Random, Just Read It!

Tipping Point


I have a hate/love relationship with Quentin Tarantino.  I think he’s racist, highly overrated, and unoriginal but I love almost every movie he’s made.  But one of his critically acclaimed movies has a scene in it that brings us to this blog post today.  Reservoir Dogs is a robbery movie that doesn’t show a bit of a robbery scene.  For whatever reason the movie starts in a coffee shop with the guys sitting around a table ready to pay when one of them asks for a tip for the waitress.  Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi) goes on this rant about how he never tips and it’s not his fault if the waitresses only get paid $2 an hour that’s not really his bad (I’m paraphrasing here).

This scene is stuck in my mind because it’s one of those Tarantino scenes that take 15 minutes or so but is only relevant to about 30 seconds of the movie.  Plus I use it as a reference when I talk about tipping people, and sometimes people actually know what I’m talking about.

A friend of mine always says you should never go out to eat unless you have enough money to tip.  And I agree with her to a certain point, but I start to waiver on when a tip is actually due.  I think a tip is supposed to be a little extra payment for a job well done.  Did you remember that I my margarita on the rocks with NO SALT?  Super!  Did you answer my detailed questions about today’s special? Yay!  I think that kind of service is commemorative and don’t have a problem with my standard 18% tippage.  Did you only manage to barely drag your ass into work today and do a piss poor job of service? So what?! I do that every day and nobody is handing me extra dollars.

And of course there’s that social stigma about black folks being a handful and nobody wanting to wait on large groups.  So they get bad service and tip poorly.  And then nobody wants to work hard for poor tips.  And then there’s a vicious cycle.   I always feel some kind of way when me and friends go out to eat and we get stuck with the slow server who doesn’t care about us cause they’re guaranteed their 18% gratuity.  “You gotta be working too hard for that $10.  Bankhead bounce for me”.

But this of course goes beyond the standard restaurant setting.   I see tip jars at just about every register now.  I was in Starbucks today (surprise, surprise. I was also there Monday, and last Friday and the Tuesday before that) and saw the tip jar right out by the cash register.  I know Starbucks folks get paid more than minimum wage.  I know a latte will run you $4.  And yet I feel like a douche bag if I pay with cash and don’t drop the remaining change into that bucket.

And I may or may not have been to a strip club where I was so impressed with ol girls pole climbing skills that I was moved to the point of placing a few extra dollars on the stage for her.  That may or may not be a true story.

But I digress.  I can only think of a time or two that I was so dissatisfied with service that I didn’t leave a tip.  And I’ve only run out on a check once.  And yes I’m a sucker that drops change into the tip jars at whatever establishment moreso for the convenience of not having my wallet chock full of pennies.  How do you feel about society’s imposed tipping law?  Are you a stickler for 15% and not a penny more? Have you ever run out on a check or not tipped because of bad service (or just being a dash and dine-r)?  Do you tip at non restaurant-type establishments (just cause you eat at the buffet in the strip club don’t make it a restaurant)?  Do you think guests are racially profiled for tipping purposes?

P.S. I really wanted to include this clip from Louis CK’s show “Louie” about black people tipping and typed in “black people tipping” and tons of results came up so I pretty much have found a way to occupy an hour or two.

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11 thoughts on “Tipping Point

  1. “Throwing every President except for Nixon on her ass” immediately popped into my head. As I’ve gotten older and met more and more bartenders and waiters, my tips have increased accordingly. I do feel some kinda way about being forced to tip because generally my tips are more than 15% due to the fact that I prefer round numbers, so it’s there loss. And at places like the Improv where I’ve got nothing but horrible service and had to buy at least 2 drinks AND I’m required to pay gratuity, they can can eat a d*ck.

    OH and I know there is racial profiling among waitstaff…they simply play it by the numbers.

      • Every waiter or bartender I know says the same thing about black folks and tips…even the black waiters/bartenders. I think a part of me tips sarcastically like “bet you didnt think a nigga rolls like that huh?”

  2. I tip…pretty much whenever i go out to eat. Very rarely will I tip at like a Subway or Starbucks type of establishment, because I don’t really consider that above and beyond service. If the service is truly horrible, I still tip, just not as much and I will usually leave a note on the receipt with some suggestions for the future…they could have just been having one of those days!

  3. I’ve only skipped tipping once or twice in my entire life. One was a birthday dinner at Pappadeaux with the LBs, but the waitress felt the need to only address me directly for some reason. Strange.

    Anyway, I generally tip about 20% for average service, 15% for poor service, and all the way up to 30% for really good service. I could just be gullible, but coming from a working class family I’m always sympathetic to the folks in the service industry. I’m no big spender, but when an extra $4 on a tip can be a bright spot to a decent waiter/waitress, it means more than the diet cokes or lotto tickets I’d spend that $4 on.

  4. I’m an emotional tipper. If I like the server, I tip big. I appreciate when the waiter knows the menu and doesn’t pretend that my kids don’t exist, etc., etc. I always at least double the tax, and have been know to leave a note or two for poor service.

  5. Unless I get bad service, I generally tip pretty well. I’ve considered not tipping many a bartender whenever I order a brew however. It makes no sense that I should drop an extra dollar just because someone twisted off a cap for me. Unless the bartender is cute…then I buy her shots, get her wasted and take advantage of her. But that’s another topic for another day. Kudos on the the Reservoir Dogs reference. Love that movie. Which reminds me…Ed I still have your Reservoir Dogs movie.

  6. Apparently, I need to step my tipping game up. But anyway, I’m usually a sucka for the tip jars if I have cash…especially at sbux where everydamnbarista is fn OSM. lol. I havent felt the need to not leave a tip lately, but I have a time or two before. And sometimes…when I’m truly pissed off…instead of nothing at all…I’ll round the check to the next dollar. So, if my bill was like $20.85, I’ll leave $21. mean as hell huh? oh well. do better.

    you know what though? as much as I like food…I’m a better tipper for services like hair & nails and stuff…hmmmm…

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