As Featured on News Cult: Are We Supposed to Tip for These Things? I Don’t Get It

There are certain things we all know we’re supposed to tip for, at least in the U.S. Unless you’re a total dick. Like wait staff at restaurants, valets, and mani-pedis, to name a few. But there’s a whole host of other things that I have no idea if we’re supposed to tip for. Maybe I’m just an idiot, which is a strong possibility, but I’m confused about tipping etiquette for the below situations.

Knife sharpening 

Like, when you take your one nice kitchen knife (which is a start give us a break adulthood is hard and expensive plus it serves a double purpose as a cooking utensil AND weapon) to Williams-Sonoma, are you supposed to tip the guy who sharpens it? Especially because knowing us, it’s going to need a lot of sharpening, if it’s even salvageable from all of our non-/improper use.  

Car service
Like when you go in for an oil change, or to have your tires rotated, or a multi-point inspection… Literally no clue if you’re supposed to tip. And I feel like this is one of those situations where if you’re not supposed to tip, it’s insulting if you do, so you really have to get it right. This is why I just awkwardly linger when I pick up my car and try to read any social cues that may point me toward an answer. Which usually gets me approximately nowhere except a solid minute or so of uncomfortable eye contact between me and an unfortunate mechanic. But, hey, I’ll take it–it’s the most intimacy I’m gonna get probably ever. 
Bike service
Same as with cars–when you take your bike in for a tune up (which like who actually does that but whatever), do you tip? And bike people are so intimidatingly hip, so this is 1000x worse than cars. With their tight-by-choice jeans vs. our just increasingly-getting-tighter jeans, and their aggressive beards, and their keys on their carabiners–like, we get it, you’re so tragically uncool you’re cool again.
Crossing guards
Say what you will, but if you jaywalk, a crossing guard is out of a job. If that isn’t tip-worthy, I’m not sure what is.
Pet grooming
And like what if they make your pet look like shit? Which is impossible for some of our pets because they’re glorious beautiful mythical creatures from magical lands and are better looking than Helen of Troy. But still. Or what if they have to squeeze the anal glands? Isn’t that like a guilt-tip situation?
A colonoscopy strikes me as perhaps the task most deserving of a tip, right?
Hotel Maid
It’s sups awk when you’re in the room as they’re cleaning it and you’re like ahhh I don’t know if I’m supposed to tip her should I tip her how much should I tip her and should I just hand it to her or should I leave it in an envelope or like aren’t I supposed to leave it like under the pillow but how can I do that if she’s standing right there I knew I should’ve followed my therapist’s instructions and gotten out of bed and gone outside this morning or alternatively, I should’ve never gotten out of bed and just put the “do not disturb” sign up which frankly sounds like a better plan so suck on that, mental health professionals.

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12 thoughts on “As Featured on News Cult: Are We Supposed to Tip for These Things? I Don’t Get It

  1. Flop til you drop "FTYD" says:

    If you tip a “crossing guard” and their uniform… might make them look like a stripper. Just sayin’. And that confuses even more people.

    I’m sure I’m going to piss off a lot of people with this, but the whole tipping a fast food- unless it’s a specialty thing- F that. For instance Sub Way. Your job is to make a sandwich. You don’t deliver it to me. You don’t wait on me and bring me refills on my soda. So, don’t make me feel badly because I’m not tipping you. It’s you job to make the sandwich to my specifications. If you make it badly, I go somewhere else.

    I worked at Del Taco as a kid. There was no tipping for making their taco. Now, in Costa Mesa, CA there is a small Taco house, can’t remember what it’s called that has a cow bell and whenever someone tips they hit it and a whole thing happens. Like all those working hoot n holler, and the cook does some dance thing with his spatula and bangs it on the grill, etc.. But you get a show for it and they are making a specialty mom-n-pop food. People tip to see the show. (which is pretty brilliant idea, right?) Of course, by the end of the evening I’d be like SCREW that damn bell.


    Liked by 2 people

  2. carlygolightly says:

    I have been to the US a few times and tipping confuses the hell out of me. I got my nails done, paid the price and walked out. My friend was horrified, I didn’t tip the nail lady…… I had no idea we are supposed to tip the nail lady! I then felt bad about not tipping the nail lady.

    Liked by 1 person

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