Hipsters are thrifty with their tips

Your guy isn’t crazy for not tipping — he's saving his cash for another night out

Hipsters don't tip well
  • Hipsters don't tip well

Dear Hipster:

I met a seemingly nice guy. We have gone out twice. At first, I thought he had great prospects, because he is polite, funny, and not too hard on the eyes. Now, I’m not so sure. We went to dinner for our second date. Modern woman that I am, I happily split the check. When I was signing, I saw that he left zero tip. Flabbergasted, I said something about it, and he dismissed the whole thing off-hand, saying he, “Doesn’t tip because the rest of the world doesn’t” or something to that extent. I didn’t want to make a huge deal out of it, but our date finished on a frosty note. I haven’t messaged him back about a third date. This isn’t a dating problem so much as a moral problem. All things being equal, we would go out again. After weeks of Tinder fail, I met someone cool. While I like him in just about every way, the no-tipping thing disgusted me! I supported myself waiting tables during college, and I needed my tips to augment my measly wages. I’ve argued with friends over too-small tips before, and let me tell you, it can get ugly. What I want to know is, do I hang on to my convictions and dump the no-tipper, or should I be “over it,” as you might say?

— Stiffed

Why Tipping Should Be Banned

You probably ought to let it go. Even as ever more people come out against customary gratuities in this country, all we know for certain is that fights between friends and family over the ethics of tipping are not worth the heartache. In fact, one “Adam Ruins Everything” video I’ve seen cites the inherent fractiousness of tipping as a primary motivation for abolishing the practice outright. I’d rather entertain JFK conspiracies than attempt to resolve the tipping debate, but if anything proves this is purely hipster matter, it’s that an online comedy website featuring a bearded snarkmaster with a righteous power fade has done better research on the history of tipping. Most sources still cite the dubious claim that “tip” rose from “To Insure Promptitude,” which is cute, but about as convincing as that debunked chestnut about “Fornication Under the Consent of the King.”

One interesting tidbit: the Millennial generation (which is 40–90 percent hipster, depending on whom you ask) tips less than its parents. This ought to surprise you, since young, urban hipster types are overwhelmingly likely to list “barista,” “mixologist,” and “chief brussels sprouts runner at a fashionably shabby North Park tavern” on their résumés. Hipsters/Millennials are also the group that enshrined casual dining as a social function, so you’d expect they’d be willing to tip more. Instead, they seem to prefer more nights out, and thrifty tips.

In states like California, where servers get $10 an hour, set to rise to $15 by 2020, we might even be moving toward the point where tipping ceases to make sense, for all the very good reasons that smarter people than I have provided in numerous think pieces on the subject. Your guy isn’t crazy for not doing it. Perhaps he’s jumping the gun (tipping is customary, despite its flaws), and you’re still free to tip as you see fit, but don’t let a dubious convention come between you, your lovers, and your friends.

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