Thursday, October 16, 2008

No Squatting. I mean it!

My grandpa does not like tipping and you have to be prepared to hear all about it when he takes you out for lunch to any place other than Taco Bell or Wendy's. Strike that. You have to hear about it there too. You also have to be prepared to slip a few extra dollars on the table when he's not looking because he leaves approximately 2%. After we twist his arm.

But, even though he is kind of cranky about it, he's got a point. I don't like tipping either. And here's why. I don't think people should necessarily get rewarded for doing their job. A server's job is to take my order and bring me my food and fill my water glass, all in a timely manner. Just like my job is to pull on people's ears and ultrasound planters warts. I don't get tipped for doing that. And I think that I could make a better argument for deserving a tip than someone who refills the chip basket, but I'm not. Because it's my job.

Now, I do realize that server's rely on those tips. They're paid practically nothing. I get that. And so I tip. And I tip well. Unless the service was bad and then I don't. I'm not afraid to leave a bad tip if someone who works for their tip does not do their job. Especially here in California where servers are paid higher than most states. But then I was watching Oprah the other day and it was on rudeness and they had this whole piece on rudeness in restaurants. They interviewed servers on what they considered rude behavior, and I agreed with most of it (like that it's rude to let your child run free like a lunatic.) But then one of them said, "I expect 20% or more for a tip. If I don't get it then I consider you to be rude." And that just made me mad. And I got all indignant and started talking in italics at the TV. You expect!? Like I'm working for you? Like I owe you something for doing your job! I don't think so!

And then the very next day I was reading this article and it got me thinking. Wouldn't it be better if restaurants either paid the servers a fair wage or added on a service fee of say, 18% of the bill and just got rid of tipping all together. I especially like the idea because there is nothing more creepy to me when a server is schmoozy with you, and you know it's just to increase their tip. Like when they squat next to you. Ew! Is there anything more disgusting then when a server squats? Here's a tip: don't squat! So, we get rid of tipping and they get paid whatever is fair and we're all happy. Right?

So, what do you think. Tipping? Yes or No. In this festive election season why don't we take it to a vote!

17 comments:

Rach said...

You make an excellent point, Rachel. I hate the feeling of guilt I get when the nice man from the grocery store takes my groceries to the car for me and I don't tip him. Even though I didn't ask him to do it, and I assume he just does it for all the tired looking pregnant ladies that come through (not going to get that service anymore). But I always drive away thinking, am I supposed to tip that guy? Because I don't want to, but I feel so guilty! Anyway, same thing with restaurants. It is satisfying to NOT tip when a server is terrible. It's kind of like telling them in a somewhat non-confrontational way that their service was horrible. I'm always relieved when there's a big group and the tip is included in the price of the meal. Just like you suggested.

hi, i'm nancy! said...

Rachel, you don't know me, but I am the mother of Emily Slusser's sister-in-law, Abby Bowman, who is married to Emily's brother, Eli, and my name is Nancy Bjorkman and if you followed all of that, i'll tip you 20%.

But, hey, listen - my husband and I just got back from Europe and in most of the countries we visited, it was customary to only tip if you were EXTREMELY pleased with the service/food and even then, 10%was the max. Sounds good, right? Wrong. And here's why - they pay their employees a very good wage. Therefore, there is no incentive to offer good service. And believe me, they didn't. We could have DIED over the lousy service in Europe.

So, there you go. Another way to look at this whole thing. All things considered, I would rather tip someone who is motivated to do a good job than not to tip someone who isn't - and has no incentive to.

Jeanette said...

I always hate to tip when they do a crappy job, I don't think they deserve it and should not be paid if they do not perform well. I am right there with you, when they are fake nice and schmoozy - I always want to leave less of a tip because they annoyed me. I want to be left alone while I eat and if they come over for small talk when I am trying to enjoy my meal - that just plain angers me and will also decrease their tip. All you have to do is make sure my order is correct, that you don't spit in my food, and that I have sufficient drink to last through the meal. Don't ask how is it everytime you walk past me - for the love of pete leave me alone i am eating!

Andrea said...

I'm not a fan of tipping but I do it anyway so that I don't feel bad. It seems like whenever I go to restaurants I never have just one server, someone takes the order, another brings the food, and someone else refills the water so who do I tip? I agree with you, no one tips me at my job and I've dealt with a lot of rude people!

Valerie said...

Ugh, I HATE when they squat down next to your table.
The only thing I hate more is when they squat AND are really enthusiastic about your food choice. Like it's some sort of competition to guess the right chicken sandwich and you've just won.
Hate it.

Emily said...

Yes! The other day we ate at Chilis. We don't eat out very often so I was really surprised by how much the server was invading our personal space. I don't remember him squatting in particular, but I do remember thinking how very strange it was that he kept leaning on the table (with both arms) and getting in our face when he would talk to us. Weird. It didn't take me long to figure out the motive behind it. I didn't realize this is a common phenomenon. Icky.

Wendy said...

To make things even worse there seems to be an increasing occurrence of roving entertainment at a restaurant. Just because you stopped to sing by us does not mean I'm paying you. Just because you choose to shove that balloon animal in my child's face and they grabbed it with messy hands does not mean I'm buying it. If I wanted dinner and entertainment I would have gone to dinner theater, not Macaroni Grill.

colleeeen said...

Emily Slusser used to be in my ward. the blog world is small indeed.

Karina & John Calderwood said...

HA! I hate tipping, too. I'm a 15% unless they are REALLY good, like filling my water glass when it is only half-empty and noticing things that I need or may want before I even ask. When I am very disappointed I leave a tiny tip so they get the point. For example, a waitress at Applebee's sat us and then said, "they just gave me 5 other tables, so it will probably be a while before I can get to your drinks". EXCUSE ME? It is not my problem that you have too many tables. I was pretty mad...she was horrible. The kitchen was fast once she finally took our order, but she was horrible. I left her a .50 tip or something. I think tipping is great for those that deserve it, but I don't think it is a right.

Laura said...

I agree to some extent. I do think some servers have come to expect it, and that bugs me. I'm a big tipper when the service is good. It is their job to bring your food, etc...but there are servers that either do it with more speed or accuracy, with with or brings something else a little extra...that's when they get a big tip from me. The thing that bugs me a lot is the "tip jar" concept that works it's way in to almost every establishment. I don't believe the guy at Rubio's who merely punches in my order deserves a tip. He did nothing extra for me. The whole concept of the tip jar just irritates me. I never put anything in them unless someone truly did do something above and beyond.

My other thought is this...TIPS stands for "to insure proper service"...so wouldn't it make more sense to tip at the beginning of your meal instead of the end? That way you'd be saying..."hey there Mr. Waiter...I'm a solid 20%-22% tipper, so you better be good to me". Just a thought!

The Katzbox said...

Weird, I'm Emily Slusser's mother. Are we all 6 degrees removed from Emily Slusser? Here's a tip-I don't believe in coincidences...hmmmmmm...but back to tipping: Yes, do away with it-it's awkward, humiliating, and lots of things can happen-all of them bad. Great entry.

Erin said...

I am all for paying waiters a decent wage and getting rid of tipping altogether. Not that I ming tipping if I get good service, but it would be nice to know that the price I pay for my food is all-inclusive.

I lived in Japan for four years - no tipping ANYWHERE. Sure, the price of the meal was higher, but it was so nice to not have to think about it. And, as is typical of the Japanese, you got top notch service everywhere - even at McDonald's.

Maybe the thing that bothers me the most is that people don't care enough anymore to do a good job. Then, if they do, they expect to be rewarded beyond their regular compensation. Shouldn't we be doing the best we can all the time regardless of how much we expect to get paid for it??

Amanda said...

I have to say that I don't mind tipping at all. I kind of like it in fact. I am with Rach on the whole satisfaction of living a really lousy tip. I once left 8 cents. It was bad. I like a little schmoozing with my service, but so help them if they sit down in my booth!!!!! That is WAY worse than leaning. What restaurant is it that does that? I swear it is in their training because every time I have been, they sit down. Anyone know?
And I'm also with Laura on the tip jar businees. Cause I know that restaurant servers make like $2 an hour which is horrible, but the guy at Coldstone actually makes minimum wage and I don't think there is any reason for an extra kick back for him. Especially if he sings. For heavens sake, I feel like the jar should say 'tip if you don't want us to sing.' I would be much more likely to contribute.

Gina said...

Next time they sing at Cold Stone, I am taking all the money out of the tip jar, putting it in my empty pocket and marching out of there with some dang good ice cream!

Rach said...

I think they train the Macaroni Grill servers to squat. Squat and write their names upside down in crayon. My dad is a really good tipper, but if the server asks him more than once how his food is, he tells them to go away, and usually bumps the tip down a notch. I realized today after taking Jacob to get a haircut that I believe in tipping when scissors and your next 6 weeks of appearance are involved. I am always happy to tip the lady who doesn't tell me too much about her personal life, and today Jacob's haircut lady was really good with him, and actually got him to hold still. So I gave her a nice tip. On the other hand, the last lady that cut my hair at a salon got a crappy tip because she didn't do what I asked her to, and she charged me for a style, which was brushing through it while chatting with another hairdresser about their kids' personal problems.

Em Dog said...

Wow! All these people who know Emily Slusser! That's me! Hi, everyone! Nancy, thanks for the tip on Europe. . .I will remember next I am there. ..errr. . .
Colleen! Hi! Good to see you on here!
Rachel - my sister-in-law's mom follows your blog and I think that's great! Where did you find her blog, Nancy?
And, mom. . . HI!

Anonymous said...

I've been a waitress and I vote no.*