Tipping is problematic for a lot of people. You hear that 15% is “standard”. So what reasoning should you use to tip less?
TIPPING LESS THAN 15%
If you get poor service or unnecessary “attitude”, then by all means leave a small – or no tip. Don’t let a sloppy service worker, with or without an “entitledment” attitude, make you feel you MUST leave a tip. Tips are basically just a “Thank You” for exemplary service. If your service provider didn’t live up to your normal expectations of service from that establishment, then don’t leave a tip.
Other times, you may be able to scrape together the exact amount charged by a taxi or other service provider, but nothing more. If you have to pay only the exact fare upon exiting a taxi, or leaving the hairdresser, do them the courtesy of telling them why you are not leaving a tip. “This is no reflection on you, you’ve been great. But I’m running low on funds right now, and I’ll have to tip you another time.” This will assure the service provider that they haven’t done anything wrong, and will still be happy to see you next time.
Service providers always talk among themselves, whether waiters or taxi cab drivers. If you become known as someone who never leaves a tip, suddenly you will be waiting longer for a called taxi to arrive. Or you may be seated in a section of a restaurant with a brand new or poor-quality waiter. Better to tip even just $1, than become known as a “stiff”.
A lot of waiters/waitresses who don’t work in upper-end restaurants, are earning minimum wage or less. Most restaurants, in fact, pay their waiters only a few dollars an hour, fully expecting them to “make their living” from tips. Even a dollar in a Tip Jar on a counter of a small shop that pays minimum wage, may mean a lot to the employees when they split up the tips at the end of the night.
When times are hard and money is tight, there are other ways to “Tip” your favorite service providers. Wrap some homemade cookies or candy like fudge in clear-wrap, and hand it to them. Or buy an extra Lottery Ticket or $1 Scratcher, and tip your favorite service providers with that instead of cash.
Even if you can’t afford a “standard 15% tip”, thoughtful little Thank You’s like this tell your service providers that you value their service. And they’ll understand that when your finances improve, they will be receiving monetary tips again.