My opposition to tipping, and hence my refusal to tip, is something I worked out 25 to 30 years ago. I've just never yet written up an "anti-tipping manifesto."
First, the immediate background on what prompts me to write up and post this "manifesto" --
Recently, on Facebook, a friend from college (to date us, that was nigh-on 35 years ago) said, joking:
[Concerning] my new haircut and beard trim. The barber said I was starting look like Trotsky. There went his tip...
After some back-and-forth, I said:
You could just do like I do and decline to tip *anyone* -- tipping is a degrading and anti-American custom ... and a scam
Nancy Hartley said:
I don't know you Troy, but if you were a waiter/waitress working for far less than minimum wage and tips were considered part of your salary you might rethink your attitude.
To which I replied:
No, I wouldn'tAnd, in fact, I have worked those sorts of jobs (and also the fast-food types where no one ever thinks to tip, because there isn't someone telling them they're "supposed" to), both when I was in college and afterward because I wanted more money (for a while, but the added stress wasn't worth the money to me). I've received exactly one tip in my life -- $5 on the very first pizza I delivered as a freshman, ant the pizza itself didn't cost much more than the $5 -- and I *tried* to turn it down, but the guy was drunk, so rather than anger him I finally kept it. The point here is that even before I'd worked out what is wrong with tipping, the whole concept made me uncomfortable.
Come to think of it, I suppose one could say I did receive a few other "tips" -- some women (and a man or two) flashing a bit too much skin, and under-garments, at me when I made the delivery. What? I'm gonna give you a discount (paid for out of my pocket!) because you show me your tits? Which I never even asked to see!
I also recall hearing, and being disgusted by, my sister-in-law ranting because "some guy shafted her," meaning that he didn't give her as much extra (and potentially unreported) income as she figured was her due.
Anyway, Bill (the old friend) said:
you don't tip Troy???? Degrading?? I have a very dear and close friend who works for Otterbein, put herself thru school there it took 11 yrs and she used to be a full time waitress at Bob Evans and now works there part time. Sometimes to help her husband out he's in construction, she'll work 7 days a week all winter. She would give you the shirt off her back and is one of the funniest people i know. She loved my mom too. I can not ever ever think of not tipping her and in cash because BE will take taxes out. She has worked for BE for over 25 yrs and is just now making more then any wait staff at $3.15 an hour, most make a dollar less then that. I always tip at least 20% to anyone even if they are rude to me or I get bad service, you don't what kind of day they're having. I think it's totall unchristain not to tip and inhuman as well.
Nancy Hartley said:
Well said Bill. There are many, many people out there, especially in today's economy, that appreciate our Christian attitude.
Nancy Hartley said:
Troy, my apoligies to you. I did not mean to offend you, if I did, with my message. It is so easy to say things in this format without even knowing the person. One of the few dangers of this advancing technological age.I have no idea how she turned a terse "No, I wouldn't" into that I took insult. *sigh* I'm a man; men tend to be terse; I am frequently very terse -- the alternative being very verbose, as here.
I said (to Nancy Hartley):
Actually, Bill's near-tirade wasn't "well-said," it was emotive and apropos of nothing I'd said. Tipping is not "Christian." It's degrading, demeaning, insulting ... and it's also a racket
why would paying someone a living wage be degrading troy and it's up to me to believe what is christian or not, that is between me and my higher power. i believe you get out of this life what you give, not tipping comes across as being cheap and selfish. you work for tips every time you service the public, i feel sorry for your wait staff. but I love you no matter what you think or feel Troy and you have the right to your opinion even if I don't agree.
Bill, if you thought I was coldly logical 30 years ago, I can assure you that I am even more myself now than I was then.To explain a bit more -- back in those days, some of my friends (including Bill) would express the opinion that I was sometimes "too logical." As though such a thing is possible! Also, in those days, out of friendship, I would bite my tongue when some silly-minded liberal (I'm looking at you, Bill) would accuse me of being "closed-minded" for sticking with the opinions I'd started with ... you know, same as they were doing. I don't bite my tongue any more.
Now, for that "manifesto," for the explanation of why you, too, should decline to tip: "Because I'm always right, of couse!"
OK, if you really need more, let's examine the issue, point by point -- combining the two statements I quoted above, I said that "Tipping is an anti-American custom; it is not "Christian." It's degrading, demeaning, insulting ... and it's also a racket/scam."
And, by the way, I am not saying that these points are exhaustive, only that they examine what I said previously:
1a) Demeaning -- it is demeaning to live off charity. It may be that this or that person cannot avoid reliance upon charity, but it is always demeaning to one's dignity as an adult human being to be reliant upon it. Trying to put tipping into its most positive light, it is charity.
1b) Demeaning -- the second aspect of being demeaning hhich follows from the custom of tipping is reflected in Bill's joke. Now, of course, Bill was just making a joke, and his joke is not the point here. The point is that there are *are* people who use the expectation of a tip to humiliate their waiter or waitress to whatever limit they can push (and, by the way, I expect that considerably more than 50% of such jerks are women).
2) Degrading -- it is also personally degrading to live off charity and hand-outs, but the specific degradation I have in mind is of a different sort than point 1). Here, I have in mind the sort of moral-and-rational degradation which seems always to follow from believing/asserting that others owe one something which they do not, in fact, owe one:
a) such as I mentioned with my former sister-in-law ranting because a customer didn't give her the free income as she just knew was her due (and, by the way, that was reflective of her attitude toward her ex-husband's relatives);
b) or such as we are presently seeing in Europe, for instance, in Greece, where the so-called citizens are rioting to demand that the tax-payers of Germany are obligated to support the Greeks' indolent government-subsidized lifestyles;
c) or such as we are presently seeing in the US, where "public service" union thugs intimidate -- and injure -- taxpayers who object to the gravy-train.
3) Insulting -- Tipping is insulting on multiple levels (such as touched upon above); but it's also insulting that:
a) some customers imagine it is their right and/or duty to second-guess the employment agreement between an employer and his employees -- in truth, it is none of your damned business what they have mutually agreed that her work is worth to her and to his business;
b) some employers are willing to place on their customers the expectation that it is the customers' job to pay his employees some imaginary "fair living wage."
4) Racket/scam -- Tipping is racket or scam as touched upon in point 3b -- the employers and the employees are in on the scam and the marks are their customers. Do you, O Big Spender, tip everyone with whom you come in contact? No, you tip only certain ones whom someone has told you you're "supposed" to tip. Do you, O Big Spender, enquire of your prospective tipee how much she pulled down last week -- you know, does she really "deserve" that big tip because she's so "underpaid?" No, you don't.
Then, there is the temptation to tax-cheating and/or unfairness of it all -- there is the temptation (and the ease of doing so) to not declare all one's tips ... and there is the tax-law assumption that the waiters pull down x% in tips, such that even if he or she doesn't, their employer is still required to tax them on the assumption that they did.
5) Anti-American -- is it really necessary to explain the above is anti-American?
6) not Christian -- is it really necessary to explain the above is not Christian?
Perhaps, later, I'll add some more touching upon the things Bill and Nancy Hartley said; and perhaps explain the labels under which I've categorized this post.