I'm one of those people who in theory, don't really believe in tipping yet I do it anyway, even when I get horrible service. The side of me who doesn't really believe in tipping believes so because I believe I pay for a service up front. The price of the service is built in into my bill. When I go to a restaurant, I pay a premium to eat there. If they wish to charge me more to cover the salaries of their workers, so be it. But I do not feel obligated to do the job of the owner of the restaurant, which is to pay his workers. While some may argue that the wait staff is paid less because tips are factored into their pay, I simply respond that again, I'm not responsible for other people, however callous that may sound. Pay is between an employer and an employee, and if the employee is not being paid enough, it should be brought up with the employer, not the customer.
With all that being said, I always tip, even when I'm generally unhappy with the service. Not sure why I do it, but something just compels me. Perhaps it is a sense of guilt, although I like to think I live my life pretty guilt free. For whatever the reason, I almost always tip and it is almost always quite generous. However, I had cause tonight to not tip.
My movers came to deliver my stuff to my new apartment. I tipped the crew at the origin and planned to tip the crew (who was different) at my destination. However, the guy who showed up was clearly unorganized, and wasn't sure what was my stuff and what was another persons. He also shows up woefully understaffed, he brought only one other guy with him. Since he showed up at 7:00 p.m., I decided to help lest he be here till Midnight. What upset me even more was that it was very clear that many of my belongings were mishandled and not treated with care. There were boxes with water damage (most of the contents were safe however), there were boxes labeled "This End Up" that were upside down, they dropped the bed (that was thankfully covered in plastic) onto the wet grass. The list goes on and on. So I decided to not tip them. I felt bad for about 30 seconds, and then I got over it quickly. I'm up typing this at 1:30 a.m. because they left at around 10:30.
So what do you think. Do you always tip? Are there times you don't? Why not?