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This is a question Tightwads

There's saving money, and there's being tight: saving money at the expense of other people, or simply for the miserly hell of it.

Tell us about measures that go beyond simple belt tightening into the realms of Mr Scrooge.

(, Thu 23 Oct 2008, 13:58)
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right here we go...
I'll try not to rant (much). I have a problem with meanness. Not your Mr Trebus types who have known real suffering then spend the rest of their lives so damaged they're unable to throw anything away. www.guardian.co.uk/news/2002/oct/05/guardianobituaries Neither would I dare criticise anyone on a slender budget trying to eke their funds out appropriately – God (and the bank manager) only know I could do with some of that thriftiness. I’m the first to admit I am as my sister puts it a ‘scatter cash’. I earn a small fortune - all of which I invest in having a bloody good time. I know I’m rubbish with money but at least I know how to enjoy myself. Boom and Bust – ‘no pockets in a shroud’ ‘you’re a long time dead’ says I.

Tightwads? I hate the pettiness of it all - often causing embarrassment or offence over a few coppers. In fact (and this WILL annoy the tight arsed fuckers) if I’m tidying around I often chuck coppers in the bin. I hate the smelly pointless things – what’s worth buying that costs 1p? You're right – fuck all! No one is duped by 4.99 - it’s a bloody fiver. I hate copper coins. If it weren’t for the fact I’d look like an arrogant prick, I’d refuse them in my change. Those ‘leave a penny’ trays in garages are brilliant. As are charity tins. I know I’m not going to take the damn things back out of the house and the time it takes to count and bag a tenner’s worth of those fetid little buttons is time that frankly I am not prepared to waste.

Personally I can’t be arsed with designer trappings and all that crap, but I eat and drink well and enjoy a comfortable standard of living. I like cars for the driving pleasure "Oh! its only got two seats - its not very practical is it?" It’s my money why shouldn’t I? Isn’t that the reason we all slog away in jobs when we’d rather be sitting on a beach somewhere pleasantly expensive?

My real issue is with people who are simply mean just for the sake of it and really relish the miserable self-denying drudgery of it all. (like this bloke www.b3ta.com/questions/write.php?parent=286159 ) What is the point of a supposedly money saving activity that takes up more precious time and resource than the meager fiscal reward it generates? Gloating over a tenner saved annually by consistently fiddling 2p from every trip to the petrol station just singles you out as plain sad www.b3ta.com/questions/tightwads/post286023 hovering over the pump pissing off the queue behind just to get just that extra 2p for free. Life is actually too damn short. I simply can’t understand the attitude of those who scrimp their dull little lives away, swathed in Rigsbyesque knitwear shuffling around gloomy damp homes only to leave the loot to some bunch of crass distant relatives who immediately spunk it on UPVC faux Georgian conservatories and trips to Torremolinos – which no doubt would have the (newly) poor old stiff whirling in their laminate 'budget' coffin grave had they known what would happen to their carefully accrued funds.

But they are NOT harmless old goats. For example - people who don’t tip appropriately don’t deserve to eat out. I live in Dubai now, it’s a real eye-opener – it seems to bring out the worst in people. There are rich people here sure, but its the tightwads that would love it. Labour is dirt cheap. There is also a very apparent class structure (people can also be quite openly racist). But the penny pinching abuse of those who can be abused is staggering. There are people here who subsist on truly appalling wages – I leave, what to them, seems like huge tips because I am lucky enough to be able to afford to. I do it quietly and anonymously where ever possible. I have had to bite my lip in disgust at the attitude of people over here. “fuck em – he’s only and Indian, bung him a Dirham” (about 65p) a fucking Dirham! for waiting all night on a bunch of braying obnoxious drunken ex pats paying more for a pint than they earn a day? Is that the world the Tightwads want? I had some poor Indian bloke shuffle up to me recently and spin me some yarn he had been injured on a building site – he then proceeded to lift his shirt to display some alarming cobbled together chest drain and bandage tomfoolery while clutching an empty pack of medication for good measure. I guessed at the time it was a scam, but fuck it, I gave him the money anyway – if his life is so shite he has to stoop to that then as far as I am concerned he can have the cash regardless - I cant see him using it to refurbish his yacht.

There are many sorry tales on here of tea bag recyclers, those who drive miles to save a few pence on fuel and those who have inflicted their tightfisted misery on their families to the extend of driving them apart.

If you must fritter your life away worrying you may have recklessly squandered the odd penny or half pint of sour milk – at least do it at your own expense (or lack of it). Don’t inflict your embarassing tight-fisted gloom on friends and family. You’ll end up wealthy miserable and alone.

Sorry for the rant. Flame away – probably the only heat you get.
(, Sat 25 Oct 2008, 15:55, 39 replies)
I agree with almost everything you have said but I gotta call you on the tipping.

To resist the custom is to be radically antisocial, like “Mr. Pink,” the crook played by Steve Buscemi in “Reservoir Dogs.” He doesn’t tip “because society says I gotta tip.” When a fellow hoodlum avers that waitresses are underpaid, Mr. Pink answers: “She don’t make enough money, she can quit.”

Generous? No. But economically sound. It’s not that we tip waiters because they are paid so little; they are paid so little because they can expect to make up the difference in tips. Starbucks is known for paying relatively well and providing respectable benefits. Yet, without the tip-jar take, the company would have to raise its wages commensurately to maintain the same caliber of employees. Perhaps prices would rise too, but I suspect many would be happy to have the full, unambiguous cost of the transaction up on the board. As things stand, the tip jar subsidizes the company’s payroll costs. So when you toss a quid into the cup, you’re really making a donation to Starbucks — and I can think of needier beneficiaries.
(, Sat 25 Oct 2008, 16:09, closed)
its different out here...
the cash goes straight in the pocket of the beneficiary - i've checked. i've even seen peoples names written on notes in their absence.

Asides from that companies will get away with what they can. no one aspires to work as a waiter on shit money - its a stop gap. we shouldn't be complicit taking advantage of those who need such a stop gap.

bung em a tip ya tightwad

(, Sat 25 Oct 2008, 16:21, closed)
Tipping wouldn’t be so objectionable if it weren’t for the expectation. Have you ever tipped less then the server felt entitled too? I have, and I was chased down the street like I ran out on the bill.

Instead of appreciating the money a server gets, they feel entitled to a percentage amount. Fall short of what they think they are entitled too and nasty things are said behind your back, or even worse, your food may be tampered with should you return.

Tips should start at zero. If a server does an extraordinary job, you give them a little something to show you liked the level of service. Tips nowadays start at 15% and you go higher to show appreciation. Even if one gets terrible service, you still feel obligated to put a percentage down… just maybe not more than 15%.

It is unfortunate that servers don’t get paid more, but tipping exacerbates the problem. Why would a restaurant owner pay more when the onus of wage shortfalls is picked up by the patron? Let the market set wages. If you don’t make enough doing what you do then go elsewhere. If good employees leave because the wage is not enough, then owners will pay more. If you are so easily replaced with another employee, then you are getting paid what your level of skill dictates.

To the airport taxi driver: If you don’t make enough money, get a new job. You drive to and from the airport for Christsakes. Don’t blame the Government, blame yourself for accepting a position which pays less than you can live off of.
(, Sat 25 Oct 2008, 16:29, closed)
i suspect you may be a merkin.

the US and the UK conventions on tipping are quite different. It is quite acceptable not to tip in the UK if you feel the service or the food is not up to scratch... much more civilised.

anyone who chased me down the street looking for a tip would get one - how to best avoid a broken nose the next time
(, Sat 25 Oct 2008, 16:33, closed)
I am not a pubic wig!
I am as british as that bloke who played rumpole in 'rumpole of the bailey'. However I have lived in the states. Damn! I appear to be corrupted.
(, Sat 25 Oct 2008, 16:41, closed)
"I am as british as that bloke who played rumpole in 'rumpole of the bailey'..."
So, not in the slightest, then.

Leo McKern was Australian.
(, Sun 26 Oct 2008, 9:13, closed)
Damn you and your internet trickery!
(, Sun 26 Oct 2008, 10:31, closed)
Damn being stuck at work for 12 hours on a Sunday...
...with fuck-all else to do except read b3ta.
(, Sun 26 Oct 2008, 12:53, closed)
sunday is a work day here
weekend is friday sat

works well

sundays are alwasy a bit relaxed as half the staff are ex pats conditioned to the idea of sunday as a day off - so we tend to ease into the day

monday aint a chore cos well - it's not really monday

tuesday - new hump day!

wednesday - hurtling toward the ends of the week

thursday - the new friday YAY
(, Sun 26 Oct 2008, 17:49, closed)
"It is quite acceptable not to tip in the UK"
... hence the not uncommon attempt to shoehorn one onto the bill with an "optional service charge"
(, Mon 27 Oct 2008, 12:28, closed)
For 7 years I worked in a number of high street opticians. I hated my job but I am conscientious and always did it to the best of my ability. Often this meant spending up to an hour pandering to customers. I would phone up other stores to chase down a frame in the exact colour they wanted. I would do some very complicated maths to ensure that I ordered the blank that meant that they would get the thinnest lens possible.
I have been sworn at, apprehended shop lifters and worked a whole day without a break. All this for little above minimum wage.

And did I ever get tipped? DID I FUCK! Oh no if I had brought someone their fucking dinner I would have got a couple of quid, but for some reason what I did was different.
I have waited on tables before now and I know it is a cunt of a job however I only tip because society tell me I should.
(, Sat 25 Oct 2008, 16:19, closed)
and you would have been paid considerably more than a waitress.
it's proclamation No 1 on the non-tippers charter 'i don't get a tip in my job'

BTW congrats on the TWO mail out mentions
(, Sat 25 Oct 2008, 16:26, closed)
That'll be three
I don't think that £6 an hour was that much more than a waitress. That was two years ago.

*btw* when I asked for a pay rise to be in line with the current cost of inflation I was told that to give cost of living pay rises didn't happen in other companies.

*edit* just looked up the minimum wage for when I left £5.42, therefore I was only being paid 58p an hour more. Not considerable in my book.
(, Sat 25 Oct 2008, 16:28, closed)
so would you use that to justify
tossing 65p at some poor indian bloke who lives in UTTER squalor 6 to a room in Deira (a slum where 11 men were killed in a house fire last month in an illegally partitioned flat - the landlord had split it vertically AND HORIZONTALLY)

so a table of 8 buffoons spending hundreds of pounds on a 2 hour meal where this poor fella has been running around like an idiot...

65p of a tip was fine then?

or in fact too much?
(, Sat 25 Oct 2008, 16:41, closed)
I do tip
What I have issue with is that it seems OK to tip for some jobs and not for others.
Also I doubt that anyone in the UK waiting on tables is living in such poverty.
(, Sat 25 Oct 2008, 16:44, closed)
i agree
(it seems OK to tip for some jobs and not for others)

but until such times as the situation changes these people still need the tips

and so long as its not forced - like the merkin way (above) then i reserve the right to tip well and slag off the tightwads (remember it is tightwads were talking here - the sort who on a split bill refuse to chuck in an extra pound for a three course meal being brought to them)

(, Sat 25 Oct 2008, 16:48, closed)
right this has turned into a to tip or not tip debate
i'm off to the mall of the emirates to eat at my usual table. they all treat me well i know them by name and i'm happy to tip them.

so much so the management give me a 20% reduction now

so i can afford to tip more!

(, Sat 25 Oct 2008, 16:36, closed)
Apparently tipping was the only thing people didn't agree with.
Here the average wage for waitstaff is $2.15/hour. If restraunts raised the pay and cut out tipping, they would also have to raise their prices significantly and therefore lose business. A decent waitress/waiter will make around $500/week off tips. A really good one will make more. The tips are good enough that these are't used as stop-gap jobs, but as careers or second jobs. We have one restraunt in town that exclusively hires teachers as their waitstaff because the teacher will more than double their income in this way. (It is a sad state of affairs when a waitress makes more than a teacher)

Frankly, I tip according to service. The waitstaff isn't responsible for the taste of the food, that is the kitchen's problem. But, if the service is lousy, the tip will be equally lousy to non-existant. If the service is good, I wil give a 10-15% tip. If the service is excellent, I will give 20% or more and tell the management how pleased I was. The more compliments the waitstaff gets, the better shifts and tables they are assigned.
(, Sat 25 Oct 2008, 19:22, closed)
i do this too
people are quick to make complaints but not to praise

if i get good service i make a point of telling the management the person who served me was superb

i have been in the position before of telling a manager his food leaves a lot to be desired but his staff are a credit to him(her)
(, Sat 25 Oct 2008, 20:20, closed)
"If restraunts raised the pay and cut out tipping, they would also have to raise their prices significantly and therefore lose business"

(Lower price + tip) == (higher price + no tip), no?
(, Sun 26 Oct 2008, 17:39, closed)
It's perception
You'd also need a big neon sign, and posters everywhere saying "Don't tip, we pay our staff a decent wage", and even then, I doubt it would help, as the punter is unlikely to do the required arithmetic to turn your radical pricing structure into one he can compare with other restaurants.

Customers just compare listed prices, so if a $10.00 item ends up costing $11.50 because of tipping or taxes or whatever other extras get added on after the fact, they still only perceive it as $10.00 for the purpose of comparison, so it still looks cheaper than $11.50.
(, Mon 27 Oct 2008, 15:02, closed)
Low wages
The fact that waiting staff earn such a low wage does not mean we have to give a tip. When i was in NYC a few months back i recieved an average service, which if i had been in the UK i would not have tipped for, however it was EXPECTED in NYC. As tips are optional and a reward for good service, tip affordingly. Heck if i don't have enough change/money on me then i will apoligise for the poor tip.

I working in London in this very service industry. A few weeks back we had 10 guys come in and order breakfast, no biggy however they didn't order straight of the menu and started to make up their own meals. We accomidated, we even gave them the extra toast for free, i got them their drinks and ensure everything was in order. Did they tip did the fuck. I believe i gave them great sevice. If i had been in their shoes i would have tipped. On the flip side today i had two come in and order two coffees, nice and simple. I got them their drinks and made sure they would happy, they tipped (£1.10) 28%. I would have only have left 50p max and really for two coffes i don't expect tips.

I have however noticed that i calculte what a 10% tip would be for certain orders. I don't expect it and if it is one of our regs i don't hold it against them, why should I. I have had it in the past where we have made mistakes on orders, had a complaint or two and still they have left a nice tip. Tis a strange world. Could have been the fact we showed we cared and did everything we could to ensure they felt taken care of.

Having said all that we are looking at adding a service charge. I think it should be for large parties and at the waiting staff's/my discretion. I think we have given average service then leave it off, however if we have dealt with stuck up pricks who treat me or my staff like shit then slap it on or we have out done ourselves to make sure they are well looked after. I don't feel i deserve a tip if i have just taken your food out to you and played till monkey.

This reminds me, i dislike places where they "offer" you a something and then stick it on the bill. Had it at an idian place in Edinburgh. They said would you like poppadoms and we said yes please. Now i wouldn't have minded but then they charged us a stupid amount for what they brought out, £6 for 4 and some sauces (very small amounts), most indians i have eaten at they are either free or only a couple of quid and you get loads. On top of that the service was average, they fucked up our order and then stuck a service charge on top. The food was average to boot.
(, Tue 28 Oct 2008, 2:38, closed)
I always tip,
as generously as I can afford to.

Why don't you sling all those unwanted coins in a jar? They'd make a good tip.
(, Sat 25 Oct 2008, 20:01, closed)
happily i would
but for the fact i'd look a CUNT* dragging a jar of coins into a restaurant

*ok 'more' of a cunt
(, Sat 25 Oct 2008, 20:16, closed)

Some seem to be missing the point: If we pay more but don't tip, we spend the same money as if we pay less but have to tip.

And no place is going to lose my business, just for introducing a change in which their prices stay the same; but now the staff are less vulnerable to the whims of customers affecting them getting a living wage.

If anything, such a progressive establishment would get greater custom from me and others like me. Why? Because it eliminates an unpleasant aspect of dining out (splitting a bill and trying to agree on a tip - some people dislike discussing money in public). Also, you'd know that corrupt management aren't helping themselves to a cut of the tips; as does happen.
(, Sat 25 Oct 2008, 21:27, closed)
What you said +1
(, Sat 25 Oct 2008, 22:46, closed)
cant i point out again just for the record
this is not about tipping and the rights and wrongs of that archaic, outmoded unjust call it what you like system.

its the fact that some bastards will hoover up the scran all night and still begrudge the most meager of gratuities.

ive sat at meals where people on bloody good wages have had 100 quid of food and wine a head (all on expenses) and have argued over tossing a couple of pound coins into a tip.

utter cunts
(, Sat 25 Oct 2008, 21:35, closed)
Tipping again
I usually tip 10 - 15%, but it's always in cash. That line on the credit card machine that says "Gratuity"? Fuck that, because if you tip that way it goes to the management. I make sure the tip goes into the waiter's pocket too before they leave the table.
(, Sat 25 Oct 2008, 22:03, closed)
congrats on not being a tightwad!
(, Sat 25 Oct 2008, 22:08, closed)
My kids are now taking to
picking the tip up off the table and chasing down the waiter to make sure they get it.

But I think that is just because they like giving people money. It makes them feel all grown up.
(, Sat 25 Oct 2008, 22:59, closed)
Have you ever thought that maybe they like and enjoy being so stingy? I mean, when you think about it, they probably get the same enjoyment out of getting a deal (even if it has caused them so much work to get it) that someone gambling in a casino gets when they win something.

And similarly, people might decry nerds on forums compltely dissecting episodes of new Dr Who and concluding that they're not as good as the old ones; they might say they should turn their TV off. But perhaps they enjoy doing it?

People might do lots of things that seem pointless and a waste of time, but they probably enjoy them in strange ways.
(, Sun 26 Oct 2008, 0:26, closed)
i think they do enjoy it
...or at least feel compelled to do it. it's interesting you mention gambling. I think like compulsive gambling, extreme meanness is a coping mechanism, the same way as those who rack up tens of thousands on credit cards rewarding themselves with stuff they neither need nor can a afford do it because of some underlying issue.

but unlike being a Dr Who Nerd or whatever, sadly it is not a harmless hobby - offending strangers and alienating friends and family over a few pence here and there has more than a whiff of tragedy about it.
(, Sun 26 Oct 2008, 5:02, closed)
tipping debate
im not rich but im not tight. and its not like suddenly thinking a bit more about a few pennies is going to change my financial state, so im going to carry on enjoying my life and living within my means

i am from the UK, where its not really cusomary to tip other than in restuarants.

I now live in the Czech Republic where its customary to tip all kinds of services, but in fairness they earn it.

here it is deemed inpolite to not leave a tip, and i agree, you sit down and dont have to worry about your glass ever getting empty,

it reminds me of a story when i first moved here... i frequented the same bar every night wen i arrived, as i could sit alone on my laptop and not look out of place for dining alone. one evening i had plenty to eat and drink and my bill came to 300kcz, i left a 500kcz note and was given 200kcz..

'where is the tip you tight cunt?' ihear you cry! as i was drunk and new to the currency i only realisd the next day. i went to the same bar that night and racked up another bill of around 300kcz. that night i put down 370kcz to cover the 10% for both nights and a few kcz extra just because they were so nice to me...

i gave them the bill as i walked out and dnt say a word.

i still go back to that bar 2 months later, (even though i have 3 chains closer to my house)

these guys remember what i drink and treat me like the princess that i am- win win situation

life is too short to be a tight bastard... being sensible with money is one thing (living within your means) but being so tight even your friends call you a scrooge is not a position anyone should want to be in
(, Sun 26 Oct 2008, 10:19, closed)
Nothing wrong with copper coins...
40p in coppers, plus one sturdy sock, makes a useful (and thrifty) chav-repellent. I don't think chavs are worth clubbing with pound coins.

Also - I don't really give a rat's about tipping. If I'm paying cash, they can have a fiver - if it's on the card, I don't bother, as it's too much hassle. In general, I'd prefer them to have a decent living wage, same as every other line of work, and not have rely on what basically amounts to charity. If you do a day's work, being paid should be an expectation, not a favour.
(, Sun 26 Oct 2008, 23:56, closed)
Joining in the great tipping debate...
In the US, friends and I have been chased down the street because we "only left a 15% tip" for the waitress. The proprietress demanded that it be at least 20%.

In the UK, tipping has always been more of a "if they deserve a tip, then they'll get it", whilst the US is more "they'll get a tip, and if they deserve it then it'll simply be a massive tip". Unfortunately, restaurants in the UK now seems to expect a tip for the serving people, whether they deserve it or not.

I've vowed never to eat in Ed's Diner again, after one particular incident: a friend and I had had a mediocre and overpriced burger, and when the bill came, it was about 22 pounds. However, in small print at the bottom, it said that an optional service charge of 12.5% had been added. We did not think that the food or service was worth 12.5%, so we simply put 20 pounds on the table and got ready to go. The manager shouted at us, saying that we'd not paid the full amount. We pointed out that we'd paid a bit of a tip, but it was entirely optional, and we didn't think that it deserved that much. She threatened to call the police! We just walked out, leaving her impotent with fury.

The point is, we were in the right, and she entirely in the wrong. However, I'm starting to feel that some waiters/waitresses act exactly like many of the dole scum prevalent in last week's QOTW: they feel that they're "owed" their tips, regardless of whether or not they've actually bothered working for them.
(, Mon 27 Oct 2008, 11:33, closed)
Let them do it...
fucking difference does it make to you anyway?

I'm sure a lot of them would question why you'd bother complaining on an internet forum to strangers about their behaviour.

Each to their own etc...
(, Mon 27 Oct 2008, 14:36, closed)

(, Mon 27 Oct 2008, 16:38, closed)
last time I tipped
I was at a nice Jazz club in Soho that has good food- not cheap but the food was good but the wine was bloody expensive.

i got the bill - and additional 'optional' 15% had been whacked on top.

I had a chat with the waiter - do you get this 15%? He said no.

I suggested that he remove the 15% from the bill and I give him cash as a tip.

Win-Win - He gets a decent tip, I don't get screwed for £25 for nothing.
(, Tue 28 Oct 2008, 8:46, closed)
it's so easy!
If the bill has the phrase "optional 10% service charge" it becomes a gift inter vivos between you and the person who collects the money. Check any back issue of the Caterer, Publican or Morning Advertiser.This means owners don't get to touch it.
Make sure you pay it and don't buy the staff a drink- they would always rather have the cash (most places do a staff discount so if you give cash then they get a drink and a bit more!) Also, with modern machinery it is almost impossible to pay by card and for owners to take a cut. It is the owners NOT managers you need to worry about -managers don't pay the staff wages themselves, and good managers don't get tipped ( I refuse them)
Finally, try working in Kensington (arguably the most expensive area of the world) when you live in Surrey and get minimum wage. If you can afford to eat or drink out you can afford to tip- we can't afford to do either in our line of work.
Rant over
(, Wed 29 Oct 2008, 23:56, closed)

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