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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tipping points

Based on my latest poll, my readers are a generous bunch. Out of 62 respondents, only 2 don't tip for their pizza, while 55 tip pizza drivers and 5 tip even when they pick up.
Personally I don't like those tip jars on restaurant counters. It's like nonverbally asking for a tip, and I don't think people should ask for tips. Street musicians and lounge piano players are excepted from the rule, but that's about it.
I consider myself a fairly generous tipper, but I really prefer they way they do it in Europe, and probably much of the rest of the civilized world, where a service charge is included in the bill, and no tip is expected. Takes the guesswork out of it.
And it's mostly the guesswork that I don't like - either not knowing whom to tip, or how much is appropriate. Like on those rare occasions when I go to a full service gas station. Sorry, I'm not tipping somebody for pumping my gas. I'm already paying more at the pump at those places, which is why I try to avoid them in the first place. And yet I always feel a bit uncomfortable not tipping, because maybe I'm "supposed" to tip the guy.
And not to sound like an old geezer, but I'm old enough to remember when "full service" meant that they didn't just pump your gas, they cleaned your windshield and offered to check your oil. For that, I might tip. But just because we've lowered the bar for what constitutes "full" service doesn't mean I'm going to tip for something as simple as sticking a nozzle in my gas tank. If it's 10 below zero and snowing I might, but most of the time, no.
But these days it seems as if nearly everybody who performs any service for a customer (other than professional services like accounting, medical, etc.) is supposed to get a tip. Or are they? As I said, it's the uncertainty of it that I hate most.
Well, I've strayed a bit off the subject of pizza. But I'm with the 88% of respondents who tip only for delivery, not for pickup. If anybody's got a different take on the subject, by all means feel free to share it.

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