Tale of Two Tommies: Tipping

(William Cumming/AQ)

William Cumming 

Picture this: you, a student, need to get groceries. Since you don’t have a car you walk to the grocery store, but while you are inside it starts to rain. Not wanting to deal with Fredericton’s awful public transit, you call a cab.

After waiting 40 minutes (more than enough time to walk home if the weather was nice) your cab driver shows up. He’s an eccentric old man who questions you on all the latest Donald Trump policies with a tone of voice that leaves you unsure of what side of the aisle he supports.

Halfway through a cab ride that could be featured as at carnival your driver hands you the debit machine. After agreeing to the fare and service fee (don’t get me started), it asks you how much you want to tip.

Spoiler, the student was me and yes, I tipped him even though it was the worse cab ride of my life. The combined pressure of sitting next to a potential Trump-lover and years of social training to always leave a tip made me feel like I had to give that man money I felt he didn’t deserve.

As a student who can barely afford all of life’s expenses I can’t help but hate tipping. Why should I pay out of my pocket when my purchase already helps fund your salary? Tipping should be reserved for those who reach excellence in their customer service, not the lazy pizza delivery man who dropped off my cold Hawaiian pizza.

I’ve heard so many arguments in favour of tipping, but they all revolve around the same problem: the employers don’t pay their employees enough. If you really want to help these people sign a petition to raise minimum wage or something. It shouldn’t be the customer’s job to pay your employee’s salary any more then we already do with our business.


Troy Glover

It is true, it would be more efficient and less stressful if the amount of money employers pay to their workers was fair enough to not have to leave a tip. However, we don’t live in a world like that yet and it doesn’t usually bother me to give a few bucks here or there.

The point of tipping someone for good customer service is for just that, giving you good customer service. I’m less likely to tip someone if they haven’t really done anything for me. Yet it will not stop me from giving a few bucks here or there if I feel like I have it. If I get a pizza delivered to me I might give a buck or two, but if I’m in a restaurant with someone waiting on me excellently of course that tip will be larger than the delivery service.

You do not have to tip someone who is making you feel uncomfortable or is giving you bad service, I believe in rewarding good service. I tip when service is good, but if I’m getting bad service I don’t feel as obliged because I shouldn’t be rewarding someone for it.

Within the student perspective, I tip what I can give. If I really don’t have a lot of money then I might give next to nothing, but if I do have some money I’ll give a tip appropriate to the amount of service I got. Some people really earn their tips by making you feel welcomed, striking up a conversation with you and always being attentive to your table. These are the people I would feel horrible about not tipping.

If someone is making me uncomfortable they most likely won’t get a tip. However, even if the service is good but you don’t have the money to give, just don’t act like those snobs who will explain exactly why they aren’t leaving a tip. Just don’t give it and leave. All I’m saying is if the service is good and you have the money, leave them a little something.



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