I go with Blair to get his haircuts because he goes to an old-fashioned barber shop and I like the environment and the fact that every Saturday morning they have donut holes sitting out for the taking.
So I settled into a hair-covered chair (barbers don't clean) with my chocolate donut hole last Saturday to wait for Blair and opened the paper. It was there that I read the article on "tipping."
It had most of the standard fare - $1/bag for airport handlers unless the bag is really heavy and then you must promise them your first-born. 15% at lunch, 20% at dinner, etc.
What caught my eye was the section on tipping your coffee baristas. You know baristas, right? They're the friendly people at places like Starbucks whose goal in life is to get you hooked on a never-satisfied desire for any drink that ends with the phrase "latte."
According to this article, I'm supposed to be tipping my barista $1 per drink for the drudgery of having to mix together milk and coffee with a dash of espresso and have a machine whir it all together. This is after I've already been suckered into paying $3.85 for coffee drink to begin with. So I'm supposed to tip over 20% per java hit? You know what? I don't think so.
I tip waitstaff who bring me my food, refill my drink, and keep the warm rolls coming. I do NOT tip people for standing behind a counter and pouring me a cup of coffee. That's out of control and, I find, rather snobbish. You don't see the cooks at McDonalds leaving a tip jar out for frying up your burgers (don't anyone get any ideas here) so why am I expected to pay a barista other than that it's the yuppie thing to do?
I will occasionally tip the counter staff at local hang out coffee shops like the Green Bean, but that's more because I'm taking up a table for 3 hours with my laptop after having only purchased a .70 coffee and a $1.20 muffin. Guilt kicks in.
But I'll be damned if you'll ever see me tipping the staff at Starbucks or--should it come to that--McDonalds.