Tipping Rant

Last modified on September 10th, 2007

Ok, this is a quick entry on something I’ve been meaning to write about for some time – tipping. For some reason, it seems like more and more places I visit now are introducing “tipping” into the system. In particular, a lot of interact machines I encounter are starting to show “please enter tip amount.”

In the old days, you’d usually encountered a “Tip: Yes/No” question first, but I’ve seen the former more and more lately, and it’s starting to piss me off. You see, I don’t think you should tip if you’re buying something across the counter. A good example is Fritz on Davie. If I’m ordering Poutine, the guy just turns around, puts some fries in a container with some gravy, hands them to me, and is done. There’s no real service. So what exactly am I tipping for?

Another thing I hate is people who always tip a waiter/waitress, even if the service is complete shit. I used to work in the service industry, so I’ve been where those people are too. I’m a firm believer that if the service isn’t good at all, or the waiter/waitress gives you attitude, then you shouldn’t tip (or at least, your tip should reflect the level of actual service). I don’t buy the whole “well, maybe they are just having a bad day” argument — if they are having a bad day and are doing a poor job, then I think the tip should reflect it — otherwise what’s the incentive to do a good job on other days?

For people who hold that argument, let me ask you this — have you ever done the opposite? That is, on days when the service is really excellent, do you ever say “well, maybe they just had one too many red bull today, and aren’t normally that good. I’m just going to tip normally today.” I doubt it.

I have no problem tipping for actual service, and I’ll tip more than 15% for good service. That being said, I generally don’t leave a full tip for a waiter/waitress that sat and gabbed with his or her friends while my coffee sat empty for 15 minutes, etc.