Monday, May 03, 2004

To tip or not

I once thought that by the time I reached the age I am now I would have a decent grasp of matters involving social norms. But today I have my doubts.

A gal I know used to work for a local hair cutting chain, Holiday Hair. Over time I became a regular of hers, in light of her always being a good conversationalist and that she did my hair right (not that there's a *whole* lot that can go wrong with a guys cut, but...).

Some time ago she mentioned quietly to me she was going to open a salon in her home, and I said she could count on me as a customer. Fast forward a bit, I am now a regular in her home salon.

Now the question: am I still obliged to tip her in her home salon as I did in the corporate one?

My reasoning is based on the fact that back in the mall, she earned her pay -- either flat salary or number of heads -- and a tip was a bonus to her, not to the owners. Today, she is the owner, operator, and sole stylist. She gets 100% of the profit. Am I wrong to think that a tip is unnecessary in this venue?

I am not known as being tight with tips, because I know quite a number of people in service fields that depend on their tip revenue (one waitress I know turned down a hostess position because she felt it would be a cut in pay). I realize I can be certain I am not 'wrong' by tipping her, because I imagine others do, but is that necessarily the 'right' thing to do?

Input, flames, etc. are welcome.

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