Saturday, November 1, 2008

Tipping the Scale

When did a tip become mandatory?

I remember my parents telling me times where they've left a penny because service was so bad. Tips used to be up to the discretion of the customer. Tips used to be and still are in several countries, an added bonus rewarded for great service- and not expected.

Recently, I ordered delivery and was told my tip was not enough. I gave a dollar for a meal that cost 10 bucks. That is 10 percent. As far as I know, free delivery from a restaurant means free delivery and any additional amount given is something of a courtesy. The delivery guy threatened that next time I will have to pick-up my food. After calling the restaurant to complain about how rude he was, the attendant told me that my history from ordering online showed I didn't pay enough tip (I rarely complain and usually give great tips). I told him that while it may not be recorded on my online history, I give cash for tip when they come. He informed me that I had 'strikes' and after many, they do not deliver to you anymore. He also informed me that they do not receive a salary and rely on tips. Well, I'm sorry but that is not my problem. This is the responsibility of the employer to give them salary and I should not be yelled at by a delivery guy for not giving enough. I would be perfectly happy to pay a delivery fee or if it said online what a suggested tip is then I'd be happy to oblige.

This makes me believe that people expect something for nothing. The art of customer service for the reason of customer loyalty has been lost. No longer are people friendly and say thank you for an extra bonus, but expect it immediately just for having done their jobs. If you are paid to do a job, you do it. If by chance you receive a gracious tip from someone for doing your job WELL, then that is great. However, I'm sorry, you should not get extra if you do not go the extra mile. This is supposed to be the motivation for you to go beyond basic expectations.

For example, students are supposed to do their work. If someone who does B- work receives an A, what good is it to try harder and put in more effort in order to get the A? The incentive in business and the market is to provide quality service and offer something that others do not provide, hence why you shop there and not somewhere else. Lastly, if you get a birthday present, do you go and ask for more birthday presents or a different one because it wasn't to your liking?

To ask for more of a tip or reward when it is supposed to be a courtesy to get something in the first place is just unacceptable to me and it should be to you.

Mission 10:
1) Re-evaluate how you spend your money. Are you being too nice? I've been giving very generous tips for years and am starting to think that people should earn it. Next time you have bad service, do not encourage it by giving them more than 10 or 15 percent. They get paid to do a job, if they don't do it properly, they shouldn't get rewarded.
2) If you are in a service job with a possibility for tips, try to provide great service and don't ask for more if you don't get what you hoped for. Stop Complaining.


Christopher said...

I love the fact that you have a "tip history" on a computer somewhere!

Steve said...

As the "standard" tip has gone up to 20% (at least here in L.A.), I've been starting to feel like an old man at Denny's. "What? 10%? Why should I leave her 10%? It's her job to get me refills!" I still try to leave 15%, but only give 20% if they did a really great job.

Why do I leave 15% as standard? Because a lot of wait people make below minimum wage. They actually do rely on tips. Having said that, though, they should make the extra effort to earn that tip. If they are rude or useless, their tip income should reflect that. I should not feel bad leaving less if they suck total wicked ass.

And that's my 2¢ (which is 10% of the income time I wasted writing this instead of working).