I wonder if I'm the only person who gets stressed out about giving a tip to people who provide services for me. In a restaurant, I'm good to go because it's pretty much standard to leave a 15% tip. OK. But what about others who provide me with various services? Am I expected to tip them too? This causes me a great deal of anxiety because I'm usually not faced with this question until I am standing in front of the person who may or may not expect a tip.
For example, I do not frequent the "salon" (if you consider Bo-Rics or any other $9.99 haircut shop a salon). I get my hair cut about twice a year, mainly because I am a cheapskate. More often than not, I'm pulling my hair back in a ponytail and plastering it against my head, out of my face, with hair spray. Last week, I went for my semi-annual cut and asked for Cindy, the lady who had cut my hair the last time I was there. She didn't remember me. When she was finished, she took me to the register and, after swiping my credit card, she gave me my receipt to complete and sign. There, glaring out at me like the noon-day sun, is the line that says "TIP". So, I was supposed to put in my tip and then add up my total before signing and completing my transaction. Cindy was watching me. There was a line of people forming behind me. Sweat was starting to bead on my forehead. I nervously laughed and said, "I just can't seem to do math in my head." Cindy handed me a calculator. Ummm, how much of a tip do I leave? Should I ask Cindy how much she wants? Should I just give her 5 bucks and call it good? That's probably their ploy - stare at you intently until you cave in and give them a 50% tip. Uh, I don't know. . . . .um, how do you figure out percentage again? Is it 1 x 1.15 or is it 1 x .15? It seems I can't even do math with a calculator. I finally just threw some random number on the line to make everything come out even. No wonder Cindy never remembers me when I come in.
And the pizza delivery person. How much are you supposed to tip him or her? My husband doesn't give tips to the pizza guy, but when I'm the one receiving the pizza, I feel obligated. Or maybe I feel intimidated because the 2 main delivery people for the Papa John's place nearby are a tough-looking Asian woman with spiky hair, black lipstick and a ring in her nose, and an old guy with a total of 2 teeth in his mouth who pretty much fits the image that comes to mind when you hear the phrase "dirty old man." So, here is the pizza delivery person standing at my door - she knows where I live, she knows my phone number, and she even has my credit card info and signature. It might be wise to give her a tip. Otherwise, she might come back later and set my house on fire.
And finally, should I leave a tip at the coffee house? I mean, there is a tip jar at the counter, clearly begging for tips. Once again, the person behind the counter is standing there watching me. I feel rather compelled to leave a little spare change because I'm not fully convinced that this person won't lace my next double mocha latte with arsenic. However, out of all the places to leave a tip, the coffee house seems the least likely. I have to wait in line and go up to the counter to place my order. I have to get my own coffee sleeve, napkins and extra sprinkles of cinnamon. I have to clear my own table. If anyone should get a tip, it should be me. Maybe next time I go into the nearest Java joint, I should wear a little cup around my neck that says "tips" and see if they give me any freebies.
Just yesterday, I came across this article on Yahoo about when and how much to tip. However, it wasn't as helpful as I thought it would be. There were tips for tipping the following people:
Full service gas station attendants. Those still exist???
Shampoo Person. Did I mention that when I do get my hair done, it's usually at Kutz R Us, or some such place. I've never encountered a shampoo person in my life.
Soooo not helpful. I guess I'm still on my own.