16 June, 2006

Tipping confuses me

I read this over on Waiter Rant about tips. It's a post about an article that gives guidelines for who you tip and how much is expected (this is in the United States by the way).

Now keep in mind I'm in Australia. We don't do tips as a rule. You may find people tipping in the high-end restaurants or hotels, but I doubt that most people in everyday Australia would be familiar with the practice.

Reading that article, I realise that I find the whole idea of tipping a bit bizarre and kind of confusing. As far as I can tell, some employers pay their staff less than minimum wage and the staff then depend on tips to be able to eat and pay their rent. It seems crazy to me. How are employers allowed to get away with paying these pittances? Are there no protests?

The comments are interesting to read. Some are saying 'if you don't like it, don't come to the U.S.' and I have to be honest - this practice is one reason I would hesitate to visit. I would hate to make a faux pas, because I'm not used to the whole thing, and have it mean the person has to go short that week.

In any case, the next trip I'm planning is for New Zealand. I've always wanted to visit, plus I'd love to do the corny stuff and do some sort of Lord of the Rings tour. Don't know when we'll do that - perhaps next year or the year after. I'd love to visit Japan again as well. I loved it, and J and Chickie haven't been.

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