I hope our country is not turning into a society with a patronizing upper class and a lower class. Those promoting tipping everyone for everything might want to think about where we will end up if the promoters get their way.
If I have my facts right, tipping started with an upper class, a huge lower class, and a sparse middle class. The upper class began handing out tips to indigent people sweeping a street crossing for them, holding their horses, or for other small services of this nature. A nobleman staying at another nobleman’s home as a guest tipped the servants for performing duties for the guest that the guest’s servants performed for him in his own home.
As an American through and through, I have no interest in establishing a class of “noblemen” or keeping others as part of the “lower class.” I want all people to have a chance to be anything they want to be without regard to their roots.
For me, the problem with tipping is that it implies that one person, the tipper, is above the other, the tippee. When my hair stylist put a jar on her counter soliciting tips, I wondered why she didn’t raise her prices and forgo begging. I have always considered my hair stylist to be equal to me, but me giving her extra money implies that I am her social superior and she is in the position of a “servant.” After all, I would never consider tipping my dentist or my doctor.
I know, I know, my dentist and my doctor make a lot more money. I am not looking at this situation from a monetary perspective. I am looking at social standing. I believe I have equal social standing with my dentist and doctor. (They might think I have inferior social standing to theirs.) I always thought my hair stylist had equal social standing with me. But whenever I give her extra money for doing her job, I feel more like a patron providing extra funds to a begging servant.
I don’t mind tipping a waitress or waiter, probably because that kind of tipping is so long established. Also, I remember when I worked as a waitress for a little while between my Freshman and Sophomore years of college. A new manager was hired. He lowered all our wages from minimum wage, $1.80/hr to .90/hr. He informed us the wage cut was perfectly legal as long as we made $.90/hr in tips. He advised us to tell him if we didn’t make .$90/hr in tips and he would pay the difference. Who would admit that they were such a lousy waitress that they didn’t make $.90/hr in tips? Now, I would check out his “legal” wage cut with the Department of Labor.
Tipping has become ridiculous. A few weeks ago I picked up a takeout meal at a local restaurant. My receipt advised me that a 10% tip was ____ amount, a 15% tip was _____ amount, and a 20% tip was ____ amount. I should tip the person at the cash register for handing me my order and taking my payment? Think again.
It’s time to draw the line on tipping. I am going to respect others' social standing, even if they have no respect for their own.