Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Stiffing is the new black...

Remember that old, wry, sign behind the bar at your local tavern that read, ‘Tipping isn’t a city in China’? Well, guess what I just found out? Neither is ‘Stiffing’! Because stiffing is the new tipping. You heard it here first. I stiffed a guy pouring beers at an NBA game the other night and it felt REALLY GOOD! I was worried-I’m a big tipper, god, people know me, how will it reflect on me and everyone I know (like the dude who paid for my ticket)? When I mentioned, in a fraught voice, that I hadn’t tipped the beer guy, my friend said “so what-who the hell tips the beer guy?” And I realized, hey, I’M the guy who always tips the beer guy, and apparently, no one cares. In fact, I don’t care. I’m free! Remember all that over-tipping you used to do for the hot bartender, or at the cool restaurant, to make you and them and everybody else feel all gooey and shit? Well, stiffing is a much more glorious feeling, I am telling you, and not only because, let’s say, you’re broke and need to save your pennies.

No no no my friend. Tipping is so overboard, let’s face it, we all know it to be true, and have let a bunch of cash-dependant-types make us feel bad for not leaving them all the freakin cash in our pockets just cause they can pour a Guiness without spilling it. Although I have tipped many bartenders who messed even THAT up. Why? Why are we lulled into believing that somehow the success or failure of the entire freaking restaurant business rests on our cash contributions? When is there a thought about us, the lonely consumer, made to feel awkward and humiliated just because management won’t pay their employees a living wage? We must get together and stop being bullied into this ridiculous ‘Crying (Tipping) Game’. I am not saying that every single person I have tipped has been less than deserving of that money, but the smug mugs that greet even GOOD tips sometimes make you wonder why. Why? Why don’t they just charge me for their service and present me a bill. Why must I be forced to be a part of what is probably the most dishonest and humiliating (for both giver and taker) transaction one can imagine.

We must march together on this, my friends, and I will gladly lead the way. Until the system is changed, I do not tip. I stiff. And I wear it proudly.