The Tipping Point
From an article in The Wall Street Journal titled: ‘Tipping at Self-Checkout Has Customers Crying ‘Emotional Blackmail‘.
I have always been a decent tipper, usually 15-20% depending on the service, but I have certainly tipped less and nothing. I worked in the restaurant industry growing up, before my time in the Marine Corps, so I’m well aware of what it takes for a waiter or waitress to provide good service. It really takes a team, but the team shouldn’t get part of the tips, after all, they make hourly, whereas most wait staff get around $2 an hour plus tips. My wife was a waitress in high school and we have a rule in our family that our children must work at least 6 months in a customer service job of some sort, like in a restaurant or retail. Dealing face-to-face with the customer will really make you appreciate how hard someone is busting his or her butt for you later in your life.
I do have problems with companies that either do not allow the wait staff to keep the tips or make them share them with the rest of the staff. I did work at such a restaurant for a few months and I always returned my tips as I didn’t like that whole concept.
Here we are in 2023, and not only is it normal for many restaurants to automatically take a tip out, but many other places want tips. I was at a grocery store when I was asked on the credit card machine interface to add a tip, I guess for the cashier. I was also asked to add a tip at Dairy Queen for the flowers that I ordered online for my mother for Mother’s Day. I have not been asked to tip at the self-checkout yet, but I have read many stories about people that are seeing that. I think we have carried the whole, tip for this and tip for that just a little too far.
I mean the self-checkout, where I’m doing 100% of the labor, then who in the freaking world am I supposedly tipping? The really sad part of it is that a fair amount of customers are in a hurry, are not readying, and are just selecting yes or a dollar amount. And a store like Walmart which will do, say for the sake of a round number, do 1,000 paying customers a day and 10% of the customers hit yes to a $1 tip, that is $100 added to the bottom line for Walmart. By no means am I accusing Wally World of doing this, I’m just using them as an example as they are well known.
The concept of tipping was to award service that you felt was above the normal and that you think deserved a little bonus. The only way we will ever stop this trend is if we stop patronizing those that do this as well as we need to pay tips in cash, well that as long as we still have cash, it won’t be long until the Government stops the usage of physical cash. That entire topic is saved for another post, but you would think that they would want to keep it as it is easier to scrape a little off the top when it is cash.