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Thread: Refusing Tips

  1. #1
    WALMART
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    Default Refusing Tips

    An early memory of mine is having an elderly woman ask me to help her carry a jug of milk out to her car. Mother OK'd it. Returning to my mom, I showed her the quarter the woman had given me in exchange. My mother looked disappointed, and told me to give it back. I did not understand why - "I had earned it" - but nonetheless complied. Since, only on rare occasion, have I accepted tips from others in exchange for casual services. Upon being declined, some give words of blessing, some offer no choice but to accept, some slip a five into your jacket pocket when you turn away.

    Today an elderly couple pulled up to my bay, where the driver informed me he could not get his tire pressure light to go out - the label in the door frame with the information required had been removed, and he wasn't sure what his tires should be set at.

    "No problem, I know what it is."

    I set his pressures right, and circling back to the driver's side window, I saw he had a small wad of cash to give me. In refusal, I lightly gestured "halt" and said it was no trouble.

    Stern in visage, his reply: "Oh, come on!"

    I had already begun turning away, as I've learned, to avoid that tit for tat of who will cave first, but not quick enough to prevent correlating his facial expression with the tone of his voice. Clearly he was put off by my refusal to accept his money, as if he were still on the highway and someone'd just cut him off. I walked back around around the car I was working on and hid behind the propped hood until I saw his taillights far in the distance.

    The experience somewhat haunted me all day: did I deprive him of the same joy I am to feel when giving to others? A native American tradition of potlatch has been described thusly, "In the potlatch, the host in effect challenged a guest chieftain to exceed him in his 'power' to give away or to destroy goods. If the guest did not return 100 percent on the gifts received and destroy even more wealth in a bigger and better bonfire, he and his people lost face and so his 'power' was diminished." Was this event of mine a simple clash of egos?

    I understand the lesson my mother taught me: I am mine to give, and giving is payment enough. But the topic has remained a moral conundrum for me, that duality between existences, and I suppose today really put the subject into the limelight. I would like to see what you all have to say on the topic.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superunknown View Post
    The experience somewhat haunted me all day: did I deprive him of the same joy I am to feel when giving to others?
    I think you did, and I think there is nothing Amerian about it. Social interaction seems to be all about giving and receiving.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Alea_iacta_est's Avatar
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    Some cultures actually frown upon tipping people because to them, you are taking pity on them and their work (or something of the sort). I think Australia is pretty infamous for this if I recall, but nonetheless, in Western cultures people want to be able to show their gratitude to those who serve them, and what better way to do that in a capitalist society than giving the server a few dollars for their time (what they may mistakenly believe to be a waste of time).

  4. #4
    ndovjtjcaqidthi
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    I never tip anyone. Ever.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saudade View Post
    I never tip anyone. Ever.
    I rarely do, and am usually criticized for it by friends.

    What is your favorite hair color?

  6. #6
    ndovjtjcaqidthi
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    I rarely do, and am usually criticized for it by friends.
    Yep.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    What is your favorite hair color?
    No preference. You?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saudade View Post
    No preference. You?
    Black or dark brown. Interestingly, my father (straight) has the same preference.

  8. #8
    ndovjtjcaqidthi
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    Black or dark brown. Interestingly, my father (straight) has the same preference.
    *Wiggles eyebrows*

  9. #9
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    I tip waitstaff, hotel housekeeping, food delivery people, and hair stylists. It's common courtesy in the US, afaik.

    I received a generous tip from the lady I clean for as a holiday gift and I accepted it gratefully and graciously. I'm not too proud. And a "Pentecostal handshake*" is a part of my subculture. One of the few good parts, IMO.

    I can't remember anyone ever refusing a tip, but I'm spacey so it would have had to have been kind of a big deal for me to remember.

    *Inconspicuously slipping somebody cash while shaking their hand.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  10. #10
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saudade View Post
    *Wiggles eyebrows*
    Chanaynay has black hair too, though.

    Tips, however, are a social nuisance. They only stall the pay raise people in the serving business apparently deserve. That is the argument I normally use: If I tip them now, their boss will not raise their pay and the idiocy is going to continue.

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