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  • Tipping fatigue

    Is anyone else getting tired of tipping? I feel like ever since the pandemic started, everyone has just come to expect 20-30% tips for everything. I don't like how there is "tip" option every time you go up to the counter to pick up and pay for carryout. I felt obliged to tip the last time that I was at one of those frozen yogurt places where you make your own yogurt. We recently went on a trip and had to park our car in the hotel valet system. I felt like I had to pay a few bucks just to get my sunglasses out of the car when I realized that I had forgotten them there. I also had to walk around with wallet full of one dollar bills so that I could tip a few bucks everywhere I went. The problem I see with tipping is:
    1. People who do tip a "normal" amount are subsidizing those that do not tip. Less then 1/3 of people tip hotel housekeepers. If they are reliant on tips to make their expected wage, they are essentially dependent on 1/3 of people supporting their wage for the 2/3 who do not.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/30/b...r-tipping.html
    2. Tips require cash. I happened to have a lot of 1 dollar bills that I had accumulated, but very few 5 dollar bills. Nobody uses cash anymore, you can't go to the ATM and request 1-5 dollar bills and I don't think I should have to tip the hotel valet driver 10-20 dollars for daily trips.
    3. Credit card machines that ask you if you want to tip make you feel obligated to tip. I don't think that you should be obliged to tip the high school student who charges you for the frozen yogurt you made by yourself. I also don't think that you should be expected to tip every time you someone gets makes a coffee or picks up a muffin for you.
    4. Tips have become disconnected from quality of service. I don't know if they ever were connected with quality of service, but I think that most tips are more reflective of the person tipping these days more then whatever the service it is supposed to incentivize.


  • #2
    Originally posted by nephron View Post
    Is anyone else getting tired of tipping? I feel like ever since the pandemic started, everyone has just come to expect 20-30% tips for everything. I don't like how there is "tip" option every time you go up to the counter to pick up and pay for carryout. I felt obliged to tip the last time that I was at one of those frozen yogurt places where you make your own yogurt. We recently went on a trip and had to park our car in the hotel valet system. I felt like I had to pay a few bucks just to get my sunglasses out of the car when I realized that I had forgotten them there. I also had to walk around with wallet full of one dollar bills so that I could tip a few bucks everywhere I went. The problem I see with tipping is:
    1. People who do tip a "normal" amount are subsidizing those that do not tip. Less then 1/3 of people tip hotel housekeepers. If they are reliant on tips to make their expected wage, they are essentially dependent on 1/3 of people supporting their wage for the 2/3 who do not.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/30/b...r-tipping.html
    2. Tips require cash. I happened to have a lot of 1 dollar bills that I had accumulated, but very few 5 dollar bills. Nobody uses cash anymore, you can't go to the ATM and request 1-5 dollar bills and I don't think I should have to tip the hotel valet driver 10-20 dollars for daily trips.
    3. Credit card machines that ask you if you want to tip make you feel obligated to tip. I don't think that you should be obliged to tip the high school student who charges you for the frozen yogurt you made by yourself. I also don't think that you should be expected to tip every time you someone gets makes a coffee or picks up a muffin for you.
    4. Tips have become disconnected from quality of service. I don't know if they ever were connected with quality of service, but I think that most tips are more reflective of the person tipping these days more then whatever the service it is supposed to incentivize.
    I'm fairly certain that all of these things existed pre-pandemic. Even the solicitation of tipping for carryout. As a result of COVID I think there was pressure to help these small businesses out and tip more often with more money, but everyone was always looking for a tip even before. Also with more home deliveries of various items to avoid going to stores, there were more instances where tipping came up.

    But overall, tipping has been ingrained in the culture. COVID didn't change much. I've gone back to not tipping for carryout with a few exceptions. I almost never tip hotel housekeepers because I generally never use them. I don't need my room cleaned daily for 90%+ of my hotel usage. Just after I check out is good enough. Valets and food deliveries always got some sort of tip. Also even before COVID they were fairly disconnected from service. If it was great, I'd tip a lot more, but everyone got some default amount unless there was something egregious (which has probably happened under 5 times in my life).

    I'd much prefer if there was no tipping and the cost of everything was adjusted accordingly, but unfortunately that's not the world we live in, and it was more or less the same pre-COVID.
    Last edited by AR; 04-30-2022, 08:56 PM.

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    • #3
      I don’t bother with valets if at all possible. Just not my cup of tea.

      But I’ve gotten looser with tipping in the last six months or so. Part of it was a realization that we’ve hit our financial independence number, plus the reality that a five or ten dollar tip for some drinks really won’t make a difference in our financial life but might be meaningful for the waiter or barkeep.

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      • #4
        Just don't tip if you don't want. Don't worry about what people think about you, do what you think is right.

        I've been dialing back on the takeout and counter service tipping because wages and therefore prices have gone sky high, now I'm at 0-10%. On the other hand I started tipping hotel housekeeping during the pandemic and have decided to keep that.

        Up to you.

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        • #5
          I agree the tipping is everywhere and I also agree it was there before COVID. I try to avoid any potential tipping situations mainly because I can usually do the task myself and the involvement of another individual is unnecessary. Plus, I never carry cash.

          We do tip nicely for dinner/drinks.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by FIREshrink View Post
            Just don't tip if you don't want.
            That advice is OK in a lot of circumstances. However, if you don't want to tip at a sit down restaurant, you really shouldn't go. It's basically an unwritten rule.

            But for lots of other scenarios, your policy is fine.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Hank View Post
              I don’t bother with valets if at all possible. Just not my cup of tea.]
              Me neither. However, as you imply, sometimes it's just not possible.

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              • #8
                I have no problem tipping generously at a full service restaurant when I’m getting carryout but I am tired of the requests for tips at places like Dunkin or Panera. At hotels I never get maid service but always leave $5 per night to hopefully pass it forward in the form of a thorough cleaning for the next guest and major appreciation for those doing a low paying job that I would be miserable doing even for my salary.

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                • #9
                  It’s a pretty bad system. And I completely agree that cash is a real pain in the butt to carry around. It does discourage me from using some services when I feel guilty if I don’t tip. I stopped using Walmart Grocery pickup because I heard from someone that he always tips his delivery person, so I wasn’t sure if it was expected or not.

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                  • #10
                    Also, how many of you tip on Uber or Lyft?

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                    • #11
                      The only time I’m getting asked tip lately is with Instacart. I just left at the 5% default. No idea if that’s high or low for this service. Letting someone else do my grocery shopping though has been a game changer.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by pierre View Post
                        The only time I’m getting asked tip lately is with Instacart. I just left at the 5% default. No idea if that’s high or low for this service. Letting someone else do my grocery shopping though has been a game changer.
                        I don't think I've every gotten a grocery order that was 100% correct with everything that was ordered even once. Also a lot of suboptimal produce that I never would have picked myself. I don't think I'd ever use it unless there were some extenuating circumstances.

                        That's not to say outsourcing shopping isn't a game changer. I have a friend who pays someone to do it. It's the same person every time and they know if they should get a substitute and what it should be. Also they hit up multiple different stores. Seems great. It's like the business class of grocery shopping. Finding someone like that is probably not too hard. But I'm lazy and cheap.

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                        • #13
                          It is funny how we constantly over-tip those who cost us money and we will likely never see again, yet we seldom worry about those who MAKE us money and WILL help us again. That was something from Rich Dad book, but it has been common sense to me in my whole adult life.

                          I tip my office staff routinely. I provide gifts for the residents and fellows. I tip my accountant or attorneys or mechanics or movers or tailor or USPS/UPS/FedEx or dog trainer or dog walker or many others (more gift cards or bottle of wine or fruit platter, etc for the white collar ones... cash for the others). All of those people increase my productivity and improve my life quality.

                          And sure, I tip the 'obvious' ones like food service or dry cleaning or hotels or bartender or massage or musician, etc etc. I always carry cash. I tip cash even if it would be easier to just tip on the card (taxi services, restaurant, etc). It is common sense to put cash in the hand, and any smart worker appreciates a cash tip they may not claim (so basically 25% more tip). I see no need to go above-and-beyond standard tip for the service rendered unless I will certainly see them again - or if they did exemplary work. I agree that if you can't tip at least in the normal range, you shouldn't use the service.

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                          • #14
                            I get tired of it too. it seems to have morphed to any and all businesses since covid. for instance the high school student that throws a few ingredients in a cup for a drink or coffee want a tip or they hand you a pre-made sandwich they warmed up in the microwave (dunkin,sb,caribou) then they stand there looking directly at you until you pick your choice of tip amount making it uncomfortable. companies need to just pay these people better wages and get rid of the tip.
                            I agree with others, full service restaurant or other establishment, sure I'll tip you and tip you well. but why do you deserve a tip if you hand me a pack of gum ? /s

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by AR View Post

                              I don't think I've every gotten a grocery order that was 100% correct with everything that was ordered even once. Also a lot of suboptimal produce that I never would have picked myself. I don't think I'd ever use it unless there were some extenuating circumstances.

                              That's not to say outsourcing shopping isn't a game changer. I have a friend who pays someone to do it. It's the same person every time and they know if they should get a substitute and what it should be. Also they hit up multiple different stores. Seems great. It's like the business class of grocery shopping. Finding someone like that is probably not too hard. But I'm lazy and cheap.
                              If I could find someone like that, I’d probably do it. But I have no idea where to even start looking. Probably Facebook, which I don’t use. I’m in a smaller town too and that might be more of a big city type of thing.

                              Up until today, the produce has been spot on. The main issue we have is our address doesn’t work on Apple Maps. So about 15-20 % of our orders do not get delivered to us (only been using the service for 2-3 months). We’d resubmit the order and another shopper finds us later in the day. We found out though that the shoppers always deliver the order to the same wrong house 2 blocks away. So sometimes we get two orders for the price of one.

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