Took another long break from blogging...but I'm back again!
The topic of this blog, is controversial at best. In my latest class... Global Business, we discussed low and high context society. Unamiously it is agreed that the United States is considered a low-context society. In other words, our laws and social customs are for the most part clearly and explictly explained and expressed.
Before beginning my opinion, I would like to confess, that my viewpoint has been molded by my mother's strong work ethic which can be described as "you work hard for your money" and my personal philosophy of TANSTAAFL.
I argue, that the idea of tips (when served at a restaurant or other service area) has been lost to an implicit expectation, in a low context society. My tipping philosophy is as follows:
A better than usual service should be tipped the customary 15%. This is for BETTER than what is expected service after the employee's responsibility under their job description. Exceptional service deserve 20%-50%! These are those rare instances in which a server goes above and beyond their jobs.
What is your philosophy? Most people tip 15% regardless of the quality of service. But I argue
Why? Their base pay (often minimum wage) is to perform their jobs well. A bad server can not be argued as having done their job. Yet they are rewarded with a 15% pay out on top of the paycheck they recieved. Again, why should I pay more for bad service, when I already am paying for their service with the bill? I have seen many people guilted and pressured into paying at minimum 15% even for horrible service. Even worse, some restaurants add a Forced Gratuity on the bill! Is this because a few don't tip? Should we force an expectation on the majority for a few insensitive minority who don't tip even for good service?
Has tipping in America gone from an incentive to a disincentive?
Are our servers working the bare minimum because they know that tipping will happen regardless? Will they get frustrated when a person like me doesn't tip? Has tipping in their mind become an entitlement? Why does my bill say gratutity? Not fee? See these definitions from www.merriam-webster.com:
•TIP: a gift or a sum of money tendered for a service performed or anticipated : gratuity
•GRATUITY: something given voluntarily or beyond obligation usually for some service; especially : tip
Notice, "beyond obligation", "voluntarily" "a gift" are key to this concept. Now, read the definition of Fee:
•FEE: a fixed charge, a sum paid or charged for a service. An inherited or heritable estate in land.
Note, these words, "a fixed charge", "inherited" and "heritable". Very close to the meaning of Entitlement. Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale once said, "Entitlement and privelege corrupt". Could this be the source of the "tipping disincentive"?
In this low-context society, have we allowed a high-context behavior root itself in our services? Has an explicit charge on our bills become an implicit expectation?
I have argued, that our current recession is forcing both employers and employees to evolve. I challenge our servers to do more. Wealth begins with a wealth minded individual... Rarely does it arrive to a selfish individual. If you see selfish wealthy individuals...I argue they pay the price. Observe theses "hidden taxes" as Stephen M. R. Covey describes them...it may not be in material things.
I worked for tips, a long time ago, and yes I felt the sting of hard work and no pay. Do not be discouraged...patience is sometimes required for the fruits of labor. As for the customer...tipping in cash is always welcomed, if you can't afford much, be kind! Even a small gesture of kindness can have a long lasting effect on hard working servers. As for
Employers...encourage and grow a culture of effective service. Find it in your budget to tip them as well!
Your comments and viewpoints are welcomed!!!
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone 3G S