Tip Jars- I don’t like them

Tip Jars make me uncomfortable. I feel self-conscious around them and I don’t like being showy with my tips or feeling like I have to tip. I am a big fan of tipping well and try to do so, but sometimes there are situations in which I do not feel a tip is necessary.

When I order takeout food I do not expect to tip because I haven’t paid for any special service. No one has waited upon me, other than the two minutes it takes me to pay the person at the cash register. Maybe it is just me, but I often feel like there is this unspoken push, like they are trying to use the jedi-mind trick on me to encourage me to tip.

But the standard takeout meal is not really where this problem lies. It is more of a Starbucks/Ice Cream store issue. I order my overpriced Latte, pay almost four bucks for it and then am expected to leave something more.

I have friends who routinely leave the change, but I feel cheap and stupid leaving seventeen cents and since I have already paid a premium for the food item I don’t like throwing in another dollar.

But a guilty conscience impacts me too as I consider that some of the employees of the establishment are relying upon tips as a way to help support their families and here I am engaging in this decadent behavior.

So I wrestle with my conscience and my hunger.

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  1. Anonymous April 13, 2006 at 6:28 am


    this guy is totally ripping off your posts!

  2. Jack's Shack December 28, 2004 at 8:52 pm

    People who work at any job ought to be able to make a living.It is a nice idea, but making it happen seems to be far more complex than it should be.

  3. vince millay December 28, 2004 at 7:44 pm

    I hate the tip jars also. If I’m at a place with table service, or I have a complicated order at a counter, then I tip generously.

    I think a larger issue is the fact that places like Starbucks pay their employees too little to live on. Yes, yes, everyone should work their butts off and go to school and get that great job. But sometimes life doesn’t go that way for people. For lots of reasons. And they end up workin’ for tha man who pays them $5 an hour to make coffee drinks for which customers fork over $5 a cup. A letter to the owner of the establishment perhaps? And discontinued patronage of said establishment? People who work at any job ought to be able to make a living.

  4. Z December 28, 2004 at 7:11 pm

    Let me ask this:

    (and this is purely theoretical since it could never and will never happen)

    Would you be more willing to fork over $6 for this overpriced latte and NOT have to tip or still pay the $4 and tip what you want?

    They did a thing here on local radio about tipping…from the city-employed trash collectors and road workers in our little metropolis to the postman. I have problems with this. I tip well for good service. But fail to ask me for that second iced tea and I’ll stiff you every time. But seriously…city-employed workers who I pay with my now-6-mil-increased local taxes, who get better benefits and sick pay and sick time than I could even imagine? I worked for the city engineer for a while as a non-city employee ($9/hour, no bennies, no time off) and saw the abuses. Tip THEM? I think not.

  5. A Simple Jew December 28, 2004 at 6:34 pm

    Starbucks comes to my mind as well. It is wasteful to throw your change in.

    If you are truly concerned about it, make your own tip jar at home. You can use the change to buy something or give it to tzedakah.

  6. Stacey December 28, 2004 at 5:22 pm

    Upon seeing the title of your post and before reading further, I immediately thought of Starbucks. I don’t like the tip jar, either.

    I consider myself a generous tipper, always leaving at least 20% at a sit-down restaurant, more if I think the service/food has been outstanding.

    But I took my daughter to the ice cream parlor last night and there was a tip jar at the register. It annoyed me.

    Sorry, but scooping ice cream or making coffee doesn’t warrant tipping in my book.

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