Thursday, June 28, 2007


I would like to take this time to reflect on something that has popped up a lot over the last week of our vacation: tipping. It's everywhere. I want to know what you think about tipping. How did it start? Why does it continue?

I don't really get it. Aren't people getting paid? Why should I pay them more? Because I thought they did a good job? Shouldn't they do a good job because it's their job?! I understand that a lot of jobs don't pay very well, and that a lot of waitresses and stuff like that make much of their living from tips. But then, why don't you just charge me a little more for the service so you can pay your employees more, instead of involving me in this intricate game of how to tip, when to tip, and how much!?

So I mentioned I got my nose pierced the other day. They guy who did it was very nice, and very clean, and did a good job, so thumbs up. But all over his parlor there were signs about tipping--tip me! tip me!!! But um...they guy owned the place. Doesn't he get all the money anyway? If you want 5 more dollars for your service, charge me five more dollars.

I know I'm not the most business savvy person in the world, so by all means if someone has more insight to this feel free to let me in on it. And please don't think I'm a miserly tipper. I tip well when I eat out and when I get my hair cut or my nails done. But some other stuff just bugs me.

Like at the airport. Some guy took our bags for us and loaded them up on the x-ray belt. And stood there.

"I'm with [name of company]." he says.

"OK." we say. "Thanks."

"I'm with [name of company]." he says, smiling, and still standing there.

Hubby finally reaches in his pocket and hands him an indecipherable amount of cash. I wanted to puke. Because in my opinion, that was just nutty. Because as far as I could tell, all this guy's job consisted of was taking people's bags and putting them on the belt one at a time. So that is what he is getting paid to do. And that's what he did. So...what am I tipping him for? Not tossing the bags through the air or stomping on them before loading them?

Don't. get. it.

Any thoughts?

p.s. I would, however, totally like to give $1,000 to the pilot who successfully landed our plane that day. The turbulence on the way down had me gripping the seat in front of me with one hand and the frame of the window with the other. We were see-sawing back and forth, descending more steeply than I can ever remember doing in any plane before, and all I could say was "well, at least we don't have far to fall from here..." If I'm never on another flight that ends in applause, that will be just fine with me. ;)


SilvrPanthr said...

I don't understand tips either. How much is acceptable, too much or too little? I always have that problem when I get my hair done. And when I got my nose pierced, my best friend's husband did it in his tatto and piercing shop and for some reason, I still felt compelled to tip.

kimberly said...

I know, right!? And all week it was the same: everyone had their hands out. Some I don't mind, like the housekeeping, and the valets who I had running around like crazy as I went in and out all day long--although, y'know, if I could just park myself that wouldn't be a problem. :)

Hey that's a good point about tipping people you know. Cuz y'know, it's one thing if you undertip and some stranger you'll never see thinks you're cheap... ;)

Oh well, guess it's part of life. I just hate the whole feeling like it's a sly game. Palming people money. Feeling like my luggage will end up in Guam if I don't tip the guy checking it. :)