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Ok maybe it isn’t all that secret we all seem to have our own notions of what is and what is not acceptable when it comes to tipping. There are so many professions now that seem to “require” you to leave a tip that we are left wondering what is the magic number to make this guy not spit in my food or egg my house.

I spent 3 years working in the restaurant business doing everything like bussing tables, hosting, bartender, prep cook, expediter, dish washer, and waiter. Making money in as a waiter/bartender is completely dependent on tips. I made something like $2.13 an hour as a waiter, which isn’t much without tips. Depending on the time of day you worked and how well you interacted with the customers you could do good, or bomb horribly. Because of my experiences as a waiter I tend to tip extremely well for good service, like 30% +. If the service was ok they get 20%, if the service sucked they probably get 10%.

You may have seen the recent story in the news regarding the gentlemen who refused to pay the included 18% gratuity because their service sucked (Associated Press). They were actually arrested on charges of theft of service. I didn’t know you could get arrested for refusing to pay someone for crappy service. Essentially it was one of those where the tip was autmatically included and they refused to pay it. It amounted to all of $16.87. In an actually intelligent move the District Attorney has asked for the charges to be dropped. This brings us to the question of what is the generally accepted practice (GAP) for tipping. I have tried to outline below those “PC” amounts and my own philosophy for each of the services.

GAP: 15%
Mine: 10%-30% depending on service received, sometimes even more for exceptional service.

Hair Stylist/Barber
GAP: 10%-20%
Mine: $5 tip (around 50%) – I get my hair cut at lower cost stylists because it is basically just a clipper job but they are providing me an actual service not just putting a plate on a tray and bringing it to me. I make sure to tip well because I go to the same place for service month after month.

Pizza/Chinese Delivery Guy
GAP: 15%
Mine:15% Minus the Delivery fee. They are charging me to have them deliver food so I take that amount out of the tip seeing as the delivery fee is to help offset the cost of gas to the driver.

Taxi Driver:
GAP: 10%-15% of the Fare
Mine: I don’t know I have only rode in a cab once and someone else paid so I didnt’ have to tip. I took a cab from the airport yesterday and I paid $29.50 for the fare and gave $5.50 as a tip.

So that is my rundown on tipping. I tend to tip more than the average in most scenarios but in all scenarios the tip is dependent on the service I receive. If you give me crappy service you get a crappy tip. That is just the way the world should work. If you give me exceptionally crappy service you may not get a tip at all. What do you guys think/do when it comes time to leave the tip?

Photo: (emdot)

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