11 Comments

  1. He’s usually playing in a bar, and so he has the tip jar on the piano.

    But here it’s a formal concert, on stage, and he hasn’t made the transition.

  2. I think it’s not that he’s usually a piano man, (awesome song) who normally plays a bar for tips who has been pressed into service at a concert. I think the comic is a comment on the creeping tipification of society, with tip jars appearing everywhere. As tips are an accepted custom where I live, I do tip at restaurants. However, tip jars at places where I go to the counter and order and collect my own stuff, carry it to my table and then clear my own table, no. No tip for that. What’s next? Tip jars next to cash registers in retail stores, so I can tip the cashier for taking my money for my purchase?

    I also don’t like debit/credit card machines that are set up to automatically add a tip and do not give me an option to say no to the tip.

  3. Also, the “Add a tip?” option has been appearing on political and nonprofit/charity fund-raising sites, for payment to the operating organization as distinct from the recipient you were originally mostly meaning to contribute to.

    I guess this is a response to the heightened consciousness of charities being held to account for what percentage of their contributions go toward administration. This scheme hides some of that as a separate transaction.

  4. @ Mitch4: I think the March of Dimes did what when I made a donation to CIDUBill’s Walkathon (still time for everyone to contribute https://www.marchforbabies.org/Fundraising/Personal?personId=6900844&participantId=8805625&user=cidubillbickel ). I don’t mind it. If they’re using a third-party to run the payment portal, they have to pay for that. I didn’t think about, as you did, that such a thing would distort their accounting. Good point. Transparency on accounting helps me decide if a charity is a good use of my money. BTW, there is a small chance they didn’t ask me to do that, as I have made a few donations recently and I might be getting mixed up.

    I don’t know if it is happening where you are, but in my city the politicians are afraid of doing their job and raising property taxes (after years of below-inflation rate increases) to pay for services. Instead, they attach “user fees” to things that should be coming out of tax revenue.

  5. Oh yeah, and I wasn’t (entirely) being critical of the practice. It’s just a little bit annoying to go thru the extra step. But overall I suppose making it explicit increases transparency. “Tip” is a funny word for it, though.

  6. Besides the prevalence of actual tip jars, there’s the “would you like that round that up to the next dollar so we can donate the spare change to A Good Cause?” custom. My co-op grocery, for instance, has been doing this for years, and admittedly the causes they donate to are usually good (by my definitions), but I still feel a bit unhappy about being “put on the spot” by a direct question by the cashier (at least a tip jar just sits there silently).

    I always agree to round up, but I’m crass enough to be secretly amused when after all that the donation may turn out to be only a couple of cents.

  7. @ Mitch4: As I said, I’ve been doing a few donations lately and have had two cases where I was asked if I wanted to give an additional amount to cover the cost of processing the donation. In neither case was the word “tip” used. However, I could imagine that some payment platforms may have been built so inflexibly that it can’t be called anything else. It’s hard-coded in.

  8. At Symphony Hall and Jordan Hall, and I suppose at Carnegie Hall for you Yankees fans, they really don’t like it when you go up on the stage, even if it IS to drop a tip in the tip jar.

  9. SingaporeBill – A few years ago we were in a Cabelas (camping, fishing, shooting shoppertainment store). We generally just go to them to walk around and look while in places that we need to use up some time before it is time to go to dinner (and we don’t eat as same as enticing as an elk burger might be).

    It happened that we looking for inexpensive seat covers for our car and we found some there (ok, they also have some stuff for RVs- SUVs-pickup trucks as well as for boats – depends on the store – household stuff and a candy shop – oh and nice, sneaker deposit) and decided to buy covers for the front seats. Robert got in line to pay for them while I – as I do constantly – went to the ladies room. Apparently there was a screen that came up asking if he wanted to donate something and he out of habit tapped the yes “button” thinking it was to approve the sale. 10% extra of purchase was charged for this! I ended up arguing with the customer service department as they said it was not refundable – if one argues enough and threatens to file a complaint – it is refundable.

    These screens for donations, while still not common, are showing up more and more often.

  10. “I donate blood.” (Note: I also give money to charities I pick. I don’t like panhandling for charity in retail establishments, though, so I say the thing about blood, which is true.)

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