Tipping seems like a popular topic around here, and it’s actually not by design. Really.
Yes, I did write recently about my experience with tipping at the car wash, and how a few people wanted money for doing what pretty much seemed like nothing. I also wrote about the topic of tip jars and how they’re almost ubiquitous in some places despite not being necessary in the view of many. So while I don’t really think about the topic of tips often at all, there have clearly been a few cases where it’s caught my attention.
Well, I ran across an article on tips on MarketWatch that caught my attention based on the amounts they noted for specific situations. Here are the 10 situations, their suggested amounts, and my comments:
- Article says: $2.
- I say: $0. I know it may not be a fun job, but I’m pretty sure it’s not been one where tipping was standard. I must have missed when this become the norm, but in reality I don’t think it ever happened.
- Article says: 15% to 20%
- I say: Sure, why not. Admittedly, I’ve never owned a dog, so maybe I’m being agreeable due to unfamiliarity or the reality that it isn’t even a possibility for me to pay. But I can go with 15% to 20%.
- Article says: $50 to $100
- I say: Not sure about this, maybe feeling a bit guilty since I haven’t been tipping for kids’ camp. Should I have done so?
- Article says: $20 to $100
- I say: No, they get paid a wage that doesn’t necessitate tips. Having said that, despite my principled view, I can see how there might be cases where a little over-the-top financial appreciation could help out in a serious situation.
- Article says: 15%
- I say: If I ever go to a waxing salon, it will be when pigs fly. In other words, this guy is not going to be visiting one soon 🙂 That said, it sounds reasonable for the ladies who go there to pay. Tipping for a hair cut is normal, so why not waxing?
- Article says: $100
- I say: I don’t live a building with a doorman. However, for those who do – and who count on the doorman – I can see this being a good investment. I say this despite feeling that it’s not like it’s a job like being a waiter or waitress that truly calls for tips.
- Article says: Refreshments
- I say: Great idea! Seems like good manners to do so. Agreed that money isn’t necessary here.
Coach Bus Driver
- Article says: $1 to $2 per bag
- I say: I think $1 per bag seems reasonable. Some bags are heavy.
- Article says: Price of one session
- I say: At the end of a season or once a year, I can see this being a nice thing to do. Not entirely opposed to it.
Big Box Store Clerk
- Article says: $10 for something heavy, like a big television or treadmill for example
- I say: Not something I’ve ever really thought about. That said, I would tip $5, but probably not more. If they move 3 things per hour, and get $10 per customer, that really adds up.
Overall, this was an interesting exercise for me. I was truly expecting to disagree with most recommendations that might come from the article, but as I read through them, I found myself either partially or fully agreeing with most. A few I clearly didn’t.
The tougher the work, or more long-term the interactions are, the more I find tipping reasonable and in many cases expected. When mundane customer service actions start being considered tip situations, such as tip jars at the counters of coffee places, I find it senseless. After all, if businesses don’t increase wages or provide enough to employees, why should that be passed down to customers? Especially if the customers aren’t seeing increases themselves?
Okay, I’ve shared my thoughts. What about you?
What are your thoughts on the recommendations and my thoughts about tipping in those situations?