Tipping is not obligatory


By , Columnist

Sometimes I feel that society enforces certain behaviors by cramming some twisted moral agenda down people’s throats. Sometimes this agenda is easily exposed and disliked by everyone, but sometimes it is not. Tipping is one of the latter.

I understand the moral conundrum I may be facing by saying such a heinous statement. “Those poor waiters and waitresses! They are barely paid enough as it is!” And that is an unfortunate truth about society. Those who deserve it aren’t paid nearly as much as they should be.

Take emergency medics, firemen, policemen, and teachers, for example. They are the hardworking foundation of society and strive endlessly to make a better world for the rest of us. Somehow, these honest professions get the short end of the stick and are paid in embarrassingly low salaries for the output of their work.

On the flipside, athletes, musicians, actors, and other television personalities are paid grossly inflated salaries, as if their contributions to society are really all that essential to the survival of the human race. A tragic flaw of our society is that we worship the trivial entertainment crowd of society because they are more fun. Credit is not given where it is due.

As much as I believe that waiters and waitresses are underpaid and overworked, it does not mean that it suddenly should become my responsibility to help pay for their salaries. Why should I pay a waiter or waitress just for doing their job? That would be like me going up to a police officer and giving him money every time he gives out a ticket. That’s his job.

Waiting is one of the few occupation in which people are expected to pay them for doing their job. If they go above and beyond the call of duty, then I will consider tipping them, but that is only if they do more than their job entails.

If you want another opinion, ask Steve Buscemi from the movie Reservoir Dogs. You can argue that society expects us to sympathize with the everyday problems these disenfranchised waiters and waitresses face every day, and we, as people, owe it to these hard working people to help them out with their money problems.

Now, I understand the concept of charity as much as the next guy, but because society is so stingy with these things, I don’t feel the responsibility to make sure these underpaid people get what they need just because their employer doesn’t want to pay them a normal salary.

If people are worried about their waiter or waitress being paid fairly, they shouldn’t leave a couple dollars on the table, but should hold the employer responsible for providing reasonable wages.

The readers of this article must be furious with me by now, but I implore you to see the trick society has played on you. Rather than give in and follow the crowd, maybe our time would be better spent by finding a way to rectify this situation and bring about a more fair salary distribution in our hopelessly confused society.