Which outdated customs should go?

Even in a doctor’s office, everyone asks how I am. I usually say, “If I felt good, I wouldn’t be here.”

My city has a lawn ordinance. You must have grass and it can’t be over 10" anywhere. So, no, not even a HOA thing. Though we have a “community watch” or some such BS that exists mostly to report your neighbors for things like that. The city sends a warning, then will cut your lawn and send you a bill and fine. This is suburban Midwest USA.

I first heard about kindergarten graduation watching You’re in Love, Charlie Brown (1967), which had a scene with Sally practicing her Pomp and Circumstance walk.

Our (Canadian) pledge to the flag ended in the early 60’s. First thing in the morning in school, we would also sing “God Save the Queen”, “O Canada”, and a couple of hymns, and recited a couple of prayers in the hymn book. We were in a “Protestant” school, which in Montreal meant “non-Catholic”, so as our school’s Jewish population increased - all of the above were eliminated by the late 60’s, except “O Canada” (which probably disappeared a few years later).

We still had most of these things at my Ontario public school at the end of the 70s. Including the forced singing of “Onward Christian Soldiers” and its like at school assemblies.

I just say “As well as can be expected, thank you.”

Sometimes I add “under the circumstances.”

I think the idea is more that the staff may be able to locate something for you.

“Did you find everything you were looking for?”

“No actually I was looking for a vintage leather jacket”

“Did you look upstairs?”

“There’s an upstairs?”

Or often thrift / antique shops may know of other shops that may have what you want.

That might make a lot of sense in other circumstances. Some are trying to be helpful, sure, and others were clearly told to say that. These are well-attended charity shops in a single very large room with a very variable stock and no regular items. Still, there is no reason to be upset about or rude to people genuinely trying to be pleasant. It just does not always make great sense. If you say, I was looking for (specific item), they tend to express regret you did not find it and encourage you to call in again frequently. (Which may be why they are asked to ask it.)

I’ve worked as a waiter and pay with tip was fantastic. And this was at a mid-tier chain restaurant (Chi-Chi’s…also as a bus boy at TGI Fridays before that).

There is NO WAY employers will EVER pay better than tips via a wage.

I could make $150 - 200/night via tips. My wage was $2.01/hour which was practically nothing and covered my taxes mostly. That was roughly a $40,000/year job and this was in 1990. With inflation that is $84,000/year today. And that was done while I was a college student.

Of course, there was no healthcare plan or vacation pay or retirement fund or any of that.

These are some of the only well paying jobs left that you don’t need a college degree (or even GED) for.

If you move it to wages the effort will be to forever decrease those wages. The employees will not be better off if you get your way. Frankly, neither will the owners who now have substantially higher wages to pay. I’m not sure even the consumer wins here.

So no to this idea. It is very popular these days as a sign of evil employers not paying staff (an idea I am sympathetic with) but I do not think this improves things.

I will say wages in places where tipping does not happen (like fast food) should be increased.

Someone has to win. If the employer doesn’t pay as much in wages as the workers were getting previously, then either the customer pays the same and the employer wins, or the customer pays less and wins.

Yeah, to be honest I don’t recall getting that particular nicety here in New Zealand. Generally it’s just the “do you need any help?” to start with, to which I respond, “no, fuck off!” (not really), then I’m left to shop in peace.

Well…not so sure.

Employer - Wages go up for the employer. They either eat that cost or pass it along to the customer.

Waiter - Actual wages the employer pays go up but take-home pay almost certainly goes down. Employers are always interested in lowering those costs to pressure on waiter wages is down.

Customer - Hard to say. The restaurant now has reason to raise prices. But the final tab may be the same or less since no tip. That can play out many ways but, the sticker shock of seeing higher prices on the menu may scare some off. Even if your dinner cost you $50 humans are more averse to seeing a $50 entrée than a $42 entrée and then paying a 20% tip.

In the end the waiters will almost certainly be the losers. What they earn is almost completely out of their hands.

But then you get intangibles. A waiter working for tips generally tries harder than one earning a wage. They have an incentive to work harder. Broad brush here. We have all had bad service despite the waiter hoping for a tip. But, broadly, that incentive improves service. So, as a customer, even if you are paying less are you necessarily better off?

Seems worse off all around to me. YMMV.

My answer is usually, “That’s what we’re gonna find out.”

That’s what “they” say, but I often wonder if it is true. If we’re talking about a customer who frequently returns to the same restaurant and the same waiter, then yes, of course. But that’s rarely the case. Most people (I imagine) tend to tip a standard percentage, and don’t go higher or lower unless the service was significantly better or worse than expected. Under such circumstances, does the tip really motivate the waiter to do a good job? I would think that the fear of being fired is a bigger motivation.

I don’t understand this - are you making some assumptions you haven’t mentioned? Because lets say you got $20 per hour in tips ( $160 for an 8 hour shift ) + the $2 hour direct wages from your employer? How are you taking home less if your employer instead raises the prices and directly pays you $22/hr? Unless what you mean is that you weren’t reporting all your tips as you were supposed to and were therefore taking home more because you were evading taxes.


I took the Eurostar from London to Paris.

The person working the snack stand could not possibly have been slower. It was shocking. I did not expect 5-star service but this was something else. They had no interest in getting people through the line. So, if you wanted a Hot Pocket (or something like it) you would order it, they would put it in the cooker, and then wait till it was done. Then collect your money. Next. IIRC there were five people ahead of me in line and I waited 20 minutes (kidjanot) to get a coffee and a soda.

While in Europe the service was mostly fine but clearly a beat or two slower and less enthusiastic than in the US. They’d do their job but came off as perfunctory.

Again…BROAD brush. Just an overall impression. I have certainly had shit service in the US and great service in Europe.

I am suggesting it is super unlikely the employer will pay $22/hour. And it will be forever in the owner’s interests to reduce that cost somehow.

Federal minimum wage is $7.25/hour. Most restaurants pay less since they know the difference is made up in tips (if the waiter does not make minimum wage in tips the restaurant has to cover the difference).

Tripling (or more) staff wages on a restaurant is not something the owner will be down for.

I encourage you to ask any waiter you meet if they’d rather the owner paid them a higher wage and lose tips or if they would rather keep tips.

This doesn’t work at all in the grocery store. I just get looks.

In seriousness: the question is pointless at the supermarket, because what are they going to do: hold up the whole line while a stockboy is paged to go look for the thing I couldn’t find? Of course some customers are happy to do this, but most aren’t.

Was that every shift? There is no doubt the tipping system works the best on a busy Friday or Saturday night. How about the Sunday after church crowd with no alcohol sales and a tip with Bible pamphlets?

In all seriousness, I think the idea is two fold. The first is to simply engage with the customer and make them feel as though the stores cares about them. The second is that the cashier might say, “Hey, I had another dude ask me for the Crab Water today.”