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Towards the end of Steve Dublanica's hilarious and information filled Keep the Change: A Clueless Tipper's Quest to Become the Guru of the Gratuity, the author provides a list of people known as "bad tippers". To my chagrin, both academics and information technology workers made the list. Does this mean that academic technology are the worst tippers on the planet?
One thing that I am sure of after reading "Keep the Change" is that all of us should become much better at tipping. Some of the surprises for me in the book are how many people depend mostly on tips to make a living. Everyone from cab drivers to furniture delivery people to hair stylists depend largely on tips to make ends meet. I had always known that restaurant people (waiters, bartenders etc.) work mostly for tips, but I had not realized that bathroom attendants, shoe shine workers, and the people at the car wash also rely on tips to such a large degree.
My biggest tipping inadequacy, one that I pledge to correct, is how I tip the people who clean hotel rooms. I've always left a twenty at the end of my stay. Turns out that hotel cleaning people in large hotels, the same hotels that we stay in during academic tech conferences, are often randomly assigned to a new room each day. So if you leave a tip at the end of your stay the person who cleaned your room each day might not get any money.
What we should be doing is leaving a daily tip, and putting it in an envelope. And the open bar at the ed tech vendor sponsored events - tip the bartender. (On that note…bartender tips are 20% of the drink cost, not a dollar per drink).
We first met Steve Dublanica in Waiter Rant, and if you enjoyed that book (I did), and are interested in the sociology and economics of service occupations, then you will enjoy 'Keep the Change'.
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