I was very interested in Duncan Barkes’s column regarding the practice of tipping: while it is unfortunate the server in the US reacted so strongly, many people are not aware that quite often, tipped employees in the US are working at rates below the minimum wage – in some cases, significantly so.
Also, a fair number of establishments require tips are turned in and recorded.
They are then divided up to include table bus people, who clear the tables and prepare them for the next sitting, and the serving staff.
When this is the case, not bringing in the expected tips can be reflected in the review of their job performance and can mean losing their job.
So perhaps considering that, you can understand the reaction – but as I said, it’s a shame he couldn’t have handled the situation better.
I don’t write this intending any criticism of his writing, simply to perhaps shed some light on a misunderstood situation.