Jan 30, 2007, 5:30 AM
Post #17 of 44
When I started this, I hadn't thought of the other instances of tipping that seem to be prevalent in Mexico.
I have a hard time with tipping the grocery baggers, having spent my college years checking and bagging groceries and being really embarrassed when a customer would offer a tip. After all, I was a journeyman grocery clerk and proud of it. However, I realize the baggers here get nothing for their efforts except for tips. Therefore, I always tip, either the coins that I get in change if it is enough or $10 pesos if I'm buying several bags of groceries. When I get one or two items I have a problem. How much should I tip the kid who hands me the newspaper I just bought?
I have trouble knowing who else to tip. A woman at a vivero was very demanding when I didn't tip her for waiting on me. Considering she had done a horrible job, I still didn't tip her, but I did find out that tipping helpers at a vivero is customary (?) and appreciated (!!). When I go to my favorite vivero, I don't know what to do about tipping the older women who help me. I know that they are all family of the owner and I don't think it is customary to tip owners. At the hardware store, I guess it is appropriate to tip some and not others - depending on their ownership status, which is usually unknown to me.
Plumbers, telephone workers, and others who provide important services also get into the tipping system, though when the plumber charged me over $2,000 pesos for fixing a major leak in my wall, I felt that he was sufficiently compensated without a tip. I always tip the telephone people, hoping that they will remember and actually show up within a week of the time promised when needed in the future. I realize that I'm only kidding myself as there are a lot of workers and the chances of getting the same on again are small.
I really hate tipping the little man who gets in my way as I'm driving out of a parking lot and almost gets run over "helping" me leave the lot. I feel uncomfortable refusing help at Costco - and the propina involved - but I prefer to store my own purchases in the car.
I have no problem tipping if it is customary, if the person's income is dependent on the tip, if the service is good, and if it is a service I need and want. Nevertheless, I find the whole tipping thing in Mexico to be difficult to deal with.
I'm very confused about tipping the gas station attendant. In a previous discussion, it was pointed out that they belong to a union and are very well paid. Others then chimed in and said they work for private contractors and are not well paid. I finally gave up trying to understand the situation and do tip the gas station attendant. It gets really difficult when they actually wash the windows. Then I tip better.
One group I really hate is the people who smear your windshield at stop lights on the city streets. Them I never tip unless for some reason my windshield is very dirty and I motion them over to wash it. I always try to stop the others and indicated that I want no service from them.
No offense to the one who said it, but the argument that one doesn't tip musicians because they go out to eat to have conversation with their companions not to hear the music. DO NOT GO TO RESTAURANTS THAT HAVE MUSIC, Homer. We go to several restaurants because of the music and almost never have a problem with conversation. Sometimes we don't talk during the music out of courtesy if it is a quiet guitarist, but otherwise we find ample opportunities for conversation during the music and between songs and sets.
The Canadian (??) who accused ALL Americans of preferring good service to good food, is probably one of those who resents stereotyping of Canadians. Go figure. Good service is a part of a quality restaurant experience, but only part. Of course, when we go to our favorite restaurant primarily to hear the music, we put up with bad service and mediocre food - except for the great desserts - just to hear the great music. Bad service there is a plus, as we are not finished eating and taking up a seat that the restauranteur would like to have for the next diner. It takes all evening to get served. We tip the musician lavishly and the waiters very poorly.
Of course, often poor service is not the fault of the waiter, but of the kitchen and the poor waiter gets stuck with the blame.