“When To Tip? And How Much?”
The article was listed on the Yahoo! home page right behind news of Canada beating the U.S. in Olympic hockey.
It received feedback from thousands. I received a barrage of web site hits, insults, and even threats. I will not waste time getting into the specifics of the negative items. However, I would like to discuss a few things the feedback brought to mind.
There is a huge gap between what some members of the service industry expect to be compensated and what some members of the general public believe is acceptable. Via anonymous comments, people who claimed to be of the service industry said the suggested tips were way too low, while many consumers said that tipping was optional and felt they should not have to pick up the tab just because many service industry workers are paid below minimum wage.
Not many seem to agree with what the “experts” suggest. I received several comments asking what made me an expert on the subject. Tipping etiquette is not my expertise, so I compiled suggestions as opposed to making them. The experts I went to for suggestions were the Emily Post Institute, Tipping.org, and Tipthepizzaguy.com. BTW – if you want to find out what qualifies any expert, Google is always a good place to start.
People value service differently. I thought the suggested tips were low, but that is because I appreciate and reward good service in my way with my money. “Experts” can weigh in, but ultimately no one can tell any of us how to spend our money. We are all free to tip as we please. Even the experts recognize this, as such each tip listed in the article was preceded by the word “suggested.”
Money can make people angry. In terms of its feedback, the article brought out the worst in some people–the vast majority of which decided to take the anonymous route. I publish frequently and I always use my name. The possibility of criticism, ridicule and in this case, outright hatred comes with the territory. Disagreements are inevitable, but at least they can bring about debate and change. On the other hand, personal insults, threats, etc. do not accomplish anything.
Anyway, if you work in the service industry, are a customer or simply have an opinion about tipping, I would like to hear from you. With your input, maybe we can begin to bridge the gap or at least make each other aware of expectations from each side. Perhaps, we can even send the figures to the “experts.” After all, this has been one of my most popular Investopedia publications thus far, it would be nice to see something productive spring from it.
Note: Unlike the online forums for discussion of the article, this blog is regulated by me. So, comment please and keep it clean!
To read the original article, visit: Investopedia