I've toyed with this one for a while... my concern though is that people are gonna read it and immediately label me 'tight'!
I really don't 'get' tipping. Why is it almost obligatory for some jobs, but unheard of for others? Why would I feel incredibly guilty creeping out of my hairdressers having paid the exact money, yet wouldn't have a care walking out of my dentists, having accepted my 10p change??!
The usual response rolled out is the classic "these people are on minimum wages, they rely on tips". I completely buy that reply, and it's why I will always leave a good tip in restaurants (almost regardless of the service provided). But this argument is inconsistent... if we tip the service provided to us by minimum wage staff, why don't we tip the person on the checkout in the supermarket? or the person picking up rubbish in the high street? or even the child care workers who look after your kiddies at nursery?
And if we are tipping to top up low pay, what the hell are we doing giving it to taxi drivers, hairdressers, plumbers, electricians etc etc???! I pay £22 a go for my haircut... not bad money for an hours work, but I always give £25... yet I've no idea really why i give that extra £3 (other than the aforementioned feelings of guilt!). I guess in this case, the tip is for having done the task well, and yeah he DOES do a good job.... but surely that's what the other twenty two quid is for!!
So if we're now tipping for the 'quality' of the work provided, I'm not sure why we do it for some of the appalling service you get in restaurants these days. You can't have it both ways surely??! I've had waiters and waitresses who don't smile, offer no eye contact, make no attempt to hide their boredom, and almost throw the plate down in front of you... excellent work my man, have 10% extra for your trouble!
But if all of this confuses (and on occasions bugs) me, then it's nothing in comparison to those places that automatically ADD the service charge to your bill! Sometimes it's done so surreptitiously that you could be forgiven for adding another tip on top. You are of course within your rights to remove the added charge... if you've got the balls...
So, do you tip? If so, who to (and who NOT to)?? How much do you give, and if you don't do you feel guilty??
PS - if you've enjoyed this post and would like to show your appreciation, you can send me a 'tip' payment to my e-mail address via PayPal ;-)