I recently returned from Europe where servers are paid a fair wage and diners are not expected to tip. I had a discussion with an American about tipping while there and made some of the arguments in this article. The writer (an ex server) initially made the argument that people should tip 20% and that it was rude not to tip. The reaction from Canadians was intense with 80% saying the system should be changed. This person actually changed her mind about a cultural practice and wrote this article. Will this piece change your mind?

The arguments to abolish tipping

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I think you named most of the tipped employees Chris. We occasionally tip the newspaper carrier at Xmas time. But what are the different rules for a tipped employee? I don't tip a barber 20%.  There is nothing to base your tip for a maid - certainly not 20% of the room cost.

I get a massage every month and I have never tipped my massage therapist, unless it is Xmas season. I have been going for fifteen years.

While traveling for the government  on per-deim rates tipping maids for hotels per day as I recall used to be ~$3.00,  shuttle drivers at hotels  was as I recall $5.00 each way. don't remember what was allowed to tip taxi drivers.  It's been a long time since I traveled under perdiem for the government.  Some of these rules likely changed.  I usually had a rental a car because of the work I did.

I don't know how that tipping formula factored into the 'tipped' wage formula for employees.

When I was a ten to twelve year old kid riding my bycycle around delevering newspapers I was lucky to get a tip if the newspaper landed  on the front porch of a house while hitting the screen door loud enough to let the receiver know the paper was there without breaking the screen, or landing it on the porch under the awning depending upon customer preference.   It was a neat job for a kid.  I rarely received tips, but got to know my neighbors well.

That is no longer a job for kids.  Hell, most kids, or more than likely parents are afraid to let a kid walk, or ride their bike to school, or around town unattended.  Hovercraft  helicopter parent illness.

I'm lucky if my newspaper makes it to the driveway.  I've dropped a tip for my newspaper carrier around the hollidays.  Why should I feel a need to?

A teenager was walking his dog up the street. I offered him $10/ hour to pull weeds.  That was declined.   The parents probably had the dog to walk (and protect the kid).

Independence for kids probably ended about the time the idiotic "Baby on Board" plackards appeard on minivans.

I tip as well Jerry. But, I do not tip on takeout food. I ordered wings by phone last night and when I went to pick them up I was handed a terminal with a tip option. I had to ask the cashier how to skip the tip option. She didn't seem to mind.

Do you tip for takeout food as well?

Jerry, I feel the same.  I'm opposed to tipping in theory, but I think you pointed-out very good reasons for tipping.  

This conversation reminds me of one time that I tipped where it wasn't expected.  It was many years ago, when filling the car with gas and other sevices were performed by a worker at the station.  There was a young guy at a station in the middle of nowhere that was very pleasant, and went above and beyond his duties.  I was so impressed, I gave him a tip.

In Oregon is required by law to have an attendent fill the gas for you.  That isn't done for jobs, but for safety.

I understand that most places in Europe tipping isn't expected because the wait staff doesn't make $2.13/hour and the gratituities are included with the bill, as I think it should be.

I wonder how much tipping in American culture and underpaying employees goes back to child labor, and slavery. It certenially is based on the American form of Capitalisim

I am from Europe and I do tip. BUT I make it very dependent on how I am being served and how the food/drink is. So if my waitress is rude and slow, she will not get a tip from me.
And if I go to the US I will handle it the same. It is not my (the customer's) fault that employees aren't getting paid fairly. That is something about worker's rights and laws that should ensure that employers pay their staff fairly.
I know I may sound like an asshole saying it that way, but if you keep paying such high tips you reinforce the message that it is ok to underpay your staff and therefore the industry and the laws won't change because there is no reason - after all, you are making up for the lack of pay, right?

And btw, when I have a nice waiter who serves well, etc, I am more than happy to put a nice big tip on the table for him. I don't care.
But yes, in the more modern countries in Europe, waiters get paid enough to make it without tips.

I attempted to post a two paragraph response. Unfortunately it didn't post.  Apparently, I'm going to have to start writing off line to ensure my posts go though.

Perhaps I should tip my ISP for better service. 

Aren't you glad you don't have to tip airlines for safe flights.

Here is a tipping example where it it is a marketing ploy to deceive. I recently booked a Caribbean cruise. After looking at all the possibilities and figuring out my budget, my choice was a Carnival offering. A few weeks later I discovered the selection I made had some fine print. Service staff on the ship were to get tips - since Carnival does not trust all of its passengers to tip fairly you need to provide 100 plus dollars in cash or with a credit card on boarding. So I have an extra unanticipated expense for both me and my wife.

It sounds like Carnival cruise lines wants to give their staff a fair wage - but why deceive the customers with one price and then surprise them with a forced second price. They could market this as price that includes all tips. I resent being surprised by an extra forced charge. What if I do not ask for as much service - don`t purchase drinks at the bar etc. 

The Costa Condordia  Captian may may have made better choices if 'tipping' wasn't included in his  descisions.

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