What’s up with this tipping? Everywhere I go, I’m surrounded by guards, door men, drivers – who say a loud salaam, open my car door when not required and then look at me with the most earnest of looks … making me self conscious and forcing me to start fumbling into the massive purse I am carrying to take out some money. Hundred is too much, twenty is too little, so there goes my hard earned fifty rupees because some massive hotel/café/restaurant cannot be bothered to pay their staff enough.

Why is it expected? Why am I responsible for this person’s wages, or part of his wages, simply because I went there? The guards become sufficiently over active, helping me reverse even when help is not needed, opening the car door for me which gives me a too-close-for-comfort feel, say loud salaams and in general intrude into my personal private space.

I do not mind tipping extra the guys in road side cafes, the waiters around munchies or crunchies or whatever, since I know most of them are not even paid and make their salaries off the tips they get. Plus they actually do work, get your order, place it, get it, etc etc. But to give the guards of a fancy hotel, from China Town to Nirvana fifty rupees (or even twenty) for opening my door is downright unfair.

So here is my pledge. No, I will NOT tip you. Never ever ever! Do not look at me with those soulful eyes. Have been there, done that, with my parents – who I still had some rights over – and got nothing, because they didn’t have extra. I never got free charity and neither will you. I pray that your lords and masters increase your salary, and for you to rise high enough in your own eyes to not have to grovel for additional dough.

I’m not a miser. I would willingly give plenty in charity. I even over tip the waiters in the fancy restaurants because he spent at least ten minutes to help me. Of course when you spend 550 rupees on a salad, giving fifty to a guard outside doesn’t matter but the question is WHY? Why should I? Why isn’t the company that’s charging me 550 rupees for a few lettuce leaves paying its guards? Why am I? It’s the principle of the thing and I’m always one for principle.

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