Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tipping Thoughts

The other night following a delicious dinner of curry, Mike and I did what we usually do after a trip to Royal India and went to Baskin Robbins.  (Indian restaurant for dinner, followed by rocky road ice cream for me and nutty coconut for him is an almost perfect date.)

While chatting away in between bites of delicious chocolate goodness and Mike telling me to wipe it off of my chin and corners of my mouth, (I was really enjoying it.) I couldn't help but notice the couple that walked in the door.  As the couple perused the ice cream selection, I guiltily told Mike I felt like I should buy the lady her ice cream...

You see, for years (and maybe still is) this older aged lady was a waitress at a iconic restaurant during my high school and college years.  Most of my friends, my BFF and I in particular frequented the restaurant throughout those years.  And well, though I am somewhat ashamed to admit it publicly, Melanie and I were not very good tippers...

(It is at this point that I defend myself and say I am not the same way at all, as for Melanie, well, she'll have to speak for herself...)

But all this brings me to my controversial point.
Sometimes I have a slight problem with tipping.
(Melanie and Tiffany, 1996--obviously this sign caught our attention...)

Not necessarily at restaurants, that is fine.  (Although I have HUGE frustrations with waitresses/waiters that complain about their hourly wage/tips, etc.  And though I have NEVER taken that type of job, so I may not understand it entirely, I do know that when they take the job they KNOW that their base pay is minimal and they have to rely on tips.  They know this!!)

For the record though, I really am a decent restaurant tipper now.  In fact, I consider myself a good tipper.   Especially on the rare occasion we are at a restaurant with all five of the children!

Ok, so restaurants may not be my huge issue anymore.  But, what about a deli?  What about nail salons? What about hotel bell boys?  What about taxi drivers?  What about the high school kid that carts out your groceries?  What about the guys that deliver a new sofa?

And though my restaurant tipping is far better than years ago, I had a moment of my old tipping days just recently when my girlfriend and I were beginning a fabulous afternoon/evening of no children at a nail salon getting a pedicure.

Small Details:
#1 I did not turn on my massage chair.  I do not like them.  The lady came and turned it on for me.  I turned it off.
#2 I think their talking in a foreign language the whole time is very rude to the customers that obviously can't understand them.
#3 Something started burning.  It was not a good smell. I asked the man about it and he did eventually open the door, but it smelled very badly in there.

And so, when  it came time to pay.  I did not feel inclined to pay my usual pedicure tip...
I had a headache from the smell...
My girlfriend was still wobbly from her massage chair (Ok, not really, but why did that lady think she could keep turning them on and off?)...
The people were kind of rude and unfriendly...

And so I made an executive decision for the two of us... Kim and I saved our tip and enjoyed an ice cream treat later that evening.

Am I wrong to think those at our service are not entitled to tips, they must earn them?

(And no, I didn't buy the waitress her ice cream at Baskin Robbins.  Nor did I leave any change in the 'tip cup' by the register...)

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