Dec 3, 2009

How To: Cow Tipping

[Soundtrack: “She Works Hard For The Money” – Donna Summer]
It’s a sacrifice working day to day
for little money just tips for pay
But it’s worth it all
just to hear them say that they care
She works hard for the money
so hard for it honey
she works hard for the money
so you better treat her right

There are a variety of issues that I am particularly passionate about, such as Capital Punishment (pro), Shark Week (best week ever), UGG Boots (stupid and gay, especially when combined with a jean skirt and black leggings or whatever the hell they are called), Wife Beaters (totally unacceptable, and I’m not talking about the undershirt), and last – but certainly not least – The Art of Tipping. My belief is that if I find myself in a situation where someone or something provides a service that is coupled with the unwritten rule and expectation that I chip in a few hard earned bucks for the services rendered, I totally control the amount of gratuity that will be applied towards the service. There is no such thing as a 10% standard tip. If you’re my waiter/waitress, and you suck, there is such thing as a 0% tip, and I’m definitely not afraid to leave you one. On the other side, I am also a fair man. I believe that credit is given where credit is due. If you exceed my expectations, you will be rewarded for it. Sometimes, more than what is reasonably expected.
Before I go on, I would like you to check out the following video from the movie Reservoir Dogs. This is the “Tip Scene” with our funny-looking friend, Mr. Pink.
There are many businesses in the service industry that expect tips. Some of these places include restaurants, bars, salons, massages, coffee shops, pizza delivery, taxi cabs, valet parking, and hookers. The method of leaving the tip, depending on the level of service, could be executed via leaving X amount of dollars on a table, putting change in a jar, grabbing your food from the delivery guy and slamming your front door in his face, not leaving a tip at all, leaving a penny as the tip, writing an amount of money on the tip line of a receipt, drawing a line through the tip line and writing a vulgar message at the bottom of the receipt, being forced to leave a tip due to the size of the party, and pre-tipping.
I have a few standards and expectations that apply to whatever scenario I’m in that requires a tip:
Restaurants: Friendly waiter or waitress. I’m a really thirsty guy, and I expect my drink to be filled at all times. I like appetizers to come out quick, and I like to eat them and have time before the main course comes out. Friendly conversation is appreciated, but don’t interrupt my conversations, or worse, try to join in with them. If you throw in some sort of freebie like a t-shirt, put my name on the wall, comment about my picture that is already hanging on the wall (What’s up, Penn Station?), or something to that extent, you are going to be sitting pretty at the end of the night. If you do the complete opposite of all of the above, and were banking on my tip to put the gas in your car to get home, you might as well start walking. And don’t worry about that refill, since you didn’t worry about it for the past hour when I was downing hot wings.
Bars: If I’m paying with cash, I typically will leave a dollar per drink. At least for the first couple drinks. If I have to wait for an extended period of time for a drink, shoot off flares and smoke signals to get your attention, you get zero dollars. If I’m paying with a tab, I will write a random number on the tip line when the night is over. That is more dependant on what the total line says and what my mood is currently at the time of check-out. If I forget my credit card and have to retrieve it the next day, I do not leave a tip, because you charged me for an $85 tip the night before (thanks, Adobe Gilas).
Great Clips: Oh hair cut places. I refuse to pay more than $10 for a haircut because I don’t ask for much, it takes about 3 minutes, and I could do it myself if I didn’t have little T-Rex arms. By these standards, I am required to go to fine establishments such as Great Clips, BoRics, or something like that. Typically I will have one of two experiences. A “good” experience would be one that would entail getting my hair cut, it looks half way decent, they take a little bit of time to make sure that don’t complete jack something up, they don’t dump all the hair down the back of my shirt, they strike up a somewhat interesting conversation, and they comply to even out my sideburns or thin out my uncontrollable mess of slop eye brows. A “bad” experience would be having to wait a very long time for my 3 minute haircut, to be summoned to the back by the obese, white trash, possibly drunk or on some sort of drug, idiot that more than likely isn’t even qualified to cut hair. Normally, their fingers will tell me that they just smoked a carton of cigarettes before they run through my hair and inadvertently wave passed my nose. They will be in a hurry to get the shit done. They will act like the last thing they want to do in the entire world would be cutting my hair. They also will do something to completely botch my haircut, such as screw up the neck line, accidentally chop off a sideburn, forget to cut a patch of hair, or accidentally jab my ear with the trimmers, or the like. It’s all a toss up, and typically something I don’t even discover until I get home. No tips here folks.
Massages: I’ve gotten a few massages since I started running this year, and they are the greatest thing ever. Not only do I get to have my body rubbed down for an hour, which is a feat in itself, but I also get to console my deepest fears in a therapist for that hour. I can be in the worst mood ever going in, and I come out walking on sunshine. This is worth at least $20 everytime.
Pizza guy: Traditionally, I don’t tip these fuckers.
Taxi cabs: I’ve only been in a taxi cab a few times, but normally I am treated like the scum of the earth, so I tip accordingly. When I was in England, I rode around in a couple taxi cabs that looked like the mob cars from a gangster film, and I normally left a handful of play money for these guys. Tip = unknown, ranging from ten cents to several dollars, or pounds, shillings, Monopoly money, or whatever it is.
I came up with an invention a couple years ago that will solve all tipping issues. To be honest, I am surprised nobody has came up with it yet. It is called a Tip Box.
Essentially, it is a device that you place on the table that denotes a certain monetary value. If the service is good, you can hit a button to increase the amount. If the service sucks, you can hit another button and the amount goes down. Simple, yet effective. It lets the server know where you stand, and if they need to pick it up, or keep kicking ass.