To Insure Proper Service. That’s what the acronym “tips” stands for. In my travels I’m constantly tipping folks. More out of social grace than actual “insurance” or delight.
There are some people that don’t understand tipping. And I’m here to educate them. I want to start a movement to tip those who do the most for us. To move that money from those industries that expect it and don’t work for it to those thankless workers who do work that we don’t want to.
Let’s begin with the number one receiver of tips. Wait staff at restaurants. Anyone who’s worked in one knows that it’s hard work. I tip 20% when I get good service. But I have to admit, the service can be just “okay” and I’ll still give 20% because my niece is a waitress and makes $5.00 an hour and has rent to pay and eats Ramen noodles dry with peanut butter on them. Here’s the part I don’t understand. Most restaurants will add an 18% gratuity if your party has six people or more. Is that because these groups usually end up dividing the check and nobody can do math and the waiter gets the shaft? I would love to know the origin of that custom.
Second most tipped industry (in my experience), cab drivers. Standard is 10%. Half the time they don’t open my car door and 100% of the time their car either smells like barf or cigarettes or grease or some combination thereof. They drive like maniacs, often while talking on THEIR cell phone. They charge a wad and yet it is considered bad form to not hand them at least 10% of the fare. If it is to “insure proper service,” shouldn’t you tip them ahead of time? “I would really like to arrive alive please.”
Or, we could demand a better experience by simply saying “I’m sorry, your car has not been washed since you bought it in 1977 and I think I’m going to barf so I will give you nothing.” Hopefully paving the way for future standards of cab cleanliness.
Now let’s talk about those unsung heroes of the service world who are not on the top ten people to tip list. My list would included folks like grocery store baggers that carry your groceries out to your car in the rain. My Vietnamese pedicurist that is probably only making her tips as a wage and is doing the work that quite frankly I do not want to do. The gas station attendant (in the state of Oregon where it is illegal to pump your own) who stands in the rain with their hand on the nozzle watching the numbers roll around to make sure I get quick service. Those high school kids working at the car wash that aerobically wipe the water from your car at the end so you won’t have water spots. And my number-one-most-undertipped-most-important-service-person-worthy-of-BIG-tips:
Housekeepers at hotels. Sure, occasionally you get that annoying tap tap tap with the credit card key on your hotel door before you’re ready for them. But that’s usually your fault for not putting out the DND sign. But let’s face it, there is no one more deserving of a tip than these folks. I mean, they are cleaning your funk. More importantly they are cleaning the funk of the person BEFORE you so you don’t have to see their funk. I give maids $5.00 a day. If we all gave them $5.00 a day,and the average hotel floor has 30 rooms — that’s $150.00 a day or $750.00 a week!! Roughly $36,000 a year on top of the $10,712.00 a year (based on minimum wage average) that the greedy hotel owners are forced to pay.
Just think — the people who insure your vacation or business trip is pleasant could actually take a vacation. Pay it forward man.