Tips: I’m Talkin’ Cold Cash / Propinas: Estoy Hablando de Efectivo

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

AFTER LIVING IN Spain for eight years, I find it difficult to readjust to the American style of tipping. The other day, my lunch bill (for me alone) was $23, including tax (which is nearly 9 percent). The standard used to be that you tipped on the subtotal and did not tip on the total including tax. Of course, it also used to be the case that a 15 percent tip was considered good and 20 percent was generous. I gave the waiter $30. He asked if I needed change. Well, yes, I thought, as a matter of fact I do. The service wasn’t unpleasant but neither was it exceptional. As a matter of fact, it was indifferent. And 30 percent — on top of the tax — seemed a bit presumptuous. He returned with my change. A $5-bill and two $1-bills. Not a chance he was getting less than $5 unless I wanted to make an issue of it. I did not. I sure do wish employers were required to pay a living wage.

So, now that The Kid Brother has headed home once again — and I’ve vented — take a walk with me around Downtown Brooklyn on this glorious day.

.

DESPUÉS DE VIVIR en España durante ocho años, es difícil reajustarme al estilo americano de propinas. El otro día, mi factura de almuerzo (solo para mí) fue de $23, incluidos los impuestos (que es casi el 9 por ciento). El estándar solía ser que usted le daba propina al subtotal y no le daba propina al total, incluidos los impuestos. Por supuesto, también solía darse el caso de que una propina del 15 por ciento se consideraba buena y el 20 por ciento era generosa. Le di al camarero $30. Me preguntó si necesitaba un cambio. Bueno, sí, pensé, de hecho lo hago. El servicio no fue desagradable, pero tampoco fue excepcional. De hecho, fue indiferente. Y el 30 por ciento, además del impuesto, parecía un poco presuntuoso. Regresó con mi cambio. Un billete de $5 y dos billetes de $1. No era una posibilidad que él estuviera recibiendo menos de $5 a menos que quisiera resolverlo. No lo hice. Desearía que los empleadores tuvieran que pagar un salario digno.

Entonces, ahora que El Hermanito se ha ido a casa otra vez, y me he desahogado, camine conmigo por el centro de Brooklyn en este glorioso día.

During breakfast at the hotel. / Durante el desayuno en el hotel.
Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

30 thoughts on “Tips: I’m Talkin’ Cold Cash / Propinas: Estoy Hablando de Efectivo”

    1. Bob:
      You are so right. Today is my last day with the Kid Brother. We’re going to the Brooklyn Museum. He’s been a joy. But I’m so ready to be HOME!

    1. anne marie:
      Since last year, even more construction. Since I lived here, some neighbourhoods are unrecognisable (hip, chic, expensive, lots of new buildings and renovations)… and even more crowded than it used to be (which I never thought possible).

  1. My good friend Preston who reads my blog lives in Brooklyn. It actually a pretty hip place, while Mistress Maddie’s #1 Fan lives in Astoria…another interesting borough. Nothing short of things to do in nyc.

    1. Mistress:
      Brooklyn has changed so much since I lived here. Lots of very cool, hip neighbourhoods and all very expensive. I had an apartment in Midwood that I paid $200 a month for. That same apartment is now a steal at $2,100!

    1. Parsnip:
      Some of the new construction around town is very different. A building in the city looks like a stack of shoe boxes.

  2. When I hear Republicans use the old job creator line, I always think I’m the real part-time employer when I go out to eat. The owner is a lazy bum.

  3. Tipping bothers me, as well, for all the reasons you mention. In France, the tip is already figured into the bill, so the consumer doesn’t have a choice, but, the employees are getting paid. It’s just part of the cost, like tax. It’s always a challenge to convince American visitors that they don’t have to leave an additional tip.

    1. Walt the Fourth:
      I like that French system. Then if service is above and beyond you can chose to be even more generous.

  4. I end up over-tipping every time we go to Europe. Yes a living wage would be good but unfortunately I don’t think that the tipping would go away, in fact, they would expect you to tip as normal and they would just be making a lot more money. Canada is the same as the USA. We rarely eat out here as if you want a liquor beverage you are paying 8-10 just for one and it is very very costly. Even two burgers and fries without drinks usually comes to $25. We ate at a food truck on the long weekend in the park so at a picnic table and had 3 small tacos each with a pop(the tiny size ones) and it came to $28 – with no tip! But in my opinion worth it as they were freaking tasty (craving them right now lol)

    1. Cheapchick:
      I’ve made sure to have small bills and change on hand and have been sticking to 20 percent. They even have tip jars in convenience stores! I just picked this up off a shelf and stood in line to pay. Tell me why I’m tipping you?!? Looking forward to being home!

    1. Kirk:
      The problem was I had no small bills or coins for the tip. Credit card wouldn’t have solved that.

  5. Brooklyn looks so much better in pictures than it does in person! I have a tendency to over tip. We have learned the hard way, to make sure whether the tip is included in the bill or not.

    1. Deedles:
      Honestly, Brooklyn does look this good in places! But, I’ve also been taking pictures of the piles of garbage! When we lived in Seville, most people were shocked if we left a tip and ran after us to tell us we forgot our change. In Fuengirola, with its constant tourists everywhere and heavily British, tips are often expected. But 5 percent is standard. 10 percent is extremely generous. And in our regular places they often try to return our tips to us.

      1. I just realized that it’s been a little more than twenty years since I was there! Wow, the time flies!

      2. Deedles:
        You’re so right about time flying. I met some family at the Metropolitan Museum of Art yesterday and I realized I hadn’t been there in 30 years! Imagine! You and I were in kindergarten!

    1. Debra:
      In Sevilla, tipping was rarely expected. Often staff would chase after us to tell us we left our change on the table. 5 percent max was what we’d do. Down here, with so many tourists and British, tipping is more common. Still, 5 percent is a very decent tip.

Leave a Reply