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    Has Tipping Gotten Out of Hand?

    By Kristen Houghton     

    The sign on the mirror in the hair salon, written in big, bold letters, said, “Tipping” is not a place in China! Tip the shampoo people generously!”

    Some patrons were very annoyed by this outright demand and rightly so.

    I think that tipping is an excellent way to show your appreciation for a service. The problem with gratuity is that some people expect you to tip them even if the service you receive is shoddy. This always leaves some of us in a dilemma; we still tip because we feel that we have to do so. And that is wrong. Tipping should be based on the quality of service.

    I am a bad tipper. Not because I tip too little, on the contrary, I tip a bit much. Feeling required to leave a gratuity, and doing a quick math calculation in my head, I “over-tip.” No fifteen or twenty percent; from me you’ll get thirty. The “art of gratuity” is an international tradition that goes back centuries. It began as a reward for good service and as a guarantee that you would continue to be treated well in the future. Travelers used tipping as a way of “making sure” they would be remembered favorably and that news of their generosity would spread to others who might perform a service for them. This assured excellent service.

    But has modern tipping gotten out of hand? Annoyed as we are by signs that “request” generous tipping, are we being made to feel that tipping is now part of the charge?

    Being told to tip poses serious questions. Is it appropriate for anyone to actually demand a tip? Who determines what amount is considered generous and what is not? No one should feel intimidated into giving a tip. Besides tipping for quality, the amount of generosity should be based on the financial circumstances of the tipper. Certainly a senior citizen on a limited income shouldn’t be expected to tip the same as everyone else.

    As a modern society we have seen too many services that were once done with professional care and pride now performed in a careless and inconsiderate manner. Yet a tip is still expected.

    Gratuity should be given for professionalism and care. A server at a diner once told me that she treats her customers with courtesy making sure their orders are correct and delivered promptly. She also accepts the smaller tip from an elderly couple with the same respect as the very generous one she receives from a regular customer who is a high-powered lawyer.

    Service providers might want to take a “tip” from this professional woman.

    Written by Kristen HoughtonRate this article:

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