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November 13, 2006



friend of mine, now working for paste, had BY FAR the worst story ever (and he's a christian, thankfully).

he got 10 cents as a tip. in pennies. in the shape of a cross. and a tract.

Pete Williamson

ouch...worse if they were canadian pennies.


pete....touche. excellent.


interestingly enough, you know what 10 cents is 15% of?

66.6 cents.


Methinks this is partly a cultural thing.

In the UK I think there is a lot less tipping going on. It does happen but I don't think it's expected in the same way, and it's acceptable not to. It's the customer's prerogative if s/he thinks they were well looked after. And I certainly don't think there's an expectation of a certain percentage. I might be wrong, but I don't think it would occur to most of us here to tip someone for serving a coffee. For a good meal well cooked and well served, yes. There are other things too, but I don't think it's an expectation in the same way.

So is American culture different at that point? My brother mentioned to me a while back that he found tipping in the States is expected to the extent that if you didn't tip, they might even ask you if there was a problem! That just wouldn't be assumed here. But he might be stereotyping. I don't know. I'm coming to the States in December. Should I come expecting to tip all over the place? And at 15%?

None of this is to take away from your point Kevin. I've just come back from Kosovo where we were constantly trying to be aware of the messages our behaviour sent out culturally. Some things that are completely normal in the UK would be quite offensive there. So if in the USA, tipping is the norm, then to send out a message of stinginess and ungratefulness by not tipping has got to be a bad thing, culturally.


anthony....depends. if you sat down at a restaurant, and someone came to your table, 15% is expected. if you're with a large group, sometimes they'll add the tip onto the bill automatically. at a place like starbucks, it's only (in my opinion) a requirement if you sit there for a long time. if you get it, and leave, i'd only throw a buck in the jar if i went in there regularly (though cawley may disagree with that)

so...yes, it is a cultural thing, but (if i'm following you) that doesn't mean it's invalid...being a stingy jerk ain't cool, and if people are percieving you as such, it's worth considering.

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