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.