(Originally published by GQ)
If you’ve ever ventured outside of the United States, you’ve probably noticed that there’s a seismic cultural shift the second you touch down. The nuns and infants have left their handguns at home, and on receipts, the tip line magically disappears. To the rest of the world, American tipping culture is a perverse experiment. Elsewhere, the idea that hungry, rushed, and often drunk strangers would be the gatekeepers between you and your ability to pay your bills each month seems unfair, at best.
While in the grand old US of A, it’s standard operating procedure to carry around a stack of ones large enough to pay for all your friends at two-for-one lap dance night every time you want to order a latte, many other countries have implemented a system in which employees are compensated for the hours they work. It’s horrifying. So who should we be tipping, anyway?
If the tip jar says something coffee-themed and generally inoffensive, like “leave me a tip and I’ll like you a latte,” go for it. If it says something like, “saving for improv classes,” be the change you want to see in the world and burn that dollar instead.
A powerful witch who cast a spell for you
The last time I neglected to tip my witch, she stroked my face, and whispered, “thinner.” Money in my pocket and a lifelong wish accomplished? Win-win.
Your dog trainer
I don’t know about you, but I can’t afford to have another foxhunt ruined by a vengeful, un-tipped trainer. Twenty percent should do.
If you’re not tipping your hair stylist approximately 50 percent, you’re essentially giving them license to give you early-2000s skunk highlights and cut your hair with a Flowbee. Give them your money, say please and thank you, or have your mom cut your hair at home, like all of my college boyfriends.
My doctor’s always giving me tips, like, “Stop using a Rascal to get from your car to the front of your house” and “Yes, even redheads can get STDs,” but when I try giving him a fiver for his time, he says that’s not how this works. We all have loans, buddy.
Establishing a trusting relationship with your falconer means paying him an adequate wage in gold. Your tip is your loyalty, and your loyalty is the true measure of a leader.
A buck or two for beers, at least 15 percent for cocktails.
A bartender you had sex with
Performance-based only, and never if they mix you anything with the word “nipple” in it.
Here’s a fun game to play with your psychic: if they can guess how much you were going to tip them, they get that exact amount.
Hey, Kevin, here’s a tip: when you stop delivering all my Spanx to the 19-year-old bros across the street, you’ll get another thing of snickerdoodles.
Always tip your waiter 20 percent.