Why do americans expect tips in every job they do?

It seems that no matter what job they are doing, Americans expect a tip. tipping in my country is a fairly recent thing and only happens if the person serving you goes above and beyond. oing back 10 years or so, tipping was never a thing.

You are getting paid by your employer, so why do Americans expect their customers to tip them? surely this isn't short of begging?

Apologies for my cultural ignorance.

Updates:
ok, someone pointed out that its not in fact every job. obviously not all professions expect tips, but it is heavily ingrained into American culture, much more so than most other countries.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • The word "Tips" actually means To Insure Prompt Service. People would pay an added incentive to those providing a service to ensure they are getting quick attention.

    I agree that tipping has gotten out of hand. I mean when did it become okay to expect a tip for simply doing their job? I can see in some situations like wait staff, since their wages are lower due to receiving tips.

    But everywhere I go there is a tip jar. I get kind of put off by it. I mean if people want to tip, then that's fine. But they are becoming too much of a thing.

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Most Helpful Guy

  • Many of the jobs get paid under the minimum wage actually... I think waiters and waitresses only make 2.75/h here, but minimum is 7.25 (and should be much higher to be honest). Businesses take into account your average tips when deciding what you get paid hourly.

    I could not tell you how tipping came to be a part of our culture so much, my inner historian says it has to do with slavery and racism originally, and maybe on with immigrants doing any service possible, even when it was not through a formal job with pay.

    I can tell you now, many Americans hate serving foreigners because too many (not all) believe as you do- and choose not to tip out of either ignorance, or worse- disapproval of the practice. I know many people that as soon as they hear an accent, they stop trying and put their time and effort into tables with Americans because they will tip.

    I am not saying it is a good practice, I lived in Europe for well over a year with hardly any tipping, and tax included and I enjoyed it very much- but that is simply not how it is done here, and difficult to change.

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What Girls Said 3

  • As an American I actually agree but I do it anyway

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  • that's just how it's always been

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  • I guess it's just apart of our culture. But really there are a lot of jobs that don't get tips. The only jobs that do usually are waiters, those people that carry your bags at hotels (bellboys or something?), and I don't know other random crap. There are often people at dairy queens and stuff that have a tip jar but that's completely optional and most people actually probably won't tip them.

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What Guys Said 6

  • A lot of jobs that they expect a tip, their money from the job actually comes off tips. Servers, bartenders, etc. Their wage is actually under minimum wage legally because they are tipped. The idea is that you are in charge of how much money you think that person's service deserved.

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  • It's the sense of entitlement that some Americans have.

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    • Or the fact many service jobs with customary tipping get paid below our already too low minimum wage...

    • You're not supposed to make a career out of those jobs. Also, if you want to make more tips, provide better service. Certainly, there are cheap people, but that's why you have to get the couples or people on dates.

  • It is cultural and as such is built into both the price of food and services and the pay structure of employees.

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  • Most jobs in america the get tipped make below minimum wage. The tip us supposed to represent the amount of effort they put forth. An incentive for the employee to go above and beyond to try and earn more. To be honest it's a dated system.

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  • I agree so much

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  • Not accurate. Police, no, Mail delivery persons, no. Cashiers at grocery stores, no. Pilots, stewardesses, no. Movie theater attendants, no. McDonald's and fast food, no. Clothing store cashiers and consultants, no. Government offices (motor vehicles) no. Walmart, no. Gas (petrol) station employees, no. Florists, no. Doctors and nurses, no. Stockbrokers, no. Musical instrument sales/rental employees, no. Car salespeople, no. Plumbers, no. ETC.

    Pool cleaners, sometimes. Personalized car wash, sometimes. Tailors of chain stores, no, at small hi-end, yes.

    Most restaurant waiters/waitresses - yes. Hotel bellboys, yes. Parking attendants, yes. Bartenders and bar wait-persons, yes. Beauticians/manicure/pedicure/hair dressers, yes.

    Most do not, I never worked a job that got tips, and I've worked at least 25+ years.

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    • Oh, and I'd like to add that with waitresses, a lot only make $2.50 an hour base salary without tips. I remember once a bartender telling me he made very little (call it $X), but could make $5X in tips. Employers know this, so they underpay to create more competition for people willing to be paid nothing for the opportunity to earn tips, such as in San Francisco's Wharf district where the Maitre d' could make $150,000, the waiters/waitresses $30,000, but the best waiters/waitresses would make more than the Maitre d' including tips. Also realize that EVEN IF YOU DIDN'T MAKE IT, the IRS assumes you made so much in tips, and they tax you on what is REASONABLE that someone in your position receives in tips, even if you don't get good tips - and besides in the Restaurant business the cook and dishwasher get some of your tips too, so you'd probably get about 1/3rd of the amount actually given.

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