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Tipper’s Remorse

Posted by gratrueities on March 5, 2009

I’m suffering from a case of “tipper’s remorse.” This is just like buyers remorse, except I have nothing to return and no way of getting my money back.

Unfortunately, I knew when I left the gratuity that I didn’t really want to tip generously – I was already annoyed with the service. I think I succumbed to a pathetic desire to prove something to the server (in this case, the bartender). Just what I hoped to prove, I’m not sure!

We were dining at Sushi Roku in Santa Monica, CA. My daughter and I were seated at the bar, waiting for the rest of our party to join us. We had some difficulty gaining the attention of the bartender, who was otherwise occupied in deep conversation with two women seated next to us.

When we were eventually acknowledged, he was minimally attentive, distracted by the many “assets” of his other two customers. With the bartender’s evident lack of interest serving us, let alone recommending a cocktail, we settled on wine. Two small glasses appeared and we were told we needed to settle our bill at the bar.

For whatever reason (maybe hoping to inspire regret that he did not consider us more worthy) I left a much larger tip than was warranted – over 20% on an already appallingly large bill for two skimpy pours.

I’ve regretted this ever since – based on principal, not money. What motivates us to at times tip generously even when we really don’t want to? Is this part of the phenomenon of “tipflation” or a whole separate issue?

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