The deserved tip

I would like to identify my traveling credentials before giving you my thoughts on the controversial subject of tipping.

I have traveled to 161 of the nations on ITN’s “Official List” and 248 of those on the Travelers’ Century Club list. I have set foot on 197 islands (not boasting, just identifying). I was a traveling salesman in Northern California for 15 years, attending dozens and dozens of conventions, so I have stayed in hundreds of hotels and motels and eaten in jillions of food establishments. I also write travel and restaurant reviews for our local newspaper.

Following are my tipping peeves:

There’s the cab driver who picks you up, does not get out of the cab and does not assist you in any way except to deliver you to your destination. Why does he expect a tip?

On many cruises today, you cannot spend cash nor use your normal credit card. They make you use the “ship’s” card that they issue to you. They then automatically add a 15% tip to all applicable purchases. So you order a beer at a shipboard bar, the bartender hands you a beer and a napkin and the 5-dollar beer costs you a 75-cent tip for that “service.”

Here is my particular “favorite.” After dining in an upscale eatery, your bill is $100 for an 8-ounce steak fillet, potato, salad and coffee. At another time you go to another place where you get exactly the same dinner and have exactly the same service but your bill is $70. If you are 15% tipper, why should one server get $15 and the other $10.50? Just because the bill was higher? Nonsense!

I had one person tell me, “Maybe the ambiance and food was better at the higher-priced place,” but that person had no answer when I asked, “What has that to do with service?”

My dates and dining associates have told me all my life that I do overtip. Perhaps I have, but it was for good service and not because of someone else’s contrived, self-serving suggestion.

Sun Lakes, AZ