No, not the fly variety, or any other form of refuse dumpage, but gratuities paid to waiting/kitchen staff at bars/restaurants.
I stumbled upon this blog today, where the protagonist -a relatively witty, dry humoured Waiter somewhere in the States- complains when a couple who are currently freaking about their tax return don’t tip enough. I’ve always known about tipping being a lot more frequent in the US, but the way this blogger describes it, along with the 220+ commentors, you would not only think that tipping is compulsory, but at least a certain percentage of your bill:
Holy Crap – that’s like barely even 8%. Bastards.
Now, I will happily leave a 5 – 10% tip after a meal if, and only if a number of criteria are met. The food has to be good, as well as the service. I begrudgingly tip a good waiter/waitress sometimes as their service has been outstanding, yet the food has been mediocre. It peeves me to know that the kitchen staff, who did not perform, will take a proportion of the tip. The speed at which the order is delivered, as well as the timings between courses. There is nothing I hate more than having to rush my starter, just because someone else has finished their’s and the waiting staff have brought out the main courses. Value for money comes into it also. I have no reason to tip a restaurant if I don’t feel I’ve had the best value for the money I’ve spent.
I’ll probably get stick for being a tight arsed bastard about this, but don’t get me wrong, if I feel someone deserves a decent tip, then they’ll get it, but when it gets to the point that not paying a gratuity means you’re branded an “asshole” I think society is crossing the line.