Oh God. What a jerk. Why do you hate the working poor?

It turns out they’re not so poor, Italics Man. About a week ago the National Post ran a story about tipping in Canada, arguing that servers were surprisingly well paid. In fact, a waitress making six figures is surprisingly common.

Read the whole article. It is absolutely bananas. Some takeaways:

  • The average server is making about $30/hour including tips. This is about what a registered nurse makes
  • Recent minimum wage hikes in both Ontario and Alberta could make this total even higher
  • Servers give an average of $2/hour to the kitchen staff, meaning cooks average about $15/hour
  • Tax evasion on tip income is rampant
  • Only 9% of Canadians ever deviate from their standard tip, automatically debunking the “tip for good service” myth
  • It encourages restaurant theft (servers give free food/booze to customers in exchange for larger tips

This is a goddamned outrage, and it’s about time the rest of us working Joes do something about it. Allow me to start.

I’m no longer tipping. Fuck it. I’m done.

These people don’t get a living wage? Bullshit. A server in Alberta is paid $15/hour, which is a fair wage for basically relaying a message to the cook. Oh, you brought me a water? Thanks, but I’m not sure how that’s worth about $5.

There are dozens of different jobs that only make minimum wage yet are getting sweet bugger all for tips. The cashier at the grocery store gets you checked out in an efficient manner and will likely tell you about great deals you’ve missed. Where’s their tip button? It’s the same thing with that poor bastard working at the cell phone place or the guy who drives people around for the car dealership. Either everyone gets tipped or nobody does.

Consumers have the power. Servers know they’re screwed if you decide not to tip. They have to wait until after the meal to get paid. What are they going to do at that point? They’re screwed.

(Fun fact: in Montreal they will yell at you if you only tip 10%. This did not go over well when they tried it on my wife.)

A caveat

Here it comes. Watch Nelson backpedal guys. 

If I lived in a big city, you bet your ass I’d stop tipping tomorrow. But I don’t. I live in a small town where I go to the same five restaurants over and over again.

(Note that if I lived in a city with 1,000 different dining options I’d start my no tipping policy immediately. The next time I eat at a restaurant where they don’t know me it’s exactly what I’m going to do)

So here’s what I’m going to do. First up, I’m going to restrict my eating out. I know, such sacrifice.

I’m also going to be more inclined to choose fast food when I do leave the house in search for food. Sure, a burger and fries at my local diner for $15 (plus tip, naturally) is a lot better than a $9 Big Mac value meal, but it’s not twice as good. Besides, the Big Mac combo ends up being less calories simply because there’s way less food there.

Next, if I hear any stories about a local restaurant tip shaming anyone in any way, I will immediately stop going to that establishment. Especially if a manager is involved in any form.

Finally, I will tip a flat 15% when I go out to a local restaurant. Note that the only reason I’m doing this is for insurance. Because let’s face it, that’s what tipping really is. It’s simply an exchange of money for feeling confident about the food that’s coming out to the table.

Who’s with me? Let your voices be heard in the comments! It won’t do anything but it’ll feel good, dammit.  

Tell everyone, yo!