Are We Tipping the Balance?


Is the need to give and receive additional appreciation leading to expectation and corruption?

Recently, I got a mail in my inbox stating that “tipping” is being introduced on that particular site for writers. Readers can show their appreciation for the writer by accessing a button and paying them a tip. I am a writer and I should’ve jumped for joy. Patrons always existed. Yet, I was disturbed.

I sat with that feeling. Did I think of myself as unworthy? Did I have an unhealthy relationship with money? After a fair amount of thought, I realized that these questions may have been answered in the affirmative a year ago; not anymore! Then why was I restless?

Honestly, I had been mulling over this very topic for a blog for a while now and this mail was the final nail in the proverbial coffin!

“Tipping” or Gratuity as it is formally known, was a term that came about in the 16th century or so from the French word “gratuite” meaning graciousness. This term that was coined in Europe and a customary practice in most of Europe till date to add an extra sum for services that were already paid for. Typically, in bars, restaurants, salons etc.

In the tarot community asking for tea money or donations is prevalent and I have also seen blogs which ask for the same at the end of the article.

I read up about the tipping culture the world over and there was an extensive article on Wikipedia which covers trends in many countries. Most of Europe had a tipping culture and though a few countries had service charges on the bill and didn’t expect a tip, the trend was still prevalent. From my own experience in Europe, a few do expect it. Australia and New Zealand did not have a tip culture but due to tourism, the American tourists particularly, have started the trend while the locals do not follow it. The reason is that the workers are paid well and service charges are often added in the bill. The same is true for almost all countries in Asia. Unfortunately, not many countries were covered in the African continent but even those did not expect a tip. USA leads with the tipping culture in an unhealthy fashion followed by Canada and Mexico. Not so prevalent in South American countries.

A gratuity was something additional given as a way of showing appreciation for that someone that went an extra mile. To that effect, it is great. Is that the reality today? Sorry to say, that with increasing tourism cultures that never had tipping have been thoroughly corrupted by Westerners. Sadly, I see it increasingly in India where a tip is expected. Displeasure is openly showed if they haven’t been tipped or tipped enough. In supermarkets, the boys who help around identify customers as tippers or not. If they recognize you as a tipper, they walk around like sycophants going out to their way to facilitate to an almost annoying degree and if not, they may just drop you half way if they recognize a tipper/higher tipper. Is this not corruption? Every customer is paying for the service so they should receive the basic they are due to receive. If every worker, no matter what their standards are, gets a tip so as to now expect it or low-key demand it, then this society is doomed.

When you are employed (no matter what the job is), you sign up for a certain salary and that is all you can and must demand. A gratuity or tip is not your birthright. If it is that important to you then go that extra mile and even then, do not expect every customer to be pleased or if pleased, tip you. Just take it as a “bonus’ if and when you get it.

The workers’ mindset is that if you come to dine at a hoity toity restaurant or to a parlour/salon then you can afford to tip and so you should. WRONG! What if you saved up all month to be able to make it, should you be given the stink eye, if you don’t tip?

My father has always been a giver and so naturally, been a huge tipper for as long as I can remember, which my brother and I have also inherited. Yet, I am writing this blog! You know why? Well, that’s because “Let him have a good tip, the hard-working lad” has changed to “better tip him well or we won’t find a waiter next time” and this change has spread like white ants into our system from the guys at the parking lot, to service providers even if service charges have been added on the bill!

So, please stop this tipping culture and let people learn a sense of duty and service.

 As far as writers are concerned and bloggers, I wish you and myself a lot of readers, success and money but not from tipping. We write because we are passionate. We reply to comments because we appreciate readers taking their time to let us know how they felt. Tipping will get us to reply to those who have tipped us or taken some other service from us. Please don’t let corruption spoil the creative field. If a certain writer has a lot of traffic because readers love their work then let the platform that earns money having the writer’s page give them a pay cheque!








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