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more on tipping

This is an addendum to yesterday's tipping post.

What bugs me most is not the tipping suggestions but the attitude that some people use when delivering them: tipping is not an issue of etiquette but a requirement, and if you can't afford to tip then you shouldn't use the service, aka stay home because you are a loser socially. I'll write a longer post about how this relates to the ACB conventions later. For now, I'll say this. In my daily life, I can do without some things (e.g. dinners at nice restaurants or even non-fast-food restaurants that wouldn't necessarily be considered "nice" but where you're supposed to tip because you're served. I can't do without taxi rides and hair cuts. These things are necessities if I'm ever to get off "the system" and get a job. But if by the time I've done my rent/utilities/meds/food I only have $120 or so left and a hair cut costs $25, that extra $5 is mighty precious, and if it's the beginning of the month I have to think hard about what else I have to do that month. So that lack of tip isn't about unwillingness or rudeness, but often it's about my ability to get myself to the doctor or not--and until someone has the time and energy to teach me the routes from here to there and I can determine that I can get there without incident walking, I'm stuck with the taxi or paratransit. And since paratransit fills up rather quickly, I do have to have taxi money on hand.

It's just very upsetting to be judged and relegated to home because I can't tip when I'm already relegated to home because I can't afford most of the basics of life. The attitude puts me in a frame of mind that I may as well not try to get out and about because there's no way I could meet the etiquette requirements. And the truly rude customers are the ones who sit for hours and make a raucous, order cheap stuff, and leave a cheap tip; not the polite ones who can't afford to tip very much.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 25th, 2006 03:03 pm (UTC)
If you have a good relationship with your hairdresser, maybe you could give her something else occasionally? Cookies or something like that. I know that, for many people, it's really a part of their salary, but for some services it's more the thought that counts.
Jul. 25th, 2006 04:01 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the idea.
Jul. 25th, 2006 03:18 pm (UTC)
I agree, if you're not tipping because you can't, that doesn't bother me, as long as you're polite (that sounds more condescending than I mean it to be). It bothers me more when people (blind, sighted, or with purple skin) coose to be rude than if they don't tip, especially because chances are very good I don't know what situation is financially, nor do I need to know. Just my thoughts, of course.
Jul. 25th, 2006 06:03 pm (UTC)
I agree with puppybraille and I don't think that anyone has the right, be they blind, sighted or whatever to criticize another for the decisions they make or the perceived lack of ediquet on their part. Honestly, I don't know of another group that is so critical of one another and it is such a shame. Rather than making people feel like they are relegated to their homes because of their financial circumstances, we should embrace any and all opportunities that might open the door to greater socialization and community participation for *all* blind people.
Jul. 25th, 2006 04:07 pm (UTC)
I don’t tip for crappy service, but I do tip for good service. In neither case is tipping an obligation, and I feel put upon when I find a gratuity included in the price of my meal – especially when the food costs better than it tastes.

I can’t see why anyone would compare the failure to tip – that is, the failure to offer more money for a service than the vendor is charging – as the same as wanting the service free. That’s just so much pretentious foolishness, especially coming from a community where 70% of its members are unemployed.
Jul. 25th, 2006 04:36 pm (UTC)
Re: Tipping
Unfortunately, blind people can be extremely critical of one another. Much of this is probably due to the fact that they have a lot of pride in their own accomplishments and bitterness when their efforts fail; so when they see other people who (in their eyes) are not trying hard enough, they become critical: "I work hard, and you should, too." In reality, maybe that other person is working his/her tail off or has already done so and has reached a point of accepting his/her limitations. As I said on the list, people get discouraged and stop trying for valid reasons, even when the solution is more effort. Someday I'll write the blind/disabled person's equivalent of Nickel and Dime.
Jul. 25th, 2006 05:18 pm (UTC)
A Couple of Thoughts
First, I think tipping the skycap $5 is ridiculous. Honestly, thinking back over my flying experiences, I can't think of a single situation where a skycap has earned a $5 tip. If one shows up with a wheelchair, for instance, and refuses to listen when I say it isn't needed, then I'm not giving him/her five cents, let alone five dollars. As for the carping blind, for the most part these are people who simply have forgotten where they came from. Hmm, thinking about it, ACB could also stand for America's Carping Blind...
Jul. 25th, 2006 07:02 pm (UTC)
It's ridiculous.
I'm going to my friend's house tonight. My mom's driving me there, but coming home tonight will be 12 dollars before tip. This is just a five mile drive.
Jul. 25th, 2006 07:23 pm (UTC)
expensive cabs
I sympathize on the cab fare. [hugs]
Jul. 25th, 2006 11:01 pm (UTC)
When I take a cab to work from where I live, it's usually around $15, and it's just a shade over six miles. Because of the way gas prices are, I don't see cab fares going down any time soon. *pout*
Jul. 26th, 2006 07:47 pm (UTC)
I've never liked the idea that is behind the tipping requirement, which seems to be that you have to show your appreciation in a material way. In fact, it feels kind of strange to me when you tip but don't care to show your appreciation by being a nice, frinedly customer.

I do think, however, there may be some cultural difference here. 10% is a really normal tip here and as far as I'm concerned, people only tip waiters/waitresses in restaurants and cab drivers. I do this, but I never tip purposefully anywhere else - I might leave a 5 euro bill when someone is 4.50 and not care about change, but it's usually not cause I think it's polite to tip or whatever and most oftenly people sitll insist on giving me the change, so it's kind of confusing.
Jul. 26th, 2006 08:44 pm (UTC)
I understand your argument to some extent, but what about the waitress who is working a part time, sub minimum wage job? Maybe she has kids. She probably doesn't have SSI. She might be receiving the same amount of income as you do in SSI for the service she's providing you.
Jul. 26th, 2006 09:38 pm (UTC)
waitreeses, hours, and income levels
I provide child care for a single mom who works jobs like this, so I understand the predicament. I also think that the solution rests with the employer, not the customer who is in the same financial circumstances as the employee. There is no excuse for paying anyone the kind of low wages that servers are paid, just as there is no excuse for the unemployment rate we face. I'm also aware that a fair number of people go into food service BECAUSE of the tips: they know that they can make a lot of money and can get away with not reporting it. I hear them talk--a lot. I hear this while I am honest about every penny I make. I charge this mom $50;week, work hours no person in her right mind would work so that she can keep her part-time job and put food on the table for her kid, don't charge for weeks when she doesn't show (which means that some weeks she can opt for free child care provided by family and I lose income). Perhaps I should be more firm with my practices--business is business, and I have to make a living. But I care about her living, and I have some other irons in the fire as well. As I mentioned in some of my other posts, the solution is multi-faceted. I'm afraid my posts are communicating that I never tip, which is untrue. But I couldn't tip every single time society expects me to, and I shouldn't be treated like an imbecile for it simply because I can't. If I pay all those tips to cab drivers at the beginning of the month, nobody is going to volunteer to drive me to various places at the end of the month because I was doing the right thing. They're all busy looking out for number 1.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )


Sarah Blake LaRose
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