Let me begin by saying that I don’t mind leaving a tip for good service but I am sick of the tip jars. I spotted one recently at an outdoor beverage stand; the person behind the stand was only pouring the lemonade not making it, what would motivate me to tip her? And may I add she wasn’t doing anything special, she wasn’t even friendly.
A tip should be left for good service not because you rang up a bag of potato chips. I wonder how a tip jar would work on my desk at work (my day job)? I think I will try it, I’ll place the washed out pickle jar on the edge of my desk and as I answer questions that I would typically answer during the course of a day, I will give a sideways glare towards the jar and see if anyone puts something in. At the end of day I would count up the money and go home.
These jars are everywhere and the people behind them aren’t doing anything special to get the tip. Don’t think because the jar is there that I’m going to feel obligated to put something in. To tell the truth, many times I think I should take something out because I am the one putting up with bad service. There are some places where I just will not tip. If I’m picking up takeout food, no tip; if I pump my own gas, no tip; if I go through the drive thru, no tip, the tip was meant for service that is above and beyond. The tip should be the main motivation of wait staff everywhere to give exceptional service. Bring water without me tracking you down, coming back to the table to see if everything is all right and trying to make sure that I’ve enjoyed my dining experience. The tip goes to the person that comes to cut my grass in the sweltering heat, and shows up to shovel snow that is up to his waist, and the hairdresser that works hard to please me.
Recently I read that just like the average tip has gone from 15 percent to 20 percent; pretty soon the tip jar will be the norm in places where you would not expect to see them, like next to the cashier at the grocery store.
I’m curious does everyone behind the counter share what is in the jar? When do they count the money at the end of the shift before the next group of workers comes in? How many times a day do they start the jar over? Do they put some seed money in the jar like bartenders so you get the idea that you are supposed to put something in the jar? Of course you want to put in folded money and not coins.
My advice to you is not to give in to the guilt of the tip jar, if you didn’t get exceptional service, then no tip. Did you know you can buy a tip jar that rings a bell and lights up when money is placed in it? The device is sold as a bartenders tip jar but I guess you can use it where you like. I’ll be on the lookout for it.
(E-mail the columnist at firstname.lastname@example.org.)