A reflection on tipping

Now and then, I regret the tip I’ve left at a restaurant. Virtually every time this happens it’s because I thought I had been a little cheap.

The server did a great job, the pre-tax total was $24.00, and I left $4.75. Or the server did an OK job, the pre-tax total was $36.00, and I left $5.00 or $5.25.

I saved myself 25 cents or whatever. Big deal! The savings won’t affect my lifestyle. What am I trying to prove?

That extra bit would mean more to the server than it would to me. I enjoy giving money to street performers, so why don’t I tip better in restaurants?

Maybe because, like some people, I think tipping is a silly custom. Maybe that’s what it is: I think it’s silly but go along with it anyway, because that’s how we conduct restaurant business in the US.

By not liking it, but doing it anyway and being cheap, I’m not making anyone happy. I’m not delighting the server, and I’m giving myself a mental itch. I need to get off the fence and pick one side or the other. Either don’t tip at all, or, do it right.

I’ll start tipping better from this moment forward. When in doubt, I’ll round up. There. Side chosen!

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