkward, and I never know how many times to say thank you. It can also be awkward to be in this close proximity with your customer. It is very different when you are talking to your tables while they are seated, as opposed to when they are standing talking to you, face to face (especially men for me being a small 20-something waitress).
    I also agree with people who say that it makes them feel like they are bestowing pennies on the wretched of the earth, or something, even as a server myself, I HATE giving cash tips to the person, even though I almost always have cash. I think it is awkward for everyone involved!

    That all being said, ill still take cash in hand rather than no tip at all!

  115. I always appreciate any tips I get as a server, but when someone hands me the cash tip directly into my hands it makes me feel awkward, and I never know how many times to say thank you. It can also be awkward to be in this close proximity with your customer. It is very different when you are talking to your tables while they are seated, as opposed to when they are standing talking to you, face to face (especially men for me being a small 20-something waitress).
    I also agree with people who say that it makes them feel like they are bestowing pennies on the wretched of the earth, or something, even as a server myself, I HATE giving cash tips to the person, even though I almost always have cash. I think it is awkward for everyone involved!

    That all being said, ill still take cash in hand rather than no tip at all!

  116. I always appreciate any tips I get as a server, but when someone hands me the cash tip directly into my hands it makes me feel awkward, and I never know how many times to say thank you. It can also be awkward to be in this close proximity with your customer. It is very different when you are talking to your tables while they are seated, as opposed to when they are standing talking to you, face to face (especially men for me being a small 20-something waitress).
    I also agree with people who say that it makes them feel like they are bestowing pennies on the wretched of the earth, or something, even as a server myself, I HATE giving cash tips to the person, even though I almost always have cash. I think it is awkward for everyone involved!

    That all being said, ill still take cash in hand rather than no tip at all!

  117. its wierd working for tips. you know, depending on the kindness of strangers to make your living. as a server i usually wait for the customer to leave the table before i collect the cash or charge. i believe that is the least tackiest way to do it.believe me we remember the really bad or great ones. trouble for me is remembering who is who if its been awhile between visits.

  118. one other thought. why is it that people who order their steaks well done and 1000 island dressing for their salads are usually horrible tippers?

  119. There was an article about this in the UK Guardian recently with a good few hundred comments as well:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/oct/04/david-mitchell-restaurants-tipping-service

    (or http://tinyurl.com/y9nfee4 if that link doesn’t work).

    Before reading, it’s worth pointing out that the UK has just removed the option for owners to use tips to make up wages to minimum wage levels.

    I always love the comments that ‘how come I have to tip more for a more expensive meal?’ – well, that would be because more expensive places have MORE waiting staff on per table, so even though you are paying more they don’t have as many tables as a waitress in a cheaper place. Therefore, while they get more per table in tips they have LESS TABLES over the shift. Also, if you can afford a £50 meal then you can damn well afford a tip.

  120. I am a freshman in college and for me it seems weird because I am almost always way younger then whomever is serving me. I always try to do the 15-20% tip even if the service is terrible.

    I am a barista and I hate it when people don’t tip. It is weird when you get a customer who asks you, “Did you see that extra cash there? It’s for you hun.” I sometimes just don’t even think about it when the change back is just a quarter or some small amount, I send the customer off with a ‘have a great day!’ The cheap people might precede to say, “Um, I want my change.” I’ll slip a fib,”Oh, sorry I tend to get ahead of the game sometimes.” But really? It’s just a quarter…

  121. I’ve handed cash to wait staff when we’re dining out with my in-laws – strict 8-10% tippers. If they pay the bill and leave the tip, I usually linger behind and either leave more money on the table or hand it directly to our wait person.

    We once were at a dim sum restaurant in Vancouver with another couple. The wife in the couple assured us that one does not tip in Canada; she visited there on a weekly basis and this is what her Canadian friends told her. Imagine our surprise when the staff ran after us, clamoring for their tip. Embarrassed! I’ll never take anyone’s word for tipping policy again, if it’s less than what I think it should be.

  122. I had a weird experience once at a tattoo parlor. I have a lot of tattoos, but I had traded artwork and designs for them, then I moved to a new area and actually had to pay real $$ for a tattoo, I didn’t realize you were supposed to tip! My previous artist had been so excited about artwork and designwork that she’d never said anything to me about tips, and as an artist myself, I never get “tips” when someone buys my work. I figured that paying a tattoo artist $80/ hour was a really good rate for them, I wish I got so much by the hour! But here I was, clueless. I paid the price they told me, of course, no tip, and came back a week later to get the free touch up, and didn’t understand why the guy treated me so nastily when I returned. I wish they had said something! I was totally clueless and felt terrible! If I had even realized what I had done I would have gone back to tip him, but months later, I was just mortified to go near there again. I still think about it years later, and wish there had been some better communication there, because I’m sure he thought I was a bitch, and I thought he was an ass after the touch up, but the whole thing was a misunderstanding. Why DO you tip a tattoo artist when you are paying them up to $100 for an hour of labor? skilled labor, yes, but already the rate is pretty high… Especially if they didn’t do any designing for you. Maybe if they designed it without charging extra I couls see a big tip. I don’t know. I still feel like a jerk for that incident years later!

  123. Like others before me, I feel uncomfortable due to two issue. The first is, unlike at a Restaurant, I have no idea what is “right” to tip. What if I hand someone a tip that I think is good and it’s actually horrid?

    The next has been said but needs to be said again – it just feels wrong. It feels like grandma doling out old wrinkled ones to the kids.

    If I was at a hotel and I had the option to add a tip to the man who carried up my bags, the lady who got my car and so on onto my bill, it’d be a better experience all around (for me, and for the receiver, I’m sure!)

  124. I just wish the employers would add the tip percent to the bill so I don’t have to do their job for them. . .evaluate the competence of their employees. When you really think about it, the tipping out process means that if the waiter doesn’t go a good job the rest of the team who are busting their buns get shorted by a bad tip due to the bad performance of the waiter. When I give a tip to a baggage handler or a valet I feel like I’m passing money to a homeless person or giving charity. It should make me feel good but I really feel sorry for those individuals because I know others don’t tip as well as I do.

  125. My mother owned a bar and grill for 22 years and she also liked to gamble. Whether, in Vegas or pulling tabs at the local VFW, she always stressed tip, and tip big, it will always work out in the end. I always tip, and always will, because it always works out in the end. My Mother passed away this April 2009, and I miss her terribly. Love you Mom.

  126. I have worked in various tipping jobs. I have made tons of money off of other people handing me a tip, in sometimes awkward situations. I have been a valet attendant, bell hop, waitress, cocktail waitress, and a bartender. And even after having done all these tipping jobs, I still feel awkward tipping my hair stylist….EVERY TIME! I tend to over-tip in most situations, having been in the industry.
    But for some reason, tipping my hairstylist is so hard for me. I will pay by credit card, just so I can write it down and not have to look at her. And I do this even though I tend to tip between 20-30%! I know part of it is that I don’t want her to metaphorically “spit in my food” by screwing up my hair the next time I see her.

    The other awkward tip… The guys at the carwash. I drive a big truck, but get a wash that costs less than $20. And I can tell those guys work hard! I tend to tip $5-$7 (depending on the job), but often feel guilty because I know they hussle. But I only spent $15-$20… So I usually feel awkward not knowing if I should give more, because the size of my truck, or keep doing it the way I have been, based on the money I spend. Most of the time I roll the $5 and two $1′s inside the ticket so they can look after I get into the truck.

    FYI..been a stay at home mom for the past seven-ish years.

    *****Steve, I just finished waiter rant today. The book is awesome! I have had a low burn under my butt to do something since my kids are both in school now, but it is a scorching, burning flame now, having read Waiter Rant. I love to read and to write. I wish all the books I read were as well written and interesting as yours. Good Job! Have you ever read antything, or seen an interview that made you think “That would be a cool person to run into on the street”? You know, so you could tell them what impression they made on you?? You are that to me. I wouldn’t search you out, but it would be neat to bump into you. And, no, I am not asking to meet you. It’s just a fleeting thought.

  127. Korean Man’s Guide to Getting Sex in LA

    Korean Man’s Guide to Getting Sex in LA for Cheap

    Page [1] [2]
    I know the name of this article may sound crass. But I know lots of Korean guys would like some information on this subject. Getting sex in LA for cheap? Well isn’t that what all guys want? Spend the least money you can to get that one thing all guys want. Poontang! Well I’m not trying to sugar coat anything. Most guys in the age group from 14-30 want one thing and one thing only. Poontang. And since all guys want it, and most of the time money is in short supply, a good strategy of getting it for the least money comes in order.

    So what is a young Korean male to do? Can’t buy me love? Well you sure can in good old Ktown and the greater Los Angeles area. Well, I’m not saying you can buy love, but I’m tellin you what you can buy. Half an hour of good old fuckin and suckin. Something all guys will agree they want. I’m not talking about going to Korean clubs and dropping 100 bucks at a chance of getting some stuck up Ktown hoe’s digits. I’m talking about hitting up those massage parlors in Inglewood! Yes! ghetto ass Inglewood is the place to hit the skins in LA for cheap. And if you don’t believe me, why don’t you pick up a copy of your LA Weekly at your nearest Borders book store and you will see. Masssage parlors are everywhere in LA. But Inglewood is the place to go for the best service.

    I understand many of you will think, me? Pay for sex ? No way! Well let me tell you one thing. Aint shit for free in this world. When you take some girl out to the movies or dinner, who do you think pays for it? The Korean man does! And why does he pay for it? To get the poontang of course! So why not just cut the middle man out and all that crap and just go straight to the source? Well that’s what I decided to do.

    After many years of going to K clubs and other clubs in LA, I found out I was not spending my money wisely. K clubs, 100 bucks down the drain, and what did I get. Some skanky girl’s useless numbers? Now I would have to call their ass up and sit through endless boring ass conversations acting like I gave a shit about their life. Naw, man, I just wanted to hit the skins. So off to Inglewood I trekked to find the holy grail of sexual fun. My friend had told me that for the low price of only 140 dollars. Yes! thats right, only 140 dollars, I could get a bj, and some poontang from some pretty foine ass hoes in Inglewood. I couldn’t believe it. All this time I had been going to Korean clubs chasing after skanky stuck up hoes, when I could have been in Inglewood getting my nut on. I have to admit tho, my first time going, I didnt know what the hell I was doing.

    I walked in, payed the mamasan 40 bucks, then I was led into this small room with a bed in it. Then some girl came in and she told me to get naked. All I could say was, OK. So I got buck naked and layed there on my stomach while she gave me a nice rub down. She looked pretty good too. Then she flipped me over and wooo hooo, I couldn’t believe what she was doing. This girl had skillz! She put a condom on my dick with her mouth! Wow! Well to keep a long story short, we fucked and it was pretty good. I never had to talk to her, listen to her boring shit, I got my nut on , and I left, never to see her ass again. Isn’t that how all male and female interactions should be? Well that’s how I think it should be.

    Now let me tell you how season veterans do it. Go into the massage parlor, pay the 40 dollar entrance fee, then just get your ass in there. Most of the time the mamasan will pick out some girl for you. Dont let this happen. There are usually a couple of girls there you can pick from. For me personally, if I’m gonna shell out money to fuck, I’m gonna damn right pick who I’m gonna fuck. And let me tell you, there are some ugly ass hoes at some of these massage parlors, so it’s always best to pick.

    After you pick who you want, the girl will come in. Try to act dumb, like it’s your first time there. She will then start to massage you. Let her. Once she flips you over, is when the real action comes in. Just tell her you want full service. Then the fuckin and suckin will begin. Never pay the girl before you fuck. Pay her afterwards. This is what I have done. After I have got my nut on, the girl will expect for you to pay her a tip. The usual rate is 100 dollars. Now I don’t know just how cheap all of you are. But my strategy has been just to keep 60 dollars in my wallet. And then to tell the girl, thats all the money I had. I have to admit, when I gave the 60 dollars to the girls, they all gave me a dirty ass look, ,but what do I care what they think right! Hahaha. Well, that is my way of getting sex in LA for 100 bucks. Cheap and Easy, just the way I like my girls.

  128. I have no problem tipping waiters, cabbies, hotel maids, or barbers (although I shave my own head, so that hasn’t been an issue for years). But I’m uncomfortable with bellhops/doormen for two reasons. First, as others have mentioned, it feels so patronizing to me (Lady Bountiful and all that). But more importantly, those people are providing services I generally don’t want. I don’t want someone to carry my bags and I don’t want someone to open the door for me. When one of those service people performs a service I actually want and need (like hailing a cab on a rainy day, or storing my bag for a few hours, or parking my car), I’m happy to tip. But handing a guy a buck because he opened a cab door for me, when I didn’t ask him to and didn’t need him to, just feels weird.

  129. i don’t mind giving tips to bellhops, hairstylists, person who shampooed my hair, etc. in fact, i always give it with a smile and i always say, “thanks.”

    when i’m in a hotel, i give a $2 or 2€ tip to the hotel maid, daily – with a small note saying, ‘thank you and have a nice day!’ in english or try to write it in their native language, before i leave my room. why daily? because, if i give it at the end of my stay, that person might be out sick, called on an emergency or had just simply changed their shifts. then, that person who has been cleaning my room during my stay, has just lost his/her tip.

  130. yeah I used to live in England where tipping isnt such a big thing. My first ever job was in macdoalds (I dont work in fast food resturants anymore) and a American came to my counter and asked for a big mac. I noticed that the ones in the hot box were shit so I got the grill guy to make him a new one…when I gave it to the American he tipped me four pounds because I got him a fresh burger….I wanted to knock his block off….it felt like Charity…but I think it was more to do with the fact where I was working in one of the lowest jobs around.

    now I work back of house and was on trial for a italion resturant a while back…turned out they just wanted a free dish boy because I spent 6 days of split shifts washing dishes before I turned down the job and earnt four australlion dollers in tips….I was like ……..WHAAAAAAT! what Im saying is basically think of the dishboy….its boring wet and lonely:(

    I dont have a problem tipping just make sure I dont make it look like a charity case…or that I want to sleep with the person I am tipping

  131. I feel embarassed to physically hand money to people, and I feel embarassed to physically receive money from people. It’s embarassing. Why do you think Chinese people enclose money into red pockets?

    I tell myself I teach piano because I think it’s rewarding to enrich a child’s life with music. But then the parents hand me money and we all are reminded that I wouldn’t be here if not for the pay. Same thing with waiters. We love being nice to waiters and having them be nice back. But then we pay them and we remember that it was all for the money. It’s sort of a pessimistic way to look at things, but it’s not totally unreasonable/far off the mark.

    Also, I am only 19 years old. Most waiters are more than that and I feel like they shoudldn’t want or need anything a 19 year old should have to offer. It’s completely irrational I know. It’s probably cause I’m Chinese and have been taught to be hyper-sensitive about status and hierarchy.

  132. I live in Australia and I feel the tipping of waiters is completely unnecessary here. Our waiters get paid very well, and there’s no need to give them extra money for something they’re getting paid well to do anyway.

    As far as I KNOW (I’m ignorant when it comes to how Americans and other countries waiters get paid), waiters from other countries aren’t on a high wage, hence why people leave a tip.

    I can’t think of any other job title that would receive a tip due to them performing what is already required of them.

    For example, how ludicrous would it be to tip a doctor because he’s treated you well? He’s doing what is in the job description.

    My opinion anyway :)

  133. [If I know I can’t leave more than 15% you can bet that I’m not going to be asking for my child’s bottle to be warmed up. Or for an extra free slice/loaf of bread to take home. Or expect immediate refills of soda every 3 minutes - A Wendt]

    That’s the only reason I would tip someone in the first place. For going out of their way.

    Mandatory tipping is ridiculous. You are all but forced to give people EXTRA money AS WELL as what you’ve already paid, for doing their job.

    Along with the fact that SALES TAXES ARE NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICES for anything, its a wonder any of anyone manages to budget at all.

    If its *mandatory* on pain of having your food spat in, just pay the waiters etc 15% more and raise the prices accordingly.

    And include taxes in the price, and have them itemised on receipt. You still know what taxes you’re paying, but when you see something for say, “$2.95″ and you take it to the counter, you PAY $2.95.

    How am I supposed to work out how to get by on what I have left after rent, if every price has some arbitrary tax or tip lopped on.

    /rant

    This one reason why I will never move to the US.

  134. I think it embarrasses most people because they don’t tip well. They feel better about leaving a lousy tip if they don’t have to look the waiter in the eye when they do it.

  135. I don’t travel often, so I am always out-of-date on who and how much to tip. I have found that asking an obviously non-tipped employee for help almost always works. I ask at the check-in desk at hotels or the hostess at the restaurant what the “tipping etiquette” is. I do this ahead of time – when I make the reservations. Once I know, I can feel comfortable tipping the correct amount (or more).

    I am one of those people waiters and service people groan about when they see me… elderly, overweight, mildly disabled and usually alone, so I try to tip generously and (in the case of hotel employees)often. This pays off for me since I get known for tipping well during my stay and so get the help I need from the staff.

    Only once have I been egregiously wrong, and I found out just today by reading this blog. I did not know that the concierge at a hotel should be tipped for services. I feel like a real heel!

  136. Wow! This has been an enlightening read. Tipping is not a structured formula. It is based on region, country, and service provided. Here in the USA wages are different from State to State. As a seasoned traveler, I research before I arrive. Are the wages minimum only or less than? (as is the case in most states, some as low as 3.50 per hour)The pay just barely covers the taxes that the waiter must pay on the tips earned. This means that he/she lives on what you leave at the end of your meal. The paycheck he/she recieves general is under $10.00 per week or even $0.00 as the income does not cover the taxes owed. So when you want to dine out and be waited on; tipping is expected. If this is not in your budget – eat at fast food establishments where you serve yourself.

  137. Tipping… I often WANT to hand a server a cash tip… especially if things are busy (slammed) and here is why: I used to be a server myself many years ago… and in a busy situation a large tip left ON THE TABLE can be easily lifted by another employee or customer. IT HAPPENED to me and a couple of them were BIG. Saw the tip on the table and before I could get back…. GONE.
    I dont want the man or lady who worked and busted their butt for me to lose the bonus they earned to some fink. Before I was a server, I worried if the hand off would be insulting, but once I had been a server, I was quite glad when it happened.

    And to hair stylist/barbers. The owner of the shop where I get my hair cut is the one who cuts mine. I asked her point blank is is proper to tip the owner and would she be insulted. She told me she is always happy to get a little extra and its perfectly fine.

  138. And a word to the wise server FROM an old pro:

    If you want a big tip… bust your chops… smile… talk to your customer… be friendly and cheerful and show that you are making an effort to take care of their needs.
    And if you REALLY feel taking a risk… card your female customers on alcohol….. once I carded a lady (our policy was IF THEY LOOKED UNDER 30, CHECK IT). She turned out to be 36. Her bill was about 10 bucks… my tip was 5 bucks with a note that said, “Thank you.. you made my day checking my ID”

    Waiting tables is service oriented business. The more you make your customers happy… the better will be your take home pay.

    If you act like its a pain to do anything… or are neglectful.. dont gripe on a small or absent tip. NOBODY OWES you anything. You EARN it with service.

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