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On Tipping

I like giving tips. Apart from showing appreciation, I give tips because I know that waiters, hair cutters, manicurists, and massage therapists usually don’t make lots of money in this country despite the kind of job they do. However, I sometimes don’t leave tips when restaurants charge service fees that are more than ten per cent of the total bill. I somehow think the magic of giving is lost, since it is being imposed.

Sure, the act (and the culture) of tipping is truly fascinating. Even my personal reasons for tipping and not tipping amaze and confuse me at the same time. What’s with tipping, in the first place?

According to Julian Baginni, in his Aeon article entitled “To Tip or Not to Tip”:

Tipping is often seen as a crude and imperfect system of financial reward but, at its best, it humanises rather than commodifies the experience of eating. Consider Michael Lynn’s findings that large parties leave smaller tips, as a proportion of the total bill; regular patrons tend to tip more; and people usually tip the opposite sex more generously than those of their own. Together, these suggest that the more personal the encounter between customer and server, the more significant the tip becomes. The bill covers the purely financial exchange but the tip, as a purely voluntary gesture, is a sign that the evening has been more than just a commercial transaction.

Read the entire article here.

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Writer and editor; editorial director of Sinaya Cup, the first and the only local brand of menstrual cup in the Philippines.

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