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Tipping Over

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Aug. 9th, 2003 | 03:49 am
mood: cheerfulcheerful
music: D:Fuse - Progressive Mix Session 1.0

I almost hate to say this, but I think it's an important point.

Tipping is one of the social graces, and as such, it has an upper bound as well as a lower. In other words, it's possible to tip too much, in the same way that it's possible to hold a door open for someone too long. Politeness overdone wraps around again into rudeness.

I know, it's odd. And I'm not saying your beneficiary wasn't thrilled and happier. I'm just saying, you know?

Cross-posted from another thread

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Comments {20}

(no subject)

from: ainanna
date: Aug. 9th, 2003 05:59 am (UTC)
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i really love all the cross pollination of ideas goin on there these past couple of days...

must be bees in the air...

AGAIN ;)

which is a GOOD thing

(i wonder if they keep up with tipping?...maybe they just "do" it...because its what they do.)

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(no subject)

from: ex_askesis860
date: Aug. 9th, 2003 01:31 pm (UTC)
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BEES!

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(no subject)

from: ainanna
date: Aug. 9th, 2003 03:19 pm (UTC)
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u c d bz? d bz r b-z bz.....

o i c !

:)

s n-d!!!

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(no subject)

from: ainanna
date: Aug. 9th, 2003 06:13 am (UTC)
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maybe its about One's perspective and the unique context (of every moment)...

no "rule of thumb" but more of an intuitive empathy and compassion...that seeks to read those situations by cultivating a "listening".... there are many ways to share and pick up on what some other ONE needs...especially a stranger.

EVERYDIFFERENCEMAKESADIFFERENCE....

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evilE!

Puzzled...

from: bramblekite
date: Aug. 9th, 2003 08:45 am (UTC)
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So, what is the insult conveyed by over-tipping?

"I feel SO sorry for you"
"you are a pathetic worm"
"here, buy yourself a new face"
"I am a rich arrogant snob and I can buy your whole family"...what?

As if I didn't have enough 'being out in public' social phobia bugaboos, now I have to angst that I'm over tipping and insulting my waitstaff by implying something I don't even know I'm implying?

ohgodohgodohgod...I think I'll just sit here in my dark house & rock back and forth rather than go out and inadvertently insult waitstaff...

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Triple Entendre

I have good news, and bad news

from: triple_entendre
date: Aug. 9th, 2003 05:16 pm (UTC)
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I said nothing about insult! See my other replies in this thread for more on that.

The bad news:
The experience of dining in a restaurant is one of the more intense exercises in nonverbal communication and subtlety that we encounter in the rituals of our society. It's probably second only to dating in this respect. There's all kinds of little things going on here, and quite a lot of social expectations. This used to be called 'etiquette', and it's something that is learned.

The fact that many if not most of my generation (especially, in my own experience, the males) are completely oblivious to all this doesn't change what is.

The good news:
You don't have to worry about it. (Especially if you're overtipping. :-) ) You can just go in, eat, pay, and leave. Everything else is gravy -- but it's good gravy.

In France, maybe, they might ask you to leave (or worse) if you don't know what's what, but not here.

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Bean

(no subject)

from: fulguritus
date: Aug. 9th, 2003 09:01 am (UTC)
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i've been waitstaff, and NEVER insulted by being tipped too much.
if you are tipped too much and insulted, maybe waiting on people for money isn't the job for you....
money can be helpful. i mean as long as they aren't trying to buy their way into your bed, what's the harm?

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Triple Entendre

It only counts if you mean it

from: triple_entendre
date: Aug. 9th, 2003 06:22 pm (UTC)
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No harm, just discomfort. Being impolite doesn't mean anyone necessarily gets insulted. Being impolite can be a good thing. It can even be a necessary thing. But being impolite without being aware of it is a particular flavor of thoughtlessness, and is -- if you will bear with me here -- meta-impolite.

All I'm saying is be aware of what you are doing when you do something outside the bounds of what is expected. I'm not saying don't do it. Many people say there's no such thing as overtipping for excellent service. That's probably true. The only controversial thing I'm saying is there's an upper bound, where at some point it goes from being a good tip to being... something else.

What that something else is is very subjective; maybe you can't put your finger on it exactly, whether receiving or giving, but something feels uncomfortable -- puzzling, confusing. This is the feeling you get when a social interaction doesn't follow what is expected; a rule has been broken somehow. It's the same feeling you might get when someone stares blankly at you for too long, or when someone you don't know well gives you an extravagant gift. It's awkward.

That doesn't mean you can't do it. We freaks are all about breaking silly rules, right? Sure. Call it culture jamming if you like. Just remember you're walking a fine line between being radical and being boorish. It requires finesse.

--
Triple Entendre
When I say "you", I mean "one" or "some people".
Also note that we are talking about really, really huge "tips", not your standard 10%-35%.

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(no subject)

from: anonymous
date: Aug. 9th, 2003 10:13 am (UTC)
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perhaps he's tipping a different hand with different kind of tips...

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Triple Entendre

(no subject)

from: triple_entendre
date: Aug. 9th, 2003 06:36 pm (UTC)
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a word to the wise is sufficient.

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(no subject)

from: anonymous
date: Aug. 10th, 2003 06:43 am (UTC)
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thank you, Saturnian prophet. gothcha...

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Triple Entendre

(no subject)

from: triple_entendre
date: Aug. 13th, 2003 03:18 pm (UTC)
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A word to the wise is infuriating. - Hnter S. Thompson

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ThomasRhymer

(no subject)

from: thomasrhymer
date: Aug. 9th, 2003 12:51 pm (UTC)
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I agree with all the other folks who commented. I'm doing well these days - I'm prosperous, making more money than I ever have before. I want to use that prosperity to help people when I can.

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Triple Entendre

Yes...

from: triple_entendre
date: Aug. 9th, 2003 06:48 pm (UTC)
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I agree with them too, and I still stand by what I said.

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(no subject)

from: anonymous
date: Aug. 9th, 2003 12:59 pm (UTC)
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i like tripping...what's wrong with tripping, man?

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Triple Entendre

(no subject)

from: triple_entendre
date: Aug. 9th, 2003 06:24 pm (UTC)
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Naw, not those. Huge trips are just dandy.

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Triple Entendre

And for the record

from: triple_entendre
date: Aug. 9th, 2003 06:40 pm (UTC)
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I do tip generously.

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(no subject)

from: anonymous
date: Aug. 10th, 2003 06:25 am (UTC)
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didn't boomeritis himself claim "no boundaries" back in the day - upper or lower? Fuck all boundaries I say!
But AWARENESS is the key to everything.

peirced again.

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heatherness

(no subject)

from: kukiri
date: Aug. 10th, 2003 02:41 pm (UTC)
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If I had been waiting on someone and they gave me, say, a $50 tip for a $10 meal, I'd be a little disturbed actually. There would be no reason for that (though there would be circumstances in which that would make sense...like during a celebration where a person might give very generously). In general though, I would probably feel paraonoid about whether there are strings attached, or whether whoever gave this gift has some fixation. I can see your point, 3E, at least from that perspective. I suppose this feeling would be scaled depending on the perceieved strangeness. I can't decide if this sort of reaction to an unexpected gift is good or bad though.

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some perspective

from: spumoni
date: Aug. 25th, 2003 07:26 pm (UTC)
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It might help to narrow the argument if we knew what the original bill was. A $50 tip on a $30 meal would make any server or bartender (especially a pretty girl) a little uncomfortable about the customer's intentions. However, a $50 tip on a $75 or $100 meal, while still extravagant, might just be seen as a gift from someone who can afford it.
The funny part will be returning to the restaurant after all of this conversation and trying to act normal. It's going to feel awkward, like running into someone after kissing them in a drunken stupor and never really discussing it...
Servers and bartenders live on gifts (tipping being socially expected, but not required, and a lot of service staff I know would do well to remember that), and it creates an interesting new social relationship. We accept the fact that the people in this position are making half of minimum wage (CA and MN excepted), and that those who can dine out can afford to supplement that income. So service people accept gifts from strangers, and it's perceived as normal. Try it at a retail store, and you're definitely going to cause speculation. But I can almost guarantee that the common reaction from this server's coworkers was "wow, that's nice. I'll have to wait on that guy next time."
It was a nice thing to do. When she's older and can afford it, she'll probably do the same for someone else.

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