Ummm…before I dive in to my post, let me sound a warning! My opinion is simply what it is, an opinion…and it might be quite unpopular. Before you pick up stones to cast at me, please read to the end… If after that, you still feel I deserve a face full of tomatoes and eggs, please kindly stir me right with your thoughtful and informative advice. I’m just trying to understand something I’ve been musing over for years… Thanks!
I really don’t get the concept of giving tips to workers in the service industry, like waiters, drivers, delivery personnel, hairdressers etc. If you’ve been given a bill, surely payment of your bill should be enough to pay for the services rendered and compensate the service personnel too.
I think that the culture of tipping actually promotes the greed of establishments who underpay their staff! If they are working for tips and not a wage, then the employer has handed over the responsibility to pay fair wages to their workers to their customers, who are already paying a padded bill to the establishment.
I find it especially distasteful when the establishment is a very expensive resort, hotel or restaurant. I mean, how poorly must they be paying their workers for them to still be asking (or begging) for change from the customers who frequent those places. Can they not afford to pay them well?
I think service establishments should pride themselves in being able to not only pay good wages to their workers, but also to give them added benefits, like commissions and health cover. This should be their appeal for clientele, that their staff are happy and well looked after, rather than have their customers pinch their pockets for change to give wide-eyed and disgruntled workers. Sometimes, as is the case for hotels, tips are given continually for almost every service rendered. For the baggage handler, the waiter, the cleaner, the customer service agent, the door man and so on. Really? Where does the money from your bill go to???
Granted, many service establishments are not so well-off to offer such benefits to their staff. But minimally, every employer, whether in corporate or service industry, should be able to fully compensate their staff, regardless of tips. And if people love the service so much, they can freely tip (as I often do), without anyone breathing down their necks to do so… Without setting a limit on the ‘gratuity’ and without being made to feel guilty if they cannot afford the tip, or do not feel inclined to give! After all, it isn’t charity, it’s business!
In cases where the company is a one-man business like a taxi driver, plumber or hair dresser, they ought to just add the ‘tip’ to the bill and make it official, rather than leaving it as a ‘voluntary but expected’ addition that is in fact demanded. And we should all stop haggling with such entrepreneurs, knowing that they need the support to grow their businesses to the point that they can afford to pay any staff in their employ well!
So, that’s my perspective. Am I really the only one who feels this way? Please share your thoughts with me…
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