Saturday, December 27, 2008


Years ago I was vacationing in Italy. The group I was with attended several dinners that featured background music performed by live musicians. During the meal they would come around the tables and play the violin and serenade you and basically sit on your lap and make faces until you tipped them. It added some ambiance to the meal but it was obnoxious.

I haven't always been a big fan of tipping. I guess I'm just cheap. I actually don't mind tipping when someone provides good service but I hate being expected to tip at some fast food places where they have a tip jar at the register or at a buffet where you serve yourself and an employee occasionally comes by your table and asks if everything tastes good.

When I go out to eat with a large group of friends the waiter usually informs us that the restaurant will automatically add a 15% gratuity for the entire group. I think the servers get shortchanged when this happens since most groups I've been with would usually tip better than that as long as the service is decent. Years ago I went out to eat with a large group of extended family members. The server that helped us took orders for nearly 20 people in our group and never wrote one thing down. She got all the orders right from memory and we were amazed with her service. She obviously got a good tip.

My son recently got a job playing the piano in an upscale restaurant. He plays background music and is paid exclusively by tips. He has learned that some people are more generous than others. One guy called him at home and requested that he learn his girl friend's favorite song since he was going to propose to her at the restaurant and wanted to have that song performed during his proposal . My son learned the piece and performed it during this special moment and everything seemed to go well until the couple finished their meal then walked out of the restaurant and didn't even tip him. I guess I'm not the cheapest tipper after all.

I feel bad for servers, hair dressers, and other hard working people who rely on tips as part of their compensation for the service they render. I'm sure many of them could tell horror stories about the tight wads they've encountered over the years. I think one of the biggest tipping offenses is when people don't tip bloggers. Many people don't realize you are supposed to or even know how. Experts recommend that is customary to comment and give feedback on the posts, refer friends, check out their other blogs, and of course actually tipping them with cash is always appreciated.


bonnie jack said...

that makes me want to put a paypal link on my blog, so people can tip me if they want to. :)

Kelly said...

Here's a tip for you... Don't put tin foil in the microwave!