Gratuitous Mention: Tipping is Dead

I'm as liberal as the next guy. I enjoy sticking it to the man by watching Keith Olbermann, listening to Pearl Jam, and always taking from the penny tray but never giving back. But there's one societal custom on which I am strongly conservative: tipping.

Tipping Not Allowed sign
Just doing our job, rich people.
Whenever I start to bitch about how I hate the practice of tipping, my dad always tells me a story about when his father went on strike from his job in the 60's, and his mom had to go to work as a waitress, and how his family survived on tips. And while that's very touching, I call bullshit. Because isn't the first question in an ethics class always, "Would you steal bread to feed your family?" Obviously my grandpa's answer was "No." Instead of going to the supermarket and jacking all the food he could, he relied on my grandma's tips. This family history is a source of great personal embarrassment.

Bartenders aren't doing anything so extravagantly beyond their job description to warrant receiving extra money.Now, don't get the wrong impression. I'm not some cheapskate who takes pride in jewing everyone over. Quite the contrary, when I have money, I'm like De Niro in Goodfellas: taking care of everyone, buying drinks, acting like a true gentleman. It's not giving away the cash that bothers me, it's the principle itself.

Let's take waitresses for example. People always say that waitresses' wages are so low because restaurants account for the fact that they will make a lot of money through gratuity. Well, that's not my problem, is it? If a waitress has a problem with her salary, she should take it up with her employer. I'm not her boss. Don't expect me to compensate her because she has a shitty job.

Restaurant billAnother argument is that if a waitress provides good service, she deserves some extra dough. This is patently false. She is doing her job. I'm pretty sure acting in a decent manner is expected of a waitress. If she gets extra money for being nice, why don't I get my meal for free when the waitress is a bitch?

What about the contrast between cab drivers and bus drivers? Cab drivers are usually assholes who put your life at risk by driving like they're Speed Racer. They're abrasive, harsh, and generally have the disposition of a Gringott's goblin (is it exceptionally nerdy to drop in a Harry Potter reference?). Bus drivers, on the other hand, are kind, welcoming people. Usually it's an old man who looks so withered that he could pass for a World War I veteran, or a large black woman whose pants are so tight they look like they've been sprayed on. Regardless of their appearance, bus drivers are the cream of the crop—they can get you where you're going on time, and afterwards you don't feel like you just rode in a Podrace. But in the end, who gets tipped? Motherfucking cab drivers. The entire system is completely out of whack.

Need more evidence? OK. Bartenders. I read somewhere that they expect a dollar tip per drink. Bullshit. You know what I did last night? I drank two forties and watched American Beauty. And had a hell of a time. All for under $4.50. And now you want me to pay $10 to get into a bar, god-knows-how-much on shit drinks, and tip the bartenders a dollar per drink?

Again, bartenders aren't doing anything so extravagantly beyond their job description to warrant receiving extra money. If I go to a convenience store, and the clerk helps me find something, am I slipping him an extra couple of dollars? Fuck no. I used to work at a library. When I had to sit around for fifteen minutes and explain to a 95-year-old woman that the Left Behind books were in fact a fictional series, and the Rapture was not currently under way, did I get tipped? When I would go plead with the homeless people to stop sleeping on the beanbag chairs in the children's area, did I get tipped? When a sweaty, 400-pound man would ask me for the internet porn access code, and I legally had to give it to him, did I get tipped? The answer to all of those questions is a resounding "no." Because I was doing my fucking job.

Like I said, this is a somewhat conservative argument. Maybe I can convince you if I pontificate in the manner of Bill O'Reilly:

Bill O'Reilly talking

TIPPING! Are you insane?! Re-distribution of wealth! You pinko commie bastard! I had sex with three 19-year-old hookers in the back room of a dry cleaners in Thailand, and you know how much I tipped them?! Fucking zippo! This is just another liberal ploy to drive this country to socialism, and re-invigorate the policies of that tyrant, FDR!! You know how much I make every year?! A-fucking-lot! And you know how much of it goes to tipping?! Zero!! THE SPIN STOPS HERE!!

P.S. George Clooney's a douche, NBC News is corrupt, and Barney Franks's a fag. WE'LL DO IT LIVE!!

And if we can't trust Bill O'Reilly, who can we trust? Oh, I know—Dwight Schrute. What are his thoughts on the matter?

Dwight Schrute talking

Why tip someone for a job I'm capable of doing myself? I can deliver food. I can drive a taxi. I can, and do, cut my own hair. I did, however, tip my urologist, because I am unable to pulverize my own kidney stones.

Indeed, Mr. Schrute. Indeed.

C'mon, one more:

Like the article, and agree with it.

But nobody can top Steve Buscemi's rant in Reservoir Dogs.

Nice, tipping is a scam!!

Court Sullivan's picture

totally agree with this. all these bullshit "service industry" jobs drive me nuts. fucking valets that park your car 20 yards away and want a couple bucks?? in addition to a possible parking fee?? bartenders who grab a $1 bud light out of a cooler and want a dollar tip??

of course, any bartender, server, etc will give you their sob story about how shitty the job is, what they have to put up with, and how much they deserve tips, but they all know inside that they're really just trying to protect this ridiculous business model that lines their pockets. newsflash: other people have hard jobs too and don't get tips.

they also get paid more than 4.23/hour

Waitresses make $2.25/ on average in america. look it up.

hi there, you've clearly never waited before.
i am a full time student/full time waitress, and there are no jobs except for waitressing. you are probably middle upper class with a decent job, and good for you. but i depend on waitressing to pay for my college and my living. i work for 2 dollars and 13 cents. if no one tipped, i would not be able to- you know, live. so this is not a sob story, but perhaps a means to live, rather than a complaint. and yes, there are hard jobs without tipping, but they get minimum wage. :)

John Gillespie's picture

Eh, as someone who has worked as a waiter at a place who had regular customers, the regs who didn't tip, I came to their table three times. To take an order, to drop food off, and to hand off a check. That's all a waiter is really required to do. You're tipping to make sure your server will actually care about you for 25 minutes.

Court Sullivan's picture

And that makes sense. Maybe there should be two seating areas (or an option like a card you turn over at your table) for "full service" and "basic service."

well written good sir.

KC Jayfree's picture

I know this is a joke website, but I felt inclined to comment since people seem to be taking this seriously.

To those of you who've never worked a shift in the service industry, it's a fun job, but it's a tough job. You rarely get benefits, paid time off and even the pay is crappy.

Depending on who you talk to, TIPS means To Insure Proper Service, To Insure Prompt Service or To Insure Profit.

I've always said, "If you can't afford to tip, you can't afford to go out." Drink at home. It's definitely cheaper. Or, if you still insist on going out and not tipping, the bars here can jack the prices through the roof like the bars in London. If you really want to spend $10 a beer, go for it.

Would that library be the symmes library? And I'm confused.. Aren't you the 400 pound porn freak?

Casey Freeman should be banned from this site; his works suck, he has no dick, and he is a dumb shit.

Andrei Trostel's picture

That was some random writer bashing, especially considering Casey selflessly delivers to PiC consistently (in blogs and columns) for your amusement and his work is witty and solid.

I know nothing about his dick but clearly we know that you are ALL that's impressive I guess. ;-)

I hate you. Don't bash KC. He's amazing and you're an ass. Please die painfully.

i bet you wouldnt make it through ONE shift at my job without breaking down and crying like a little bitch
not everyone has the opportunities or money to become a fucking lawyer or whatever the fuck it is you do. and whats funny is that as fucked up as our economy is right now i will still make money. my grandfather told me the three businesses that never close are restaurant; people have to eat, bars; because people will always drink, and hair salons; because women will always get their hair done
so hopefully you will be stuck in one these three professions you haughty little bastard
your mother sucked so much cock her pink commie head is shaped like an egg

Pathetic rancid worm of the sweaty, hairy ballsack of society. Your fetid rationale and abhorent platitudes make me sick. Tipping is common courtesy and reward for a job well done. That it isn't widespread is a problem perpetuated by your simpleton mindset. For those who are the top performers in a service oriented society, we depend on "charity" in a low wage atmosphere where the real difficulty is serving you impatient, slack jawed cretins spawned from mumu sporting pigsacks. (most commentors included). If you don't want good service, serve yourself ass-swill forties on the cheap. Certainly you haven't noticed that even professional masters degrees are worth the toilet paper they are printed on these days. You'll change you tune when you "try" to ween yourself from the suckle of your mom's inflamed pig-teets and get a job. I imagine you will only end up re-engorging on the next milk producing nipple you find - bild'o faggotreilly's swollen member.

I am a waitress. I agree we should get paid a decent wage so we don't have to depend on certain people for some kind of money. I wouldn't complain about working in a restaurant. I make bank! But here's my thing about people who don't find the justice in tipping. Eat at home or go to "the golden arch", boycott restaurants and make a point...but the stereotypes and dumb analogies in this column is just pointless. Try writing articles that get the opposing side to understand where you're coming from and maybe you'll be more respected as a writer instead of a douche bag.

Just a suggestion :)

and one more thing- I thought taxi drivers get tipped because they buy their own car and the job is slightly more independent with no direct representation of the business and bus drivers go through training, receive a higher wage, and have benefits because they are driving a bus....

idk maybe if you had more experience in the work force you'd understand but that'll come when you get older.


I'll tell you why we should get tipped: Kids screaming on the top of their lungs and parents don't tell them to stop, people making disgusting messes all over the tables and on the floor, plain ignorance and being impolite and rude, slobs, bending over backwards just to make you happy, being talked down to, getting your clothes and body messy, people waiting until the very end of their meals with no food left on their plates to complain about their meal although I already asked them how everything was two or three times, stress levels skyrocketing, being sworn at for no reason, other people stiffing the bill and walking out, no eye contact, absolutely no respect, I mean the list is endless. Until you have worked at least one day in the food industry, THEN and ONLY then you are allowed to exploit your opinion on the internet or even at all about why we shouldn't get tipped. Oh, and would you like to try and find me a better job in this economy? Until then, Keep your mouth Shut. Thanks!

In principle, I suppose I agree...but I'm not saying that I never tip, I do - but only when I think its deserved. In a restaurant, prompt service and a smile (and a conversation with a cab driver if I don't have my ipod) is something I will tip for, however when the service is crap and your server is Captain Retard, I refuse to tip or leave a token gesture of the smallest coin I have to emphasise it.
A smile will cost you nothing and the tip will be worth it!

And to all those really miserable gits in the service industry who cannot muster a smile or insist on making my experience a nightmare, why don't you get a job where u r on the phone? at least people wont be put out by your miserable mugs..!! also, the pay is crap so you will feel right at home..!!

U some cheap ass to not tip..

Seriously! Even a dollar is too much for u?!?!?!
This article is seriously bullshit.. I tip regularly, cuz I know what it is to work in the (service?) industry.. My dad slogged his ass off at one time supporting my grandma and his 2 sisters working as a waiter.. He quit school after tenth grade and now.. 20+ years later my dad is a wine connoisseur working in the cruise lines as a bar manager getting to tour the Carribean islands, Alaska, Russia,Turkey,Spain,Sweden and every other exotic place..
My family is from India, that one job of his lead him to places and of course hes the one who pays for my tuition n stay in Milan, Italy for a 9 month course..

If I know that I can make even a small difference (such as what happened to my dad when he was young) to the person serving me I definitely would!!

i'm not looking for a cheap dig but i got quite stirred up as i read this.
Firstly, waiters do get shit.
i honestly do believe that they should get tip if they deserve it.
Also, sterotyping cab drivers and bus drivers is totally biased and unfair.
Point to note. If you cant convice people, dont bother. Using the comments of people who boast about their income or insist on being loners do not prove your point.
p.s no gentleman calls himself a gentleman

I don't know what the law is in other states, but in Oregon, 8% of the waitstaff's check is taken out in taxes to compensate for what they ideally should be making in tips. So if a person doesn't get a tip, they are loosing money out of their paycheck.

Whether you could do the job yourself or not is not at issue here. Sure, you could drive your own cab, or make and deliver your own food, refill your drinks at what you bought it for. However, did you know that waitress have to tip-out? This "tip-out" is usually at about 7% or higher. Tip-out means that at the end of the night, the waitress' have to give money to the bartender, the cooks, and the house for doing their jobs. That means, if you order a ten dollar meal, you pay ten dollars for the food, and don't tip, the waitress, out of her own pocket, has to divide $7 dollars out to the bartender, the cook, and the house (in bars, the bouncers or doormen are also included in this list).
Therefore, if you're not willing to show some gratitute for things that you can do yourself, maybe you should do just that, stay at home and do it yourself.

Har de har. That's quite droll.

'Course out here in the wilds of Arizona, y'know ... Fort Stinking Desert:McCain-ville, Brewer Gulch, where the employment laws are so progressive that waitresses are paid $2.99 per hour - the difference between that and the "minimum wage" is to be made up by tips. I've not been in THAT particular situation, I cooked we got paid - and not the sub-starvation wages allowed here.
Take it up with the boss - how do ya do that when it's the law here?
Maybe this OP has never worked a serving job - maybe the OP has never had to work - that would account for the attitude of entitlement presented.
Blow it out ... ...!

Great idea! Everybody stop tipping! Let's start living our lives based on the perceived reality of Tarentino Movies!

Servers and Bartenders will go to management and demand more money to supplement their normal tip income. The management will then report these requests to the restaurant owner who will then either pay his front of the house staff the money they require and cut costs elsewhere (food costs, building leases, normal bills like linens, liquor vendors, wine reps, electricity etc.) or they will tell their staff to pound sand and do it himself. Looks like you will get to eat at home all the time (where I'm sure you have a wonderful selection of hot pockets and microwave burritos) or you can eat horse meat in a ghetto every time you want to go out to dinner.

So, Mr. Jobison, I hope you like eating fast food. That's the business model they operate under and it's profitable for them.

When you and your friends are having your annual Dungeons and Dragons awards banquet at the playplace at McDonald's just think about how much easier it would have been for you to get laid if you had just not posted this and were able to take that one girl out for oysters or steak and not get food poisoning from every restaurant in your neighborhood.

Everyone reading this should post a picture of this turd in the server's station of their restaurants and make sure everyone on staff wipes their ass with his food before he gets it!

I applaud your genius. I am currently printing a picture and plan to take it with me to work in the morning. Thank you for the suggestion.

I started waiting tables in 1990 where the wage is 2.13 an hour plus tips and 20 years later it is still 2.13 an hour plus tips. I was the waitress, cashier and pre-busser plus doing running side work, roll silver ware, clean my section, and do more sidework on this wage. On top that I had tip share based on my sales not tips received. I had tip out the bartender regardless if they made drinks for me or not (they received tips from serving customers but did not tip share with me!). Some managers took advantage and made us do extra cleaning if we had a slow day. I no longer do it and work catering jobs making 15 an hour cause I got tired of working as a slave. Cooks didn't care if they didn't messed up your order and you got blamed cause they didn't work for tips!

you are an idiot. do you realize that most states make it legal to only pay servers and bartenders $2.13 and they do. If you don't want to tip you have two options, 1. pay a great deal more for what you are getting so the establishment can pay a better wage or 2. EAT AND DRINK AT HOME. While i have a masters in med. i had to bartend because jobs are so hard to find and my paycheck, after tax was always $0. so the only money i made was on tips. It is amazing how everyone wants to pay as little as possible for everything, but feel that they should be paid top dollar for what they do, no matter what you do for a living others are paying your salary. So stop being such a cheap ass and hand the person SERVING you a couple dollars.

TiffanyFurey's picture

Wow, you obviously have never waited tables before! First of all, there is a differnce from eating at a fast food place and a resturaunt. When you seek out a resturaunt it is because you want that extra bit of attention and comfort that the people serving you a burger at burger king give you, right? That cost doesnt come free. Maybe they should up the cost of food then. That way they can pay the waitresses more. Then your paying that extra bit even more. At least this way if you have a shitty experince you have the option of not paying that "luxury fee". You try and pay bills with min. wage. If you asked for a wage increase they would laugh at you. And if all the waitresses opposed... where would you eat out?

As for cab drivers vs. bus drivers, you obviously havent taken a bus is Regina, SK. Or driven on the street near a bus even. Those guys are crazy. At least cab drivers drop you off to your house.

However I definitly agree with you about bartenders. They make alot more then waitresses/waiters. And they don't have to do much! I don't think you should have to tip delivery drivers either, I mean why the hell am I paying a delivery fee on top of my food anyways. And you want a tip too? I do tip but I don't really agree with it.

My point is, I seriously think, seeing as you have such a srong stance on this.. that you would benifit from waiting tables for like a month. The shit and people you have to put up with is ridiculous! And when you understand how actually hard it is, you'd appreciate the service alot more!

Just to let you know as a former pizza delivery man for domino's it sucks being a driver as well, we make 5.50 plus tips and have to use OUR gas to bring you your food. we dont get any of the delivery fee either. I used to go through an entire tank of gas nearly every day, i was lucky to have a check 100 bucks on it a week. Drivers are kind of like servers on wheels. We are underpaid, pay for gas, and rely greatly on tips.

just letting ya know

Lol If you ever come to my restaurant and 1) dont tip me or 2) bitch and complain about tipping ..I will remember you and you will either get get something extra in your food or get some cold ass food and some shit service....advice...stay at home if you want good, clean, spit free food, because thats all you're getting if you come to my job spouting that nonsense.

Well, you know what they say - commenting on the Internet is like arguing with a retard, but here goes.

My wife worked as a waitress in Arizona, a so-called "right-to-work" State, several years ago. She made two, count-em, dollars an hour. This was $3 less per hour than minimum wage back then.

In other words, if the world listened to you, she would have legally be making less than the Federally-mandated minimum wage.

Now, true enough, if you really hate your job or work in a service industry job where the base salary is truly terrible, you should work hard on getting an education that can get you out of your condition, but many, many times highly educated people who have spent years in college, have multiple degrees, STILL cannot get decent paying work and wait tables because tips make it possible for them to work hard at providing excellent service to earn a tip that will provide them with something better than minimum wage at McDonald's.

And, regardless, trust me if I ever tried to stiff someone out of a tip, my wife could kick the shit out of me. She has many, many stories of people who stiffed her out of a tip and it was devastating since she relied on them, big time.

i am a waitress.
if you do not tip me, i do not eat.
i cannot change my wages, nor do i, as a full time student, full time waitress, and part time volunteer have time to organize a union in which raises wages would be possible/plausible.
i serve with a smile, i converse, i try to provide my customers with a great experience. i apologize when i fuck up.
and when they do not tip, i do not make my rent. i take it personally. i make 2.13 an hour.

in conclusion- got get a waiting job. do it for a few weeks. see how you feel about waiting and tipping then.

People are ranting and raving about how society would collapse if no one tipped. Actually in many countries tipping is not required and no one tips! Imagine that! This is true of many Asian countries and Australia. Of course you could tip extra if you want, but generally the prices already cover everything (including decent wages).

Tipping isn't the only system that works. Also lots of shitty jobs don't offer benefits and those workers don't get tips either. So while I understand it sucks to get paid $2.99 an hour, you always have a choice to work in a minimum wage job. If the benefits are so amazing elsewhere why do you all become janitors? Because at the end of the day you still make a shitload of money in the service industry.

BTW, I tip everyone except bartenders. Because IMO they are just too damn slow and never really maintain any sort of order at the bar. It is definitely not first come first serve on busy nights.

I'm sorry, but really? Tipping is a great thing. If it was a bad host/hostess or waiter/waitress that's one thing but don't deprive the hard workers something they earn/deserve. I was a waitress for almost 2 years. And tips weren't always the best but we had our times. But you have to stop and think the good ones work their asses off and deserve a little something more. It's sheer gratitude. It's nice. Don't stop rewarding great service because of stupid ignorant things like this. I for one am highly offended by this.

And to all the others that say you can always get a better job with better pay. Stop and think some people just can't afford it and are extremely great full for a job that even pays! Not everyone was born with a silver spoon in their mouth and get what they want.

And personally if no one likes what I have to say then fuck off and go cry to your mommy. I don't care. I'm simply voicing my opinion. Ok. Thanks Bye.

You ever notice how people love dumping on the little guy. My only hope is that karma eats you alive.

jesus christ you are a stupid, spoiled asshole. you fucking middle class douche bags who think they get to dump all over poor people need to just fucking die already. People in low paying jobs don't choose their jobs you dumb asshole, they settle for those jobs. Also, nice antisemitism in the article.

You know, I really can't get a grip on how someone has no empathy for others. You have a person who takes care of your needs, and you decide that when it is up to you, they do not get compensated. Yes, I understand that they have employers that offer such low wages, but that is the only way they can even have that job available in our current financial situation. That is a way of minimizing the employer's wage input. The food service industry is one of notoriously low profit margins, and even if servers could get a decent living wage, the employer is still always pushing them out the door as soon as possible to prevent them from getting too many hours. Fact is, it is a cultural way of life in America that the industry has adapted to. If you believe you shouldn't pay for the service of someone filling up a drink for you, someone preparing it, delivering it to you, and taking it away so you don't have to deal with the mess, then please... Stay home, and make it your god damned self. You can save plenty of your "hard-earned" (dubiously...) money.

Also, quoting Bill O'Reilly REALLY hurts anyones case......

BRA-freaking-VO !!!!!

It's about damn time somebody with common sense wrote a socially important article. Thank you.

Tipping is LEGALIZED BEGGING. This ain't India. Stop yer begging.

When you shook that boss's hand, you agreed to work for those crappy wages.
Don't like em? Why the hell did you shake his hand? It's his duty to pay you. It's your job to serve me well or be fired. I'm a programmer. Nobody tips me when I write good code. Screw the rest of you whining underachievers.

I perform or get cast out. So should the rest of the stinking planet.

And you Union titty babies, same story. Go cry to your mafia pals about how you don't get enough pay for doing robot work like grabbing a bolt and screwing it into a hole, over and over. Then you cry about real robots replacing you? They SHOULD. What kind of fool would pay a human for robot work?

Boo hoo. I want college professor pay for high school dropout work!!!!

And you teachers and cops and other bawl bags, you SHOOK THAT HAND.

If fact, you said to yourself, WOW that is such a shitty salary that I'm gonna study in college for years to earn that little. Friggin brilliant.

And while we're on it, IS THE RENT TOO DAMN HIGH? Then move, you moron!!!

Don't sit there and bitch until the govt subsidizes your poor choice of towns... one that has no employment opportunity. Move like everyone else on earth had to. Why does your dumb butt think we all live where we do? Cuz we moved there to follow a job. You'd know this if you FREAKING EVER HAD A JOB.


You're going to paying for the service either way. You either live in a country like America where you get to choose how much these servers are paid or live in a country like France where the restaurateurs include it mostly in the price of the meal. At least you get to decide how much that service if worth in this country.
Your comments are highly ignorant and shows a great deal of immaturity. I really hope you're not serious. As much as I would love to run into you and give you a piece of my mind I will rest well knowing that some cheap bastard, such as yourself, will have a hard time getting laid with that kind of mentality.

When you disrespected your father I called bullshit.

When you used "jewing everyone over" I called ignorant moron.

Tipping is a social contract in America. Defiantly denouncing social contracts to grab attention may put you in good stead with a few like-minded lemmings, but it makes you look like asshole to everyone else.

Well no one has to tip in reality, but it in the end you would be paying for it anyway if tipping was not a customary thing for proper service. If no one tips, wages will rise for service staff members (people you call waitresses, but I suppose you use derogatory terms for all walks of life) and in turn gets passed along to you, the person eating. So in the end your paying anyway. Maybe you do not go out to eat and will never like to, so good luck with that.

The real reason for "tips" is to allow the waitress or whomever to defraud the IRS. We all know it. Why let this minority get away with theft?

Everyone should "render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's."

If the boss paid them a full salary and forbad them to beg (expect tips) then the full amount of their salary would be reported to the IRS and they would be in a very much higher tax bracket. Boo freaking hoo.

Again, I say, why the hell did you shake his hand if you weren't willing to work for what he said he'd pay you?

Unions and tipping are fraudulent ways to defraud the govt and/or the paying public and/or the business owner by shoving a hand into the owner's wallet and forcing him to pay what the union SAYS. Yet those liars shook that hand just like that crybaby waitress did. Just like that crybaby teacher did when she studied four years to get that crappy salary she's now griping about.

It's all a stinking game these entitlement happy, thieving, beggars play with us.

Beggars on the side of the road report NOTHING to the IRS and often drive away in a new SUV. You should have to go downtown and tell your sob story there and get a national beggar's license... or you should be JAILED for tax evasion.

Anonyomus attention-seeking trolls have no credibility.