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Day 126: Not leaving a tip - frugal, or just douchey?

So, tonight I went out for dinner - ooh, which reminds me, I forgot to keep the receipt so I will have to write it on a piece of paper to put it in my Gail Vaz-Oxlade jar for budgeting purposes.

Anyway, so I didn't leave a tip and here is why:

1) They forgot to bring me my food. I mean, the waitress was really nice, but I guess the cooks didn't notice my order (I was with a group of people, most of whom also ordered food). And aren't tips supposed to recognize excellent service? I mean, are you supposed to just always leave a tip?

2) I was thinking about it... but then I looked at my change, at those wonderful loonies and quarters and thought about how I can use them for laundry and...

3) The other people at my table were leaving tips. So it's not like she didn't get any tips from anyone. So she missed out on my $3 or whatever. Will that make or break her life?

"Y'all didn't leave a tip? KISS MY GRITS!"
I feel kind of bad about it. But seriously, what is the deal with tips? I always leave 10% at the massage place and the haircutting place (IMPORTANT FRUGAL NOTE: the massages are covered by my health plan and are health-related. I am not just going out for massages all willy-nilly). Why do I always tip them? They are nice, and I think it's expected. But it was also expected for me to tip my waitress tonight.

When I worked at a coffeeshop for awhile, I loooved getting tips. And I wasn't insulted by people leaving handfuls of coins - although, I was not providing them with $12 worth of food, just $4 worth of hot coffee drinks.

I don't know. I hate feeling like a douche and leaving nothing, like if I buy a latte and pay on debit and have no coins, I can't leave a tip. But when I had the coins in hand and I didn't leave a tip?
I thought about leaving just the quarters, but I think a $0.50 tip is even more insulting than leaving no tip at all.

I don't know. Being frugal maybe means being a douche sometimes.


Tasmanian Vegan & Minimalist said...

No, not a douche at all. I live in Australia where tipping isn't that sort of important. ay is pretty of $25 per hour on a weekend for waitresses ( well I got that 20 years ago ) and I rarely tip for anything else. I think it sucks how in the US you have to tip for everything.Don't feel bad you had your reasons and they sound pretty sound to me :)

Frugal(er) said...

I still say that you should tip based on service, unfortunately, in the US, it's become standard to tip even in the service is lousy (I hate that). I think in Canada, servers are actually paid a liveable wage, but in the US, they typically make something like $2.50/hour and some would argue that you're stealing from them to not tip. Perhaps it is a bit douchey, but I'm sick of over-tipping for everything and especially for service that sucks. It's still supposed to be a bonus, but it's become so standard that it's not seen that way anymore. Gah! This gets me all riled up.

In short: not douchey to not tip when you didn't even get any food, but it would have been douchey if your friends had overtipped to cover your end.

~Carla~ said...

I wouldn't tip for sh*tty sevice at all... And we don't go out often, but when we do, we tip very generously because I have a lot of food allergies therefore my sever really earns their tip! :)

Annabelle said...

Thanks for the backup, guys. It reminds me of how every play gets a standing ovation these days, regardless of whether or not it was fantastic. Good service should be tipped, otherwise, not. Maybe. Unless I feel bad about it.

Gwen said...

I wouldn't tip for crappy service, but I would tip at restaurants otherwise. Serving is really hard work and tips help bring it up to a wage that makes it worth it. I value the work they do.

Ellstar said...

Latte slinging and serving are two different beasts though. In Toronto, coffee baristas are paid minimum regular wage, so currently. $10.25 an hour, while anybody serving in a place with liqour is back at $8.90, so if anything, tipping the server in that case brings them back up to minimum wageish levels after splitting with bussers and what have you. So yay tips.

Not tipping for a latte? Not a biggie. Not tipping a person who served a whole group of people and has to suck it up when another cog in the wheel screws up and then costs everybody? Not the same :(

Kayla said...

I don't tip for bad service, HELL NO.

Although I've heard lately that what places are doing is piling all the tips together and then splitting them evenly, between all the waiters, waitresses, and cooks. Because cooks should get tips too.

I still don't tip for bad service though. Unless I know for fact that the cooks get some of the tips then if it's good food I leave a tip.

When I do leave a tip it's about 15%.

I don't think you're a douche. In a group of people anyways if you know other people are tipping then I suppose it's okay to leave yours out. =)

Annabelle said...

Good points, Gwen, Ellstar and Kayla.

Part of my not tipping was that I'm pretty sure everybody else did. So in the grand scheme of thing, the waitress/whoever she shares the tips with would just be out $2. And somewhere along the line, somebody lost my order.

I mean, I half-expected they'd give me my food for free for forgetting it. And I paid for the food.

okgirl said...

Of course you shouldn't tip for bad service. I would like to add that you could have asked to speak to the manager who probably would have comped your food. But yes, that two dollars would make a difference to your server. Servers in my state make $2.13/hour (yes, MUCH less than minimum wage because it's expected that the difference will be made up in tips), so every little bit helps!

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