contemporary misgivings

6 October, 2008

Tipping is Bullshit

You know it, I know it, baby jesus knows it, even god damn Mr. Pink knows that tipping is utter fuck.

If you were to leave money at an establishment in Japan, the waiter or waitress who discovered it would be severely inconvenienced.  They would quite literally chase after you in a desperate attempt to return the money you mistakingly left on the table.  Money that is surely the only thing keeping your grandmother from being shipped off to the fearsome wasabi mines.  How could a starving serviceperson possibly do such a thing, you ask?  Simple: Their employer actually fucking pays them enough and charges more for the food to make up the losses.  It’s _THAT_  _FUCKING_  _SIMPLE_.

For fuck’s sake, I’m a patron of your business, good service is required without question.  If it’s really bad, I’ll complain to the manager.  If it continues to be bad, I will cease being your patron.  If it ends up being exceptionally good, as in “oh my god, this waiter/waitress hooked me up, I want to give my server some extra cash” good, then sure, I’ll throw some coin their way, and ONLY their way.  None of that splitting with the whole staff clusterfuckery, no subsidizing.  I am NOT responsible for your financial system.  You want me to be your goddamn accountant after every fucking meal?  No.  Add the 20% or whatever the tip bullshit is to your prices and pay your staff properly.  Most countries have a more reasonable system in place, but for whatever reason the U.S. has decided that going retarded is going good.  Hell, I’d stop tipping to fight the system, but then some idiot will just spit in my food instead of growing a pair and taking the blame to the source; their employer.  Better yet, the employers should stop being such giant assholes and upgrade their business model to that of the rest of the first world.

Additionally, paying for shit at restaurants sucks.  Hard.  Every time I have to deal with the check and divide up cash, use a card because someone doesn’t have cash, etc. etc. instead of just waving my RFID-enabled cellphone/wallet/hand over a part of the table, I die a little inside.

In closing, Ho Yu made the point of racially stereotyping black people as cheap.  Unfortunately, this opens her up to racial stereotyping (by me) and I view reduced tipping as just a small step toward balancing out her stereotyped socioeconomic debt.  By that I mean the dozens of traffic accidents she has knowingly or unknowingly caused annually due to being both potently asian and female.  I don’t know of any accidents off hand, but color and gender don’t lie, right everyone?



  1. Oh no, I actually do think that women especially ones who are Asian do in fact drive worse. And what’s even better about this situation is that I don’t drive at all. I don’t even have a car. So for me making any accidents knowingly or unknowingly is just out of the question seeing as I don’t drive. And as far as the employers paying enough, they don’t. It is minimum wage. In America, waiter/waitresses make their money off their tips and have to tip out/declare tips that the government then taxes. So all in all, it basically comes out to me making a living off of the tip. And I do feel that 18% should just be included in the bill like how they have in Spain. It makes it easier on everyone’s part. So when I do work extremely hard for someone and provide the best service, I DO expect to be granted a little more than just a “thank you.” I am not waiting tables for my health dear sir, I am simply doing so for the tips. And what’s even better about this is that I was actually going to post another blog today about how I had a very pleasant table of blacks. So perhaps my stereotyping does come off a bit outlandish, but it also seems that my post has come off the wrong way too. And I don’t take back a single word.

    Comment by Ho Yu — 6 October, 2008 @ 11:33 pm

  2. I think you may have misread my post a bit. I was specifically suggesting that at least in the U.S., employers DO NOT pay enough, but it’s bullshit that they don’t just charge more for food and pay their employees more. I fully understand that tips are required here in the U.S. to make pay decent. Hell, Pizza Hut uses tips to MEET minimum wage, not exceed it, so they can get away with paying their employees like $2/hr+extra if tips don’t bring it up to wage.

    Comment by Jones Octavian — 7 October, 2008 @ 1:17 am

  3. Same with places in like Idaho and whatnot. Stupid isn’t it?

    Comment by Ho Yu — 7 October, 2008 @ 4:50 pm

  4. FYI. In the USA you pay the waiters, not the business. You post makes you seem a bit thick. Service in Europe sucks because they have no drive to provide good service. Tips means- To Insure Prompt Service. Act accordingly or go to McDonald’s.

    Comment by gotea — 8 October, 2008 @ 11:01 am

  5. Gotea, I request that you read the post carefully and understand the points I was trying to make before commenting. My problem has nothing to do with tipping itself; just that I have to deal with it. I applaud businesses that include the gratuity, but wonder why they don’t just hide it completely.

    I’ve been to a very small portion of Europe, so I can only offer that the service I’ve received in Germany (Bayern/Bavaria, specifically) and Iceland was on par if not better slightly better than the service I usually receive in the U.S. I’ve never been to Japan, but I have friends who have. The story I mentioned was a real one told to me by one of them, and they say service is also excellent in Japan. However, much like Germany, they are heavily socialized relative to the U.S., affording workers significantly better circumstances.

    Without knowing your own experiences in Europe, this discussion can’t really move forward. However, as you didn’t cite any examples and generalized all of Europe together (I hear they HATE that), I suspect you may be more interested in spite than debating with me. My posts may be (in my opinion) humorously inflammatory, but my comments are serious. Please try to rise above the standard internet flotsam and debate, not hate. Rational discourse is what contemporary misgivings is all about.

    Comment by Jones Octavian — 12 October, 2008 @ 4:16 am

  6. Cheers

    Comment by Murphy Moore — 26 October, 2008 @ 12:02 am

  7. Boy, you must like spit in your food.

    Comment by knews — 31 December, 2008 @ 11:35 pm

  8. Does anyone read anything besides the title before commenting?

    Comment by Jones Octavian — 11 March, 2009 @ 8:22 pm

  9. Are people like me so rare in this world?

    I used to work in top New York City restaurants so I KNOW how the system works. I used to be like millions of other servers who would get so mad if someone didn’t tip.

    But ask yourself people, is it YOUR job to hand me my check? To pay for my rent? Of course not. The employers are just too f***ing cheap to pay us a decent wage, so society is forced to tip in their hard earned cash.

    And the whole Europe’s-service-sucks argument goes right to the garbage. Just look at Japan and Korea (I’ve been to both places). If an employee simply does not doing his or her job right, he or she should get fired. Period. AND some places in Europe have the audacity to automatically include the tip, no matter how bad the server did.

    This whole tipping bulls*** is already spread out with taxis, haircuts, spas, etc. WTF. I’m already paying them for the services, WHY THE HELL DO I NEED TO PAY YOU MORE MONEY TO DO YOUR JOB RIGHT?

    This is what I believe in. I will not give in to the unfairness of the status quo. It probably won’t change anything, but being a vegan isn’t gonna change the world either, but at least we speak out and stay true to ourselves. I’m not gonna blindly go along with society just cause everybody else is doing it.

    However, I’m not gonna not tip in a few restaurants I regularly go to because I don’t want stupid people to spit in my food. The things some people do in the kitchen…
    And yes, I will always tip 20% for outstanding service. Other than that, FUCK TIP!!!!!

    Comment by Youareright — 27 March, 2009 @ 12:56 am

  10. I completely agree. I lived in South Korea for 3 years and I was told they don’t accept tips there. I did, however, try at one occasion to leave a tip at a restaurant(a fancy one too) but the waitress came running after me in the street to return it! Tipping is seriously bullshit, life is so much easier without it!

    Comment by en — 5 May, 2009 @ 7:30 pm

    • Your a moron.. First try and not allowing your patrons to tip 90% of your font of the house staff will walk out and go somewhere else and you’ll be forced to spend more money hiring and training a new crew. I read your post and actually picked up a bit of reentment when you mentioned your staff often make 30 35 dollars per hour? Is that a problem for you? General workers at some union steel mills auto plants make that much if not more have better benifits and often times do less work than a waiter..example the guy on the assembly line who puts the glove compartemnt screws in for $30. dollars an hour…We as service staff already have very little consistency in our jobs if business is slow are pay suffers dramatically are you will to pay us a descent living wage and put us all on salary?? very doubtful.. when we go to the bank an apply for a loan its a huge inconvience to explain to the loan manager yes my actaull pay is only 2’23 per hour but i get tips…please give me a loan ..even thou i have good credit ..the loan process is made more difficult if not impossible for members of the sevice the fac the we demand .expect tips isnt going to change unless owners like your self take their heads out of their ass

      Comment by evil_bartender — 27 December, 2009 @ 9:11 pm

  11. I’m a restaurant owner, and I think tipping is “bullshit” as well. It’s a total cluster F*** for so many different reasons.

    1. I would love to pay my employees a livable wage, but the belief that restauranteurs make enough to pay it’s employees a decent wage is seriously wrong. In some restaurants, the waiters can make more than the owners. In certain states where minimum wage is $8.50 plus tips (California, Oregon, WA), average wait staff is actually making approx. $20-$25/hour. Forced minimum wage means we are forced to keep giving our waitstaff $.50 raises each year (when they already make $20-$25/hour), while our cooks & DW’s only make between $8.5-$11/hour. Wow, the back of the house works harder, longer, and usually under harsher conditions.

    2. As the owner of, I have to pay payroll taxes on the extra money the waitstaff makes from tips. I don’t just pay payroll taxes on the $8.5/hr they make from minimum wage, but full $20-25/hour. In otherwords, I pay taxes on money I don’t ever get or receive.

    3. I would love it if we all went to a no tipping system! Put the tips into the cost of the food. Pay the employees a bit better. A great idea. While there are restaurants out there refusing tips (kudos), being the first business in our area to stop
    accepting tips seems very risky in our current economic climate. I would love to do it. Would people pay 20% more for our food? I doubt when everyone is really worried about whether or not they’re going to be working tomorrow and whether or not they can make rent or the mortgage. I think I will definitely try and take tipping out of our restaurant when the economy finally recovers. I think guaranteeing a 18%-20% on each table sounds great. It makes so much more sense.

    4. Also, make the customer pay the credit service fees when paying with a credit card. The rest of the world does it, why not Americans? Probably because of the self-entitlement Americans feel on everything in this world.

    5. If I stop accepting tips and stop paying the extra payroll taxes on the tips, I bet Mr. IRS will come banging on my door…but hey, we’re not breaking the law!

    Comment by Biz Owner — 26 July, 2009 @ 1:42 pm

  12. Sorry for the poor grammer! I should have proofed it first. There doesn’t seem to be a way to edit the previous posting.

    Comment by Biz Owner — 26 July, 2009 @ 1:47 pm

  13. I agree with the OP. When I was visiting my friend in Japan, I stayed at a hotel in Shinjuku, and I was checking in, two very small Japanese girls escorted to my room carrying my luggages (come on, I am 6 feet 200 pounds), so I felt bad and wanted to show my gratitude by tipping them, but they refused profusely. Augh, I love Japan wherein people are genuinely courteous.

    Comment by Canadian — 13 December, 2009 @ 3:58 pm

  14. Yes, you’re right, the tipping system in the US is total BS. They shouldn’t let employers get away with paying less than minimum wage due to tips.

    Comment by Copper — 13 December, 2009 @ 10:24 pm

  15. On an idle Sunday night, once every few months, I google for “Tipping sucks”, “Tipping is stupid” and so on.

    I find it absolutely amazing how few people share my loathing for this discretionary pile of shit.

    I live in Japan, where indeed tips do not exist, and where service (of any kind, not just in an arbitrary part of the catering industry) is not simply good, but it’s the absolute *best* in the World, proving beyond doubt that tipping is a bogus concept.

    And even if that weren’t the case, I’d rather get a sh*t service and not pay for it than getting plastic smiles throughout my f**king dinner reminding me that I’m going to have to pay for them. Thanks, but no thanks.

    Comment by Prot — 18 April, 2010 @ 5:25 am

  16. Amen,
    Man, I’m from EU, and moved here 3 months ago, the whole tipping just crazy.

    I don’t mind giving money, but just include the service charge to the advertised price, and pay your worker a decent wage.

    Is that difficult to do???

    from I came from the minimum wage is 8.7 EUR per hour, that’s 12.31 USD, so, waiters make a good money in EU compared to the US.

    For service, trust me, nothing different, I went to TGI Fridays in 4 countries in EU and finally I went to one in the US, service? the same, the only difference is the free refile.

    on other hand, restaurants in EU NEVER give your drinks in cheap plastic cups, like the do here in the US, they NEVER add any extra money if you have group more than 6,

    Come on, people, wake up,

    Comment by J — 20 March, 2011 @ 2:36 pm

  17. I tip 20% after taxes for poor service 30% for average service and for great service I tip more. (It has gone up to 90%) But I still don’t like tipping I agree that establishments should pay their staff and should not expect customers to subsidize their income. Charge more for the food and don’t expect tips. I also think gratuity charges are ridiculous. It defeats the purpose of a tip.

    Comment by cindi — 17 July, 2011 @ 3:20 pm

  18. So I guess if you decide to be a waiter for the next 10-20 years then other people have to take care of you because you either didn’t get a degree or are just too lazy and comfortable to get another better paying job. Remember everyone, its your obligation to make sure you leave that tip and in cash so they don’t get taxed on it because some waiter/waitress depends on that money every week. FUCK TIPPING I cook at home and alot and I serve my friends and family for free…Why? Because I don’t need to go out and eat, 2nd I know how to cook,3rd I have money, 4th its a nice gesture and last because there isn’t a FUCKING BASTARD in the back talking shit if he didn’t get a tip or not.

    Comment by Checkio Mc Bane — 17 August, 2011 @ 6:47 pm

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