The Tipping Point?
I tip servers in restaurants, the bell boys, the hotel maid, my hair stylist and esthetician (who both own their own businesses*), the manicurist and the taxi driver, just to name a few. And unless my change purse is empty, I put something in every tip jar I run across. But I am starting to wonder if in North America, are we going tipping mad? And, are we even tipping all the right people?
With the advent of electronic payment machines, we’re being increasingly prompted to tip. I wasn’t going to add a tip to my $4 cappuccino order but now that the machine is prompting me, should I? Will you think I’m a mucho cheapskate if I don’t?
(A side note about the payment machines. Restaurant servers, please step away while I try to figure out the tip. Hovering makes me nervous and I’ll be more likely to tip you less. I promise, Girl Guide’s honour, I won’t take off with the machine.)
Tipping grew from showing appreciation to those working in low paying jobs – usually in the service industry – when they did really good work. But there are plenty of people who do great work and don’t get tipped. They’re just doing what’s knows as their job.
I don’t tip my house cleaner, the garbage man, my trainer, the nice gals at the doggy daycare or the pest control people. The last I checked these people aren’t rolling it in either, and they too are performing a service, often a very important one.
Perhaps it’s the rationale that some of these people already “make enough.” Here’s a comparison of some average incomes from www.wowjobs.ca:
Barista – $19,500
Garbage man – $24,000
Hair stylist – $24,500
Server – $25,000
House maid – $27,000
Bus Driver – $30,000
Esthetician – $36,800
Trainer – $38,000
Taxi driver – $41,600
Massage Therapist – $56,000
Food for thought about who deserves a little something extra.
*I asked my hair stylist and esthetician about tipping. They said some clients don’t tip the owner of a business while others do.
Top photo (edited): Ararejul/Flickr