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Tyranny of Gratuity

Those who solicit tips know why they do it, but can the same be said of those who tip? The obvious answer is, a tip is a small thank you for services rendered. Thank you to the doorman for getting you a cab, to the cabdriver for not killing us, and to the waitress for … well, for being a waitress. But that’s not really it, is it? All these people would do those things without the tip. We tip because it’s expected, because we don’t want to seem mean, because we want to seem generous, because we want to be like everyone else. Tipping isn’t really about them. It’s about you. You hand over the money so you can feel better. Or at least, not worse.

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