Earning a Labor Day tipWritten by Heather Miller | | firstname.lastname@example.org
It might be Labor Day, but if you want a tip from me you had better earn it.
This may sound stingy coming from an employed person during a recession, but I tired of feeling obligated to toss my change to every Tom, Dick, and Harriett who piles ice cream on my cone or pours coffee into my cup.
I really haven’t had a problem dumping my dimes and nickels into a plastic cup in the past. However, it seem every counter I approach anymore as decorated with a jar with a crumpled piece of paper attached to it that has ‘tips’ scribbled across it in blue ink. I am beginning to think tips are no longer appreciated, but expected.
This really hit home a couple weeks ago at an area fast food restaurant. As I ordered at the counter, I noticed a tip jar. I decided to see if the guy in the apron deserved the quarter he handed me back as change. Call me picky, but you need to do more than slap a sandwich in a paper bag to get my 25 cents. It took him less than a minute to complete the action, without a smile and ‘thank you’ I might add. I’m sure you can guess how he reacted when I asked for extra napkins. He should consider his ‘tip’ the fact that he actually has a job with that attitude.
I promise I’m not a cheapskate. I did a stint as a waitress back in high school and college. I made a whopping $2.15 and earned every penny (and sometimes that is what was left) I earned from my customers. I tend to tip generously when I feel someone deserves it. But anymore I feel fewer deserve it and everyone expects it.
Apparently I am not the only on who feels this way. A quick Google search turned up thousands of articles and websites on the subject. One of the best was www.tippingetiquette.org. On the website a guy named James G. Lewis has all kinds of great advice on whom and how much to tip. (Who knew you should tip your tattoo artist and not your piano tuner?) He also addresses the evil tip jars. Lewis’ advice is to ignore such jars at any establishment that doesn’t actually bring food and drink directly to you table. This includes coffee shops. Hm. Maybe I don’t need to feel so cheap after all.
Heather Miller is a reporter for FOX Toledo.