Originally Posted by J Mac
We all work hard. We should all be tipped.
Sure. When was the last time anyone tipped the sales clerk at a non-food retail store? When a police officer, firefighter, or paramedic assists you in an emergency, do you tip them? You go to a movie, concert, or trade show and someone checks your ticket at the door - do you tip them? You stay in a hotel and tip the housekeeping staff and (if there is one) the guy who carries your bags to the room... but do you tip the front desk staff? How about the all the behind-the-scenes maintenance staff that you don't see? You get your car serviced: any tips for the mechanic (oops - they're called "service technicians" now), service writer, service manager, or dealership receptionist? How about the hundreds of factory workers directly involved in making that car, or the thousands of people involved in designing it and running the company which built it - track 'em all down and press small bills into their palms after you close the purchase?
The vast majority of people work hard and have no chance of ever receiving a tip. That's okay, because they're paid to do those jobs. If they do a particularly good job (customer feedback is often important to recognize that), they get promotions and pay increases.
Tips are normal in food service at the table, and minimum wages are lower than for other jobs because of that. For anything else, it seems to me that a tip is only for exceptional service beyond the expectations of the transaction. Even in food service, if it's not at the table
there's normally no tip - when I worked at McDonald's in high school taking tips (not that anyone ever offered one) was explicitly forbidden.
We had an RV transported, and the driver accommodated our travel schedule. He was paid fairly for the transportation, and we bought him dinner at the destination in appreciation for his extra time - he had to stop for dinner anyway.
Tips are usually reserved for the people that we directly interact with. How about just saying "thank you"... to everyone you deal with? A genuine expression of appreciation can really mean someone who has to deal with unappreciative and demanding people.