Maybe it’s just me being a cheap ass but this tip jar thing is getting to me. Everywhere you go on this Island there is a “tip” jar. Coffee shops, pizza places, book stores, I wouldn’t be surprised to see one at Cronigs popping up soon. It’s not that actual tip jar that is there that is aggravating to me. It’s the feeling of obligation you get to tip the person. The person who is filling a plastic cup up with ice so I can go pour my own iced coffee and put in it my own milk and my own sugar. Sometimes I feel like I’m the one that should be getting a tip.
I go into Mocca Mott’s and I do this on purpose. I always order a coffee and sometimes I get a muffin or something sweet to eat. I don’t care if I have two cents change, I wait for it. I say to the hipster behind the counter with a big smile thank you very much, have a great day. I did a little experiment. If I leave my change in the cup they are very pleasant and say something nice back. If I don’t leave anything I get a nasty look back at me as if I am the cheapest person in Oak Bluffs. This is even though I was very pleasant and ordered with a smile each time. Now mind you, I just paid almost six bucks for a cup of coffee that probably costs ten cents and a muffin that’s twenty five cents. Sorry if Mr. Mott doesn’t pay you enough. Not my problem. You should be nice to people paying their hard earned money for your outrageously expensive coffee whether they give you their change or not.
This happened to me the other day at 7a Foods. 7a Foods is one of the new “buzz” places on the island to go now. It uses all the right words such as “fair trade”, “farm to table”,”organic” so they can charge and arm and a leg for everything they serve and at the same time serve smaller portions. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very good. It’s just very expensive and don’t expect a big portion. It’s all take out and yes, they believe in the “tip” jar. I went in there for an iced coffee. The cup they give you is probably about a sip and a half. It’s the smallest iced coffee cup I have seen in my life. And yes, they only have ONE size. So I order my sippie cup of iced coffee and it was 2.88. I give the pampered 19 year old with the bandana on her head three bucks. She says to me in the most condescending voice possible, “do you want your twelve cents”. Well sweetheart, if I didn’t before your god damned right I want it now.
Like I say, maybe it’s just me. I’d love to hear what you guys think in the comments below.
I loved your post, tho I don’t necessarily agree with the concept of getting upset by what a server says or does. Me? I ignore them. If I got something from the encounter I play the tip game, if not I motor on out. No guilty conscience here.
I couldn’t agree more and I don’t consider myself the least bit cheap! I never leave under 20% when I dine at a restaurant and I always tip a delivery guy. They are giving you service. Next thing will be tip jars at retail clothing stores because after all, they need to ring it up, fold AND bag it!
I think tipping should be reserved for sit down table service, taxi drivers who don’t talk in their Bluetooth the entire time, bell hops (always) and strippers. Anyone other than that can pound sand.
I agree tipping has gotten way out of control . The cost of food is ridiculous anyway never mind racking on another 20 percent . Tipping is based upon quality of food and service and should be treated as a reward not an obligation. Alex from highland pizza used to make the best pizza in city but he never expected a tip , things have really changed.
You’ve got me thinking. I’ve never tipped much in jars before. I always leave 20 percent for service in a restaurant. When I see how happy my kids are when they get a tip, it makes me want to leave tips in jars more often. But I think you are right, it should not be an obligation. I think I’ll have a conversation with my kids about that. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the subject.
Tip jar depends on where it is. On MV no need for adding to the tip jar. In the dirty river the poor kid at the DD counter is more than likely counting on that change to put gas in their car to get home.
Great post, MV Food Guy! I concur with your sentiments, but I wouldn’t let it get to me. There seems to be a universal sense of entitlement where one is expected to give up their change—regardless of the amount or whether it is ‘earned’ or not—under the guise goodwill.
I think John is correct when he stated that, “Tipping should be reserved for sit-down table service.” After all, shouldn’t there be some criteria for one getting the ‘spare change’? Should they not be required to ‘earn’ that extra token of appreciation for a job well done?
I’ll even take it to another level: If the sit-down dinner service is lousy, I feel no obligation whatsoever to leave a tip at all! And you can call me cheap, but I would beg to differ; most often, you get what you pay for, and those who provide poor service get what they deserve!
Something to keep in mind: The minimum cash wage for tipped workers in Mass. is currently $2.63/hour. The minimum wage for most non-tipped workers is $8.00. Most waiters in sit-down restaurants are tipped workers. Not sure about the busboys/girls. Most counter staff in delis and takeouts aren’t. To me that makes a difference. The counter staff are probably getting paid crap — retail generally pays crap — but they don’t depend on tips to get them up to minimum wage. Fwiw, I rarely throw change in the tip jar (or bowl). I often throw change in the Island Food Pantry jars at Reliable and elsewhere, however.
Thanks for all the replies Everyone ! Love the interactions. I left .52 cents in the Rocco’s tip jar today because the girl very nice and didn’t seem to “expect” it.
I totally know what you mean. Just yesterday I saw a tip jar at Sheila Allen Styles – a cheap jewelry store! What the heck! A jewelry store?!?! it’s the awful store in Edgartown which took the spot of the old Sweet E’s cupcakes. I don’t quite understand why I’d give them a tip. It’s kind of gross. Such a turn off. Isn’t it their job to offer good service?
Haha. That’s great. A tip jar in a cheap jewelry store. These things are poppin up all over the island !
This is why the world is a selfish cold place. Honestly you need to reevaluate life
Bran are you one of the people looking for spare nickels and dimes in tip jars ? You seem upset about this like this is gonna affect your income.
Reevaluate his life? I believe everyone has the right to put a “value” on themselves and then choose how to disperse their own earnings. I don’t care if you make .20 or $200 an hour….if I choose to give, I will. And if I don’t and you want to judge me on that, then maybe you need to evauluate your entitlement.
I throw my change in the fountain and make a wish, “Please give the assholes with the tip jars a better job so they don’t have to beg.”
Great blog, I feel exactly the same way about tipping counter folk. I especially cringe when they display a little sign begging for spare change to help send them to college, gag me!
The more we tip the less business owners will pay their staff.
This is a great post thannks