Monday, November 21, 2016

Anti-Tipping Campaign?

Tipping seems to be a contentious topic for social dialog for some people; for how long I don't and care not to know, though I suspect it's a gripe that's been around as long as table servers have been recieving gratuities. I was made aware of this Saturday night by Gunga Din, a former peer of the streets I've known for a few years, when I mentioned in passing that I'd only been tipped out seven dollars by my servers. Yeah, I was complaining, but unemphatically because I don't revolve my life around what I consider to be a fickle ancillary fund that's good mostly for throwing at frivolities. Apparently some people have been raising a social media ruckus seeking to eliminate the custom, which was confirmed in a couple blog posts I perused yesterday morning.

First off, I'm all for tipping. As a dishwasher, of course, I don't actually expect getting tipped out, at least not insofar as I plan my finances or activities around it. But, I do get tipped out, and it's nice; it's how I get to eat my favorite Chicago-style gyros and smoke Turkish Royals ... be a denim high-roller one night out of the week. But, indeed, I agree with some of those against the practice, that it's become a bit of a snooty proletarian entitlement and is genteel conduct that's exercised somewhat idiotically. Tipping is for being waited on, that's it. I don't tip the food carts, nor will I tip a barista. Some people tip servers — also food carts and baristas — because they feel it ought to be done because these employees only earn minimum wage. However, by that logic just about everyone from check-out baggers to skinflick rental clerks should be getting tipped.

Whenever I dine out with my little Moon Goddess, we tip. She tends to offer the customary twenty-plus percent, even for mediocre service; I generally tip around twenty percent for decent service, ten or fifteen (or once a Cuck E Cheese token! lol) for substandard service, and usually up to forty percent if the service was awesome. Does that make us good people? In my case, most definitely not; I'm not all that great a person, regardless how free I make with my largess. But, I have enough presence of mind to realize that I'm not paying just for the food when I eat out — that's what grocery stores are for. As such, it's pretty rube to not tip someone to set and clear your table for you; as you afflict the public with your bullshit presence, which the server must either obligingly partake in if you extend an invitation to or vigilantly leave unmolested should you prefer to be selfish about it.

I don't get the hostility toward servers specifically, and food-service workers generally. Nor do I relate at all to this busybody business of fussing over other peoples' money; why are there people out there who feel compelled to preach some sort of antagonistic gospel proscribing generosity and civility in personal spending? Hell, why are we Americans so into each other's personal business, anyway? All my life I've beheld the sorry spectacle of a society comprised largely of people trying to browbeat and bully each other around: what to eat, how to spend money, who to marry ... how to fuck even! If this anti-tipping brouhaha becomes a serious movement, I'll be fine as a dishwasher ... but I'll be doing that whilst living on a boat and isolating myself from my fellow Americans as much as a man can who works and lives.

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