I just read over the post that I had writen, and it seems quite harsh, moreso than I had intended. My original intent was to inform people of the reason for tipping your server, and the pay structure that is behind it. My father, who is a very nice man, had no idea what servers made, and what was the idea behind tipping. He was under the impression that it was just an added bonus on top of what the server was already making. He was really shocked when he discovered the reality of the situation. I thought that more people could benifit by knowing how things really work as well. In most places, it is forbidden to ever discuss a tip with a customer; as the post mentions how the server followed the customer out into the parking lot to complain about the tip. This is a no-no... and in most places, as server gets fired for that; and rightfully so.
I guess my real gripe, and probably the stem of so much hostility, comes from the many posts that I read on this subject from people who refuse to tip, no matter how good the service is, and if the server doesn't like it, they should simply get a better job. These are the same people who are the first to complain about bad service, but it is the tip that insures the good service. The tip is 'payment' for the service you recieve, not a little added bonus that you hand out like welfare or something.
In closing, I would like to say that I think that tipping is a valuable part of the service industry, simply because it makes your server strive to be the best. A good server knows that if they do a great job, they will recieve a good tip, and it makes the server provide the customer the best service that they are capable of. This system gives the customer control over the level of service they recieve, and the ability to reward hard work, or punish poor behavior; whatever the case may be. This is a good thing, and a custom that is both good for the customer and the employee.