I was going to put this in the Life folder, then I decided that it should go here because I don't have a specific etiquette question. I also notice that discussions here seem slightly more flexible and less apt to be locked (hopefully
). This issue has been bouncing around my brain for a while and I decided to throw it out for my fellow ehellions to play with.
I have read many threads about good/bad service and good/bad tipping. I have read the percentage debates about tipping, and read about who/when/how to tip. I have read the tip/no tip debate.
So what I am wondering is...besides giving us something to talk about, does it ever really make a difference?
I can understand how a customer may get some personal satisfaction for denying a server what they feel they have failed to earn. However beyond that, what does undertipping accomplish? Does a server know why they are getting less money? Do they care? Does it teach them a "lesson" or does it just make them angry? Did the customer tip low because they should have or were they just cheap? Withholding any or all of a tip as punishment doesn't seem like a useful tool to ensure better service. OTOH, generous tipping usually seems to encourage goodwill and good service - does that make it an example of "carrot over stick" encouragement or is it more like bribery?If you are a customer
: Do you tip as a reward? As punishment? Out of sympathy because you know how low their pay is? Just because you know you are "supposed" to? Do you expect better service if you are a good tipper? Do you feel justified tipping badly if service is poor? If so, are you doing it to send a message? As an appropriate consequence? Do you expect the server to improve their performance in the future? What's the best service you ever received?
The worst? If you are or have ever been a server or in any job that allowed tipping
: Do you feel you are owed gratuity? In your experience do people tip over, under or just right? Do tips encourage you to improve your performance? Do low tips make you want to work harder, or just make you angry? Have bad tippers been justified or are they just cheap or impossible-to-please SS? What was the best tip you ever got, and what did you do to get it?
Have you ever done anything that even you had to admit probably negated the need for a tip?
I know these are big questions and I'm not looking for The Answer, just answers. I sincerely hope I'm not putting sparks near a powder keg because I know people have strong feelings about this, especially those who have worked in the service industry. I guess you could call this a social-philosophical survey. I am really curious about people's feelings on this, and their experiences that helped shape those opinions.