After spending the last few years traveling across Asia and Central America, I’ve made a number of observations. You see, the best part about traveling is that it forces you to become more worldly and view everything through a global lens. I’m no globalist and as an American, I strongly stand by America First, but it’s still good to acknowledge the strengths of other cultures and countries and consider how to incorporate these traits here. One trait that I absolutely loved about the people in Thailand and Mexico is that they were grateful, and genuinely thankful for any and all tips.
There were many times where I would tip 50%+ simply because the prices were so low for an American and I wanted to reward them for exceptional service. In a recent example, I gave my cab driver in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, a 200 peso tip ($10 USD) for a 150 peso ride ($7.50 USD) and he was thrilled that he could buy 4 cervezas (beers) later. A hard day of work deserves a few cold ones! Seeing how much this tip brightened his day, I gave him an additional 20o peso tip and told him to put it towards food. He declined the additional tip as if it were too much but I insisted.
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Living in Mexico reinforced how hard-working Mexican people are. Mexicans take pride in their work, and they want to work for every dollar earned. As someone who spent many years working for minimum wage, I appreciate anyone who respects the value of a dollar.
I really hate tipping in USA. You tip in Thailand, they are extremely thankful and grateful. They bow their head and say “kap khun ka” 🙏🏽 You tip in Mexico, they say “muchas gracias” with a smile on their face 😊 . You tip in Japan, they won’t accept it unless you tell them it’s a gift 🎁 You tip in USA and there is almost zero acknowledgment and often no eye contact. Worse, they seem entitled.
If you have a job that depends on tips, act thankful. Say thank you. The customer will feel acknowledged and may tip more next time so you ultimately help others that depend on tips as well.
When I did Uber Eats there was a “thank customer for the tip” feature. I used it every single time no matter how small the tip was. As a customer who uses Uber Eats, I appreciate when the delivery driver uses the feature to thank me for my tip. It encourages me to continue tipping in the future and to tip well.
I’ve always taken pride in myself for being a good tipper but I’d rather save my tips for my international trips where people are grateful. From now on, I’ll only tip well in USA for exceptional service. Anything less and they’ll get a by-the-book basic tip. If they are grateful and say thank you, I can always double down.
The culture of tipping is fine. It’s the entitled attitude that is shitty.
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