Sunday, November 30, 2008

why I oppose tipping

Look at Phoebe's experience! Look in horror!

The check appeared suddenly while we were still eating, but I didn't take offense, because the same happened to the Latvian model and her date sitting next to us. (That this was a beautiful-people place is both the restaurant's saving grace and its downfall.) Problems arose, however, when our waiter, the same man who'd tried to sneak the special, chased us as we left the restaurant, explaining, now in English, that you have to leave a 20% tip, and ours was not 20%. I've never before felt true nativist rage, not even when, last summer, the whole of Europe arrived to remind Americans just how useless our currency had become. I kept thinking, I'm from here! That's not how it works! I didn't go into the whole 'I'm from here' bit, which was, I think, obvious. But I did point out that there's no mandatory tip--if this particular restaurant had one (which would not be surprising in that they seem keen on ripping off those too beautiful and drunk to care) they hadn't exactly alerted us to it.

But more than that, look at Ian Ayre's work on tipping, and the racial disparity that comes with discretionary tipping. I'd rather get a percentage automatically added to the bill to be split among the workers, and hate the idea of employers stiffing their employees fair wages in their expectation that customers will make up the difference.