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Old April 28th, 2004, 01:16 PM
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Default Tipping??!!? Is it just me...

Is anyone else preturbed by the cruise lines' attitude towards tipping?

First of all, anytime a "gratuity" is added to the cost of your goods or service, without your consent, and without regard to whether or not the "gratuity" has been earned, it is a TAX, not a TIP. I cannot choose whether that 15% "gratuity" is added to the cost of my already overpriced alcholic beverage, so I have been TAXED an additional 15%.

Secondly, the cruise lines have brainwashed their passengers into automatically tipping their service personnel. Isn't that what they're already getting paid to do? Isn't that what the $1,000 I paid to take this cruise covers - the cost of goods and services on this cruise? I'm not saying you shouldn't reward outstanding service, but by the same token, if the service is lousy, are they going to give me any of my money back?

Shw351

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Old April 28th, 2004, 01:58 PM
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Default Re: Tipping??!!? Is it just me...

Did anyone see that "Dead Horse" jump this time?
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Old April 28th, 2004, 03:01 PM
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Default Re: Tipping??!!? Is it just me...

The answer to you second question is "no"...you did not already pay it, your $1000 fare is for the cost of your cabin and the cost of food. Soda, alcohol, excursions, and tips are extra.

When you have auto tipping, as far as your dining staff and room service are concerned, you do have the option to have it removed. If it bothers you so much, I would definitely do so.

As far as auto tipping on bar bills, while I don't really agree with it, I can understand it. The bartenders are not part of the dining tipping pool. Therefore, unless they get tips for their drinks, they don't get anything. Too many people stiff the bartending staff as far as service goes. Therefore, most ships have implemented the 15% gratuity already added in.

When you go to a restaurant at home and you have a group of 6 or more, the gratuity is many times automatically included. Why? Because large groups tend to stiff the staff. Apparently, the same must be true of many cruise passengers. I don't really fault the cruiseline...I fault the passengers who came before me who stiffed the staff so much that this policy needed to be implemented.

Pea
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Old April 28th, 2004, 03:50 PM
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Default Re: Re: Tipping??!!? Is it just me...

I'm guessing you work for a cruise line.*
*Note from SHW351 - the above comment was unfair and I regret it. I apologize to Pea and my fellow posters whom I might have offended. In the future, i will try and limit my posts to the topic at hand and refrain from personal jibes. - SHW351

The wages for every person working on that ship are most DEFINITELY included in the cost of your cruise. Along with fuel, food costs, maintenance, etc. The cruise lines would not know how much to charge for a cruise if they didn't know their payroll costs.

It may be true that these people are paid a substandard wage, but that is BECAUSE you tip. Not the reason WHY you should tip.

The cruise lines pay these people a substandard wage because they have guilted you into subsidizing their payroll. If you did not tip for routine, standard service, basic supply and demand would raise wages to the going rate.

Anything I'm required to pay beyond what I've already paid for in my cruise cost is a TAX. Not a TIP. Just another revenue stream for the cruise lines.

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Old April 28th, 2004, 04:15 PM
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Default Re: Tipping??!!? Is it just me...

You sound like you are well aware of the policies and customs regarding tips on a cruise. Your first option is to not take the cruise and choose some other form of vacation where the tipping situation is different.
Would you not tip the bartender, waiter and maid at a land based resort? I would.
Re tips added to bar service, Two points. One, don't you tip your land based bartender or cocktail waitress? Second, I find the comment re drink prices to also be an exageration. Drinks in any decent land based establishment cost at least as much if not more than on a cruise ship.
The alternative is always there for you not to tip (except for the bar service) and on every cruise there is a percentage of folks who rationalize why they won't.
I for one have little problem with the tip structure on a cruise ship with the exception of tipping the maitreD or head of housekeeping unless they have done something specific for me.
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Old April 28th, 2004, 04:40 PM
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Default Re: Tipping??!!? Is it just me...

The cost of the gratuity isn't tax, its simply part of the cost of the cruise.

If there was a mass uprising by cruise ship passengers insisting they refused to pay gratuities any longer, the response from the cruise line would be very simple... The ticket price would immediately go up by $70/person on a 7 day cruise.

Rather than do that, they allow the passengers the choice of reducing the amount they tip if they receive less than expected service, on everything except bar service.

And with bar service, if the service is bad, you're not drinking as much (because you can't get it <G>), and so automatically.... not tipping.

This arguement is surprisingly simple. Those who don't want to tip are saying they'd be happier with higher fares.

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Old April 28th, 2004, 05:10 PM
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Default Re: Tipping??!!? Is it just me...

As previous cruisers know, once you are onboard, you are invited to attend an initiation talk. During that time, they discuss tipping and let you know how low the staff is paid, therefore, you should tip well if you receive good service! We always take care of the staff, and do not hestitate to give extra to those who put forth good effort.

However, I think the cruiselines are getting away with murder!! These people really work hard for many hours, and basically the cruiselines are really getting the good end of the deal! But I just they are just taking advantage of the fact that these people come from poorer countries and would not turn down these low paying jobs, because of the tips.

I wonder what the hourly ratio is between the captain and higher-ups and the lower end of the employee spectrum....

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Old April 28th, 2004, 06:20 PM
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Default Re: Tipping??!!? Is it just me...

I love how when you don't agree with someone, somehow you work for a cruiseline. By accusing someone of that, it makes you look like your argument itself is not worth defending so you go after the poster.

No, I don't work for a cruiseline. I do know how these employees are paid and how a majority of their income (not wages) comes from tips. My fare is lower because of this. If I want tips included, I would go to another cruiseline where the fare is higher but I didn't have to worry about those things.

I find it amazing that people constantly use this argument for cruise employees, but seem to have no qualms with going to a restaurant where the waitstaff may also be paid under minimum wage and have no qualms about tipping. (Psst...guess how many restaurants have their employees pool the tips!) Yes, it's your choice to tip...unless you are in a large group and the gratuity is automatically tacked on! I've never heard someone say "I'm going to stop going to my favorite restaurant because the waitstaff only gets $3 per hr!". Because, we know that although their hourly wage is low, their hourly income is much more because of the tips they receive.

At least the staff on the ship is in most likelihood making a lot more money than they would have in their own country and getting room/board and food for the length of their contract. I would bet they even get health coverage. Most send the money they make back home and their families have a higher standard of living than they would otherwise have if they tried to get a job in their own country.

Pea
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Old April 29th, 2004, 01:02 AM
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Default Re: Re: Tipping??!!? Is it just me...

First, I apologize for my earlier comment.

And to clarify, I apply my "non-tipping" policy on land as well as at sea. (I may be an a-hole, but at least I'm a consistent a-hole.)

Waiters get no tip from me if their service is just average. When I tip, I'm a generous tipper but I only reward the standout and exceptional. Rewarding poor or just average service with a tip only reinforces the work ethic that says "I only have to do the minimum to get by."

My pizza joint already charges a delivery charge, so the pizza delivery guy only gets a tip if the weather is bad and he delivers me a hot pizza. I'm more than happy to tip in those situations. (By the way, I have been both a waiter and a pizza delivery guy.)

As far as cruise pricing, if you're saying that cruise lines are truthful in the way they present their cruises, that is, that the price I pay for the cruise includes transportion to and from a given destination, space on their ship, and moderate food service - but not housekeeping, waiting services, or any of the other services they "suggest " I tip for - then cruises are WAY overpriced. It would be like checking into a hotel, and the front desk says, "Oh, by the way, you'll need to wash your own sheets, make your own bed, and clean your own room." Or like going to a restaurant, and they say, "You can eat here but you're going to have to wash your own dishes, cook your own food and bus your own table." That's ridiculous. It's understood that the price you pay for your hotel room or your restaurant meal, includes those basic services. It's the same with cruises. Basically, they are a floating hotel and restaurant. The price I pay for the cruise includes those same basic services.

That a cruise line would admit in their orientation (never happened to me) that they knowingly underpay their employees and they expect me, the cruiser, to make up the difference is amazing to me. Again, this goes back to my basic premise - they get away with it because we, the cruiser, continue to subsidize their payroll anytime we mindlessly stuff money in an evelope, or sign up for a pre-tipping deal, just because they say we should. No other service industry (besides restaurants) operates like this. Think of the backlash that would occur if your dentist, hospital, grocery store, gas station, veternarian, department store, etc., pulled the same crap.

Cruise lines pay select employees inferior wages BECAUSE we tip. They are not the reason WHY we should tip.
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Old April 29th, 2004, 08:16 AM
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Default Re: Tipping??!!? Is it just me...


shw351:

"Waiters get no tip from me if their service is just average. When I tip, I'm a generous tipper but I only reward the standout and exceptional."

Please (if you don't mind) define what your definition of "average" and "exceptional" service would be.
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Old April 29th, 2004, 08:30 AM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Tipping??!!? Is it just me...

You are in fact one of those people who uses incorrect logic and assumption to justify a position they won't admit to. YOU ARE A CHEAPSKATE.
Whether on a cruise ship, pizza guy, waiter , bartender , whatever and whereever ,the price you pay for the product (cruise, pizza, meal, drink), is only nominally at best (if at all) passed on the the "server" . Cruise ships are no different than restaurants or pizza delivery. You are simply using logic that the rest of society does not agree with to be a cheap person.
I hope you don't go back often to the same places or call the same pizza shop for delivery, for in my neighborhood you would be hard pressed to get service at all.You would be eating a whole lot of cold pizza and drinking a bunch of crappy drinks once you were recognized as a non tipper.
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Old April 29th, 2004, 08:30 AM
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Default Re: Tipping??!!? Is it just me...

You know what would be really cool? If CruiseMates could institute automatic sound effects, like some of the ads, any time this issue came up we could be treated to a couple choruses of Devo's "Whip It". Then maybe we'd think twice about responding.

Tipping is not consistent worldwide. It's unheard of in Australia, and absolutely expected in the US. That causes some misunderstandings. Some of those people who have a low hourly wage in fact do quite well - they're low wage puts them in the low-or-no-tax bracket, and most of that cash goes unreported at tax time. Their equivalent wage, if everything was fully taxed, would really be quite high.

As far as the 15% on drinks goes, it saves me money. I get dinged 75 cents on a 5 dollar drink, when I'd ordinarily duke the server a dollar. I figure I'm ahead on the deal.
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Old April 29th, 2004, 10:25 AM
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Default Re: Re: Tipping??!!? Is it just me...

If the cruiselines worldwide rasied the wages of their service employees, but passed the cost along to you(whatever they pleased it to be) by rasing your total cruise fare, thus eliminating theout of pocket tipping expense would that make everyone happy? I doubt it. For me tipping is no real big deal, i figure it into my cruise budget. I do not use the automatic tipping feature, i use it as a guide a place to start. IF i receive exceptional service i will tip more than the suggested amount if i receive less than steallar service i will deduct from that suggested amount, simple, easy.
I am not a huge fan of the 15% bar bill gratuity - but i do understand it.
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Old April 29th, 2004, 01:12 PM
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Default Re: Tipping??!!? Is it just me...

A-hole said it all!

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Old April 29th, 2004, 03:54 PM
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Please put me out of my misery. I'll tip you generously!!!!!

Regards,
Thomas
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Old April 29th, 2004, 03:54 PM
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Default Re: Re: Tipping??!!? Is it just me...

Ahhhh. Isn't the free and open exchange of ideas wonderful.

Arlene - Great question. What I consider to be standout and exceptional service can change from restaurant to restaurant. I wouldn't apply the same standards to a chain like Applebee's, as I would to a full-service steak house with a wine list. I do that because chains like Applebee's don't necessarily have the same opportunities to provide outstanding service as my steak house. For instance, if my waiter exhibits some knowledge of wines and recommends a good wine with dinner, he scores tip points. At Applebee's, no wine list. No opportunity for tip points.

But the basics are:

If my waiter can convince me his entire reason for existance is to make sure I enjoy my meal, he scores tip points. Yes, I realize he has other tables but I want him to make it seem as if I'm his only table.

If a waiter offers coffee with dessert, but the coffee doesn' t appear on my bill. Tip points.

If something goes awry in my dining experience, and my meal is comped, I tip.

There was a waiter at Dick's Last Resort in Chicago who had a great sense of humor and made me laugh. Dick's is just a picnic table and butcher paper tablecloths joint but I still got attentive service.

Taking responsibility for the quality of preparation of my food. I realize it's the cooks who are responsible for the preparation of my meal, but if my food isn't prepared properly and my waiter "owns" that problem with a "the buck stops here" attitude, even though it wasn't his fault - big tip points. I love that one.

I make sure the hostess gets tipped if I'm on a romantic date, and the hostess seats families with small children in another section, even though there are tables open in my section.

I've tipped the waiters at other tables because they attended to my needs when my own waiter was nowhere to be found.

Or, it can be as simple as just not pissing me off:

A positive personality can do it. I can empathize if my waiter is having a bad day, a personal crisis, or his dog ran away - but I don't want to hear about it. I'm not having a bad day. I'm the customer so suck it up, stop your whining, and do what you're paid to do. If you're so emotionally distraught you can't function on your job, you should be at home.

If I tell you my fork is dirty, don't take it from me and examine as if I'm making the story up just to give you something to do. The waiter who takes the errant fork from me without looking at it, and immediately returns with a full set of utensils wrapped in a clean napkin scores tip points. I had one waiter (at Applebee's) who brought fresh utensils for the entire table. I thought that was nice.

I realize I'm in your casual style restaurant and fun is part of the atmosphere, but if you address me by first name and I ask you not to, please don't.

Arlene - Need more?

PapaBill - Cheapskate! Ah, come on. You can do better than that. I've been called lots worse. All I ask is that you examine my tipping philosophy as it compares to your own. Consider it the next time you're in the dental chair having your teeth cleaned by the hygienist, did you tip her? Why not? Consider it the next time you're in McDonalds and you see that senior citizen on fixed income cleaning tables, did you tip him? Why not? Consider it on your next cruise, unless you tip every service provider on that ship, you're being inconsistent with what you say you believe about tipping.

LisaK - Actually, yes. I would prefer a cruise pricing structure which reflected adequate wages for the service providers. I believe it's more civil, and, if I may say so, morally appropriate. Supply and demand, even as applied to wages, functions quite well in every other industry in America. The price of that tube of toothpaste you purchase at the discount store, reflects the adequate, living wages of every person involved in getting that tube of toothpaste into your hands. There's no reason to expect the cruise industry would be unable to operate in the same fashion.

To know one in particular- I'm aware that the cruise ships employs people from all nationalities. And the standard of living isn't what we enjoy here in the United States. But that is no justification for the cruise lines to pay them less than a living wage. In esscence, the cruise lines are exploiting and oppressing these people. Buy subsidizing the cruise line wages by tipping, you're aiding the cruise lines in their oppression. If you didn't tip, cruise lines would have to raise wages to keep help. People throw a big fit because their $100 running shoes are made by underpaid labor in Taiwan, but think nothing of booking passage on a cruise line where the same thing is taking place. If I sound like a zealot, I am. I believe it is morally wrong for an employer to pay his employees less than a living wage. And I believe it is morally wrong for an employee to provide anything less than an honest day's work for that living wage.

To those of you who have shared in this discussion, thank you for your viewpoints and for listening to mine.

Post Edited (04-30-04 01:29)
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Old April 29th, 2004, 04:09 PM
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Default Re: Tipping??!!? Is it just me...

i tip according to service at the end of the cruise the service was poor that's how i will tip as far as the bar is concerned it's included in the price of the drink or i find another bar it's my cruise noting is going to ruin it
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Old April 29th, 2004, 04:16 PM
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Default Re: Tipping??!!? Is it just me...

shw351 -

You do realize that many of the points you made are not necessarily within a server's power to grant. Some establishments do not allow servers to give free coffee. Since systems have been computerized, at many places servers must enter anything they serve the customer into the system. If something is on the customer's table that is not in the system, the amount may come out of their check.

Most servers do not have the power to comp your meal, or any part of it. That decision normally comes from a manager. Why penalize a good server because a manager won't comp you? Tip the server for the good job they've done and never return to the restaurant if you don't care for the management.

As far as the preparation of food, I'm curious. If something comes out incorrectly (say you wanted your steak rare) and you have to send it back and your server apologizes profusely and returns it to the kitchen without question, have they fulfilled your "requirements".? They took ownership of it, didn't argue about it and promptly made sure the situation was remedied.

I don't expect miracles from my waitstaff (especially when most are being paid under minimum wage and rely on tips to survive). I expect to get the meal I ordered, the way I ordered it and at the right temperature. If my food is cold, chances are it is the server's fault...I've seen food waiting forever for someone to pick it up. If it's overcooked, it's not my server's fault and as long as the server takes the food back without any argument or hassle, I don't see where I should hold them responsible. If my server fills my soda glass before it is even empty, that's a plus. As long as they come by and ask if there is anything we need and I get a refill promptly, that's good service. If they never come back to my table and I never get a refill, that's bad service.

Pea
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Old April 29th, 2004, 04:33 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Tipping??!!? Is it just me...

The waiter that offers (and serves you) coffee with desert and doesn't charge you for it is earning "tip points" from you by stealing from his employer. Great behavior to encourage through tipping. It's not his coffee to give away in return for tips.

My dental hygeinist is a $40-50, 000 professional and it is not customary to tip professionals at this level. (but who says she does not periodically receive a generous gift from me). The senior citizen working at McDonalds is a full salaried employee also covered by benefits. This is not a $2.25 per hour restaurant waiter whose livelihood depends on tips , or a highschool kid who delivers pizza for the tips and no other pay.

Your tipping philosophy will not change the world. You remain a cheapskate justifying that behavior with high sounding moral arguements.
You are certainly entitled to your opinion and to the consequences of your actions.
Like I said, don't call the same pizza guy too many times. And yes,as you stated , I'm sure you have been called worse.
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Old April 29th, 2004, 04:55 PM
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I agree with Papa Bill 100%......................

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Old April 29th, 2004, 05:25 PM
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Default Re: Tipping??!!? Is it just me...

But seriously, how 'bout them Red Wings???!!!!
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Old April 29th, 2004, 05:27 PM
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Oh, and by the way, apparently it IS just you.....
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Old April 29th, 2004, 05:48 PM
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shw351:

Thank you for clarifying your expectations.

I just want to point out to you that the very points you make regarding cruise ships apply to restaurants in the US. Servers are not paid a living wage to wait tables. $2 per hour is not a living wage and that is pretty much what the restaurants pay wait staff. Having said that it becomes obvious that servers rely on tips. Just as the wait staff and cabin stewards on cruise ships do. And I would also point out to you that restaurants do the same with bus help. Wait staff in most restaurants must contribute part of their tips to cover bus help and hostess/host. So while you may use the argument that cruise ships exploit workers they are only following the same practice as US restaurants. One more point about restaurants. If a table "walks" without paying their bill, guess who has to pay for that? Your server.

Just my thoughts,

Respectfully,

Arlene
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Old April 29th, 2004, 10:16 PM
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Default Re: Tipping??!!? Is it just me...

PapaBill is right on!

SHW351 is going to tip a waiter because he steals product from his employer and gives it to him/her? Go ahead and reward the employee for stealing, the behavior you are encouraging will eventually cost him his job. Then what will you do?

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Old April 30th, 2004, 01:38 AM
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Default Re: Re: Tipping??!!? Is it just me...

This is turning into a circular argument so I think I'm going to bail, people.

But this has been fun. I guess that's why they call it the gripes section.

Would you believe me if I said several of you have made some points that have caused me to reevaluate my tipping philosophy? Really! Thanks again.

I think belgique said it best - it must just be me.

Happy cruising, everyone!

shw351

Post Edited (04-30-04 05:10)
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Old April 30th, 2004, 02:14 AM
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Default Re: Tipping??!!? Is it just me...

Arlene, thank goodness in Canada we pay our servers minumum wage( in BC) it's 8 dolllars an hour. In Canada it would be ILLEGAL to force an employee to cover a diners bill( who skipped out without paying) . Are you sure you do that? It sounds terrible to me, I can't believe that one.

Every country is different. We all know that tipping is a very strong American thing, I mean we do tip here, but not way you guys do, you tip for everything! In Europe and Australia tiping is also not neccesarily the norm.

We tipped the required amount, we enjoyed the service we recieved, but we didn't feel the burning need to tip extra just becuase somone smiled at us.
Americans really have strong feeling s about tipping, I haven't quite figured it out, I do know that I teach my children to do the best that they can at what ever they do, and not just to get " extra " money, there is such a thing as being proud to do a good job, just for the sake of doing your best.Is this something that is getting lost in the push for "extra".

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Old April 30th, 2004, 08:29 AM
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Default Re: Tipping??!!? Is it just me...

PG.

Yes, I am sorry to say it is true. Of course this practice varies between restaurants. But it is a common practice. It is not illegal because restaurants don't have to pay min wage.

Arlene
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Old April 30th, 2004, 09:05 AM
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Arlene that is terrible, what on earth is a little watiress to do if two big guys decide to skip out o fthe bill, tackle them? It seems to put the onus on the employeee to put their well being at risk for the the employers money, sort of like a gas station attendent should put himself in front of a bullet to prevent a robbery. I'm sorry that is just wrong wrong wrong.May be that is why tipping is so important to you guys , because the employers are such jerks paying low wages and making the staff take the fall for them.
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Old April 30th, 2004, 12:03 PM
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Default Re: Tipping??!!? Is it just me...

Whether the waitress is paid minimum wage or $2 an hour, she would still be responsible for the bill if someone skips out, so that part is really not a valid argument concerning wages.

Some waitstaff at some establishments make amazing tips. If it's a busy restaurant with hefty prices, waitstaff can get hundreds of dollars in tips per shift. Many people would rather work for tips than be paid a higher salary. I've known a number of waiters/waitresses who felt this way. I mean, would you rather make $100 in tips in an 8 hr shift or $50 in wages? If they can get both, that's great.

Pea
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Old April 30th, 2004, 12:05 PM
cantw82cruz
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Default Re: Tipping??!!? Is it just me...

As one person pointed out, in Canada servers are paid minimum wage so they are usually earning $7-8.00/hr and I guess that is where some of the confusion about the intense pressure to tip comes from. We do tip for good service but I don't feel like it is my responsibility to make sure that they earn a decent wage because they are earning minimum wage. While it's not a great wage, it is the same as a pump jockey or retail store clerk and you are not expected to tip these people although they do wait on you. Finding out that servers could be earning less than $3/hr does help explain why some people get really excited about tipping in America but they should understand that people come from different countries where servers are paid an appropriate wage and therefore a tip is considered icing on the cake.
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