Calexis

Everyone these days seems to agree that salaries for service jobs are too low, particularly in the United States.  Many states are now increasing their minimums.

In the U.S., the community seems to support those jobs through tipping.  Tipping is kind of a perverse kind of payment.  Wait staff in the US expects tips in the 15% to 20% range, sometimes even higher.  This is confusing for people visiting that market and not used to such added service costs.

Other countries in the world pay service personnel more appropriately and as a result customers do not feel the need to compensate by tipping.  Often there is a service charge added to the bill., We recently saw 10% added to restaurant bills in Asia.

Tipping is just directly downloading a salary to the customer so you can appear to have lower prices for the goods or services.  The way ATMs or on-line shopping are downloading services to the customer.

When on-line shopping in the U.S., make sure to slip your computer a little extra RAM for doing a good job.

While one can choose to tip or not, the wait staff in a restaurant are conditioned to feel entitled to their tip, regardless of the quality of service.

In Canada, we generally tip lower amounts than in the U.S.  I once hosted a business dinner for about 10 people and left what I thought was a generous $100 tip.  However, the waiter deemed it to be an insult because it was marginally less than 15%.  He chased me out of the restaurant to ask for more.

I figured that spending an hour or so of his time was really not worth that much and quite frankly was totally flabbergasted that he would be offended.  And the service was not that good.  I am sure others have had similar confrontations.

Another situation that totally peeves me is when finishing a golf game.  Players clubs are immediately pounced upon without request and given a cursory wipe with a wet rag.  After which a tip is required.  It isn’t a service asked for, and it only takes one minute.  Yet the wipers feel entitled to a tip.  Such a first world problem, I guess. But it reduces the wipers, usually middle aged men, to being equivalent to street beggars in the third world.

Downloading the entitlement so the customer has the responsibility to pay service personnel rather than the employer is a risky move for the employees. It means the staff payment is reliant on the buyer’s whim, economic situation, nationality, biases and many other variables out of their control.

Studies show that the prominence of tips as part of an economy indicate levels of corruption.  I am not sure this is always the case. However, most workers in other fields would probably not like to rely on “the kindness of others” for their income.

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