Tipping might be the one topic that everyone's got an opinion on, and there never seems to be a "right" answer.
I've got a few scenarios that recently came up, and I'm just wondering what you guys think:
The Shampooer. If you get your hair did in a a place where your hair gets shampooed by another individual, do you separately tip that person? And how much? And if you pay by credit card and add the tip on, do you have like, tell, anyone how you want the tip split, or will they know? But if you tip with cash, how do you avoid that awkward Search for the Shampooer? Like when you're skulking around after your appointment, trying to find the Shampooer and subtly slip $2 in her hand while she's up to her elbows in someone else's suds.
The Hotel Maid. Now what's the deal on this? I remember when I was a kid, my parents would leave a couple bucks on the dresser. Do you have to tip? And do you tip every night you're there? And how does the maid know what is their tip? Like what is the difference between "Here nice maid, this money on the counter is for you!" versus "Hey I'm leaving money and stuff laying around, and your job is just to clean around it!" ??
The Valet. I also tip a few bucks to the dude that returns my car. But what about the guy who parks the car? Do you have to tip both times? It's like, I'm already paying extra for this service, and now I'm paying extra extra to thank them for doing their job? Tres confusing as they say in French Canada.
The Barista. OK, since I am the person that has the coffee order comprised of ten different kinds of specs, I understand the tipping. But if you're asking for a plain black coffee... does this warrant tipping? And why is the tip jar at Starbucks located by the register instead of on the back end where the hard work (the grinding, the foaming, and the pouring) is being done?
And finally... 15%... of WHAT? I don't ever seem to get a clear answer on this. I can calculate the 15% just fine, but I don't understand why some people think it should be 15% of the TOTAL. Like the total that includes tax. I'm tipping you off of Uncle Sam's share? I thought I just calc tip based on the sub-total. i.e. The part that you actually served me. And as far as I know, the waitstaff did not bring any yummy Tax Bill to my table, so therefore I shouldn't include that amount when I figure out my tip, right?
OK, all your comments are heartily welcome. I need other people to tell me what to do for a change. So if a dispute comes up later, I can just pull of this blog and go, "SEE! My readers said so. Duh."