I Don’t Respect You if You Don’t Tip

Chances are, you go out to eat on occasion or frequent a cozy coffee shop. You’ve probably seen a tip jar or a gratuity line on your check. Sometimes, it may not seem like the barista behind the counter deserves a dollar for ringing you up for your usual or that server wasn’t quite “smiley” enough to earn the full 20% tip. However, not tipping people in the service industry is one of the most condescending and aloof things a person can do. There are an obscene number of excuses for not tipping floating around the world (especially on the internet where anonymity makes it easier to be less than considerate of other humans.) I’d like to take a look at some “reasons” not to tip people in customer service and explain why they’re all bullshit.

“They don’t have to be a server.”

First of all, you have no way of knowing their situation. Second, they ARE a server so, in the meantime, do your part to help them make a living. One of my first jobs was as a hostess in a restaurant. The servers there made $2.13 an hour. That’s roughly the minimum wage in 1975. Yearly income of that pay is $4,430.40 before taxes. Restaurants do this because of the expectation of tips. Not tipping is preventing someone from making a liveable wage. Don’t be that person.

“I earned my money and get to decide how I spend it.”

This is absolutely true. However, going out to eat is a conscious choice. One that you know normally ends in a check and tip. If you aren’t prepared or willing to follow through with that process, cook a meal at home instead. As for many people in my generation that might try to claim that they are a “poor starving college student,” the same goes for you! If you don’t have the money to pay for your meal AND a tip, don’t go out to eat.

“They didn’t earn a tip/they weren’t happy enough/I’m otherwise unsatisfied with my service.”

If you have this mindset, you have probably never worked customer service. Servers, baristas, and people in retail all put up with an incredible amount of crap in their day-to-day job. They work odd, sometimes very inconsistent, hours for barely enough to live on and come home every day smelling like grease, sugar, or dressing rooms. Working in the service industry means waking up knowing that you’ll probably get yelled at today and who knows what disaster awaits when cleaning the restrooms. You’re damn right they’re not happy. Service jobs are miserable and highly overlooked. Don’t be the customer that makes their job even harder. I do realize that some servers can be real jerks, however, rather than stiffing them, tip a lower percentage. I have yet to meet a server who deserved 0%.

Let me tell you, from working in customer service for three straight years (yes, I know that’s not actually a long time), I can’t even begin to explain the joy customers bring when they tip well and show their appreciation for what you’re doing for them. Those are the ones who make the job a little more bearable and, if you’re one of those people, thank you. Continue to be awesome.

Sources: https://www.dol.gov/whd/minwage/chart.htm