The Luv Doc: A Secret Eye Roll

The internet is chock-full of tips on tipping

The Luv Doc: A Secret Eye Roll

Dear Luv Doc,

I go to weekly lunches with my best friend from college. About half the time we go to full-service restaurants with wait staff, and the other times we go to places with counter service. Let me just say from the start that it bugs me when businesses use tipping as a way to underpay their workers, and almost all the places we go to that have counter service also have tip jars near the register or credit card terminals with suggested tip amounts (never less than 10%). My friend always gives generous tips regardless of the type of service. I am less inclined to tip at places with counter service. I think a tip should be given when a person's job depends on the level of service they provide. Someone ringing up my food at a register isn't providing much of a service other than taking my money, so why should they receive extra money for that? I feel like my friend is just throwing her money away out of guilt. Every time I see a cash register tip jar I do a secret eye roll. Is my friend too gullible or am I too frugal?

– Ten Percenter

First of all, how do you do a secret eye roll? Do you have a secret eye? If so, can I see it? I promise to keep it a secret. As for eye rolls in general – and I think I have seen about a trillion or so – I feel like I can spot one from about a thousand yards away ... at night ... underneath an eyelid. I don't know, maybe the average person doesn't share this hard-earned talent, but I kind of feel like most eye rolls are hard to miss. That's probably a good thing. If you're going to go to the trouble of rolling your eyes, somebody should probably witness it. Otherwise, who are you rolling your eyes for? Yourself? If so, what benefit do you personally receive by projecting a visual indication that you're "so tired of this shit"? The eye roll is not a solitary endeavor, it's a social cue, so if you're going to roll your eyes, roll your eyes like you goddamn invented the eye roll. That way, society as a whole can benefit from your jaded worldliness. Otherwise, why even?

Now, as for tipping, there are many schools of thought. In fact, the internet is chock-full of tips on tipping, so feel free to immerse yourself in a gratuitous study of gratuity, but for me the bottom line is this: A gratuity is just an easy way of showing gratitude. I could bore you with a lot of high-minded Latin derivation bullshit, but I think everybody gets it. You tip to show your gratitude. It's that simple. No need to come up with some harebrained algorithm that calculates the amount of service provided, divided by the server's cheerfulness, minus your estimation of what the server's boss is paying, times the square root of your current disposition. That shit is nearly as maddening as a secret eye roll. Stop it. There is a better way.

Just overtip. I get it, you're not made of money. Do it anyway. You think that barista at Epoch is driving a Bentley? Doubt it. She's probably worrying how she's going to afford the obscenely high rent on her apartment just like you are, but here's the cool thing: You're going to make her day. You are going to spread joy, and there is no nobler way to spend your money. You're going to tip the scales in favor of the disenfranchised and it's going to feel fucking good. And, the more you do it, the better it feels. Actual scientific studies show that the more you show gratitude, the more you feel gratitude, and the more you feel gratitude, the happier and healthier you are. Plus, the math is a lot easier.

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