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Old 05-06-2008, 12:24 PM   #41
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Tipping seems very American to me. It:

- Motivates fast living overall. When I was travelling overseas I would often notice that waitstaff is much slower in places where tipping is not the custom.
- Screws the government: The cash is usually not reported on income tax statements. The poorest workers are the most likely to benefit, which is a good thing.
- Helps mom and pop sit down restaurants: If the tips were priced onto the menu of mom and pop's sit down restaurant, their prices wouldn't look so attractive, and people might be more likely to buy corporate food (e.g. Quiznos) where there's no tip.
- Incentivizes lazy consumption. Bartenders make way way way more tips than people who do useful things like, say, childcare or work on your house.
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Old 05-06-2008, 02:49 PM   #42
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It occurred to me that many folks seem to have much stronger feelings, pro or con, on tipping than I do. I reviewed OP's original post and the attached article. The tipping locations referred to in both were the USA and Europe and generally involved full service restaurants and travel (airports, taxis, etc.) or service providers such as barbers.

That explains it I guess. As middle class, LBYM Americans, DW and I just aren't involved in activties that include tipping to any great extent. I give my long time barber a gift at the holidays. We dine out where tipping is typical a couple of times a month. We travel where bag handlers or other tip-expectors are involved 2 -3 times a year. At this level, it's really not a big deal. We don't tip hotel maids, staff in fast food, buffet or cafeteria restaurants and taxi drivers only minimally (round up only). So, tipping just isn't a hassle or budget line item for us.

I did travel to Europe, SA and Asia for Megacorp during my last few years of employment to facilitate outsourcing. But I frequently had locals with me so I was quickly trained in local tipping customs. I would have just as soon not have to have been concerned about understanding local tipping customs, but it wasn't all that painful. And if I did make a blunder, it was doubtful I'd ever see that person again so..... oh well..... I still sleep OK at night.....

As to the examples some have mentioned where high levels of tipping were required to achieve normal service....... those sure sound like places you wouldn't find us at more than once. Too many choices for travel, dining, entertainment, etc., where you don't have to experience that.
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Old 05-06-2008, 09:23 PM   #43
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I am surprised to see that no one mentioned tipping the maid at the hotel. Am I the only person who tips the maid at a hotel?
Oops! That was an oversight on my part, I forgot to list the maids on my list......and, yes, I tip them as well.
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Also, just thinking aloud, I wonder why America does not tip at your normal fast food restaurant, such as McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell?
One of our watering holes coffee shops that we frequent is the local Hardee's. The folks that work there are the best! They go out of their way to take care of their 'regular' customers. We order and pay, and then they bring our food and drinks to our table. They also check to see if we need refills or anything else, and then they take care of it. We tip them for their extra efforts.....it's not 15%-20%, but at least it's something to show our appreciation.....and they appreciate our tips and show it.
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I thought that it was interesting reading the comments about tipping the bartenders well and then receiving free drinks. I doubt that the bartenders own the bar and therefore are actually stealing the liquor from their employer in order to make more money for themselves.
I have friends who either own, or have owned bars, and they allow their bartenders to give free drinks (at the bartender's discretion). That doesn't mean that everyone and their brother gets free drinks all of the time...or even most of the time. Rather, it's an occasional free drink to an occasional
customer......usually the recipient customers are either 'regulars' or friends of the bartender or owner, or good tippers. One of the bartenders and I worked the same 'day-job' together for years, and I never paid for a drink when I'd go in and climb up on a barstool......it didn't matter if it was the bartender or the owner.....I always tipped whoever served me.
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Old 05-06-2008, 09:31 PM   #44
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Until these people make a livable wage Ill tip. Or until I get too poor then I wont tip. But then I guess I wont be eating there. Thats how it works in the States. When I visit Europe ill make sure I dont tip
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Old 05-06-2008, 09:42 PM   #45
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When I visit Europe ill make sure I dont tip
Whoa....whoa....whoa.... I think in Europe you will tip in some coutries, consult a tourist guide. In Australia, NEVER ever, not even once, tip.
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Old 05-07-2008, 02:35 AM   #46
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In Australia, NEVER ever, not even once, tip.

Yeah - that's right.


Come on you Americans, come out for a holiday.


Come and see the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland (awesome!), our red centre (Uluru etc), our fabulous vinyard areas (Barossa Valley, in South Australia, Hunter Valley in New South Wales, Yarra Valley in Victoria, Margaret River area in Western Australia), our opal fields (if you like hot deserts), our fabulous big cities like Sydney (once described to me by a Norwegian sea captain as having one of the two most beautiful harbours in the world - the other was Rio), our crocodiles and other perilous creatures (Bindi lives about an hour from my home ) (Australia has some of the most venomous snakes, and spiders in the world), our historic convict sites - some with more recent tragic histories (eg Port Arthur in Tasmania), our fabulous clean safe beaches (95% of our population lives along the coast), our gorgeous rain forests and wetlands (Daintree in Queensland, Franklin River in Tasmania, the Kakadu in the Northern Territory) the world's longest sand island covered in forests and pristine clear creeks and lakes fed with spring water 1 million years old (Fraser island in Queensland), view whales at close quarters (Hervey Bay, Queensland), pat a dolphin (Tangalooma at Moreton Island Queensland or Monkey Mia, Western Australia) etc etc etc. Travel here in the airline with the best safety record of any in the world (QANTAS).


Bring your money but not your guns (guns not allowed), but be prepared to pay around USD$6.40 for a gallon of gas...


....and no tipping!!!


When you are freezing, we are warm. When you are warm, we are mild - well except in our snowfields which are apparently larger than the Swiss Alps but I live in the sub-tropics and I have never seen snow so I don't know what it is like.


Just remember - you don't have to tip!
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Old 05-07-2008, 03:20 AM   #47
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I have several Aussie buddies both here in Thailand and also in the Philippines. Theye've often told me that tipping is not the custom back in Oz, but they do seem to be generous enough in the tourist areas (Thailand & Philippines.)

In Thailand outside the major tourist areas, tipping is not the norm except in upscale establishments. There, they add "++" to your bill; one "+" being 7.5 VAT tax and the other "+" a 10% or so Service Charge.

Most service staff Thais (tourist areas) don't equate a tip with better service. In fact they can be quite surly and agressive if the tip was below their expectations. One of my favorite cartoons shows a thai waitress complaiing to a foreigner "I ignore you long time; I want more tip!"

On the other hand, its little wonder who created this monster: I've seen foreign morons play the two-week millionaire and even tip the counter staff in 7-11
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Old 05-07-2008, 03:47 AM   #48
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I have several Aussie buddies both here in Thailand and also in the Philippines. Theye've often told me that tipping is not the custom back in Oz, but they do seem to be generous enough in the tourist areas (Thailand & Philippines.)

I'll bet that is because they are so confused about tipping customs that they over-compensate just to make sure that they don't break any unwritten rules about such.

...or they might have been like my tipping a house maid in Vietnam, knowing that a couple of $ makes such a huge difference to those poor people where the average income is $1 per day whereas the same $ tip in Australia would have negligible effect on someone's lifestyle.

I met a law student in Hanoi who asked me what I paid for a week's accommodation at the Melita Hotel in Hanoi and then told me that he could buy a house in Hanoi for that amount of money. By Western standards, it was a first class hotel managed by the Spanish but at quite a reasonable price by Western standards. The student was not on the make for anything. He was just a cheerful young man practising his English language skills and just wanted to speak to a westerner and learn about our lives.
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Old 05-07-2008, 10:06 AM   #49
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Yeah - that's right.


Come on you Americans, come out for a holiday.

I'd like to visit Australia. But I believe in free trade, open market economics and the current numbers are telling me to stay home and explore the good ole US of A. That's what exchange rates are all about. The dollar has fallen and now it's time for the world to visit us, buy our relatively cheaper goods and all that.

The rates float to help keep everything in balance. When rates were favorable for international travel, that's what I did. But it's going to be less now....It will be interesting to see if other Americans get the same message or if they choose to buck the trend and spend internationally at unfavorable exchange rates anyway. I know Canadian tourism is down. Haven't seen any numbers on the rest of the world.
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Old 05-07-2008, 10:33 AM   #50
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When we go to Vegas, we always keep a wad of bills in our pocket. From the airport, to the hotel, to our room usually costs at least $40 in tips. But we get 'em back at the tables.
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Old 05-07-2008, 05:38 PM   #51
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That's what exchange rates are all about. The dollar has fallen and now it's time for the world to visit us, buy our relatively cheaper goods and all that.

The rates float to help keep everything in balance. When rates were favorable for international travel, that's what I did. But it's going to be less now....It will be interesting to see if other Americans get the same message

Good thinking. Our floating Aussie dollar saved our economy when there was an Asian economic crisis a few years ago. We might have not been able to buy as much stuff from overseas at that time but we maintained full employment because our exports became cheaper on the global market.

We buy a lot of technology from the USA and you are correct to suggest that this is the time for us to buy that stuff. I have recently been buying electronic measuring woodworking tools from Rockler in the USA and fishing gear from Cabelas delivered to my door for about 30% - 40% cheaper than I can buy it in Australia. I wish that it was the same when I bought each of my three Apple Macs and my Mercury outboard motor a few years ago but it was not.
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Old 05-07-2008, 05:39 PM   #52
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But we get 'em back at the tables.

Yes - of course you do. Hahaha!

BTW, every Aussie state capital City has a casino plus there are a few in the minor cities. Is that not the case in the USA? Surely you don't have to go to Vegas for a casino?
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Old 05-07-2008, 07:15 PM   #53
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Yes - of course you do. Hahaha!

BTW, every Aussie state capital City has a casino plus there are a few in the minor cities. Is that not the case in the USA? Surely you don't have to go to Vegas for a casino?

Depends on where you live. Some states don't allow it at all. Others get around some of the old laws by putting them on the water (riverboats that just float a few feet away from the shore for a 3-4 hour "cruise"). Other states allow the native population to run them on their land (reservations). It can be very confusing.
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Old 05-08-2008, 05:42 AM   #54
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I am interested to hear if others tip delivery people, (mattresses, appliances, not UPS) and service people like plumbers and HVAC guys. I usually give $20 when it is a two-person job and $10 when it is a relatively quick fix and involves one person. What do you do?
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Old 05-08-2008, 06:14 AM   #55
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- Incentivizes lazy consumption. Bartenders make way way way more tips than people who do useful things like, say, childcare or work on your house.
I beg your pardon!

Some would argue that their service is more important than most.
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Old 05-08-2008, 07:01 AM   #56
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Australia ... what a great country! The absence of tipping and friendly service contribute to relaxing vacations.

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Fair wages should be paid to people by their employers. The customers should not be expected to pay extra for good service but should expect that the employer will hire and maintain (PAY) people who serve their business and customers well. The argument I have heard is that then the business would have to raise their prices. So be it. It would be equal expense to all and no more groveling for tips.
Yes, I agree.

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I do tip, as things are the way they are in America, but I long for the day that it is outlawed in favor of fair wages for all.... We should put a stop to it, but I do not know how.
Stop tipping. You don't have to play the game. Things can change eventually, but only if the free market is allowed to work properly.

One stupid website: Remember To Tip The Pizza Delivery Driver.

One great movie script: Steve Buscemi's Mr. Pink's rant in the opening scene of Reservoir Dogs.
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Old 05-08-2008, 09:41 AM   #57
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I am interested to hear if others tip delivery people, (mattresses, appliances, not UPS) and service people like plumbers and HVAC guys. I usually give $20 when it is a two-person job and $10 when it is a relatively quick fix and involves one person.

Ya gotta be jokin'! Where does it stop for you poor Americans

Life is too short to have to make those decisions every day!

Next you will be telling me that you tip traffic cops. Well, I suppose that you have to sometimes in places like Vietnam but I would call that more of a bribe than a tip!
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Old 05-08-2008, 10:11 AM   #58
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I am interested to hear if others tip delivery people, (mattresses, appliances, not UPS) and service people like plumbers and HVAC guys. I usually give $20 when it is a two-person job and $10 when it is a relatively quick fix and involves one person. What do you do?
I do too. You would be amazed at what you can get out of it. I had a plumber over recently (paid for by my home warranty company) to do a job in my basement with the sump pump. A $40 cash tip got all my minor plumbing problems in the house fixed.
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Old 05-08-2008, 10:12 AM   #59
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Australians I’ve met in my travels have given me mostly good impressions of what Australians are like (oh my gosh, I’m stereotyping aren’t I?), and left me with the idea that Australia would be a really cool place to visit – the no-tipping culture just got added to the list of reasons why I think it would be neat to spend some time in Australia.

On the infrequent occasions that I eat in a place where tipping is expected, I tip, usually reluctantly. I appreciate friendliness, happiness, and courtesy but I don’t like overly “friendly” service, too much synthetic cheer, discourteous kinds of informality, or the worst - manic enthusiasm. I believe all these disorders are symptoms of the tipping culture.
As a teen, I worked in a non-franchise Mexican fast food place. It was high quality IMO, and very popular. I worked as many hours as I could get, usually after school from prior to the dinner rush through closing – to include accompanying the manager to the bank drop box to drop off the cash after closing. I cooked (yes there was real cooking – this was not a franchise), cleaned, took orders, ran the cash register, hauled garbage, took stock, did prep, fixed problems, trained new people – so my work required many skills, teamwork, communication, a good attitude, and a lot of energy. My pay was raised to above minimum wage but I was still a low paid worker.
I NEVER got a tip and it NEVER occurred to me that there was anything unfair about that. So why is it that it’s somehow mean-spirited to think that waiters and waitresses really shouldn’t be tipped? You can’t convince me that waiters and waitresses work harder or employ more energy or talent on the job than I did at the restaurant where I worked.
True believers in the “from each according to his abilities – to each according to his needs” philosophy may say “Well AJ, you were in High School it was OK to not pay you much because you didn’t NEED much, we’re talking about people whose living depends on their low paid jobs – they NEED tips.” - well actually I did need the money, but what about the college students, the adults, and the single mother who worked there? They didn’t get tips either. And I don’t recall it ever being an issue. I guess a key piece of info that I don’t know and that is probably not consistent across the board is: what are the hourly wages of wait-staff? Do they get paid less than workers in restaurants in which there is no tipping?
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Old 05-08-2008, 10:26 AM   #60
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I do too. You would be amazed at what you can get out of it. I had a plumber over recently (paid for by my home warranty company) to do a job in my basement with the sump pump. A $40 cash tip got all my minor plumbing problems in the house fixed.
I did the same, got the phone guy to punch down three lines for a $20 cash tip. Sweet.

But as for normal workmen in the house my tip is a glass of whatever I have in the fridge. When I was painting houses during college summers, I remember how great it was to get a cool drink on a hot summer day. But stay with soft drinks. We would always laugh at the idiots that tried to serve us beers while we were on ladders painting their trim.
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