To tip or not to tip

Paula Bennett is advocating that we should tip the young person who comes to our table, in a restaurant, and asks, “How’s yer meal?” before I’ve hardly picked up my knife and fork. This person has delivered our food from servery to table, and possibly been quite friendly.

But no gratuity is expected for the person who prepared the meal, in a hot sweaty kitchen, to perfection and for our enjoyment. Tipping the waitperson is like ‘tipping’ the guy who’s putting out the cones, instead of the guy who’s mowing the roadside grass.

The other difficulty is knowing who to tip. In the US you tip the taxi driver, but should I tip the bus driver? I tip the hairdresser. But what about the shoe salesperson who makes the other end of my body look beautiful? It’s all very confusing.

When I came to New Zealand back in the 70s it was an egalitarian society; we didn’t tip anybody, because they were not of a lower ‘class’ than us. Now we have a minimum basic wage, we shouldn’t need to tip anybody. Tipping is part of the capitalist society which is not our friend, but our foe.

A Reynolds, Pyes Pa.


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