The Ethics of Tipping Service Workers

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chewybrian
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The Ethics of Tipping Service Workers

Post by chewybrian »

I am primarily interested in whether or not you think we should have this system in place, and what you see as the intended or unintended effects of it. A secondary issue might be how you should apply the system, seeing that it already exists, as a worker or a customer (should you tip or accept tips, etc.?)

My major objection is that this system rewards and encourages inauthenticity. The waiter might be nice only because because he wants and needs the tip money. The customer might be overbearing simply because he holds the trump card of the tip. The server should take pride in their work because it reflects upon their character. The customer should be kind out of respect for a fellow human.

Certainly there are other valid objections and reasons why we might support them system, but I will hope for others to bring these out.
"If determinism holds, then past events have conspired to cause me to hold this view--it is out of my control. Either I am right about free will, or it is not my fault that I am wrong."
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Haliaeetus
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Re: The Ethics of Tipping Service Workers

Post by Haliaeetus »

I do not support tipping systems. I understand it is a normal practice in the country I live, and being an established practice it will probably never change, though I feel that waiters in other countries where tipping is not a common practice endure less stress for a higher, more consistent wage. I am assuming both of these things from hearsay.

However, since I choose not to move to those other countries, and tipping is the norm where I am, I always tip at least 20%. Even if the service may have had opportunity for improvement, I am impacting another human being, and judging them based on ten minutes of interaction. I like to think tipping a decent amount to someone that may not “deserve” the tip has more positive impact than tipping poorly for subpar service, which in theory is supposed to motivate people to perform better. However, my job doesn’t pay me less when I’m having a lousy day. Suppose that person’s dog died, or their parent is ill. I would feel ashamed to heap more frustration upon someone else that is already suffering.

Tipping systems seem to rely on customers to supplement wages for frontline service workers. However, can you imagine the uproar if we garnished wages to government workers, nurses, and others and adopted tipping systems to supplement their income? Why do we tolerate it in some industries, but not others?

I will continue tipping, though I am far from happy with the system.
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LuckyR
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Re: The Ethics of Tipping Service Workers

Post by LuckyR »

chewybrian wrote: April 3rd, 2021, 10:24 am I am primarily interested in whether or not you think we should have this system in place, and what you see as the intended or unintended effects of it. A secondary issue might be how you should apply the system, seeing that it already exists, as a worker or a customer (should you tip or accept tips, etc.?)

My major objection is that this system rewards and encourages inauthenticity. The waiter might be nice only because because he wants and needs the tip money. The customer might be overbearing simply because he holds the trump card of the tip. The server should take pride in their work because it reflects upon their character. The customer should be kind out of respect for a fellow human.

Certainly there are other valid objections and reasons why we might support them system, but I will hope for others to bring these out.
A couple of observations. First, folks who have never worked for tips tend to not understand the practice and thus undertip. I, like most people prefer the model where waitstaff and other service workers get a decent wage and tipping is rare and minimal in amount. However those of us who live where folks get less than the minimum wage in anticipation of tips, should tip and I have no patience for those who stiff the staff.

On a more practical note, why would you pi55 off the people who are bringing you stuff you are going to eat? Have you ever consumed stranger's body fluids? Are you sure?
"As usual... it depends."
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