Sunday, October 26, 2008


The first time I was ever in Australia and New Zealand, I left the standard 10-15% tip on the table after a meal. As I was leaving, one of the locals came up to me and said, "You must be from the states mate. Pick that money up. We don't want to get that started here." So I did. As I traveled through Australasia I found it quite nice to not be expected to tip. It made sense and still does. Here in the US, if you don't tip you are snarled at or worse. Everything here, related to travel, requires 10-15% more just for tips--wait staff, concierge, valet parking, luggage help, and even the housekeeping staff. I think everybody should earn a fair wage and many in the service industry are underpaid. The solution? Just pay them a fair wage up front and charge accordingly for the service. The Department of Labor requires a minimum wage of $2.13 an hour for those receiving tips. That is ridiculous. Just price your food or service accordingly and I'll pay if I want. Requiring your customer to pay separately for your employees wages is a ridiculous practice. I have found service in Australia and Asia generally better overall than here.

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