USA - 3rd World Country?

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by exbleep, Sep 26, 2007.

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  1. Now, I'm not one to knock the septics. Indeed, I have enjoyed their company on exercises, ops and exchanges in the past. I also enjoy visiting their country and have done so on many occasions. But has anyone else noticed how the "tipping" culture, once associated with the "baksheesh" mentality of so-called 3rd world countries, has proliferated so much? Absolutely everything that someone does for you has a gratuity attached to it. Even passing you an unopened can of overpriced beer from the fridge elicits a request for a dollar tip. Forget the 10% expected in Europe at a restaurant. There it is 15% for mediocre service and less than 20% isn't even greeted with a thank you. The skycaps at the airport now expect $5 per bag and taxi drivers virtually demand a 20% tip. At a hotel in Vegas, some prat took my bag from the taxi and put it on the pavement (I had to take it inside the hotel) and expected a couple of dollars for it. Even the self-service places like Taco Bell, McDonalds and Burger King have "tip-jars" on the counter. One restaurant in Florida had a 15% service charge included in the bill but a further tip was also expected. Is the country going downhill so fast that they can't afford to pay their staff hence the "gimme, gimme, gimme" mentality has crept in to give service staff something to live on? Go to Vegas for a week and you'll probably give out more in tips than you'll lose on the tables. At St Thomas (USVI) I heard a fat, sweaty septic barman telling another Yank that he wouldn't serve Europeans because they didn't tip. All he was doing was passing beer from a fridge and telling you he "didn't serve sodas because you could buy them in the market". No wonder nobody bloody well tipped him. To cap it all, a bus driver on the Vegas strip even had a tip jar next to his seat. They could teach the vendors at the pyramids in Egypt a thing or two on how to elicit cash from tourists.
  2. Agreed. Im starting to see tip jars everywhere in the States too. But, Im tighter than a knats chuff and I tip based on service. Typically all that is required is that you flirt with me for ten seconds, bat your eyelids and shake your wobblers at me. That will get you a ten spot even before I have ordered.

    To be serious (if only for a second), the appearance of a tip jar at every corner you turn is a play on the society's approach to doing the right thing so to say. I eat out on a regular basis and of course most of my friends are Americans. They bark at me in utter disbelief if I eat and don't leave a tip. Even to the point where we have all just shared a terrible meal, had empty glasses throughout the meal and the service was slow. They display their discomfort at lousy service by only leaving "smaller tip than usual". They tell me its not the servers fault that the steak isnt cooked to order, or that the veggies are cold. Well, yes actually it is. The server and I enter into a verbal agreement on ordering. Its a fairly easy going agreement, bring me what I order, keep the glass full of beer and you'll be rewarded well. If the service sucks, so does your tip.

    I hit Vegas at least once a month and never had a problem with the taxi drivers, bell-hops etc. That said there are only about 4 good hotels in Vegas anyway. It depends on where you stay.

    Bottom line, don't tip unless you encounter someone who has gone above and beyond what you consider the norm. The quicker the society as a whole grasps this concept, the quicker these tip jars will disappear.
  3. What are the good hotels then???
  4. I once tried to tip one of the girls at DisneyWorld, only to be told that she couldn't accept it because the staff are searched after their shift.

    In this country every night-club toilet seems to include a black fella who attacks you with aftershave when you go for a piss and demands a few quid in return.
  5. I always tip for good service, and if they don't give it, they don't get.
    As for being a third world country. Yes in parts, go about half a mile north of the strip and people are sleeping under plastic sheets on the street, not tourists. And don't get sick without insurance. There are places in Northern New Mexico which make Sudan look plush. As for the rigged political system....
  6. I hate tipping. Nobody tips me for doing my job. What really annoys me is when it is added to your bill without your permision. If I have great service and I am out with my wife (that's the only time I consider it as, being American, she has to do it) then I may consider it. But it is up to me and not the waiter/waitress.
  7. One reason for the tipping culture in Canada is that employees working in fields where there usually is tipping (waiters, etc) are payed below the minimum wage, in fact there is a minimum wage especially made for them, which is below the minimum wage payed to other workers. And, when tax time comes, their taxes are calculated as if there was a 15% tip on their actual wage, and the 15% is included in their taxable income, as if it was automatically there.
  8. so get a better paid job then
  9. Easier said than done. They're all very happy they got the one they already have.
  10. An old mate of mine is married to a septic and they live in Florida. I took them out for a meal when I visited and the food was average and the service poor, so my friend's wife told me not to tip. When in Rome...

    I'm with Mr Pink. The worlds smallest violin is playing for all the waitresses.
  11. Ord_Sgt

    Ord_Sgt RIP

    Well thats just plain stupid.
  12. Indeed. Also, many of the young folks you see working nights at restaurants are in the process of trying. That schedule is tough.

    That being said, the American customer service impetus tends to fall somewhere between the "incentive culture" and fear of getting sacked with no fallback benefits. You CAN get fired for continually failing to meet expected customer service guidelines back home...while I'm not a fan of using fear as a motivator, I think it does get results overall.

    I'm very surprised at that. That wouldn't be permitted by most of the the chain fast food corporate offices in the States, as far as I'm aware. I've dealt with people from both Taco Bell and McDonald's corporate before, and the McDonald's person and I actually had a discussion about why you couldn't tip there...she was emphatic that tipping was totally against the corporate mandate, that they pay their employees well enough to not rely on tips and, furthermore, "McDonald's service is expected, not requested." (A little bone-chilling, I know.)

    While my expectations of service are very American (and thus are continually disappointed where I live :D ) I have never actually stiffed a waitress for the tip. I just tend to leave one proportional to what I feel they earned. The closest I came was by a rude, snotty Milanese girl at one of my favorite Italian places in L.A. She really did think she was doing the restaurant a favor. So I left her a few pennies and a note that said "If the service was better, the tip would be bigger."

    I have tried to tip bartenders here in England, and have had them look at me as if to say, "What am I supposed to do with this?" So now, I generally don't. I can only assume they actually make a living wage here!
  13. The way to do that is to say "and one for yourself" when ordering a drink.
  14. A-ha!

    Questions via PM if that's OK...
  15. Actually this is true in the US as well. Wait staff have a different minimum wage scale than say a laborer. Where I think Min wage is $5.75/Hr the min wage for Wait staff is about $2.35/hr.

    Also, to put the icing on top, the government requires that they report, I forget but it's something like 10% of their gross revenue in sales must be declared as income. (ie: Tip Money)

    Some wait staff make very good money , but it's all based on the tips. I always tip 20%, if you don't like tipping, don't eat out. Simple as that.

    edit: Also, this thread is correct in that there are more tip jars everywhere.

    You don't tip unless someone is taking your order, looking after you, and brining you things.

    If they're just handing you something or doing what they would normally be paid to do, you do not need to tip.

    Also, the fact that they have a tip jar out does not mean you need to tip.