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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 21, 2007 / 7 Elul, 5767

To tip or skip it: Gratuity must be earned

By Vicki Lee Parker


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) Knowing who, when and how much to tip has become as complicated as solving Rubik's Cube.

No matter where you turn there is often the question: Should I?

We live in a service age, in which we pay people to perform hundreds of tasks - car-side food delivery, home-delivered dry cleaning, personal shopping, lawn care, spa treatments, hair styling and more - and they all want tips.

As plastic takes over more wallets, customers buying anything from a cup of coffee to a takeout order often find themselves in an awkward position, handed a debit or credit card receipt to sign with a line for a gratuity. Are they expected to tip someone for making their latte or for putting their food in a bag?

I think not. But many customers apparently are much more giving than I am.

Jacklyn Minichiello, a manager at Port City Java, a coffee shop in downtown Raleigh, said that tipping is optional and is not expected, although a tip jar sits near the cash register, and the receipts have a gratuity line. A number of customers tip, Minichiello said.

"We try to get their order ready as soon as they get in line, because we know they have meetings and are trying to get to work," she said. "We are not exactly doing it for tips. We are just trying to help people."

Chad Day, manager at Chili's near Triangle Town Center in Raleigh, said that a tip is not expected when customers pick up their to-go orders, even though the gratuity line is printed on the receipt. "That's (printed) ... on all of the credit card orders," Day said.

The company hires people to work part time to prepare the to-go orders, Day said. So that person is being paid at least minimum wage, unlike a waiter who depends on tips for his or her livelihood and makes much less per hour.

But if the person brings your to-go order to your car, the gratuity rules may change.

B.J. Stolz, general counsel of an Applebee's franchise group in North Carolina, said that the employees who deliver the food to the car depend on tips for a living, which means they are probably earning less than minimum wage.

But even he concedes that when he has food delivered to his car, he doesn't tip the usual 15 percent to 20 percent.

"I give a buck or two. It's not like they waited on me for an entire meal, filling up drinks and that sort of thing," he said.

There are times when it's perfectly clear when to tip. One is when the service is performed by a waiter or another employee who relies on tips as his or her main source of income. The other time is when you get outstanding service, such as when your waiter goes beyond what's expected. I'll admit that my threshold for this standard is quite high.

My colleagues call me cheap. But let's face it, we can't afford to tip everyone we think deserves it.

Let's say you tip 10 percent on your $2 cup of coffee every day. That's more than $70 a year. Then if you eat out once a month for $40 and leave a 15 percent tip, that's an additional $72 a year. And that doesn't include what you give your hair stylists or the pizza delivery person.

Before you tip over, I recommend that you set up some gratuity guidelines.

Because there are varying opinions about who and how much to tip, it's better to devise a plan that you are comfortable with.

For example, if I was not sure whether the person preparing my to-go order was working for tips, I'd ask the manager. If the answer is yes, I'd tip. If no, I wouldn't.

And you should never, ever feel pressure to tip.

To get some idea about what's generally expected, here are a few guidelines from a helpful Web site (to see the entire list, visit http://azaz.essortment.com/tipping_rdef.htm):

  • Bartenders: 10 percent to 15 percent of the total drink bill

  • Valet parking: $1 to $2 per car

  • Skycaps: $1 to $2 per bag

  • Hair stylist: 15 percent to 20 percent

  • Massage therapist: 10 percent to 20 percent

  • Flower deliverer: $1 to $10, depending on the size of the arrangement

What's your take? Do we tip too much or not enough? Drop me a line, and I'll include some responses in a future column.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Vicki Lee Parker is a columnist for The News & Observer. Comment by clicking here.

Previously:

Advice is free, if you look
Hire a cleaner who won't clean you out
Teach children smart money tips that will keep them busy all summer long
Warning: Don't trust the ATM
Reasons to beware of ‘We Buy Homes’
Too wise to fall for a scam
Untethering cell phone from carrier
Re-check your credit card rewards
Treasure might be buried in medical bills
Tax-time saving tip: Free filing is available
College money is waiting; don't procrastinate
Extended warranties rarely worthwhile
Too busy for tax planning? It'll cost you


© 2007, The News & Observer Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

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