TIPPING IS NOT A CITY IN CHINA

Transportation Tech Editor
3 min readApr 13, 2024
Richard Ramis, AYS Dispatch, Inc.

Every year I must visit my optometrist. It is no big deal. The results are always the same. One must simply follow the doctor’s orders. However, I confess, I love going to the appointments. Why you ask? The eye doctor’s office is across the street from a Subway. I love Subway sandwiches. All sizes, all flavors, all toppings, all combinations. The one problem I have is that I can’t use Door dash or Grubhub because I must watch my sandwich being made in person.

I am not paranoid. I hope I am not crazy but that is simply the way I roll. So, on my last visit, after the exam I cross the street and enter the Temple of Taste and order up commando style. That means I put no advanced thought into my next two lunches. I will base it on signage, new offerings, deals, or impulse. I place my order; I carefully watch as my sandwiches move along the counter like a 65 Corvette winding through the assembly line.

While construction is under way, I would love to browse the chip and snack rack for new offerings, but I shan’t under any circumstances let my eyes stray from the action. The job is complete, my Subways are wrapped and bagged, and I reach for my debit card as the Sandwich Artist is ringing the order up. The amount shows, I insert the card, then I press the Pin code and then I receive a harrowing message on the screen.

“Would you like to tip your server”. I am appalled. I have credentials. I spent over 25 years working for tips and now I am being strong armed at Subway. At this point I am contemplating going full Jim Carrey on Stanley. This tipping thing has taken on a life of its own. I will give credit where credit is due; it was likely waiters and waitresses that perfected the process, and it was always simple: people used discretion and it worked. Cab drivers, chauffeurs, and the like always collected a nice subsidy from their riders. I recall charter bus drivers had the privilege of 56 people passing the hat on long hauls. The basics were simple. TIPS means “to insure prompt service” and it is a nice incentive to provide such quality service.

It’s ok I’m a limo driver.

I do have one concern. If someone knows in advance that they are getting a 20% hit it could cause them to lose the incentive to provide a better performance. As far as these other enterprises trying to get into the tip game. I really get the impression that they are not trying to subsidize their employees’ pay but trying to justify the lower base pay.

And lastly, there are consumers that will not tip. Some non-tippers do it out of principal, some because they are simply cheap, and some because that is the way they are wired. They don’t like being forced into anything.

Flattery is nice but tips will suffice.

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