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Old 03-23-11, 08:39 PM   #1
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Going out to eat with bad tippers

I work with a bunch of people that are very cheap tippers. I hate going out to lunch with them because I always feel like I have to subsidize their lunches by throwing a few (or more) extra dollars into the pot so that the waitstaff gets an acceptable tip. The other day they threw in enough for tax and that was about it. Maybe a 5% or less tip. I'm not good at confronting people about their cheapness, so usually, I just drop a couple of extra dollars in, but I hate when my cheap lunch gets to be quite expensive (and if someone else is putting it on their card, they just take the cash and tip less). My usual plan is to just avoid going out to lunch with them, but sometimes (going away, celebrating big events, birthdays, etc.) the office lunch can't be avoided. What do you do in that sort of situation. Sometimes I have the same problem when visiting family too as the in-laws can occasionally be bad tippers as well.
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Old 03-23-11, 08:47 PM   #2
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1) Do separate checks.
2) Call them out on their poor tipping (if you cant afford to tip, you can't afford the meal.)
3) don't go to lunch with them.

remember, no one can take advantage of you unless you let them.
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Old 03-23-11, 09:07 PM   #3
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Old 03-23-11, 09:25 PM   #4
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If you feel compelling to go out to lunch with them or have to (for an event), then take charge of the bill if you can't do separate checks. If you ask the server for the bill, then you can calculate the cost per person with an appropriate tip included. Your coworkers will either pay up or make a comment. If the latter, then you have their number and an easy excuse not to go to lunch with them again.
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Old 03-23-11, 09:32 PM   #5
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Old 03-23-11, 09:32 PM   #6
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If you're that worried about it, just insist on separate bills, or better yet, don't go out with those people.

That said, I've never understood this obsession with tipping anyway. I don't see the point of paying an additional amount once you've paid for the meal. Granted, you might do it as a one-off if you receive exceptional service, or some kind of assistance beyond the call of duty, but frankly, I don't see the point of leaving a tip (which is almost certainly going to be snapped up by a manager anyway) for someone who's only function is to bring me my food on a plate.
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Old 03-23-11, 09:35 PM   #7
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Bring and eat your lunch at work.
Then give yourself a big tip.
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Old 03-23-11, 09:39 PM   #8
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hehe - the worst ever was with my Grandfather (and my Mom warned me) many years ago. He left a Dime. And it wasn't at all because of bad service or anything, it was because that was because that was what he was used to doing soooo many years ago and he never updated himself (btw my Mom sent him away to start the truck while we ACTUALLY took care of the payment).

But in view of other people sitting at the table now a days and knowing what they will do, separate tabs, plus (being an ex-bartender and server) I tend to over compensate on SOME meals. More expensive outings with people well known to leaving even 10% - I tend to not eat with them, or actually bring up the fact about the tip percentage.
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Old 03-23-11, 09:51 PM   #9
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If you're that worried about it, just insist on separate bills, or better yet, don't go out with those people.

That said, I've never understood this obsession with tipping anyway. I don't see the point of paying an additional amount once you've paid for the meal. Granted, you might do it as a one-off if you receive exceptional service, or some kind of assistance beyond the call of duty, but frankly, I don't see the point of leaving a tip (which is almost certainly going to be snapped up by a manager anyway) for someone who's only function is to bring me my food on a plate.
I've heard this excuse before. Exceptional service?...would you like a foot rub or perhaps a massage while you eat your meal? Sheesh! Try working as wait staff for a week and you'll realize how ridiculous your rationale to save a couple bucks is.

As has been said, if you can afford the meal, you can afford the tip. And a tip is deserved for good service. If you received poor service, then leave a lesser or no tip. And yes, tips are taxed. Even the ones you apparently aren't leaving.
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Old 03-23-11, 10:03 PM   #10
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I've heard this excuse before. Exceptional service?...would you like a foot rub or perhaps a massage while you eat your meal? Sheesh! Try working as wait staff for a week and you'll realize how ridiculous your rationale to save a couple bucks is.
You do realise that most of the world feels the same way I do, don't you? Seriously. Besides, why do people working as wait staff think they're job is any harder than anyone else's? Today in this city there are people working in the construction industry, for example, in temperatures of around 33 degrees C, in the sun, lifting heavy objects all day. I don't see anyone offering them a tip.

And yes, I might tip for a massage while receiving the meal.

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As has been said, if you can afford the meal, you can afford the tip. And a tip is deserved for good service. If you received poor service, then leave a lesser or no tip. And yes, tips are taxed. Even the ones you apparently aren't leaving.
It's not a question of what I can or can't afford, it's a question of what I choose to pay. If I pay $20 for a meal, then that's what it costs. If someone wants me to leave another $2 or whatever, they should factor that into the cost of the meal, then I can make an informed decision about whether or not I think the meal is worth $22.

BTW, do you realise how stupid your "tips are taxed" statement sounds? I work as a tax agent (incidentally, I didn't ask for a tip from the client for whom I saved over $20,000 last week). Let me tell you, most people who receive cash tips don't pay a cent of tax on them. It's one of the reasons a lot of people are willing to work for lower wages in exchange for being paid in cash, because neither the tax man nor the government welfare agencies have any way of tracking that money. Nobody has any idea what a waiter received in cash tips last week, except possibly their manager who took a cut of it for themselves.
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Old 03-23-11, 10:12 PM   #11
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At the average restaurant, are most waitstaff paid a low wage assuming that they will make it up in tips?
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Old 03-23-11, 10:17 PM   #12
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Irritated.

For me this is personal, sorta. I worked in the kitchen, back of the house, for nearly 10 years. I worked with crappy waitstaff and great waitstaff. Let me explain tipping.

The waitress/waiter is tipped and those tips are added up at the end of the night. The waitstaff then must tip the hostess/host, bar tender and busser out of their tips. Its just an unwritten rule. The bar gets tipped based on the amount of alcohol served and the busser based on how fast the busser can turn the table over adn the hostess by the seating, not seating a two people at a four person table. It takes money from the waiter/waitress.

Alternatively the tips are pooled from all waitstaff and divided among the ENTIRE front of the house, bussers, waiters/waitresses, bar tenders, host/hostess.

Most states cut the minimum wage to $2.00 for wait staff. I am lucky that here in Oregon the waitstaff actually make a living wage. That is minimum wage $8.

I tip based on attentive service and meeting my needs without me asking. Some of the best servers work at Dennys, or IHOP and they are usually old timers. Some of the greatest service I have had was at a 3 star Michelin. I was attended to with even being attended to. I ordered, my water was brought, my salad was brought with my wine and bread. My salad and bread plates were cleared timely and my entree was brought right after clearing. My water was refilled without needing to signal or ask. My wine was poured with the same respect. My plate was cleared and a dessert was suggested based on what I ate as well as a wine or aperitif to compliment it.
Ok so that is Michelin service. However, the same can and has happened at Dennys and IHOP. Just not in the clean professional manner that it did at the other place.

Waitstaff bust their butt for crap pay and crap tips. They deal with your left overs, your crappy attitudes and the kitchen screwups.

Are there bad servers yes. But there are plenty of good ones that deserve your respect.

Try doing the job that they do for 1 week 8 hours a day and then let me know how it feels to make that kind of money and live off tips.

Sorry just irritated.
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Old 03-23-11, 10:33 PM   #13
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What a sucky system. If I get good service, I wish I could ensure that my $$$ are going just to my server and not split up such that my server really doesn't see much of what tip I leave.
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Old 03-23-11, 10:57 PM   #14
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I've worked in a kitchen and dated a few waitresses. I_like_cereal is spot on. To hold back a tip because you didn't get "exceptional" service is just sad...all to save what...a few bucks at that IHOP, or $5-10 at a nice restaurant? I'll ask for separate checks too if I'm wise to a few cheapskates in the crowd.

For tax purposes, tips are obviously treated differently in Oz than in the States.
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Old 03-23-11, 11:37 PM   #15
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You do realise that most of the world feels the same way I do, don't you? Seriously. Besides, why do people working as wait staff think they're job is any harder than anyone else's? Today in this city there are people working in the construction industry, for example, in temperatures of around 33 degrees C, in the sun, lifting heavy objects all day. I don't see anyone offering them a tip.

And yes, I might tip for a massage while receiving the meal.



It's not a question of what I can or can't afford, it's a question of what I choose to pay. If I pay $20 for a meal, then that's what it costs. If someone wants me to leave another $2 or whatever, they should factor that into the cost of the meal, then I can make an informed decision about whether or not I think the meal is worth $22.

BTW, do you realise how stupid your "tips are taxed" statement sounds? I work as a tax agent (incidentally, I didn't ask for a tip from the client for whom I saved over $20,000 last week). Let me tell you, most people who receive cash tips don't pay a cent of tax on them. It's one of the reasons a lot of people are willing to work for lower wages in exchange for being paid in cash, because neither the tax man nor the government welfare agencies have any way of tracking that money. Nobody has any idea what a waiter received in cash tips last week, except possibly their manager who took a cut of it for themselves.
BTW, you are absolutely dead wrong on the bolded part, I know from having worked a tipped job or 10. The IRS ASSUMES a 15% Tip if you work for a restaurant as a server here in the good ol' US of A and the employer deducts the appropriate taxes from their subminimum wage check. I tip 15% for average service, and 20-25% for good service, and better for extremely good service.
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Old 03-24-11, 12:19 AM   #16
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You do realise that most of the world feels the same way I do, don't you?
If cheapskates were in the majority, no one would work for tips.
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Besides, why do people working as wait staff think they're job is any harder than anyone else's?
As stated, try it sometime. I have, it is.
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Today in this city there are people working in the construction industry, for example, in temperatures of around 33 degrees C, in the sun, lifting heavy objects all day. I don't see anyone offering them a tip.
I work construction and have been tipped, and generously. It's not expected, but the job is much better than waiter so we suffer through.
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And yes, I might tip for a massage while receiving the meal.
The happy ending costs extra.

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It's not a question of what I can or can't afford, it's a question of what I choose to pay. If I pay $20 for a meal, then that's what it costs. If someone wants me to leave another $2 or whatever, they should factor that into the cost of the meal, then I can make an informed decision about whether or not I think the meal is worth $22.
Perhaps you can inform all the restaurants you frequent of this so they can tack on a gratuity in advance.
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BTW, do you realise how stupid your "tips are taxed" statement sounds? I work as a tax agent (incidentally, I didn't ask for a tip from the client for whom I saved over $20,000 last week). Let me tell you, most people who receive cash tips don't pay a cent of tax on them. It's one of the reasons a lot of people are willing to work for lower wages in exchange for being paid in cash, because neither the tax man nor the government welfare agencies have any way of tracking that money. Nobody has any idea what a waiter received in cash tips last week, except possibly their manager who took a cut of it for themselves.
Goody for them, perhaps they'll have a chance of surviving on their own income rather than on your taxes.
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Old 03-24-11, 12:51 AM   #17
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As far as I can tell Tipping servers at restaraunts is pretty much an American thing, can't say for sure about Canada/Mexico.

I normally tip 15-20%. I don't tip less for bad service, if it is not the servers fault.
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Old 03-24-11, 01:24 AM   #18
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If cheapskates were in the majority, no one would work for tips.
You really should travel and see how the rest of the world works. People don't work for tips, they work for a wage, or a salary if they study hard enough.

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As stated, try it sometime. I have, it is.
Diddums. Should I get out my violin? Lost of people work hard in crappy jobs, not just you.

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I work construction and have been tipped, and generously. It's not expected, but the job is much better than waiter so we suffer through.
Are you telling me you'd rather be outside sweating, getting skin cancer, lifting heavy objects and risking injury than taking food from a kitchen to a table? That may be a better job in your opinion, but I'd suggest plenty of people out there today would have disagreed with you. Besides, if their job really is that hard, I can always stay home and prepare my own food so they don't have to do it anymore.

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The happy ending costs extra.
Well, you're the expert on that.

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Perhaps you can inform all the restaurants you frequent of this so they can tack on a gratuity in advance.
Let them. I'd prefer they did it that way so I'd know what it was going to cost. Of course, then they take the risk that I might decide the extra amount isn't worth paying anyway (as would potentially a lot of other customers). Besides, aren't there laws against false advertising?

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Goody for them, perhaps they'll have a chance of surviving on their own income rather than on your taxes.
I have no qualms with people working for cash. I've done it myself in the past. Frankly, I'd prefer they did it that way rather than trying to fleece me out of a "tip".
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Old 03-24-11, 01:31 AM   #19
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I've worked in a kitchen and dated a few waitresses. I_like_cereal is spot on. To hold back a tip because you didn't get "exceptional" service is just sad...all to save what...a few bucks at that IHOP, or $5-10 at a nice restaurant? I'll ask for separate checks too if I'm wise to a few cheapskates in the crowd.

For tax purposes, tips are obviously treated differently in Oz than in the States.
I don't see it as "holding back" a tip. I see it as simply paying the advertised price. If a meal is advertised as $20, then that's what it costs. If someone wants $22 or $25, they should do something more to earn it. I have no problem paying extra if they've done something extra, but if it's just the standard service, then that's what the restaurant is entitled to. As explained by the irritated guy above, most of the money from the tips never finds it's way to the waiter or the waitress, so I wouldn't be doing much for them if I did tip more. If I get poor service, I simply don't go back to that establishment.

And yes, tips are treated differently for tax purposes in Australia. Here, people only pay tax on the tips they actually receive, which is largely because the majority of people in Australia don't tip, much like Europe, Asia and the rest of the world.
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Old 03-24-11, 01:45 AM   #20
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BTW, do you realise how stupid your "tips are taxed" statement sounds? I work as a tax agent (incidentally, I didn't ask for a tip from the client for whom I saved over $20,000 last week). Let me tell you, most people who receive cash tips don't pay a cent of tax on them. It's one of the reasons a lot of people are willing to work for lower wages in exchange for being paid in cash, because neither the tax man nor the government welfare agencies have any way of tracking that money. Nobody has any idea what a waiter received in cash tips last week, except possibly their manager who took a cut of it for themselves.
That isn't correct. All tips from checks paid with credit card are reported and almost all modern wait staff software automatically assumes and reports 15% on all cash checks. So essentially by dipping under 15% for a tip you are denying servers their wage and making them pay taxes on money they didn't actually earn. In my opinion you have to be sort of a scumbag to not tip.

I mean you know it's customary and you know it's what actually pays these people's wages - so why eat out when you also know you aren't going to respect either of these facts/rules? You want to enjoy all the benefits that the tipping system provides (above average service = higher tips) yet you don't actually participate on your end. AND you're proud of it.

By the way, it is clearly understood that the 'advertised price' of something at a restaurant with a server includes a gratuity. It's a social norm that you are trying to reason yourself out of with faulty logic.
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Old 03-24-11, 03:53 AM   #21
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That isn't correct. All tips from checks paid with credit card are reported and almost all modern wait staff software automatically assumes and reports 15% on all cash checks. So essentially by dipping under 15% for a tip you are denying servers their wage and making them pay taxes on money they didn't actually earn. In my opinion you have to be sort of a scumbag to not tip.
I suggest you read the entire thread, the tax issue has already been covered. The personal income tax legislation in most countries of the world only taxes people on money they have actually received. If you have a problem with people in your country paying taxes on tips they may or may not receive, I suggest you take it up with your local member of congress.

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I mean you know it's customary and you know it's what actually pays these people's wages - so why eat out when you also know you aren't going to respect either of these facts/rules?
Again, read the thread. Most of the money from tips never reaches the waiter or waitress. A friend of mine once applied for a job in a restaurant where he was told he would be expected to pass on 100% of any tips he received to management, although I suspect he would have just pocketed the cash tips (assuming he received any) because nobody could ever trace it. As I've already explained, it's far from customary throughout most of the world, in fact, I've been to countries where people would get quite agitated if you tried to leave a tip. Here in Australia the majority of people never tip (and nor should they).

Even if it is a "fact" or a "rule" (which it most certainly is not), the establishment should advertise before I enter the premises, so I know up front and I can decide whether or not I wish to pay the exta amount.

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You want to enjoy all the benefits that the tipping system provides (above average service = higher tips) yet you don't actually participate on your end. AND you're proud of it.
No, I just want what I pay for. If I'm eating a $20 meal, I expect to pay $20.

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By the way, it is clearly understood that the 'advertised price' of something at a restaurant with a server includes a gratuity. It's a social norm that you are trying to reason yourself out of with faulty logic.
I'm not "reasoning" myself out of anything. You clearly haven't read the thread, or even my previous post. I have already said I have no problem with the advertised price including a gratuity. At least then I know the meal is going to cost me $22, and I can then make a decision as to whether the meal is worth $22 (whether or not it includes a gratuity).
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Old 03-24-11, 05:50 AM   #22
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We know that in the rest of the world, waitstaff aren't paid below the country's minimum wage and expected to make the difference up in tips (here in the US there's actually a different, lower, minimum wage for waitstaff except in certain areas where it is legislated differently). So if you're not giving a tip, you're screwing people out of a minimum wage. Sure at nice restautants, front of house might get paid more than the minimum, but that really isn't needed to attract the best waitstaff as 20% of $100/cover sounds a lot better than 20% of 10/cover even if the turnover is a lot slower and you have few tables.

Back to the original topic, 90+% of the time I bring my lunches because it's cheaper and I don't feel like paying more for food, but for special occasions where it's important I do go out with the others. I'm really not the type to call other people out on their lack of tipping, it'd just make me too uncomfortable (and none of us make a ton of money, but I'm a bit better off than my coworkers because my wife also works, so I'd feel bad calling them cheap). Separate bills I'm not sure would help me that much because I'd still see that girl next to me leaving a tenner to cover a bill that was $9 before tax and tip and feel the need to make it up for our table (same when I'm out with my father-in-law and we do do separate checks). Avoiding going out with them doesn't help the waitstaff but I don't feel guilty because I don't have to see it.

I guess grabbing the bill first and telling everyone what they owed would probably be the best solution, if there is one. I guess I just felt the need to let off some steam.

In general, my tipping rules:
for most service 20% (give or take a little - mainly give - if it makes it easy to get to the next whole dollar amount), poor service gets more in the 15% range and truly exceptional service (one night for our anniversary I met my wife with flowers and the waitstaff as soon as we walked in the door asked if they could put those in water in their refrigerator for us until we were ready to go and were changing our dishes and filling water/drinks without being asked on top of things all night) can get up to 30% or so.
Still trying to figure out places with tip jars where you pick up takeout/food and bus your own tables, buffets, and what percentage to give food/peapod delivery guys.
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Old 03-24-11, 07:36 AM   #23
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Separate checks would solve the problem, but if that's not possible, and your HAVE to show up at the lunch table, put YOUR tip under YOUR plate. While your lunch-mates might be cheap, at least the waitstaff will know that at least ONE person at the table understands the system!
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Old 03-24-11, 07:39 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by himespau View Post
We know that in the rest of the world, waitstaff aren't paid below the country's minimum wage and expected to make the difference up in tips (here in the US there's actually a different, lower, minimum wage for waitstaff except in certain areas where it is legislated differently).
Yeah, Canada came to mind. But there are some exceptions (Ontario, Quebec, et al).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tip_%28gratuity%29#Canada

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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
Still trying to figure out places with tip jars where you pick up takeout/food and bus your own tables, buffets, and what percentage to give food/peapod delivery guys.
I don't tip in these cases because no service was rendered.
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Old 03-24-11, 07:54 AM   #25
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This thread reminds me of that scene in Reservoir Dogs where Mr. Pink doesn't leave a tip

Mr. Pink: I don't tip because society says I have to. All right, if someone deserves a tip, if they really put forth an effort, I'll give them something a little something extra. But this tipping automatically, it's for the birds. As far as I'm concerned, they're just doing their job.

Mr. Pink: I'm very sorry the government taxes their tips, that's ****ed up. That ain't my fault. It would seem to me that waitresses are one of the many groups the government ****s in the ass on a regular basis. Look, if you ask me to sign something that says the government shouldn't do that, I'll sign it, put it to a vote, I'll vote for it, but what I won't do is play ball. And as for this non-college bull**** I got two words for that: learn to ****in' type, 'cause if you're expecting me to help out with the rent you're in for a big ****in' surprise.






BTW: I hope all the non-tippers or cheap tippers have a bunch of daughters that end up as servers and get stiffed on the regular.
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