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The Tipping Point


Graphic of Thoroughly Modern Manners

Dear Readers,
Putting the holidays and 2022 behind us, I hope you were generous with your hairdresser, your manicurist, your trash and recycle delivery people, your babysitter and anyone else from whom you receive regular services. Giving those extra gifts should go without saying.

But what is this new default? Do you feel you’re being prompted to tip more often and in more scenarios? Are we required to tip everyone who performs a service? What are the expectations?

It used to be a tip jar, but these days it’s a tablet, screen or app asking for a tip to add to the bill at almost every transaction. Sometimes one is already automatically included. We’re going to have to get used to this form of ask and be prepared to respond.

If you are dining at a restaurant, a 20% tip is expected. But if you are standing at a sandwich or ice cream shop, the employee is not getting 20% in tips per table and likely only has his/her hourly wage in the paycheck. And because the minimum wage is not keeping pace with the high cost of living, most hourly workers find the extra money a grateful necessity. Tipping at the latter establishments (in the 10% range) becomes a courteous gesture.

Helpful reminders for tipping in this modern age:

  • Tip what you can afford but if it’s not in the budget, don’t use the service or eat at the restaurant.
  • Round up and be generous. Many service employees depend on tips for livelihood.
  • In some cases, a thank you card, homemade treats or a small gift can show gratitude instead of cash.
  • Tip according to the service rendered: the bigger the job, the bigger the tip.
  • If you experience subpar service, some leave a tip of a penny. It’s widely know in the wait service industry what the penny implies. Also, some patrons leave a short note saying (nicely) what can be improved upon or talk to a manager. But remember, it may not be the waitstaff’s fault for delays or cold food.

Tipping is a voluntary act and you are free to decline, but you cannot go wrong with giving. In fact, if you are in a good financial position, why not be outrageously generous? The tip says more about you than the person you’re leaving it for. Tipping shows that you’re grateful for the service and have a generous spirit.

Big Love,
Mrs. Abramovitz



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