Tipping is an American concept I truly dislike. I drag my ass across the country for a paycheck. But all the way there and back my hard earned money is slowly chipped away so by the time I get home I’m left with three pesos and a cookie.


I admit that generally, I hate tipping. Don’t get me wrong. I tip and I tip well. Waiters? … worthy. I worked in a restaurant. I know the difference between a lousy kitchen and a bad waiter.


But when taking a trip, from the airport to the hotel there is the cab, the bellman that opens the cab door and unloads your bags onto the cart, the cart guy that wants to bring your stuff from the cab to the front desk which is sometimes the same guy and sometimes a different guy taking your stuff to the room. There is even a little place card in your room for tipping the housekeeper.


If I solicit a bellman to help with the bags it’s worth tipping someone for making my day calmer, easier, with less schlepping and sweating. Same with valet when it’s free at a hotel. But when valet is $10.00 or more, I feel gouged to tip. When NYC gypsy cabs makes up a rate for your car ride, no tip, especially if you don’t get your fat ass out of the car to help with my bags. Just popping the trunk open? Doesn’t pop the wallet open. Drive safely.


You pay $120.00 for a spa massage and you are still expected to give a tip on top of that. Aren’t I paying for the service already? Why a tip on TOP of the job that was done? Why aren’t I tipping the cashier at Wallgreens? The Fed/Ex guy? The traffic cop? The only reason doctor’s don’t get a tip for a good surgery is because they know they’re bankrupting you anyway. It used to be the gratuity was for an above and beyond job well done. But in today’s society it is expected as a part of the service for the person’s income.


I travel a lot. I’ve work for myself for about 20 years. The problem is that over all I haven’t had a raise for a long time. One wants to be paid a respectable scale yet you don’t want to be a “luxury” for clients thereby getting less work or completely pricing yourself out. Meanwhile, my rent keeps going up and so do food prices, gasoline, and tipping.


Before the economy went into the toilet, unemployment went up and everyone got all sensitive I would have said, if you aren’t being paid enough in your job, stay in school, get a second job, spend less or ask for a raise.


Why is it my responsibility to supplement your income when I am away from friends, family and my couch that I love to make a living? Am I Donald Trump? I’m a variety act with a schedule including a cruise ship, Uncle Funny’s Comedy Club and guest panelist for the Sisterhood’s evening program, “Jews in the World of Entertainment” at Adeth Jeshuren Synagogue in Brooklyn, New York.


If I could be included in the tipping world, maybe I’d feel better about it.


Here’s how it might go…



Me Being Stiffed

Audience Member: “You were very funny!”


Me: (Hold out my hand for the gratuity … she awkwardly smiles, nods and leaves)


Me Being Tipped

Audience Member: “Hey! Thanks for that Newt Gingrich joke!” (He shakes my hand and slips me a 10 spot.)




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