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Informal drivers survey: generous to stingy

Been talking to some of the office drivers, who normally works for expats around town (Jakarta, Indonesia)
Here are the informal survey results, from the most generous to the most stingy. Generous means gave big tips at the end of the day, or never ask for a change when giving money to buy gasoline or other stuff (households, etc):

1. American, especially drilling people from Texas.
2. British (Scots are more stingy)
3. Italian/Spanish
4. Scandinavian
5. French
6. German
7. Dutch, the stingiest amongst European, the Jews of Europe - Jews and Arabs has reputation of being stingy.
8. Filipino
9. Japanese
10. Singaporean
11. Korean
12. Indian
13. Chinese (well the champion of stingy)
Permalink Andi Surya 
March 13th, 2005
I hesitate to ask - where are the Australians?

(Given we're not noted for tipping.)
Permalink trollop 
March 13th, 2005
It's quite good actually. It ranks no.3 (I skip it).

And generally normally expats are more generous when they're drunk or when asking to find woman to sleep with.
Permalink Andi Surya 
March 13th, 2005
You don't say, fancy that.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
March 13th, 2005
It can be a chronic condition, but Bacchus allays amour.
Permalink trollop 
March 13th, 2005
I am Dutch, and am not good at tippping.

I think it is because nobody in the Netherlands makes a living of tips. A tip is just an exception here, even in cabs and bars (EUR 9,80 ? Oh, keep the change from 10).

Of course, it is entirely possible that I confuse cause and effect :-)
Permalink Erik Springelkamp 
March 13th, 2005
Where are Canadians on that list?
Permalink Calgarian 
March 13th, 2005
There is a great scene from the beginning of Reservoir Dogs about tipping.

Also, the Chinese aren't stingy, they are just like the Steve Buscemi character who simply don't believe someone deserves a tip for doing their job.

As for the single mom/starving student/low waiter pay etc., as Mr. Pink says "Learn to type".

Why don't you tip the person at the cash at MacDonald's?

Give me back my dollar.
Permalink Mr. Pink's Views 
March 13th, 2005
I suspect it's to do with
a) the frequency of tipping in the home country for drivers
b) how much money they have.

In the States I am told tipping is universal. In some countries it is rare to tip taxi drivers - after all the guy normally owns his own taxi so why are you giving him more than agreed on (you wouldn't pay MS 10% more than the agreed price for a copy of Windows).

I have never tipped a taxi driver in Saudi, India, Sri Lanka or Spain. I've tipped waiters in India, but that is normally because they are keeping the bar open all night for me. Tipping waiters and taxi drivers in Spain died out within two years of Franco's death. Salaries shot up and everybody reckoned that it was better for the workers to get a good wage than survive off tips.

The question of salaries is also important. A survey by an agency that provided child care in the UK found out that the best employers were accountants and the typical employer from hell was a social worker. A look at the average salaries of each profession will tell you why.
Permalink Stephen Jones 
March 13th, 2005
Canadians are better tippers than Americans. To explain why would force me to generalize, but that's how I would average it having lived in Hawaii, NY, Vancouver, and Toronto. If I have to say anything, it's that american tippers strive to tip properly--if the service is truly bad--and a tip can make the proper statement--the tipper will tip less. It's also more likely for an american tipper to tip vastly more than necessary if the service has been exemplary.
Permalink Li-fan Chen 
March 13th, 2005
"you wouldn't pay MS 10% more than the agreed price for a copy of Windows"

Because there's no human interaction. But people *do* tip shareware authors.

Tipping is a fiscal recognition of a pleasant financial experience - a way of saying "hey, I really enjoyed working with you" in a way that matters.

Look at the complaints on this board when there's a discussion about company awards - "Oh joy, a piece of paper to hang on my wall. If you really cared, you'd give me cash."

That cash would be the equivalent of a tip - a monetary reward for a job well done.

And IMHO the reason there isn't more tipping is that it's frowned upon in other areas - either taken as an insult or even a firing offense.

Most people *like* to do nice things in recognition of good work - everything from a simple "thank you very much" to a letter to the person's manager to a small gift to ... cash. A tip.

Of course, some people don't understand the concept of being nice to people they don't know. In a better world Darwin would find a way of dealing those people out of the gene pool. :)

Philo
Permalink Philo 
March 13th, 2005
If I was responsible for the creation of food-services in Asia, I would normally seriously consider opening one without tips (at least for the regular mom and pop small restaurants). The tipping culture is not strong enough, and the only way to compensate waiters properly is to pay them in full (rather than paying partially with tips). Unfortunately then the waiters answer to you because you are the one rewarding them, but that way you can ensure they get high enough wages for their extra efforts.
Permalink Li-fan Chen 
March 13th, 2005
> Because there's no human interaction. But people *do* tip shareware authors

Not true.

People *pay* shareware authors. This is not tipping, any more than people 'tip' Microsoft by voluntarily choosing to pay the retail price for a Microsoft product in order to be allowed to take the box home.

Would you call it 'tipping' if a business calls their supplier and orders another 50 Windows licenses, just because they're not going to a shop and picking up a box?

There's a price on the website, you use your credit card to give that amount of money and you get a copy of the software. It's no different to ordering a box of software in a shop after having tried the company's downloadable demo.

Oh, and just because the staff get paid without me messing around with tips doesn't change one important fact: if I don't like the service, I won't go back. There's as much incentive for the management to motivate the staff as there is for a tip to motivate an individual worker. That's particularly useful, as I rarely carry cash, and really don't want to mess around with cash at a restaurant. Good service doesn't include making me work, I don't want to be constantly conducting staff performance reviews, and if I don't actually put some effort into evaluating the staff the tip becomes just another standard item on the bill and not a performance motivator. It also doesn't account for the fact that the waitress gets a poor tip thanks to some idiot in the kitchen messing up regularly - only I never see that person even though he's ruined my evening.

One amusing thing though: a little while ago I went to a restaurant that had a tip jar - instead of the tip going to the workers who provided good service it was a generic donation to the company. I'm sure they've got the concept wrong there. :)
Permalink  
March 13th, 2005
"> Because there's no human interaction. But people *do* tip shareware authors

Not true.

People *pay* shareware authors."

Yes. People also TIP shareware authors. It's rare, but it happens - I know a few shareware authors, and they've told me that on a few occasions people have written them checks for more than the purchase price or sent them additional money.

I've done the same for three pieces of shareware I thought were truly exceptional and an absolute bargain.

Yes, it's unusual, but it does happen.

Philo
Permalink Philo 
March 13th, 2005
The tip jar contents can be shared assiduously by watchful staff or hijacked by the boss. Either way it kind of misses the point that tipping should reward the individual.

The pragmatic culture simply adds a line to the bill "Service Compris". Try elimininating that one if you've been given the raw prawn.

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Europe/France/Ile_de_France/Paris-99080/Local_Customs-Paris-Tipping-BR-1.html
Permalink trollop 
March 13th, 2005
"And generally normally expats are more generous when they're drunk or when asking to find woman to sleep with."

Well, that explains why us Americans are at the top of the list :)
Permalink Steamrolla 
March 14th, 2005

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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