Tipping is confusing, and paradoxical. We tip some people who provide services but not others who work just as hard for just as little pay. It is insulting to leave any tip in Tokyo but offensive not to leave a large one in New York. It is assumed that the purpose of tipping is to encourage good service but we leave one only after the service has been given, when it is too late to change it, often to people who will never serve us again. Tipping challenges the sweeping generalisations of economists and anthropologists alike. To understand how and why we tip is to begin to understand just how complicated and fascinating we human beings are.
Read To Tip Or Not To Tip in Aeon.
Do you tip waiters? How much? In some places you have to leave a 15 percent tip or the staff will run after you. Some argue that since Manila restaurants already add a 10 percent service charge to your bill, you don’t have to tip. Others say that if you eat there regularly and don’t tip, hala ka. And what do you do about a really obtrusive waiter who interrupts your story as you’re getting to the punchline, to ask, “How is your food, sir?” Or a waiter who seems to be listening too closely to a very private conversation?