Pay a decent wage and forget the tips

The one and only time I’ve been given a tip at work was for a “sure thing” in the 2002 Grand National ... and I think it is still running.

Being a recipient of tipping has never really featured much in my life, if you discount the tip/advice from my mother “not to marry that man” but that, as they say, is another story. However, for some people tips in the workplace are a common occurrence and, indeed, make up much of the money they take home at the end of the week.

But am the only one who gets flummoxed about how much – and even who – they should be tipping?

You don’t like to appear stingy, but at the same time you don’t want to hand over too much of your hard-earned cash to someone who, when you think about it, is merely doing their job.

I remember the first time we travelled to America, we were well warned that everyone expected at least a 10 per cent tip. I’ve kept to that rule ever since, both at home and abroad.

However, the other day a crowd from work went out for a meal. When it came to dividing up the bill we all paid for what we’d eaten and drank, adding in a pound or two for the tip.

Once all the cash was collected in the tip was going to be about £12, however, one member of our group didn’t think that was enough.

“The waitress has had to deal with quite a few of us,” they argued.

“I didn’t think she was that attentive. It’s more than enough,” said another, promptly getting up and taking the cash to pay.

Who was right?

Well that wasn’t the end of the matter and the it was fiercely debated for the rest of the evening.

“Waiting staff are only on a minimum wage,” argued one person.

But another retorted: “So is my daughter in the office where she works, but no-one ever gives her any tips.’’

Then there was the discussion about how many of us had been caught out by a service charge already on a bill and we’ve still handed over a tip.

It does seem that most of us prefer to hand over cash for the tip rather than add it on when paying by credit or debit card, therefore hopefully ensuring that at least it goes to the staff.

However, my solution would be that everyone, no matter what their job, should be paid a fair wage – then there would be no need for tipping and ending my recurring dilemma of how much to hand over.