I always tip well, twenty percent usually, sometimes more. Not everybody does. I tip the Uber driver, the waiter, the bartender. But often, I find that a tip is not appropriate or necessary. If I’m picking up a bagel at my local store, I never put anything in the tip jar. Those things seem to be everywhere these days, offensively placed in front of cash registers, where the only thing the cashier is doing is ringing you up—that doesn’t qualify as giving me a service. Back in the day (ten, twenty years ago) that simply didn’t exist. These days it feels like everybody wants a tip. For what? I often ponder that very question.
I tip my garbage guys at Christmas, because I see them all the time. I don’t tip the mailman, because there seems to be a different one every day and none of them are friendly. I don’t tip a plumber because the prices are already too high, and they make a proper salary if they’re an employee. I tip the guys who deliver furniture or mattresses. I tip food delivery guys. I tip my barber—at least, I used to when I had hair. I don’t tip the landscapers.
Sometimes I don’t want to tip even fifteen percent at a restaurant if I get crappy service. The problem is that servers expect a tip but often don’t expect to give good service. There’s nothing worse than going out for dinner and receiving sub-par negligent service. If I have to wait for half an hour to flag you down for a glass of water, then don’t expect a generous tip. Half the time no one even comes over to see how the meal is after they’ve delivered it to the table. When I order a side of mayo with my burger, at least seventy five of the time I have to ask for it again. Annoying.
Simply, if you as a server want a good tip, then provide excellent service. I’m not a pain in the ass customer, but I believe that everything should be held to a standard. If I’m at a diner I don’t expect much in the way of service. Often, it’s some grumpy old guy whose had the job for the last thirty years and is miserable and fed up with it. When he skulks over to my table, it seems like a mammoth effort and he or she looks like they’d rather be anywhere else than taking my order. Not my problem, bud. I’m not the one that selected this job for you. You did, so deal with it. And don’t expect a huge tip for the worst service that I just got from you. You’re not doing me any favors. I’m a customer.