Caribou Coffee and others Informative - Don't think I'm old enough to be considered a curmudgeon--but yet...

Review by S. on 2007-09-18
TROY, MICHIGAN -- (There is no 'question' category, thus the use of 'informative')

Couple of days ago, I went to my nearest Caribou Coffee outlet for a plain cup of coffee. Now, I'm really not a fan of their coffee but had a gift card.

After being served, was told your card has a balance of $X.XX. Asked if I couldn't have the receipt (which was placed in a nearby drawer). Server said 'Sorry,' and gave it to me. No complaint--got what I asked for.

However, my question is about a container on the counter which held some bills and change, obviously for tips. Thinking back, I've seen these dishes, jars, etc., placed near the cash registers of several outlets. The server does nothing more than take an order, fill it, ring it up. Nothing out of the ordinary.

I realize the servers are probably minimum wage employees, but so are employees of fast food restaurants, and restaurants which serve take out orders. Nowhere in these locations have I seen the obvious tip containers. (Admit I may have missed some of them.)

At a couple of the 7-11 stores near me, they have a container of pennies (in some cases also nickels). On occasion when the bill comes to a couple of cents over an even dollar, the clerk will reach into this container and use those. At times, when I receive my change from the clerk, I toss in a few cents to try to make up for what they've given me in the past.

How do the rest of you feel about this practice? There is nothing extra done on the part of the employees to merit a tip. If I complete a project before the promised date, my client doesn't tip me.

It's not a life or death situation, just something that got me thinking about this outright asking for a tip. For what?
Comments:23 Replies - Latest reply on 2007-09-18
Posted by B. on 2007-09-18:
Tipping is simply a thank-you for a job well done. If you feel the job was not well done then don't tip.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-09-18:
I agree with bargod
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-09-18:
I don't remember Ponie saying she hated waitresses, she was just wondering what people think. So, I think that the coffee places have tip cups especially for people with their special orders--some have gotten quite elaborate. I like to tip all servers when I can because I know they generally have low wages. They also stand a lot and usually are constantly working. I especially like to tip well when I enjoy the service and product, but many times I just do it out of courtesy--but maybe not as big a tip for marginal service/product.
Posted by Dan on 2007-09-18:
AlleyS, waiter/waiteresses do not do the EXACT same thing. They serve you food and make sure you have everything you need for your meal, all the while being paid far less than minimum wage. The employees at the coffee house take your order, make your coffee and give it to you, while making minimum wage or more. How is this the exact same?
Posted by spiderman2 on 2007-09-18:
the tip jars don't bother me. If the person is nice, I throw something in. If not, then I don't. I don't think someone getting you a coffe is the same as a waitress who wait on your for an entire meal.
Posted by heaven17 on 2007-09-18:
I don't agree with the tip jars (in this particular case). It's not the same as having a server wait on you hand and foot like in a sit down restaurant.
Your average person at McDonald's does the same work or more (for probably less of a paycheck) and THEY don't get tips.
Posted by S. on 2007-09-18:
Wow, Alley, that's quite an attitude you have. You're comparing apples with oranges and you ass/u/me things I didn't state. I don't agree servers do the same thing as workers in a coffee shop. Been there, done that, and they're two very different occupations. The server provides more service and spends much more time with each customer, and I've never seen a tip jar on the table.

I definitely agree to tipping a server or someone who goes out of their way to be certain a job is well done. e.g., when I last had my carpets cleaned, the service such as moving all my furniture, returning it carefully, etc., was so outstanding, there was extra $$ given direct to the workers rather than placed on the CC.

I also have empathy for a minimum wage production worker. Another been there, done that situation. However, how do we reward these workers for a job well done?

Thanks for your responses, whether your thoughtful opinion or just plain snarky. :)
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-09-18:
Yeah AlleyS show some respect you half wit twit. Ponie is a very intelligent and highly respected member of the my3cenets family.

Anyway, I know exactly what you mean Ponie...not so much coffee but I think the same thing when I belly up to the bar to order a beer. Sometimes I drop money in the tip jar but only out of guilt. I always enjoy your reviews and comments!
Posted by Slimjim on 2007-09-18:
I do not believe that tip jar should be there in this case either. It's an over-the-counter sale. For those that don't know, tips is an acronym for To Insure Proper Service. In a case like this, I fail to see what constitutes as extra good service to warrant a tip. Because she didn't spill the coffee on you?
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-09-18:
Or it could also mean ----
Acronym Meaning
****** TIP Theory Into Practice
****** TIP Tripoli (airport code)
****** TIP Tipple (mining industry)
****** TIP Trouble in Paradise (Iomega testing)
****** TIP Talent Identification Program
****** TIP The Infinity Project
****** TIP County Tipperary, Ireland
****** TIP Technological Institute of the Philippines
****** TIP Textile Institute of Pakistan (Karachi, Pakistan)
****** TIP Transportation Improvement Program
****** TIP TDMA (Time Division Muliplex Access) Interface Processor
***** TIP Treatment Improvement Protocol (medicine)
***** TIP Tablet Input Panel (Tablet PC)
***** TIP Transaction Internet Protocol (RFC 2371)
***** TIP Threat Image Projection (X-ray software)
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-09-18:
rank Acronym Meaning
***** TIP Turbo Inlet Pipe
***** TIP Terminal Interface Processor
***** TIP Transfer In Progress
***** TIP Trauma Intervention Program (voluntary, non-profit organization assisting emotionally traumatized victims/survivors of events/crisis situations)
**** TIP The Industrial/Organizational Psychologist
**** TIP Transport International Pool
**** TIP Tests in Print (psychology)
**** TIP Technology Integration Program
**** TIP Terrorist Interdiction Program
**** TIP Teaching Incentive Program
**** TIP Trafficking in People
**** TIP Technological Implementation Plan
**** TIP Temporary Instruction Permit (Michigan driver's license)
**** TIP Technology Integration Plan
**** TIP Truancy Intervention Project
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-09-18:
OR many more but in this case I have to agree with Slim.

rank Acronym Meaning
**** TIP Text Input Processor
**** TIP Time, Interaction and Performance (theory)
*** TIP TIROS Information Processor
*** TIP Transit Improvement Program
*** TIP Tokyo International Players
*** TIP Téléphonie IP (French: IP Telephony)
*** TIP Transition to Independent Positions
*** TIP Technical Information Package
*** TIP Transportation Incentive Program (to use mass transportation)
*** TIP Trent International Program
*** TIP TAO Implementation Panel (CLIVAR, GCOS, GOOS)
*** TIP Top Industry Practice (award)
*** TIP Treasury Investment Program (Federal Reserve term)
*** TIP Technology Investment Program
*** TIP Terminal Interface Message Processor
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-09-18:
Good review Ponie "VH"
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-09-18:
According to snopes what slim posted about tips is an urban legend. http://www.snopes.com/language/acronyms/tip.asp

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-09-18:
Ditto what Lidman said.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-09-18:
Well try this one, snopes is not the be all, end all.

November 30, 2004
To Insure Proper Service
TIPS are one of those things that have come to lose their attachment to where they originally came from over the years. What once literally translated as "To Insure Proper Service" has now come to be a societal expectation before we've even begun to enjoy a meal, have a drink or get coiffed for that matter (even if the end results are dreadful). But as the holiday season rolls in, that feeling of taking care of the people that serve us well all year long builds up to a longing to return the favor.

I came accross a link to help ease you through anxieties of what you can do to keep your mailman, your gardner or your local babywrangler in your good graces for another year. Just check out this guide to Holiday Tipping. Please share any other helpful suggestions...

Posted by Brian at November 30, 2004 11:19 AM

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Posted by Anonymous on 2007-09-18:
My son, daughter and I went out to lunch in NY last weekend. We all laughed at this on the menu. "For your convenience, we will add a 20% service charge to your bill." Now, that's quite a convenience, don't you think! Luckily, we enjoyed the service and food. What if the food and service wasn't good--could we ask them to remove it? Doubtful, that. We decided that they think so highly of themselves, they must be worth it!
Posted by S. on 2007-09-18:
Stew, slim, and Lidman, you guys gave me a truly LOL moment. Do I ever know the feeling of bellyin' up to the bar! And as the evening goes on and things may get a little fuzzed up (not from drinking coffee), I sometimes wonder--gee, did I toss something into that glass yet or not? I think that gal who didn't look so great when I entered, made a little moolah off me by the time I left.

slim, in this case it was a male server, but thankfully nothing got spilled.

Lidman, just how much time do you have to spend on My3C? I know it's very difficult for me to get off once I login, but I'm sure you have me beat. However, in all the acronyms you show, I didn't find the one I always thought 'TIP' was supposed to be: To Insure Promptness. But whatta those grade-school teachers know?
Posted by S. on 2007-09-18:
dianec, I just re-read your response. You brought up something I hadn't thought about. Since I'm a straight (read: black) coffee drinker with no frou-frou, I didn't think about all the fancy drinks that Caribou can whip up. But aren't the employees trained to efficiently fill these orders and don't they cost a lot more? Be that as it may, you've given me food for thought. Thanks.
Posted by S. on 2007-09-18:
dianec, I guess the 'convenience' was that you didn't have to bring your calculator along. :)
Posted by Nohandle on 2007-09-18:
Ponie, this subject has been touched on before and I didn't recall seeing as many "tip" jars then as I do now. I frankly don't like them. My question, in jest, is when are we going to see tip jars at the register in department stores?

I have always somewhat resented a gratuity automatically added to my restaurant bill. It might surprise some to realize later they not only paid the bill including a gratuity added but left one on the table as well. Dianec, I'm glad you spotted that on the menu, some don't.

I've tipped delivery people who have taken extra care and precaution when a delivery was made to my home. I've tipped a self-employed individual who quoted a price for pressure washing all the concrete at my home. He did such an outstanding job I felt it was worth more than the quoted price. There a quite a few other examples, but none had a tip jar or an extended hand expecting one.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-09-18:
nohandle--My son noticed it first and he, my daughter and I were sarcastically saying to each other how convenient that was. You are right though--I'm going to start looking more carefully at my bills.
Posted by LeeSee on 2007-09-18:
I'm a curmudgeon!!!!

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