After ordering a plain coffee without any frufru extras and shelling out a $1.85 for it I looked down and noticed a sad little tip jar starring back at me. It's the very same one that's there each time I visit and like most other times it has a couple of dollar bills and a sampling of coins in it. So what do I do now? I can drop my remaining fifteen cents in and make it an even two bucks this trip or I can pocket it and be about 12% towards my next cup.
Well at this point you may be saying, "Who cares, It's only $0.15" Alright granted we're talking about an insignificant amount of money here, but that's not the point at all. The fact that there's a tip jar there in the first place is what gets me. Am I to assume by leaving a tip today that on my next visit I might expect to receive my java in a fancy imported paper cup? Perhaps upon hearing the coins drop into the offering jar the young girl on the other side of the counter will pick up my cup and whisk it off to my truck then gently place it into the center console cup holder.
No, I don't really expect either of those things to happen. I do wonder though, why so many people expect a tip for simply doing their job. Isn't doing your job what you get paid for?
What about service industry jobs such as waiting tables? By all means, I fully expect to leave an adequate tip provided I receive more than, "Hi, here's your food and here's your bill." Trust me this I understand because I was in the restaurant biz for many years. It used to frost my shorts when the waiters would complain about not getting enough money from the customers. Almost every time, and I stress the word almost, this happened it was because the waiter wasn't doing anything above the normal 'job requirement'. The exception to this was the occasional cheap SOB customer who would stiff them no matter how pleasant they were to them.
This makes me think of something I learned from my mom (no, not the SOB part). On a few occasions I've seen her leave the waiter a small tip, but then call the busboy over and give him a much better tip. She does this when it's the busboy who's busting his backside setting the tables, filling waters and coffee, clearing the dirty dishes... and still manages to be pleasant and the waiter simply takes the order and brings the bill. If you've never done this it's amazing to watch their eyes (busboy's) light up with that 'somebody gives a rip' look.
OK, back to my original gripe. Why does everyone expect a tip these days? Maybe it's because the companies they're working for aren't paying them enough. Sounds like a legitimate reason right? It does unless you consider that they knew what the job paid when they took it.
Take for instance the local take out pizza place. Now in this scenario I have called in my order, driven to their place to pick it up and paid for it. They have taken my order, made the pizza (sometimes it's even what I ordered) and taken my money. That's pretty much all there is to take out pizza. Not a lot of room here for extraordinary customer service, but low and behold when I get there, once again I'm greeted with that wonderful little tip jar. Not paying with cash? Don't worry that's covered too, at the bottom of the debit card receipt is a line to add a tip. Not leaving a tip here is generally greeted with a 'you dirty dog, now I can't buy my school books look'. Nothing like Pizza with a side order of guilt! Ummm...Tasty.
At this point it may sound like I'm a real Scrooge. I'm really not. I mean I do feel compelled to buy Girl Scout Cookies or candy from the Boy Scouts when they hit me with their sales pitch at the supermarket and I've also bought my fair share of wrapping paper and magazine subscriptions for various school fundraisers. So no, I don't think I'm a complete tightwad, I just get tired of tipping out of obligation to everyone in the retail sector.