Saturday, August 03, 2013

Tip Shmipp (Another Rant on the Tipping Culture) + F.U. Cellular

Hey folks - this is an angry rant. I'm not a generally angry person but there are are few things I am ticked off about and every so often, I get it off my chest. If the whole rant thing is not your thing, you might wish to skip this post. I am grateful to all who read my blog - thanks!

Back in February I ranted about tipping. If you wish to read that post as a primer to this one, a follow up, then click here.

Here's another scenario where there is no reason to tip but we all do anyway because we are programmed to tip in any situation where we are being "served". You are in a small mom and pop restaurant and the only people working are the owners of the place. The owners seat you, take your order, server you and bring you your check. These owners aren't being paid wit staff pittances, they own the place, they should not be tipped.

Another thing occurred to me the other day at a restaurant after seeing the total check worded in a way I don't recall seeing: "Pre-Tip Total". This was the the total of all food/drink ordered PLUS the sales tax. It hit me, all these years since tipping began, we are tipping not only on the food/drink total, but we've been tipping on tax as well; what the hell is wrong with us?

I'm not quite sold on the idea that we even have to pay sales tax on food and beverage but that isn't the restaurant's issue. I do have a major problem on any expectation that I should offer a gratuity on the sales tax. As of yesterday, I will NOT EVER include the sales tax in the figure I am tipping (reluctantly) on; I hope you will join me.

Let's force restaurant owners to pay fair wages to the wait staff, reasonable adjust the prices of items on the menu to cover the additional costs and put an end to this ridiculous culture of tipping that makes no sense.

Now for the stupid cell phone business...

When was the last time you read your cell phone bill in detail? Have you ever? You ever notice those phantom taxes that add $10, $15, $20 or more to your final bill? Maybe, just maybe, some of these so-called "taxes" are charged by local and federal governments (if so, we should be questioning why) but there are all sorts of other hidden fees.

Then there's the ever changing rates, per-minute fees, overage fees, text fees - all very menacing and illogical to everyone, except the profiteers who are ripping us off. This particular rant isn't about that - though I am pissed about it all. Today, I rant at the cell phone manufacturers who have decided that $600-$700 is a fair price to charge for a fucking cell phone and I rant at every human who owns a cell phone (me included) for paying that ridiculous price for one.

I recognize the amount of R&D that goes into developing a cell phone, I recognize and understand the technology within and the cost to make one. $600-$700 is at the very least $200-$300 over priced and the whole bullshit where we tie it to a 2 year contract to knock the cost down to $200-$300 is bullshit, it's only a way for the carriers to lock us in to a contract that has stipulations that we agree to that allow them to rip us off.

This technology isn't new - I had a cell phone, then a "car phone" in 1989. The technology was around for almost a decade at that point - we are three decades into commercial cellular technology and it's time that we stop getting screwed.

Enough ranting!

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