samedi 16 juin 2007

I don't tip anymore

It used to be that I tipped with a fervor. In New York, the standard went past 15% years ago, and it felt like if you didn't leave 20% they might chase you down the street. I would throw money on the table as if my life depended on it, regardless of the service. (Frankly I have almost never calculated my tip based on the service. Does that truly count in for anyone?)

But times have changed. Service is included here, 15% is automatically tacked on to every bill, and not even carefully delineated out on the check for you to see. But its there. Nonetheless most Americans, including myself, found that the urge to tip was hard to break. I kept tossing down euros, all fall long.

Finally I asked around of my French friends, and they said, "I never leave anything." And I noticed that whether I tipped or not made no difference in the attitude of any waiters. They would offer me a big "Au revoir! Bonsoir, mademoiselle!" no matter what I did. Plus, if I tried to hand them more money, they would just give it back to me as change. So I tried not tipping. What would happen the next time I went back? Any difference? Non! They would be just as pleasant every time.

So its happened. I have become French. I don't tip.

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