Saturday, 5 July 2014

The Etiquette of Tipping

Independence day is in full spin over in the states, assuming you guys do in fact continue the celebrations into the night like we do during Bon Fire Night here in the UK. To mark the occasion, lets talk about a topic that is only related because it's always the topic of much controversy in "Merica. The act of tipping. That is, giving someone in the service industry additional pay, usually given to waiters at restaurants.

Tipping in America is the norm, you're expected to give a tip when you've had a meal and generally speaking the waiters pay reflects this, to the point that usually they require tips to actually make a decent living wage, if that. You give a smaller tip if the service was less than satisfactory and you can only not give a tip if the waiter stood there, insulted your elderly mother and kicked you in the balls for no apparent reason. This is just etiquette in the states. Now here in the UK and in general most of Europe it's quite different. In Europe at least you're not expected to give tips and that's almost the case in the UK. Although depending on who you're dining with the case may be quite different. Funnily enough though even though tipping might not be the norm here, the waiters are still paid pretty poorly.

I for one don't tip. It's not because of an reasons against the act of tipping it's mainly because I currently can't really afford to. If I could, I'd be more likely to consider it. Although I do think it's pretty awful that society allows there to be jobs that don't pay living wage, this doesn't just include waiter jobs, there's millions of jobs like this, in fact i'd say a larger percent of jobs are like this compared to those that aren't. I say "living wage" rather than minimum wage because there's a bloody big difference between what the government says is reasonable pay and what is actually necessary to live on.

Over all I think the social norm of tipping is generally wrong, but fighting it by not giving tips isn't the way to go about it. At the end of the day you're not making an impact on the greater schemes of things and really you're just harming the underpaid employee. I'm not sure what the best cause of action is, but it probably involves revolting against the current government, which might be fun and all but might also get us all killed, which is pretty shit as well. Then again if we do that, the corporations will gladly step in and it might not exactly get any better. At least the mobile industry won't have to hold back anymore, we might all get radiation poisoning but at least EE will finally be able to live up to it's name. Yes, that will be worth losing all our tips.