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Saturday, January 9, 2016



Vacation was great.  It is always good to get away to a change of venue.  The one thing that I don’t like about a change of venue is the need to tip.

I hate the tipping.  I understand the need to tip, I dislike not knowing when and how much to tip.  In general, I play it safe and tip a little more than I should.  This behavior all goes back to a visit to New York City when I was eighteen.

A group of us went to a Greenwich Village bar where we acted like big shots who could actually drink alcohol legally. 

You could drink legally at eighteen in New York at the time.  In New Jersey you had to be twenty-one, so jersey teens went to the city to get legal booze. 

Eventually New Jersey dropped the age to eighteen as well.  They changed it because Jersey kids got drunk legally in New York and then got killed returning to Jersey half in the bag.  They figured it was safer to keep them drunk in the state.  Not long after both states decided to make the legal age to get drunk and drive twenty-one.

Anyway, we went into the city to drink and listen to “The Crickets.”  Buddy Holly had died years before, but we still thought it was cool to listen to “The Crickets.”  At the end of the evening, we paid off the check, probably about $60 and left a dollar tip.  We had no idea, and actually thought a dollar was a good tip.  The waiter thought different, and I expect he was prepared for a bad tip based on the level of sophistication we must have demonstrated throughout the night.

New York City waiters do not mess around.  This guy stopped us before we even put on our coats. 

“Uh excuse me boys, this is not enough!”

“Oh, sorry, here’s another buck.”

Waiter shaking his head, “Uh, no, stills not enough.”

Looking really foolish, “Er, how much is enough.”

“If you were satisfied with my service you would be expected to leave at least $12.”

“Oh yeah, of course.”

We were able to scrape up the cash, but I never forgot the humiliation.  Today, in general I over tip.


  1. I used to tip 15%, then, when I got a little more flush, 18%.
    But the math got a little tough, so I went to 20%.
    I understand the necessity for tipping.
    I was in the restaurant trade for almost 20 years.
    That was back when a dollar or two was a good tip... unless you were in the city, where the pushy waiters are.

  2. Someone once asked a New York waiter what time it was & was told,"You aren't my table!!"

  3. I get irritated by the "discretionary" service charge added to the bill in some restaurants.

  4. Hi Cranky Man,

    We tip over in the UK but it is not mandatory as it is across the pond. On my visits to the States, I have ended up being embarrassed because of it - I didn't know the proper etiquette. I once saw a waitress in a diner throw a massive wobbler because a customer hadn't left a tip. "Was I that bad? She screamed, scaring the bejesus out of the other diners". She was our waitress too so I overcompensated, mainly out of fear.

    I also got told off by a valet for not tipping him. I had no idea you were supposed to tip these guys. "It's customary to tip," he snarled. "Sorry I'm from out of state," I said in my best sarcastic voice. It only antagonised him more.





  5. We don't tip out here because our basic wage is a decent amount, but I've noticed lately more than a few newer establishments have placed tip jars on the counter near the cash register. I don't tip.

  6. I tip 20% because more often than not my waiters are young people, perhaps students, perhaps single mom's etc, and I figure they need the money more than I do. And taking it a step further, I hate haggling price. I wish ALL merchants would just post a fair price and let it be. You buy it or you don't. "We price match"....yeah, but not with online merchants, or box stores, etc. BS!

  7. Sweetie and i both overtip at a sit down restaurant. Tip jars bother me, though, because most places with those aren't paying just tip minimum.

  8. My date and I were pursued out of a restaurant by a waiter who wanted a bigger tip. I moved along and let them settle it.

  9. I have no problem tipping and generally overtip if the service was good. I cut my expenses in other areas. I would have been embarrassed as well, but that is part of growing up, is it not?

  10. I tip 20% of the whole dollar and then round to the nearest dollar. So if the bill is $25.22, I will tip $5.00 to cover the $25 portion at 20% and then another $.78 to round up to the nearest dollar, making the total bill $31.00.

    Hope that makes sense! haha

  11. When I was younger (and poorer) I used to tip 15%. Of course, back then I went out to restaurants a lot less than now.

    I tip around 20% now, and often more if the service is really good, if I'm hanging out for a long time ("booth rent"), or if it's a holiday, or I just like the wait person.

  12. We usually double the tax and round it up unless the service is bad. Then we make a statement.

  13. I over tip because I worked as a waitress part time when I was in college. The base pay for service is ridiculous. I would rather they just pay waiters a decent wage and eliminate tipping but doubt that will ever happen.

  14. A number of restaurant chains are instituting a "no tipping" policy. I wonder how that will work.

    1. I think Ivar's in Seattle have done that at their locations, and apparently the staff say they are making more money, what with the higher salary and the fact that many patrons still tip.

  15. I was not so conscious of the tip until I worked for the unemployment office and found out that it was considered part of their minimum wage. Not that I'm a big tipper. But it's always at least 15%, sometimes 20%. We're a bit more lax about tips here in the midwest.

    My mom always thought $2 was the right tip. No matter what the bill, or what the restaurant. When she took us out to eat, I had to tell her that I'd get the tip, and then let her walk away while I put out the right amount.

  16. My wife was a waitress when she was in grad school, at a chain called 'Cattlemans' in the bay area. She was fired one night when a party of 10 or so had dinner and drinks that amounted to a couple hundred dollars, and left some change for the tip. She picked it up, went to the door where they were outside, tossed it to them saying "you must need this more than me."
    She came home that night early.


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