Tipping has been around for centuries, but in the 1960’s Congress made a decision regarding wages for wait staff considering tips were a large portion of their salary. The harsh truth is…it’s become mandatory in a service industry that’s evolved over the past few years, so instead of basing tips on the quality of service, one is obligated to tip regardless, knowing it’s part of their salary, though some states are slowly changing, increasing hourly wages; so how did other types of services become accustom to receiving tips? There’s no actual answer, but it’s apparent that the United States has now become a service- based country, and that alone has opened the door to tipping (giving cash) in a variety of services rendered, but remains controversial among many.

Consumer services are endless today, from dining to traveling, and beauty services to having your automobiles serviced, not to mention a range of other services in multiple industries, gratuities are limitless. If you’re a person on-the-go today, having a pocketful of dollars is a must. An example: You drop your car at your mechanic before work, so you take a taxi, you tip the driver. At lunch time you have something delivered, you tip the delivery person. After work, co-workers invite you for a drink somewhere, you tip the bartender. Back at the mechanics, since he prioritized your repairs, you tip the mechanic for a job well done. The weekend approaches, so now you’re off to the hair dresser, you tip them when finished. Going somewhere overnight? The hotel sends a bell hop to handle your bags, you tip. You ask for extras in your room, now tip the maid; my point here… it’s endless. If you have your car valeted anywhere, they too are tipped. Maybe you decide to gamble a bit at a casino, and with a little luck you win! Slot attendants paying out $1,000 plus (hand pay-out), also receive $10 to $20 in tips, and giving 5% for sessions at gaming tables. If you’re looking at taking in a show and want to make sure you get a great seat, have cash ready to tip your host, but be careful not to insult them, it’ll be like taking a match to your money. Keep in mind there’s a fine line between bribery and tipping, know what you’re doing.

Today you can find local coffee houses and bake shops which also have designated jars on their counters for gratuities, there’s no end when it comes to tipping today. Recently, at a massage place (won’t mention name)… they had a menu of services including ‘what’ to tip for each service rendered, and for me (?) That’s going too far, they expected 25%. I’ve been to places that don’t accept tips for these kinds of services, because they enjoy what they do and don’t want their clientele to feel pressured. I prefer this, and might I add… the service is usually exceptional. I’m not sure who makes these rules or standards, but if you look under Tip Etiquette online, you can find numerous guidelines; but keep in mind…that’s exactly what they are, no one under any circumstance is obligated to tip amounts found in print, unless it states that it’s mandatory, like in a menu, when serving larger parties. Apps such as ‘Global Tipping’ can be downloaded to your smartphone, and again, it’s only used to be helpful. As for my own thoughts, I believe that tipping is a show of appreciation for services received; if it was well done, I tip 20%, at times a little more, depending on the circumstance. Giving a small gift for Christmas is also appropriate if it’s someone you see on a regular basis; such as a hairdresser. It’s all personal choice, but if the service is unsatisfactory, always let them know and don’t feel obligated; otherwise…how will ‘they’ know, maybe they’re just in the wrong business.

Make your week count.