I want my two dollars!


When I was in Austin for SXSW, I arrived a day early because I saved a TON on the cost of the flight by arriving a day early. Since I had the whole day to myself in a city I had never been in before – I did what any woman in her right mind would do. I hailed a cab and scooted off to the nearest shopping mall.

While there, I had an appointment for a manicure at the local day spa. I had a full manicure, pedicure and got my eyebrows waxed off – well, a portion of them anyways. The girl who started my manicure says to me “I’ll get you started off, but at 2pm I have another appointment – so I’ll have another one of the girls finish you at that time.”

No problem.

At 2pm she handed me off and everything went fine. I was happy with the end result. The total came to about $85.00. So, I paid – – and tipped an extra $20.00 because I was in a good mood and had a good experience with these folks. $20. That is almost a 25% tip. Damn generous, now that I think of it – – I mean, really – where was my head??

So, anyways – the girl looks at me and holds the $20 bill up like it’s garbage and says “Twenty dolla? For two of us?” Then proceeded to roll her eyes – – heave a big sigh and stuffed the bill into her tip jar.

All the good feelings I had about the great experience and service I had there just melted away. I wasn’t sure if I should be offended by her attitude – – or feel like some low life scum because I could only manage a 25% tip.

I realize they have to split it between the two of them – – but how is that my fault? The first girl was busy – – and had to split me between two of them. Does this mean I should have paid a 50% tip just because they don’t have the staff available to service their customers? They are too busy – so I should shell out more cash to cover my tip? In the end, what I really wanted to do was grab my “Twenty dolla” back out of her ungrateful little fingers and flip her off with my freshly manicured hand.

But. I didn’t. Instead, I walked out and went to Starbucks.

At Starbucks, I noticed they had a tip jar at the register. I’m paying almost $4 for a damn cup of coffee. I order it. They bring it. I’m expected to tip? Does anyone ever tip at Starbucks?

If you do – – then do you tip at McDonald’s, too? I mean – the McD’s folks do essentially the same thing as the Starbucks folks.. just a different product. Yet, you don’t see a tip jar at McDonald’s.

it would seem I’m not as tippable as a nail technician or a barista at the local Starbucks.

At what point do you draw the line with tipping? Lots of hard working folks in this country perform a service everyday. Your mailman. Your garbage man. The cable guy. The cashier at the grocery store. Do you tip them all for doing what they are getting paid to do?

Hmm.. what if I, as a web designer, set my prices and then said “that is the total cost of the project … however, there is a 15% gratuity added on at the end” – – think that would fly? I dont think it would.

Are there certain services that are more tippable than others? A “Nail Technician” is more tippable than your local police? You wouldn’t think of slipping your local cop “Twenty dolla” for doing a good job. Or would you?

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28 thoughts on “I want my two dollars!”

  1. I tip wait-staff, my barber, room service when I’m at a hotel and the guy that delivers my pizza. That’s about it. Most of ’em only get a few bucks, except wait-staff that get a percentage based on the service. I pretty much draw the line at that. Anything else I figure they should build it into the price of the service, not leave it to me to figure out.

  2. Hell yeah, I’d tip our local five-o twenty dolla!! Starbucks
    ? No. McDonalds? No. People who provide a face to face/hands on service? Yes.

  3. Anyone who has to walk more than 10 feet total to bring my food to my table/door, housekeepers at the hotel, cab drivers, hair/nail folks if they actually did a good job. If the service sucked then tippy-tippy sucks *shrug*

    I’ma have to think long and hard about that designer tipping thing…ya may just have something there 😉

  4. I don’t know one damn thing about tipping.

    Talk to me about purple, though. The purple skin you’ve got going on. On your website, not your eyebrows. Me likey your purple skin. It makes me wanna lick it. Don’t ask.

  5. As for the original subject, very tactless for the second girl and I don’t blame you for wanting to take it back. That was my reaction as well. After waiting tables in college, I’m normally an excellent tipper, and you really have to screw up to get me to tip you under 10% (I average around 20). Tipping at the coffee shop depends on my mood

    My personal pet peeve is when they don’t bring the entire change. If the bill comes to $21.90 and I give you a $30, I expect at least $8.10 back in change. If you short me on change, I will take that as you setting your own tip. I will also try to let the manager know on the way out that I caught you shorting me on my change and to let you know that you set your own tip. If you don’t think such a small amount matters, then why don’t you give it to the customer? Yes, just a little bit of a pet peeve there…

  6. Laura – – I can see tipping the police for a job well done – – but I’d be worried about someone thinking he was on the take. lol

  7. Bug – ya like that designer gratuity, eh? I rather liked it, myself – and then I tried imagining actually implementing it and laughed my ass off! :d

  8. Jeanette – it’s a hard and fast rule.. and call me old fashioned or traditional… but, I have to meet a girl in person before I let her lick my blog. :”>

  9. Astro.. it’s a good pet peeve to have! That is annoying.

    Another tippy thing that happened in Austin… when I went shopping that day, I called my own cab (didn’t have the concierge do it for me). I sat outside the hotel for 15 minutes while I waited for said cab to arrive. All the while, one of the doormen was at the curb just kind of pacing back and forth… not doing much.

    My cab arrived… doorman still pacing… I get up and walk over and open the cab door and get in. I go to close the door and the doorman gets it for me. I smiled at him, said thanks – then told the cabbie where I was going.

    As we drove away – I hear the doorman call over to another door man… “We have a NON-tipper”

    Should I have REALLY tipped the guy for moving to the right a foot and shutting my door?

    I dunno, sometimes I think this country is tip crazed.

  10. You mean Milwaukee isn’t the shoe capital of the country?????

    If he had rushed over to open the door, tried to help you get the cab, you know, done anything more, then maybe I would have tipped him a buck or two. For that? No. He should be happy with “thanks”.

  11. Hey, if ya’ll start tipping the law enforcement folks – please send some my way…I have a tip jar on my desk at the substation!

    I do sometimes tip at Starbucks – why? cause the tip jar is there and I think about it. I don’t tip my manicurist..tho I’ve been going to her for 15 years and we are good friends. I tip my hair stylist about 25%.

  12. Ah, Austin. When we were there, we were looking to get room service, but noticed the fine print – an 18% gratuity is added to all orders. Fine, whatever, we’re lazy. But when they delivered the food, the lady waited around… for a tip! On top of the gratuity!

    I’m sorry, but if I’m gonna help the Hilton payroll department out, I should be at least getting some stock options. Or, this problem could be solved simply by Hilton paying its employees more. Nah, that’s a crazy idea.

  13. Sodapop – I’d drop a few dollars in your tip jar, for sure 🙂

    And I always tip my hairstylist. However, once – several months back.. my stylist wasn’t available for 3 weeks and I was having a color emergency – so I went with another stylist. She did my color – – which is really just highlights..not an overall color. Anyways, I get ‘thin’ highlights.. not ‘chunky’ ones.. cuz I don’t like the way the chunky ones look.

    She was pleasant enough. But when the color came off and she dried my hair – – it was very apparent that I got the chunky highlights.. even though I must have said it 10 times prior to her applying the color that I want ‘thin’ highlights… her reply was always “I know – Jenny has that on your card in bold: THIN”

    So, she can read but can’t comprehend?

    I tipped her… but only tipped her 10% instead of my usual 20-25%. She knew the minute teh color came off that I was NOT happy at all. I told her I wasn’t happy at all.

    But at the register.. when I handed her the tip? She actually looked at it, then looked at me and ACTUALLY said : “Well, that’s not very much at all” in a disapproving tone!

    I replied with “You get a thin tip for chunky highlights”

  14. Mikey – – that ALWAYS slays me! Room service always adds in gratuity and the room service staff always stands around waiting for their tip. I won’t do it. Ever.

    They can be persistent, though… they’ll stand around and wait and wait – – once I actually had to say “I’m not tipping you, not with the 18% gratuity auto-added to my bill.”

    Not just no… but Heeellllll no!

  15. I’m a guilty tipper. Even if I know that the tip should be included, I always over-tip. Stupid, I know.

    I will tip at Starbucks, but usually only at “my Starbucks”. The people know me there and they usually know how I like it and they’ll make it “special”or whatever. So I make sure to tip them for the service. But otherwise, no.

    Heh, we put that little “wishlist tip jar” thing on our site as a joke. I mean, I would never expect our clients to tip us. Sometimes they do… they’re extra-happy or just nice people, but overall that would be ludicrous to give someone a price and then expect them to tip me on top of it. LOL.

    In a way, isn’t everyone in the ‘service industry’? I mean, isn’t your job the service part? I know that some places and some states give wait-staff the short end of the stick. But in places like Quizno’s or whatever, they’re getting that hard-earned $5.75 by makin’ my sammich. It may seem dick, but hey, I’ve worked my fair share of crap minimum wage jobs. I got out. Serve it up!

  16. Oh and btw, forgive me if I’m slow with this, but I LOVE this new layout. Love the color, love the layout… the shoes, the bag. Love it all. 🙂

  17. *scream* you just quoted on of my FAVORITE movie quotes of ALL time! George from My Best Friend’s Wedding! Every girl should have a George!! Oh, and thanks 🙂 I’m glad to hear it’s purple! haha!

    I used to tip at Starbucks.. because, like you, they knew what I wanted and usually had it fixed up and ready to go before I hit the drive through speaker because they knew me and saw me driving across the parking lot lol

    But, since we bought the Starbucks Italia – I barely go to Starbucks anymore, unless I’m traveling – because it’s so much cheaper to make my latte’s at home now (plus, I hafta off-set the cost of that monster).

    Now I go to my local STarbucks and I don’t know any of the staff they have there anymore.. they don’t know me and don’t do anything overly exceptional to warrant a tip. 4 bucks for coffee? That’s enough cashola outta my pocket.

  18. Oh, Lisa, I see where you’re going with this. You just want to meet me, I know what you’re up to. You want me to rape your ear before I lick your purple skin. *leer*

  19. I’ll instantly deduct half of a potential tip if the waiter/waitress asks, “Do you want change?” when I put down cash to pay a bill. Doesn’t matter if I’m waiting for a nickle or 19.95: Ask me if I want change and you lose.

    Not bringing me the correct amount of change–say, ignoring the .35 that’s due–will result in a tip of 0% and sharp words.

    I’ve worked in enough restaurants, cafes, and bars to understand the importance of tipping to the individual’s bottom line. I’ll even leave a tip in cash for a bill paid on a card to make sure that the waitperson gets the tip–not the company.

    But service is service. It’s not a license to steal and it’s not a license to try to squeeze money out of a client.

  20. I don’t mind them asking if I want change or not if it’s done tactfully. If it comes in the whatchamacallit and it’s just sitting near the edge (not over the edge), then I don’t mind them asking just because I can see people having it there and waiting for change. If you open it and ask, then that’s pushing it a bit…

  21. That would have totally pissed me off! And no, people should NOT tip the people at Starbucks. Pft. They should not be allowed to put a tip jar/cup out on the counter. I’m so tired of all the greed in this country, not to mention the ungratefulness on top of it.

  22. OMG I hear ya!!! This topic is one that haunts my thoughts daily, everywhere I go, just like your shared thoughts above. It burns my tush when I think about it too much. I – personally – have always thought (maybe because it’s how I was taught) that tipping is a way of saying, “Thank you for going above and beyond.” or “I really appreciate that you showed extra effort for me.” But nowadays, tipping isn’t tipping, it’s expected. I think these people need to be handed a card or for a card to be placed in their tip jar with one of the definitions for “tip — A relatively small amount of money given for services rendered (as by a waiter).” However… something inclines me to believe they wouldn’t “get” it.

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