I don’t carry much cash.  I don’t eat out much.  But I have noticed how tipping has changed.  When I carried cash, I left a few bucks on the table.  I would calculate the tip, and was usually generous (my mom waited tables for many years as a second job).  The last time I did go out and eat, I paid with a debit card.  Then I was presented with a choice for a tip.

According to the Washington Post (and this could be behind the Post’s paywall), people are increasingly confused when it comes to tipping (or they can no longer calculate percentages!)  This is also made worse by businesses putting out tip jars on counters where the staff wasn’t traditionally tipped.  Some specialty coffee companies got the expansion of tipping started.  Seven dollars for a cup of coffee apparently wasn’t enough.

One of my coworkers wrote this week that tipping culture is getting to be extreme.  For gasoline?  At self-serve pumps?

Some newcomers to America are shocked by the expectation they always leave a tip.  Our wait staff is often compensated in a different way than in the United Kingdom.

Of course, we aren’t compelled to tip, but I generally provide one even when I consider my server to be impolite or worse.  Why?  Because if someone recognizes me they’ll never forget a bad encounter.  When you already have a reputation for being a bit of an ogre, it follows you around and people are always looking for more evidence.  Of course, all the more reason to stay home!

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