Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Tipping like It's 1969
I learned about tipping at an early age. I learned who was tipped and why. I also learned in what amount you tipped. Service Workers, which includes Waitresses, Hairdressers and yes folks, even your Postman (Postie to my British friends) are Service Workers. I know I know, they get paid 92 dollars an hour and why in heck should I give them a tip? Well, for one thing they don't get paid $92 an hour (except in their dreams) , maybe if they're lucky they get $19 an hour. Out of this the Rural Route Delivery persons pay for gas and upkeep of their car. But I'm not here to haul a banner up for the Post Office, but for the Public Service workers in general. When I had my hair done, I worked out fifteen percent of the total in my head (and the Magic Miranda either made out pretty well, or she got cheated...math was never my long suit). When I paid her I included this "gratuity" in to the total. I did this because I was happy with the result. If I had been unhappy I would simply tell her why and if she couldn't fix the problem then I would never darken her door again. A very simple fix for a simple problem. The ones who seem to get the short end of the stick are Food Servers, or Waitresses...different restaurants call them different things, but they are never paid what they are worth. Most restaurants pay about $2.00 an hour (ask any Server) and depend on their patrons to pick up the slack. That's all well and good if you were taught by your parents (or Oprah if etiquette was not included in your upbringing) the proper amount to leave your Waitress. It is 15 percent, people(or more)...of today's money, not the last century's money. I know, I know you only ever left but $2.00 before...but that was in 1969 and dish prices change. I'm not saying you have to tip the people at McDonald's or Burger King, I'm talking real restaurants here. You know, FishFare, The Smokehouse, Gold Nugget, Plyler's , Fatz and the rest of them. Where you sit down to eat and a nice lady or fellow comes and keeps your coffee cup or tea glass filled and takes plates away or brings your food to you. The ones who ask "is everything all right? What can I bring you?" Their work day started on their feet and ends on their feet. It's a grueling job with no benefits and very little pay. So be a sport...work it out in your head how much to tip on a thirty dollar tab and leave 15 percent of it for your Server. Be generous, make it 20 percent if the service was you could dream of. You can be sure she or he will be all smiles when you next see her (or him). People tend to remember kindness. Oh, and the tip in this case would be $4.50...little enough, don't you think? So, make it a fiver.