Tips: Earned or Expected?

I thought this would be an interesting topic to discuss. Something we all know too well and many of us live off this weird thing we call  Gratuity Tips. You basically do your job and receive extra money or tips based on the on how well you perform your paid job. Waitress’s, Hair Stylist’s, nail techs, valet attendants, even strippers and lots of other jobs get these so called “tips.”  What, who and how are we choosing what profession gets to receive this monetary bonus? Why do we tip some people, but not others? Why should the nail lady get a tip, but not my garbage guy. ( OK for legal reasons and for those people out there that get all he/she upset, I’m not being sexist, OK!)  My point is that how do we pick?  Every person has their own right to tip whomever, but as a society, are we a bunch of sheep and because the person in front of us did, I should? Not to say that someone may or may not deserve the tip, but is it because they are only making minimum wage or close too?  I guess I don’t really know how much any of those professions make, maybe way more than minimum wage, which seems odd to receive tips? Do strippers only make minimum wage and base like 90% of their pay off the tips they make? Well then it seems to me, that if your a hustler, then your making tips 🙂  But really, why do we not leave a little envelope each week for the garbage people? Their hustlers too??!!  Plumbers, construction workers, shoot even the lawn people? They all work very hard to keep us happy. By no means will I start tipping the dentist or anything, as I think he makes a pretty decent living, but there are a few other jobs out there that might require some attention.

This past week I read an interesting article that goes into depth, explaining, how in the bigger cities, at a restaurant, there will be no need to tip your server. Yep, getting rid of it!! NOT, they are not getting rid of the “tip” but making it more of a guarantee than anything. They are just going to add 20% to your bill, on top of what you actually purchased. Thus, not choosing what to give to that person or what that person, actually deserved. Now since tipping is a matter of social custom and there is no rules on tipping, just “suggestions”, how the hell do we as Americans or humans, know what someone is worth?

Me personally, I try to give something every time. A fancy couple hundred dollar dinner with the hubby, perfect service, great food, great experience with all the bells and whistles, 20%, to me is pretty good. So on a $100 meal, $20 for a tip, I would be stoked, right?! The funny thing is that if you think about it. If the food is expensive, 2 glasses of wine, 1 appetizer, 2 entrees, a shared dessert, if that comes out to $102.31, but the server was MIA the whole time, then the 20% doesn’t fit. It actually doesn’t matter honestly what the food costs, it matters on how well you were treated and served. You could be eating at Shmoe’s Chicken Shack, spend $40 on two people and it could have been the BEST meal you have ever had, the BEST service ever and you’d what, only give that place $8 for a tip? Same thing goes for spending $250.00 on a dinner for 4, the food was horrible, the service was non existent, so are you supposed to tip according to the bill or the actual service?

If I am at a restaurant and there’s only two of us,  there automatically going to charge me 20% for a crappy dinner? I don’t think so, or I will just not eat at your establishment! But I assume that these restaurants are top notch and do not have these problems, so why add the gratuity then?

If you had horrible service somewhere you ate at, then leaving a .33 tip is like an actual “tip” telling that person, you did a shitty job and you need to get it together! People go as far as actually writing down either why they didn’t leave a tip or explain how they don’t believe in leaving tips. I personally think it’s a effed up thing to do. But what about if the service was the best ever, but the food sucked?  As a super foodie, honestly, be polite, but let the server know, so they can not only remedy your issue, but allow the chef to change that or tweak it, so that the next customer or your next time,  is a better experience. They need to know these things and a lot of them, appreciate it. No need to throw plates and say profanities, just what was lacking and what needs improvement. I believe that servers and bus boys share tips, but cooks usually do not receive tips.

Who picks what profession gets a tip? I don’t tip my garbage man, but I feel as though I should. He does more work and manual  physical labor than my nail lady?  Why not tip your automotive repair man, that’s more important than my hair person right?! It’s interesting who we tip and who we don’t. Well, I decided to understand the tipping thing a little better, so off to Google I went and what I learned was and is pretty crazy!  So not all states are on the same page. ( imagine that) According to the U.S Department of Labor and I quote, “A tipped employee engages in an occupation in which he or she customarily and regularly receives more than $30 per month in tips. An employer of a tipped employee is only required to pay $2.13 per hour in direct wages if that amount combined with the tips received at least equals the federal minimum wage. If the employee’s tips combined with the employer’s direct wages of at least $2.13 per hour do not equal the federal minimum hourly wage, the employer must make up the difference. Many states, however, require higher direct wage amounts for tipped employees.”  So, if I understand this correctly, the tips that you are making are not on top of your hourly wage, but the employer has the right to calculate your tips in, to meet the minimum wage standard? It seems like that’s a screwed up deal to me!  For example in a 40 hour work week, minimum wage is $7.25/HR, that would be $290.00.  If you made a considerable amount of tips, because your a hard worker and bust your butt, like $210.00, they can take that tip money and use it against the hourly wage. Broken down, that’s $85.20 at $2.13/HR, so in total that’s $295.20. You have just now received your weekly paycheck 😦  If you had made shitty tips that week, then you would have gotten the $7.25/HR, but no matter what, your only getting what the minimum wage allowance is, it’s just broken down into what your employer pays you!

I’m not sure about you, but I am still confused as hell? This system sucks if you ask me. And not all states use this system. In the state of Nevada, employers can pay the minimum wage standard of $8.25/HR, but NO health benefits are allowed. Or they can pay you $7.25/HR including health benefits. Nevada does not separate out tips to /HR wage. But this system still honestly sucks 😦   Now they are bringing health care into it! It seems that every which way you look at it, its geared for the government, not citizens!

All in all, depending upon which state you live, might be the make it or break it on weather or not you’ll work to receive tips. Check out the full details at http://www.dol.gov/whd/state/tipped.htm. You’ll be even more surprised at what you learn.

This goes to show you that no matter what state you work in, no matter what the job,if you can receive tips, then work hard for it. We all have our bad days, but if it’s your lively hood, then get it girl!!!!!  I honestly do not believe that automatic tips should be tallied in with your meal purchase, but maybe the restaurant is helping their employees receive more money than what the federal law allows? Interesting? We’ll have to see how this plays out in the future.

I am sure there is a lot more to this, Tipping, than I understand, but it does seem funny to me still, on who we tip and who we don’t. The US Dept of Labor does not have a say in this, so it’s up to us to do the right thing. I say, that if you can afford it, then a buck here for the coffee guy,  a tip here for the server and maybe a nice home made treat for the garbage people and so on and so on. Maybe your tip isn’t always cash, but the thought behind the fact that you stopped what you were doing to do something nice for someone goes a long way these days! The research on this article was a lot fun and I really learned a lot about money, our society and the way people function. Till next time, keep loving, eating and tipping big in Nevada!

NevadaState

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