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The art of “tipping”

The Way I See It

February 26, 2012
By John Sheda , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Does anyone remember those dusters that you held in your hand and there was a bunch of chicken feathers protruding from the other end? And they would be used just for dusting off shelves, knick-knacks and the like. Very light in weight and they did a good long as the operator was good at dusting. One of my jobs in the grocery store, (ok, my only one) was dusting the shelves every now and then. Mom made it quite clear that I had to be very careful, especially around the shelves holding glass bottles. So with this column, I shall heed my mother's advice and be very, very careful as I share my thoughts on "tipping."

First of all, I am absolutely not ashamed to tell you that I am a firm believer in tipping. And I tip as generously as I can or seem fit to. Serving customers in any kind of restaurant, cafe or diner is very difficult, to say the least.

I tip (no pun intended) my hat off to every one of them. They work tremendously hard getting our orders correct, bringing our food in a timely way, keeping our drinks filled, listening to our complaints, (with a smile), and a myriad other things to keep us happy. And they're not just taking care of us alone as they usually have three or four other tables of people to take care of also. They're harried from time to time, moving at the speed of lightening and still behave in a friendly, professional and agreeable way---even when she takes care of all our needs for the fourth time, and I forgot to tell her to tell her to bring me some mustard. She politely says, "Of course, no problem" and returns moments later with my condiment. Then someone else at the table asks, "Is this diet Pepsi? Didn't I ask for regular?"

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You get the picture. They work hard keeping you and me happy.

Now, the tipping. Personally I think, (this is what gets me in trouble), tipping should be voluntary. I know the menu prices would skyrocket, but shouldn't they pay waiters and waitresses what they're worth? Why not pay them ten bucks an hour, which by the way still is not very much, but at least it's better than what they get paid now, isn't it? I'm not sure why we should involuntarily have to voluntarily subsidize their wages. Why should these people be the only ones in the working world that has to survive on the generosity or lack thereof of its' patrons?

Pay them well. Treat them well. And then let us decide whether or not we want to tip the person or not. I've even been in groups where the gratuity has already been included. What gives with that? Heck, if you're gonna charge me with the gratuity, just do it without saying it's a gratuity. What's the difference between a $30 surcharge, called the gratuity, or just simply having that cost already included on the menu. Then those who wait on us will be getting a better wage and if we choose to give more---we can leave a nice tip, which would definitely tell that person that we really enjoyed how pleasurable they helped make our meal.

Please understand, I'm not advocating AT ALL not to tip. I am a firm believer in generous tipping. All three of my daughters worked at one time or another in the waitressing capacity, so I know they depended on the tips. However, it was their hourly wage that really stunk. Pay these people what they're worth and then let us tip as we see fit. They might just get the best of both worlds!!

That's The Way I See It. Let me know how you see it at or call me at 319.334.4117



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