“Oh God. This is so awkward. I don’t know what to do. Is this too much? Too little? I mean the food was great but the service was shoddy. If I don’t leave anything will they sneeze in my food next time?”
I hate tipping.
Not so much because of the actual money, though that is a factor, but just because I don’t get it. At least, in Ireland I don’t. We only had one little Celtic Tiger in the middle of a series of recessions, we’re not used to having money to tip with in the first place! It’s not the done thing; we just saw people in American sitcoms doing it and decided, for some unknown reason to copy them. FYI – waiters in Ireland get paid the minimum wage which is E8.65 or roughly US$11/hour.
Here in Abu Dhabi where bar staff and taxi men can work up to 17 hour days, my middle-class guilt means I usually don’t mind throwing in an extra few dirham.
But in principle, I’m still against it.
First of all, who gets tipped, and where? How come I have to tip the waitress who serves me in a restaurant but not the shop assistant who brings me 15 dresses? Why does the bartender that serves my drinks and clears my glasses get a tip but the guy in McDonalds who serves my food and clears my trays doesn’t? Why haven’t I gotten any “tips” other than dodgy fake perfumes, candles and love letters from six year olds for educating the future of the Middle East?
In order to be more fair to everyone, I think not tipping is the answer. After all- these people are being paid to do a job, by their employers. If they’re not being paid fairly, that’s an issue they need to look at and discuss with their bosses – why should I subsidise him in paying his staff? I thought I was already doing that anyway by frequenting his (or her) establishment.
And do you tip no matter what? That seems to be the case in the US (yank friends, feel free to correct me!) but I thoroughly resent handing over more of my
hard-earned cash if the food wasn’t that good, the service was sloppy or if it has been 3.5 weeks since payday. On the other hand, I quite like leaving a little extra if the server has been particularly friendly and/or efficient. It just doesn’t make sense to me that it should be automatic.
Who do you tip, where and why?
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