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viewpoint

Here’s a tip for you

| Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Just yesterday, one of my friends was telling me about a time he ordered $100 worth of pizza. While he was not the one footing the bill, he was the one left in charge of the tip. Not sure what to tip the delivery man, he gave the poor guy $5 for his troubles.

This reminded me of another friend who isn’t a very big believer in tipping his waiters or waitresses. His belief is, “There’s no reason to tip someone to do a job that I can do myself.” He’s held firm on this for a long time, having left a one-cent tip or some other ridiculous amount when we’ve eaten out.

From these examples, I believe there are two takeaways. First, maybe it’s time I started to look for some new friends to grab food with. Second, and more seriously, you do not want to be that guy or girl who refuses to leave a decent tip.

Working in a service industry is not the most luxurious job. Having spent four of my summers as a caddie at a golf club, I feel confident saying that. Of course, as a caddie, my experience was likely much better than that of many others who have worked in other parts of the service industry. However, I definitely had my share of bad experiences that give me an appreciation for others who often have to deal with a lot worse.

To those like my friend who believes there is no reason to tip someone for a job he can do himself, the obvious response is, “Then why don’t you?” You could have stayed in and cooked for yourself, but you chose not to and decided to have someone else wait on you for the evening. The fact that you may be able to do their job, but chose not to, should not stop you from tipping them.

Now of course, some service workers are better than others, and there will be discrepancies in their tips that reflect that. But even if the service is not great, that does not mean you should not give him or her a tip. Often times those tips are the majority of the wage that employee makes. For example, waiters and waitresses at the Buffalo Wild Wings near my house make less than $4 an hour for their base salary, and the rest of their pay comes from tips.

Additionally, the job is not always as easy as you might think. There are times when you have to deal with less-than-pleasant people. There are also times when you might look look completely calm on the outside, but on the inside, you have punched the person in the face two or three times.

It is unfortunate there are people who look down on people just because they work in the service industry, but it does happen. I am not saying it is the norm, but it should never be something an employee has to deal with from a customer.

The moral of the story: Next time you eat out, don’t hesitate to go out of your way to be kind to your waiter or waitress. It goes along way in making their experience better, which in turn will make yours better, too. And please, if you don’t do it already, leave a decent tip.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Benjamin Padanilam

As The Observer's Editor-in-Chief, Ben is a senior in the Program of Liberal Studies (PLS) who is pursuing minors in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) and Business Economics as well. He hails from Toledo, Ohio, and has enjoyed the few highs and many lows of being a Cleveland sports fan.

Contact Benjamin
  • MJ

    Thank you for this, and here’s another reason to add to the list of why you should tip – those servers are being taxed on their projected tips. In most places, food establishments are paying their servers FAR below minimum wage, but withholding taxes based on an expected 15% tip. So when you stiff a server because you don’t agree with the practice, or whatever reason you have, you’re taking even more money out of their pocket.