A handy tip

People perform the act in various ways to different people. They purchase pocket guides that tell them the right way to do it, and there are many books dedicated to the topic. Web sites discuss the proper etiquette of how to go about it. Tipping has become a worldwide phenomenon that is almost impossible to escape without worrying about the repercussions.

A tip is “something given voluntarily or beyond obligation for some service,” according to Webster’s Dictionary. People tip hairdressers, taxi drivers, manicurists and bartenders. Tow-truck operators, train conductors and dog sitters also receive them. While there are different schools of thought when it comes to tipping, according to “The Original Tipping Page” Web site, www.tipping.org, there are recommended amounts to give different people for a variety of services.

For a pizza delivery person $1 to $2 for short distances, $2 to $3 for longer distances and $5 for large orders are appropriate. Dog groomers are supposed to receive at least 15 percent of the bill. Hair salon hair washers, coat check attendants and car parking attendants should be getting $1 along with skycaps at airports receiving $1 a bag they carry. Humans are almost programmed at birth to know to double the tax at a restaurant to figure out the tip, but according to the tipping Web site, restaurant-goers should tip between 15 and 20 percent of the bill.

“To Insure Promptness” is an acronym frequently associated with the word tip, but some students question whether tips increase the level of service they receive.

“Tips should increase efficiency,” senior Kate Nurczynski said. “But they usually don’t.”

Maybe it is because servers expect the tips or that it is impossible to meet the demands of what customers consider prompt, but either way most customers will still leave a tip despite bad service.

“There is no service so bad that I wouldn’t leave a tip,” Nurczynski said.

Sophomore Autumn Womack works as a restaurant hostess and witnesses waiters and waitresses working hard for their tips.

“They basically try to be as nice and friendly as possible in the hopes of getting a good tip,” Womack said. “If they know a person is a bad tipper, they won’t even try.”

Tipping amounts have gone up in recent years, according to Manny Gonzalez, creator of “The Original Tipping Page.”

“Definitely the costs of dining have gone up,” Gonzalez said. “Since tips are a percentage of that, they automatically adjust up or down.”

Even as the amount spent on tips increases, most people do not seem to want higher prices in place of the tipping norm. According to a survey on Gonzalez’s Web site, 54 percent of 707 people surveyed would rather tip compared to the 37 percent of people surveyed who want tips abolished in favor of paying higher prices.

Some students who work jobs paying minimum wage and rely heavily on tips said they tend to be more sympathetic to the people they have to tip when the tables turned and they must dish out a tip.

“I’m a waitress and many people don’t realize that we get below minimum wage,” senior Nicole Guijarro said.

There is no way to escape tipping. The haircutter and taxi driver should each be getting 15 percent of the bill while the bartender gets 10 percent, according to standards outlined on the tipping Web site. Traveling out of the country, moving to another state or flying to a remote island will not let students escape the tipping norm. Even refusing to go out will not guarantee that tipping will be avoided, a fact that is realized as soon as a delivery person knocks on the door.

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