The 5 tipping commandments

ImageWhen I first started tipping, it was not always for noble reason. At campus, it was more of a social status gesture intended to convey a phony impression; not to the waitress, but the girl I might be trying to impress. “Aww…he’s so cool, and generous, and rich. He even tips waitresses.” I would imagine them thinking as I walk away from my 1k note with a heavy heart.

Earlier on though, I did it out of sheer naiveté. To my knowledge, if one expected to be served in a fancy eatery; the tip had to be on the budget. Even when the waitress guilt tripped me into eating strawberry and mint when I specifically asked for strawberry and mango ice-cream flavors, or delivered the condiments two minutes after placing my order and the food two weeks later (after my intestinal walls had been gravelly corroded by the enzymatic reaction triggered by the arrival of the condiment), she would still be entitled to her mandatory gratuity.

Over time, I have gradually outgrown my village (or so I hope). But the one thing I am not impressed with is the trend I’ve noticed in a particular fancy restaurant in town where waitresses craftily extort clients for tips (undeservedly so—I must add)like the irritating cat that keeps rubbing against your legs as soon as you sit on the dining table. And if you don’t oblige, for a couple of reasons that may range from living on a tight budget to poor quality service, you are relegated to the second class category of customers who get second class quality service.

The unfortunate bit is that the bosses don’t seem to notice this discrimination. It’s this segregation that prompted the thought that if this was my business, I would buy a good A1 size frame and away from the view of customers but conspicuous to the waiters and waitresses, probably in the kitchen, I would pin up this list of 5 tipping commandments.

1. A tip shall be, and will always remain as such, a tip; not a mandatory gratuity.

2. You may anticipate but not expect a tip after serving a customer.

3. Thou shall offer the same quality of service to the stingy nigger as you would to the most generous muzungu. You don’t know how long some people save to afford the day’s special.

4. It is rude to make the customer uneasy about what you assume to be an unfair tip in relation to the tab. So don’t contort your pretty face after picking your tip. Better yet, don’t look at, or count it where the customer can see you.

5. A tip is a privilege, not an inherent right.

Published on 1/19/2014 Sunday monitor

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