Tipping [again]

Maybe I revisit this subject because it is close to my heart. Maybe it is close to my heart because I have worked in the industries where tips ARE the livelihood you earn instead of a nice perk.

As you may know, tipped employees are paid a different minimum wage. Here in Florida it is currently $5.63 per hour. The state’s non tipped employee minimum wage is $8.05 per hour (more than the Federal minimum of $7.25 per hour). I believe the hospitality industry is the largest market where tips are utilized as payment/income to employees.

Presumably tips are a thank you for prompt or satisfactory service in general. There is a minimum percentage that the powers that be dictate a tip should be. However, I still think it comes down to the mindset of the person who is doing the tipping.

Industry standard is still considered by many to be 15% of the bill. This can get pretty tricky. Personally, I give 15% if the service was lacking. That is because I know that tipped employees don’t have a “paycheck” to speak of; it just covers the income tax on the received tips. I tip 20% or more if I feel the service was exceptional. However, I tip on the subtotal NOT the taxed total. A lot of establishments include a “customary tip” scale on the final bill. The problem with this is that includes the tax which is (in Florida) 7%.

But I am getting off on a tangent. What I really wanted to write about is how people fail to thank hourly employees for going above and beyond the call or duty or job description. For instance I helped customer to get their purchases to their car. Mind you this was two trips of about ten pounds each about 200 feet outside the store. For me, I found it odd that I helped a man get his two plants out to his car and it never occurred to him that this was over and above my service as a cashier. I got the impression that he expected this assistance. What do you think? Do you tip or at least thank someone profusely for helping you out with heavy purchases?



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