Sunday, January 4, 2009

Eric's Tip Tab

I don't know how many of you reading this have seen "Reservoir Dogs", but it gave me an idea. Before anyone runs out to rent it, let me say that you should NOT see it if you don't like strong language or violence. This movie epitomizes both.

With the morality and viewability of the movie put aside, there is an interesting scene in the beginning. Basically, the main characters are a bunch of criminals, previously unacquainted, who come together to do a job. Their first meeting is a breakfast together. At the end, the son of the mastermind pays for the meal, but tells everyone else to put in for the tip. One character, Mr. Pink (played by Steve Buscemi), does not. He says that he doesn't believe in tipping just because society tells us to. It is an interesting argument which can be found by searching for "Reservoir Dogs tipping". Once again, it is quite a cornucopia of obscene words and dirty phrases. Anyway, I don't agree that you shouldn't tip, but I do think that tipping should be based on merit rather than duty.

Another example of strange tipping practices was one performed by a college friend of mine. He would take astack of quarters with him when he would eat out. If the server did something wrong, like failing to refill a drink, he would take a quarter off of the stack. If the server did something well, he would add a quarter to the stack. Once again, I don't think this is the best way to figure out a tip, but it does bring up an interesting idea.

Today, my wife and I had sushi for lunch and I sort of mindlessly wrote in a tip. It was after this, that my brain started working. How can I know if my tip was correct or proper? Well, what if I developed a method to fairly decide what was deserved? So, I came up with my Tip Tab. It has different categories that will either add or subtract percentage points from the tip. I started with this website "How Much Should I Tip?"and used it as a baseline.

Well, here is my Tip Tab:

The blanks on the right are used to add or
subtract percentage points from the tip.
You can modify the numbers if you like,
but this is what I am starting with.

Use these "additional" lines for any extras not listed above.

Take the total number, divide it by two and add the result to the 15% most people agree is the average tip.
I made this the size of a dollar bill so it would fit in my wallet. I have it as a excel spreadsheet, so email me if you would like me to send it to you.

The reason that I am including this on a blog about getting rid of debt is that debt should not stop someone from being generous. I know that I often give less for a tip when I am feeling a pinch financially. I realize now that if I can afford to eat out, I can afford to tip someone who does a good job serving me.

I want to finish by saying that I have never been a waiter, but I know it is a very hard job. I greatly appreciate what they do, and if someone is ever really spectacular, I'll just give them a big tip. However, if someone is absolutely terrible, it would take a LOT for me to tip nothing. In fact, I can only remember one time that I did not leave some kind of tip, and I could go on and on about how terrible that service was.

This is me thinking out loud. Let me know if you agree, disagree, etc. Let me know if you think this idea has merit or if I am a total jerk for even suggesting it. I'm curious to see what others think.

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