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Author Topic: Oprah says to tip 10%
abigsmurf
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Stewpot, that's actually a fair description of the mindset most people in the UK. A tip is something to be earned, not expected
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Neffti Noel
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by abigsmurf:
Stewpot, that's actually a fair description of the mindset most people in the UK. A tip is something to be earned, not expected

Agreed, abigsmurf - although as I've said, we can be reasonably confident that our waiting staff can pay their rents without relying on tips.

I love to give a big tip to a really good waiter or waitress here. I think waiting staff here don't expect many tips and so it's very satisfying to give a good one when you've had great service. I've even written to managers twice to mention that someone deserves a pay rise.

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usbunch
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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OK, First I married a waitress and if I ever tip below 20 0/0 I catch heck for it, so I start at 20 and go up to round out the bill to an even amount.

My question is (no, wife doesn't know) WHY is the tip associated with the bill? Ex: I order $20 of food, wait person makes three trips to my table and gets $4. I order $100 of food, wait person makes 3 trips to my table and gets $20. Why? The food weighs the same, the effort was the same, the time spent was the same. Why don't I just count trips and multiply by some amount per trip?

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Esprise Me
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Welcome to the boards, usbunch. I doubt your wife would mind explaining, if you asked her nicely, but since you asked us...
You are correct that expense doesn't correlate directly with effort. It doesn't require any more effort to open a $60 bottle of wine than it does to open a $20 bottle, yet common sense dictates that the tip would increase threefold. As I mentioned previously, however, servers have to tip out other employees based on their sales, so leaving 5% is actually leaving nothing, and leaving less than 5% is taking money out of their pockets. Ten percent will always be interpreted as a complaint about the service. While the correlation isn't precise, there is a general trend toward higher bills equaling more effort, especially since pricier restaurants tend to employ more experienced servers (and more assistants of various stripes for them to tip out.)

There are, in fact, many factors that increase or decrease a server's workload but don't affect the price, or that affect the price without affecting the amount of effort a server has to expend. For example, when you order a salad with the dressing on the side, you double the number of plates the server has to carry out to you. This might mean s/he has to make extra trips, or enlist the help of another server. When four people order salads, I can easily carry all the plates myself, but when they all ask for the dressing on the side, I need help, and I'll probably have to return the favor at some point.
If you and your dining companion share an entree, you're getting a half-price meal, but you're still taking up the same amount of table space, time, and approximate effort for me as if you'd each gotten your own.
A man who orders two beers at $4 apiece makes me work more than a man who orders one $8 glass of wine.
I could go on for pages, but the point is, even if you think your bill is relatively high compared to the effort your server generated, there are probably other times, or other factors on that same meal (how many free Coke refills did you ask for? It does get rather tiresome after about the seventh or eighth trip.) So, to stay in the good graces of your wife and servers everywhere, tip at least 15-20% for decent service when you eat out in the States. If you want to attempt the vast calculus of Server Effort and tip closer to 15% on pricey, easy meals, and closer to 20% on Hi-we'll-share-a-half-salad-and-tap-water-with-lemon days, go ahead.

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Aptenodytes_Forsteriis
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I start my tip calculation at 20% and raise it for good service, raise it more for exceptional service. That said, I am perfectly willing to drop it as low as 8% for rude, incompetant service. A gratuity is just that, it is not a mandatory surcharge and it is not something the wait staff is entitled to regardless of their service.

I have only stiffed a waiter once and that was because he was visibly drunk, kept me waiting for 15 minutes while my food sat on the counter, in plain view, and was rude about it when I complained that my food had grown cold sitting on a counter while he chatted on the phone, also in plain view.

All that aside, the problem I have with threads like this is that those arguing in favor of tipping tend to make the argument sound like the customer is starving the poor, barekly getting by wait staff if they tip less than 15% even for bad service. I agree that, absent bad service, 15% is the minimum tip but I disagree with the notion that wait staff are starving etc. Tip receiving personnel make much more than other workers of their general education/training/advancement. Most of my experience is with Bar staff and cocktail waitresses but I have a bit of experience and more knowledge of restaraunt staff as well. In most places (I leave out the low end diner because I have no idea what their staff make) the wait staff are making more than $12 and often more than $20 /hr. Bartenders and cocktail waitresses usually average closer to $25 and in some cases as much as $50/ hr. This is not a starvation wage!

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ChelleGame
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Various things.

My grandmother tips by WWII standards -- she doesn't mean to be rude. We took her out to eat the other day to a very nice place. The bill was less than $30 because hubby and I only had drinks and appetizers. She wanted to pay my hubby and I back, but we said it was our treat. She still tossed a $5 on the table, and asked my hubby to please take it. I told her we would leave it for a tip, which I thought was fair for the okay service. She was outraged that we would essentially waste money. Trust me, she aint going to change. I still think she deserves good service.

I understand that waitstaff often needs to share tips, but if a server is consistently being tipped poorly(compared to others), and this is effecting others who count on his/her tips, someone may want to talk to him/her or replace him/her. Under the present sytem, tips are based on service, and while it's nice that my salt and pepper are full, that is what I'm judging.

I would feel badly if I stiffed a hard worker, but I have no issue with tipping someone poorly who did not give me good service to their best abilities. I don't punish them for mistakes made by the kitchen, or even if the food is not good, but there are definite things that a server can do that will annoy me.

I will absolutely tip a new person who is making mistakes because they're learning the ropes, and once took my usually generous husband to task for tipping too lightly because a nervous teen girl made a mistake she was sorry for.

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Michelle

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Lainie
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ChelleGame, when I was waitressing in high school, I got one of my best tips from a table whose tray of food I'd dropped and smashed.

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mercurythief
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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quote:
Originally posted by Esprise Me:
If you tip 15-20% in the States, I apologize, but if you tip 10% here, I think I speak for all American servers when I ask you to either get with the program or stay the hell out of our restaurants. There's no excuse for cheating hard-working servers out of their rent money.

This attitude is rather upsetting. Servers choose to rely on a broken system to make their living; they shouldn't get upset at people who won't play the tipping game. It would be more productive to try and change the way servers are paid. As it is, restaurants essentially get free labor out of the servers because of the way our society is. Direct your anger toward the restaurants, and not the customers.
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Lady Moon Shadows
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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Let me add some more stuff on the attitude about service.

It has already been noted that I work at a bowling alley and that I make much more than the common waitress (I do make minimum wage, plus tips)... but I get tipped based on both service AND time.

That is to say, I am in a unique position to "know" my customers orders by heart. ALL of them. 64 lanes of customers, 4, sometimes 5 to a lane--food AND drink included.

But the key to my tips is speed. I don't get docked in tips because the snack bar is busy (thank god, or else I'd never make anything), but I do get reprimanded by the customer. Fortunately, I make every effort to "increase my tip" as it were, by making things right----tell the snack bar that since it took 30 minutes to cook that burger (as opposed to ten), throw some extra fries on there.. Upsize their drink order.. something.

Especially with alcoholic drinks--these people drink like fish--which means I had better make sure I've got their next pitcher filled and on the table before the 1st one is empty. The longer it takes to fill that pitcher, the less I make.

So, in short, to those who say they tip based on service, let me tell you this: there are waitresses (ME) who will MAKE DAMN SURE you get your food on time. I don't play games with food sitting on counters, getting cold, stale beer, shitty rum in the coke... no way--not when my tips are at stake.

And, I've even been accused of "stopping by" TOO MUCH... we have secret shoppers and on one of the questions it asks "did the server stop by the right amount of times"--one person said I stopped by too much. In a 64 lane bowling alley, when I have to go back and forth--it only makes sense that I simply ask you "everything ok" as I walk by. You say "no" I move on until the next pass. Often I am the only waitress on--damned if you do, damned if you don't.

And I definitely tip new waitresses well. We recently stopped by a resturant we've never tried and got a waitress that was only 3 days "old". Our bill was upwards of $35.00 and we gave her a ten in tip. But, she was taking care of another table when we checked out (it was a pizzaria type resturant, so patrons walked up to the register to check out rather than wait on the waitress to do it).. I handed the tip to the cashier and asked her to give it to our waitress. She gave me a "she's new why this much" look.. almost as if the new girl wasn't entitled to a decent tip because she was new...

bah....

no point to this--just sayin....

toni

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Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate and wine in hand, body thoroughly used up, and screaming WoW what a ride!

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Esprise Me
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To all the people who have posted about entitlement complexes, or leaving poor tips for poor service--I understand many of you weren't speaking to me directly, but I'd just like to clarify that I never said, nor meant to imply, that a 20% tip is a given regardless of quality of service. There are aspects of the dining experience that are out of your server's control, i.e. quality of food, preparation time, noise level in the restaurant, etc., and of course I believe the server shouldn't be penalized if these are not to your satisfaction. I would also encourage patrons to be tolerant if it's obvious a server is doing his/her best and is overwhelmed; those who have commented upon the subject have all indicated such tolerance. However, when it's obvious your server is not doing his/her job, or is rude to you, then all bets are off.

For reasons I already explained (tip-outs), I would leave 5% for terrible service, 10% for seriously mediocre service (for example, if the server was attentive in the beginning but then forgot about us once our food came out--the most common type of bad service, in my experience), 15% if the service was perfunctory but adequate (if, for example, I asked for no tomatoes and the salad came out visibly covered with them, but the server fixed it once I pointed it out), and 20% for good service. If the service is better than good, I increase the tip accordingly. I would never ask anything more from my customers.

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BeachLife
The Bills of St. Mary's


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Lady Moon Shadows, your description of doing your job is the reason why I don't have an issue with changing my tip in accordance to the overall service. From my experience a good server manages to get the job done in spite of the other conditions. When I get excellent service, I know that the server is working hard to ensure good service. It is never an accident nor is it luck.

That sames excellent server can also make things not so bad even when everyone, including the server, is screwing up badly. I don't have an issue with tipping well in that situation either.

But, at the same time, it is pretty obvious when the server is just half assing thier job, and even more clear when they don't care at all. If you don't care, I can only assume you don't care about the tip either, so why waste any of my money. If you're half assing it, I'll adjust my tip accordingly.

I do not hesitate to give 20% up (I think I topped out at a 100$ tip once) for excellent service. But, I also don't hesitate to slide below 15% with comenserate service.

The most recent example I can think of was at the Hard Rock in DC. We stepped in and the hostess told us that there was a wait for tables, but we could get the same service in the bar area without a wait. She seated us in the bar, and it was pretty obvious that the server wasn't happy about that. Our table still had dirty dishes on it, and she made a point of clearing the empty table next to us before greeting us or making any attempt to clear our table. Her tip was below 15% before she even said hello. Though I might add that she could have recovered, but she didn't.

Beach...it's all about the additude...Life!

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Confessions of a Dragon's scribe
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monkey
Happy Holly Days


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The worst tip I ever gave was truly horrendous. The bill was $40-something, and we rounded up to the next buck on the credit card slip.

Our waiter got our drinks, took our order - and we didn't see him again until the check. We had to flag down another server to get refills after waiting twenty minutes with empty glasses. When we were ready to go, we asked another server to go find our server so we could get the check. We asked our server to box up our food (half of husband's filet mignon, plus part of my salad and the bread). He came back with just the salad and bread - threw away half of a $23 steak. So he got 32 cents or so for a tip. (He also crossed that out and wrote in a bigger tip for himself, which we noticed on our bank statement, and we went back and had quite a talk with the manager about that one.)

Two weeks later we went to the same place (with a gift certificate that the manager gave us to make up for our server's asshattery). This time our (different) server was amazing. Quite possibly the most attentive waiter I've ever had. His tip was greater than the price on the ticket.

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ChelleGame
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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At the restaurant we took my grandmother to the other day, the one where I just said the service was okay, the thing which interested me was that she didn't ask me if I wanted a refill on my (alcoholic) drink, but did refill my husband's Coke.

To the servers, is there some liability associated with asking me this, or was she just remiss? Frankly, I was on the fence about having a second drink...upset tummy...but if she asked, I probably would have, thus adding to her tip.

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Michelle

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Esprise Me
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by ChelleGame:
To the servers, is there some liability associated with asking me this, or was she just remiss? Frankly, I was on the fence about having a second drink...upset tummy...but if she asked, I probably would have, thus adding to her tip.

I don't know the law in Minnesota, but in Massachusetts, which has some of the most puritanical liquor laws in the country, I might interpret that omission as deliberate on the server's part. Might. I wasn't there, don't know, etc.

The dram laws here in Mass. holds third parties responsible in drunk driving accidents. At least according to the training video I was shown, not only can a bar be held responsible for over-serving a customer, but the first in a string of bars a drunk driver visited can be sued by the party he injured. Even a bar that refused service to a visibly intoxicated person can be held accountable to a certain degree if they can't prove they did all they could to keep him from driving away in an intoxicated state. I'll look for some cites to all these laws, but the point is, most servers here are taught not to push the alcohol too hard. If you were feeling sick, you might have looked like you'd had too much to drink, and the server may have figured she shouldn't push her luck.

Or maybe she was just inattentive and lazy. Who knows?

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notgillcup
Deck the Malls


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My tipping scale is similar to others' in this thread: the default is 20% and it gets adjusted up or down from there. I don't think I've ever stiffed someone - I think 10% is my minumum. Personally, I agree with StewPot and others from outside the US - I think waitstaff should be paid a living wage (or at least minimum wage) and tips should be for very good to exceptional service.

I worked as a waitress in high school and college. In a way, I loved it. It gives you a chance to sort of be your own boss and excercise the management skills it takes to keep everything afloat. You are responsible for your section, being friendly, taking responsiblity for the errors of the kitchen or other things out of your control, and being the restaurant's representative to the customer. It was great training for my post-college career. In another way, though, it sucked because of the asshat factor.

A word about groups who "don't tip". These sterotypes drive me nuts. When I go out to lunch with a group of "ladies", or out alone with my kids, I can almost see the internal eye-rolls from the waitperson who gets our table. If they believe the sterotype that our table will not tip well, it may lead them to give service that is a bit lacklustre. As a result, they may get a lacklustre tip. Thus confirming the stereotype that tables of ____ don't tip.

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Nexus
I Am Curious, Yellowtail


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Ditto on what notgillcup wrote about sterotypes. We have two kids and often go out with couples that have two or more youngsters, and you can see the average waitstaffer just roll their eyes.

We start at 20 percent, go down to 15 or 10 percent for bad service and often go to 25 plus for good staff. Since we only repeat at good staff locations, we get to be well known and well treated. [Smile]

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Four Kitties
Layaway in a Manger


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quote:
Originally posted by mercurythief:
quote:
Originally posted by Esprise Me:
If you tip 15-20% in the States, I apologize, but if you tip 10% here, I think I speak for all American servers when I ask you to either get with the program or stay the hell out of our restaurants. There's no excuse for cheating hard-working servers out of their rent money.

This attitude is rather upsetting. Servers choose to rely on a broken system to make their living; they shouldn't get upset at people who won't play the tipping game. It would be more productive to try and change the way servers are paid. As it is, restaurants essentially get free labor out of the servers because of the way our society is. Direct your anger toward the restaurants, and not the customers.
When folks from the UK come to the States, should they drive on the left side of the road, or should they conform to the system we have in place whether or not they agree with it?

It is not the reponsibility of the waitstaff that the system is the way it is, and many people (waitstaff or not) are working to get the system changed. Until it is, however, IMHO it is utterly inappropriate to stiff the waiter because you are unhappy with the system -- you are punishing someone for something over which s/he has no control.

Four Kitties

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BeachLife
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by notgillcup:
...A word about groups who "don't tip". These sterotypes drive me nuts. When I go out to lunch with a group of "ladies", or out alone with my kids, I can almost see the internal eye-rolls from the waitperson who gets our table. If they believe the sterotype that our table will not tip well, it may lead them to give service that is a bit lacklustre. As a result, they may get a lacklustre tip. Thus confirming the stereotype that tables of ____ don't tip.

I think there are two basic kinds of groups; what I call directed and undirected.

A directed group, such as a large family will have one person who is clearly 'taking charge'. This person often picks up the entire tab even if he/she is paid back by the others.

The other group is a bunch of people together picking up their own tabs and requesting seperate checks. I think this second type of group is much more likely to at least partially stiff, because people forget, assume someone else is covering tips or just don't tip because they can get away with it in the confusion.

I would guess, and maybe I'm wrong that the undirected groups are the ones more likely to undertip. I often dine in very large directed groups. From my experience good service is always tipped very well. But, if you leave us to rot, the fact that we are a big group does not make me feel extra sympathy in tipping.

I honestly think that a directed group is probably easier than the same number of people split into seperate tables. I can also say that it's a good way to get a very good tip all in one place. Make the 'director' happy and everyone wins.

Beach...once paid a $500 tip for a big group...Life!

--------------------
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Jack Dragon, On Being a Dragon
Confessions of a Dragon's scribe
Diary of my Heart Surgery

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Hero_Mike
Happy Holly Days


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The only thing that I haven't seen on this thread is a simple statement of "look around you", when it comes to the restaurant, and you can get a pretty good idea about what will make sense about the tip.

Example - buffet restaurant - typically there's no dedicated server for your table. People come by and refill your water glass or other drink, take away your empty plates, etc. The rule of thumb for this kind of place was 10%, and it's safe to assume that it gets split among everyone equally, because no one person serves you directly.

Another example - table service "diner", where the same *one* person comes to your table to take an order, serve/refill drinks, serve food, remove plates, etc. Usually the only person they need to share tips with is a cook, and even that is not a given. Bad service is *entirely* the responsibility of one person, and a bad tip (or no tip) directly punishes them.

"Busy" restaurant - where you have a host of people working. Only one may interact with you, but when different people bring food, drinks, refill water, remove dishes, then it should be obvious that you are tipping all of them.

I guess that the problem that I have with the "service included" concept is that I still think that it doesn't reward the appropriate person. When I go to South America and see "service included" on the bill, I still leave a tip. I can't trust that the proprietor shares the full amount of the tip, or even that it is shared evenly. And this would be true anywhere in the world. If the "tip minimum wage" was abolished and suddenly restaurants raised their prices by 15% to cover tips, I doubt that all of this money would make its way into the pockets of the people doing the actual work. Call me cynical, I guess. I doubt that if something goes wrong with your dining experience - i.e. dirty cutlery, wrong food delivered, inattentive service - that the correct person will be "punished". I'm far more likely to believe that *everyone* will be punished, just because they were "involved".

Biggest pet peeve on tipping - the words "mandatory gratuity of XX% included for parties of X or more". Sorry if that makes me a snob, but I won't bring a large party to places like that. It should always be optional, or at the very least, negotiated with the management before the meal starts.

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mercurythief
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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quote:
Originally posted by Four Kitties:

It is not the reponsibility of the waitstaff that the system is the way it is, and many people (waitstaff or not) are working to get the system changed. Until it is, however, IMHO it is utterly inappropriate to stiff the waiter because you are unhappy with the system -- you are punishing someone for something over which s/he has no control.

Four Kitties

It absolutely is the responsibility of the waitstaff that the system is the way it is. A person looking for a job as a waiter goes to a restaurant and essentially says, 'Let me do a bunch of hard work for you, but you don't have to pay me for it. I'll rely on the generosity of others for my wage.' If the system is to change, waiters need to demand a fair wage for their labor. . . from their employers, the restaurants. If they're not willing to do that, they're just begging for a living. If they're willing to rely on the generosity of others, that's their own risk to take. If it doesn't work out for them, they should quit.
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Elwood
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
I would guess, and maybe I'm wrong that the undirected groups are the ones more likely to undertip.
I would guess the same. I left a 125% tip the other day at Denny's because people from the group were coming and going and ordering varying amounts of food from just coffee to full meals. I suspected that some may have forgotten to tip altogether or assumed someone else got part of it. Since we were there for hours, I thought the server deserved something, even though he actually pretty much sucked as a waiter.

Question: Pizza delivery? I thought a buck a pizza was about right, because pizza drivers are already getting $7/hr or so vs the $2 for wait staff. Have I been stiffing the pizza guys my whole life?

And what about UPS and FedEx delivery men and women? I've heard conflicting reports on whether or not they should be tipped. I don't, because that would be like tipping the mail man every day.

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"If I didn't see it and didn't know it was a real news report, I wouldn't believe it. I mean, how nutty can you get?"-Pat Robertson Oct 26, 2006.

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Hero_Mike
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by mercurythief:
quote:
Originally posted by Four Kitties:

It is not the reponsibility of the waitstaff that the system is the way it is, and many people (waitstaff or not) are working to get the system changed. Until it is, however, IMHO it is utterly inappropriate to stiff the waiter because you are unhappy with the system -- you are punishing someone for something over which s/he has no control.

Four Kitties

It absolutely is the responsibility of the waitstaff that the system is the way it is. A person looking for a job as a waiter goes to a restaurant and essentially says, 'Let me do a bunch of hard work for you, but you don't have to pay me for it. I'll rely on the generosity of others for my wage.' If the system is to change, waiters need to demand a fair wage for their labor. . . from their employers, the restaurants. If they're not willing to do that, they're just begging for a living. If they're willing to rely on the generosity of others, that's their own risk to take. If it doesn't work out for them, they should quit.
Yes, but the law is structured in such a way as to allow employers to do this. The *necessity* to work for food/shelter/clothing is what drives many people to these jobs, not their most heartfelt desires to serve others. Legislation is what should change, and sadly, without an organized movement (like a labour union), it is unlikely to change. Just about everywhere I go in the US, there are signs up in restaurants for "Help Wanted". Apparently it isn't very desirable, but in general it is safe to assume that waitstaff don't make a lot of money, don't pay a lot of taxes, don't always vote (in fact many are not citizens), and definitely don't donate money to political parties.

--------------------
"The fate of *billions* depends on you! Hahahahaha....sorry." Lord Raiden - Mortal Kombat

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BeachLife
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by Hero_Mike:
....Biggest pet peeve on tipping - the words "mandatory gratuity of XX% included for parties of X or more". Sorry if that makes me a snob, but I won't bring a large party to places like that. It should always be optional, or at the very least, negotiated with the management before the meal starts.

Hear, hear.

If they're going to decide my tip in advance there is zero chance that I will add to that number. I will however, suggest that we forget the manditory part and see where we end up. I never had a server say no, and the server has never lost in the deal.

--------------------
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Confessions of a Dragon's scribe
Diary of my Heart Surgery

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Neffti Noel
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by Four Kitties:
quote:
Originally posted by mercurythief:
quote:
Originally posted by Esprise Me:
If you tip 15-20% in the States, I apologize, but if you tip 10% here, I think I speak for all American servers when I ask you to either get with the program or stay the hell out of our restaurants. There's no excuse for cheating hard-working servers out of their rent money.

This attitude is rather upsetting. Servers choose to rely on a broken system to make their living; they shouldn't get upset at people who won't play the tipping game. It would be more productive to try and change the way servers are paid. As it is, restaurants essentially get free labor out of the servers because of the way our society is. Direct your anger toward the restaurants, and not the customers.
When folks from the UK come to the States, should they drive on the left side of the road, or should they conform to the system we have in place whether or not they agree with it?

It is not the reponsibility of the waitstaff that the system is the way it is, and many people (waitstaff or not) are working to get the system changed. Until it is, however, IMHO it is utterly inappropriate to stiff the waiter because you are unhappy with the system -- you are punishing someone for something over which s/he has no control.

Four Kitties

Okay, I just want to clear this one up finally, since that quote to "stay the hell out of our restaurants" which was (mis)directed at me keeps reappearing.

I have never been to the US, but if I did, I would swot up first on what various conventions were, including tipping, as I have for every other country I have visited. Taking part in how people conduct their daily lives in the place I visit is for me many times more important and rewarding than seeing the sights, and I'm sure I'm not alone in that.

Does anyone from the US have any stories to tell about tipping in the UK and how that was received? Because if a customer tipped 20% or more here, my guess is that the whole restaurant would be bemused (but not unhappy)! Sadly the UK is not famous for excellent customer service [Wink]

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Don Enrico
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by Neffti:
Does anyone from the US have any stories to tell about tipping in the UK and how that was received? Because if a customer tipped 20% or more here, my guess is that the whole restaurant would be bemused (but not unhappy)! Sadly the UK is not famous for excellent customer service [Wink]

I'm not from the US, but when I was in a UK pub for the first time (stopping for a softdrink and the loo on my way from the ferry port to Scotland), I did what I would have done in Germany: I left some change (rounding up the bill to the next Pound, IIRC) on the bar as a tip. This got me a confused, but not unhappy look from the bartender. Only later did I learn that you don't tip in pubs in the UK (unless you ask the bartender to "have one for himself").

Don "still tipping after all this years" Enrico

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My spelling is Wobbly. It's good spelling, but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places. - Pooh Bear

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Four Kitties
Layaway in a Manger


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quote:
Originally posted by Hero_Mike:
quote:
Originally posted by mercurythief:
quote:
Originally posted by Four Kitties:

It is not the reponsibility of the waitstaff that the system is the way it is, and many people (waitstaff or not) are working to get the system changed. Until it is, however, IMHO it is utterly inappropriate to stiff the waiter because you are unhappy with the system -- you are punishing someone for something over which s/he has no control.

Four Kitties

It absolutely is the responsibility of the waitstaff that the system is the way it is. A person looking for a job as a waiter goes to a restaurant and essentially says, 'Let me do a bunch of hard work for you, but you don't have to pay me for it. I'll rely on the generosity of others for my wage.' If the system is to change, waiters need to demand a fair wage for their labor. . . from their employers, the restaurants. If they're not willing to do that, they're just begging for a living. If they're willing to rely on the generosity of others, that's their own risk to take. If it doesn't work out for them, they should quit.
Yes, but the law is structured in such a way as to allow employers to do this. The *necessity* to work for food/shelter/clothing is what drives many people to these jobs, not their most heartfelt desires to serve others. Legislation is what should change, and sadly, without an organized movement (like a labour union), it is unlikely to change. Just about everywhere I go in the US, there are signs up in restaurants for "Help Wanted". Apparently it isn't very desirable, but in general it is safe to assume that waitstaff don't make a lot of money, don't pay a lot of taxes, don't always vote (in fact many are not citizens), and definitely don't donate money to political parties.
What Hero Mike said.

I, personally, have never taken a job at the service wage when there was anything else available. Saying "if you don't like it you should just quit" is not helpful when there's nothing else available. In an economy where there's a multi-month wait list for standard minimum wage jobs at McDonald's, how do you suggest these folks feed, clothe, and shelter themselves and their families in the meantime?

Four Kitties

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If swimming is so good for your figure, how do you explain whales?

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Cervus
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Elwood:
And what about UPS and FedEx delivery men and women? I've heard conflicting reports on whether or not they should be tipped. I don't, because that would be like tipping the mail man every day.

I've never heard of them being tipped. They do have unions and make a "living wage", and unless you live in an extremely hard-to-reach area I see no reason why they'd need a tip.

--------------------
"There is no constitutional right to sleep with endangered reptiles." -- Carl Hiaasen
Won't somebody please think of the adults!

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Orpheum
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Hi - this is my first post, and boy this topic is a doozy.

I've got mixed feelings about the issue. I see the side of the waitstaff that they need to pay for their lives. For this reason I *never* stiff in a restaurant. Anything less than $10.00 gets a $2.00 tip, unless I'm just having coffee - then it's $1.00. Anything more than a $10.00 ticket is 20% flat. Delivery drivers get $3.00 regardless of the size of the order. It's a delivery. That's the service. In Grand Forks, ND, every delivery restaurant sends multiple orders out. Here we wait for up to an hour (sometimes more) for delivery for exactly this reason.

That being said...

Chain restaurants owned by corporate comglomerates are exactly the problem. The conglomerates pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for lobbyists and on campaigns to get biz-friendly candidates elected. Unless and until people actually make a concerted effort to change the legal paradigm that states anything that saves money for business is good and anything that causes businesses to pay more for anythign is bad, waitstaffs will continue to be slave laborers, shuckin and jivin for their daily bread.

It sucks, and I hate to say it, but even though I'm an excellent tipper, I won't spend my money at a conglomo-chain. Why should my money go to support the rich investors that keep these people struggling to survive? It's privately-owned restaurants or I eat at home.

And while I can bet a national waitstaff strike or a well-publicized boycott of conglomo-chains would make little difference, this okie-doke attitude on the part of both the consumer and the waitstaff will *definitely* change nothing. Waitstaff shouldn't have to rely on charity for their rent. Consumers should not be served up a helping of guilt gravy on their mashed potatos. It's an untenable situation for everyone involved except the rich white guy raking in the profits from the slavery.

--------------------
A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.

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Hero_Mike
Happy Holly Days


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Okay, without this turning into a whole anti-tipping rant, I often wonder about the "entitlement" of tipping.

Since I don't drink coffee, I don't get the "tip jar" popularized by places like Starbuck's. I suppose that it *is* possible to reward someone for exceptional service, but for the most part, serving a coffee is pretty easy. How much additional reward does this deserve? (Someone should correct me if I'm wrong, but I assume counter-serve workers are entitled to the full minimum wage, and not the "tip earner" minimum wage.)

But it goes beyond this - tipping a doorman or other hotel employee should be a courtesy if they perform a "special" service for you. Even if you live in a building with a doorman - would you tip them at all, even at Christmas (for example), if they don't do anything "extra" for you?

And it goes further than that - couriers (as Cervus mentioned), don't normally expect or receive tips. And I don't think that they should. I think that the whole "gratuity" concept, with the exception of an admittedly "broken" economic system when it comes to food servers, should *not* be extended without bound to everyone who performs a service. I haven't heard of people tipping the cashier at a department store, but is that next?

It all reminds me of the story of my friend's brother, who used to be a phone-jockey for a pizza place back in the early 90's. This was no "mom and pop" pizzeria. It was a big chain with a centralized call centre. Calls were monitored for quality control. If he showed up for all of his scheduled shifts, he got a bonus. If he showed up *on time*, he got a bonus. If he was polite, or worked in the up-sell for a bottle of pop, or various other things, he got a bonus. All of these things, in my opinion, were part of his normal expected duties. He agreed.

But being only a few years older than him, I was already cynical about how it seemed right to reward people with a "bonus", simply for doing their job. In the adult world, the "reward" that I've received for doing my job correctly, is the privilege of keeping my job. I imagine a lot of teenagers - responsible and hard-working teenagers - were in for a rude shock when they no longer received any additional compensation, simply for doing what is expected of them.

Obviously, they felt that there was a necessity to do this, to attract and keep a better quality of employee, but they were still mostly high-school teens, and there were seemingly limitless alternative candidates. Now I see more and more of these phone-jockey positions filled by adults, rather than teens.

--------------------
"The fate of *billions* depends on you! Hahahahaha....sorry." Lord Raiden - Mortal Kombat

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Chimera
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Hee, on the visably drunk statement. I hate to say it but the last day our local Steak and Ale was "open" (ok, it wasn't open because the staff got drunk but they still let us in since everything was already preped) was the best service we ever had. Our waiter was even pulling down his pants for dollars. (although oddly that's something he's done before at our private parties) Maybe it was just because we were the only ones in the resturant but the service was exceptional and very friendly. We were even given stuff like the brass bar bell and when we rang it the staff came out with a merry celebration song. I actually found that I liked most of them better when drunk.

I'm pretty good at tipping but I don't think it should be expected... and as I said before if the wage plus the tip doesn't equall minimum wage the employee has to cough up the difference. I know that some people never tip but I do think those that can't get by have a problem and that problem is theirs and not the "cheap" customers'.

I just don't know how tipping went from sit down establishments to fast food places. Really WTF? Ok I'll toss a buck to a barista at StarBucks that giggles while making my beverage or some "sandwich artist" at Subway that puts more than three olive slivers on my sub but I'm not tipping someone to throw a pre-wrapped sandwich in my face and take my money.

--------------------
"The question for joining the protected forum for real magicians should be:

What is the use of women?"
Steve W. from JREF's 'This is no fun'

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Hero_Mike
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by Chimera:
I just don't know how tipping went from sit down establishments to fast food places. Really WTF? Ok I'll toss a buck to a barista at StarBucks that giggles while making my beverage or some "sandwich artist" at Subway that puts more than three olive slivers on my sub but I'm not tipping someone to throw a pre-wrapped sandwich in my face and take my money.

That's my whole point - it *is* the person's job to make you a sub with more than three olive slivers. If you ask for more, you are entitled to it. If they get your order right, that shouldn't be cause for a reward. That is the *minimum* acceptable service.

The whole thing about calling these people 'baristas' or 'sandwich artists' also bugs me. The job is what it is. Giving it a fancy title is just an excuse to charge more for the same product. And you're falling for their trick by justifying a tip for someone who is just doing the minimum.

--------------------
"The fate of *billions* depends on you! Hahahahaha....sorry." Lord Raiden - Mortal Kombat

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Lady Moon Shadows
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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Alright--here is the breakdown:

Delivery Drivers--get tipped on average a buck-2bucks a pizza.. They do NOT make that $7 an hour people think they do. That figure is based on what they would make with tips and mileage **included** in their pay check. They make minimum wage, PLUS tips, PLUS mileage (the company pays--something like 10cents a mile). They pay for their own gas, their own insurance (if a driver is in an accident and even if it isn't his fault, HE pays for everything, not the company).. So I tip drivers well enough to cover circumstances..

Example:
During a rain storm--they get higher than average tips.
During a big game--get my food here while it is hot, you get a great tip.
During a freak wind storm--big tip
During heavy traffic and they still get here on time--big tip.
Normal day out but driver is smiling, happy and interacting with me--big tip.
*******************************

On the "XX amount of gratuity on parties XX amount or larger" thing...

Unfortunately, this **IS** because big parties tend to stiff. You figure you've got a party of 20 people, each one wants something different (this is taken the extreme in the situation), you've got, basically, 20 different orders--no waitress has that many people at one time--ever. We are assigned tables for a reason. At most, we have 10 people, spaced out over a period of time. Because we have 20 people flat, **at the same time**, wanting everything at once, it creates triple the work for us.

I'm not saying I agree with the adding of automatic gratuity--just giving you a reason why it is there. HOWEVER, if you have a huge party, you CAN ask to speak to the manager--you can simply show them that your cash tip will be larger than the figured amount--please deduct it from the check and most of the time, the managers WILL do this, seeing as how their waitstaff will come out ahead of the game. Try it, it does work.

*********************************************

On the subject of "lunch counter" tipping...places like Starbucks, Subway, etc...even my work.. The idea behind this is ludicris--however, places like Subway usually do not allow their employees to solicit for tips. At my work, they can put out a **small** jar, but it can't be marked for tips and they cannot solicit. If the customer asks where the tip jar is, then they are allowed to point it out. The only thing about this that gripes at me is that I have to claim my tips 100%, plus my daily pay. They don't have to claim their tips at all and then they gripe when they don't "make any money". They've been told before that their position is not a "tipped" position. Deal with it. But, I have been known to throw in a few cents or a buck or two depending on what I've ordered. If I've ordered a lot of food (like whole pizzas plus, before I go to bowl and I receive said food prior to bowling--giving my body time to settle the food and my hands time to dry out the greasyness), they'll get tipped. Simply because they took my needs into consideration as a customer. Otherwise, I don't tip at lunch counter situations.

************************************

Now, as far as it being my fault that the system is set up this way--bite me. I can no more control the situation than you can--in fact, you, as the paying customer and tipper--have more control than I do. I cannot demand a living wage (again, remember I do make one, so I am speaking for other waitstaffs who don't) because my tips are what make it a living wage. If I had the body, I'd strip. Why? Because the tips--the tips are what will pay my bills and then some, not the paycheck.

Should strippers then demand an hourly wage that matches living on top of tips? No. It is proven that our tips (in any field that relies on tips)exceed that of any hourly wage. And since we are supposed to claim our tips to 100% (but the industry average is 30%, though I claim damn near that 100), I pay my taxes in full.

One should try to tip based on a number of things, not just one. One should base their tip on service value (treatment by the server which includes smiling, involving the children in the order taking process, repeated trips back to your table to check on you, etc) and price of the bill.

If you only base your tip on price of the bill, I would be incensed to find a $2 tip on a $50 bill. I'm not going to let YOU know this, but I'll still be pissed and I WILL remember it for next time. I bust my ass to make sure your food is hot, your drinks are filled and your table is ready for you. I bust my ass making sure the kitchen gets your order right and try to correct any mistakes that occur, often at my own expense. The majority of the waitstaff of this country do so as well. I mean, our pay relies on us doing this. Any waitstaff NOT doing this, **does** deserve a smaller (or no) tip. However, since the majority of us **don't** do this and we do try to give you the best service, I sure hope the tip reflects this.

It says "Job well done".
It says "Thank you for making sure my steak was exactly as I asked for it"
It says "Thank you for making sure I didn't walk out of here drunk off my ass"
It says "Thank you for treating my child as a human being and not a snotty kid (even if he is)"
It says "Hey, you made sure I was never thirsty"
It says "Wow, you are slammed, yet you made sure our table had exactly what it needed at all times".
It says "Hey, you made a few mistakes but you did everything in your power to correct them WITH a smile on your face--cool".

My tips are what I use to base how well I am doing my job. I don't want sympathy tips(honestly I don't) but I want my tip to reflect how I've done. I want to be "wowed" by you tipping me and then, if possible, if I've done that good of a job, please go to my manager and tell him so. Don't make me out to be a "Goddess of Waitstaff", but do tell them what I did. Do tell them that because of me, you will patronize the business again. Thank them for excellent training as well as for my behavior.

~~Toni

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Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate and wine in hand, body thoroughly used up, and screaming WoW what a ride!

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Bill
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by BeachLife:
The other group is a bunch of people together picking up their own tabs and requesting seperate checks. I think this second type of group is much more likely to at least partially stiff, because people forget, assume someone else is covering tips or just don't tip because they can get away with it in the confusion.

I would guess, and maybe I'm wrong that the undirected groups are the ones more likely to undertip. I often dine in very large directed groups. From my experience good service is always tipped very well. But, if you leave us to rot, the fact that we are a big group does not make me feel extra sympathy in tipping.


I was under the impression that it was just the opposite - people getting separate checks are *more* likely to leave a good tip, because they can see that the server/establishment has made an effort to accommodate them. If instead the server just says, "No, no, no, we can't do that!" the customers are likely to be a little annoyed.

I prefer separate checks anyway for another reason - the people who don't drink alcoholic beverages with their meal don't have to pay for the ones who do.

Thanks.

Bill

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Chimera
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Sorry I mispoke in my last posting. I meant I tip baristas that jiggle (you know, their jugs). I think that's going above and beyond in the entertainment department. But yeah the tip thing always bugged me out too. Isn't a bell hop there to move bags from place to place? Isn't a taxi driver there to drive you to a location? Isn't a room attendents job to clean the room? Unless people go above and beyond their normal duties I don't get the "mandatory" tipping that society seems to have agreed upon. I honestly don't mind tipping those that go above and beyond my expectations but I do mind feeling obligated to fork over fund for people doing the minimum job requirement. Tour guides and gator wrestlers just seem to be a form of "passing the hat" but many other places have adopted simular practices and I don't like it. A bellhop isn't an entertainer (My applogies in advance to anyone of the A1A band or Vertical Smile that might be reading this.).

Chim "Jeff the womanizer, Scott the bellhop..." era

--------------------
"The question for joining the protected forum for real magicians should be:

What is the use of women?"
Steve W. from JREF's 'This is no fun'

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BeachLife
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by Lady Moon Shadows:
,,,On the "XX amount of gratuity on parties XX amount or larger" thing...

Unfortunately, this **IS** because big parties tend to stiff. You figure you've got a party of 20 people, each one wants something different (this is taken the extreme in the situation), you've got, basically, 20 different orders--no waitress has that many people at one time--ever. We are assigned tables for a reason. At most, we have 10 people, spaced out over a period of time. Because we have 20 people flat, **at the same time**, wanting everything at once, it creates triple the work for us.

I'm not saying I agree with the adding of automatic gratuity--just giving you a reason why it is there. HOWEVER, if you have a huge party, you CAN ask to speak to the manager--you can simply show them that your cash tip will be larger than the figured amount--please deduct it from the check and most of the time, the managers WILL do this, seeing as how their waitstaff will come out ahead of the game. Try it, it does work. ...

First of all, I'm not sure how it creates triple the work. If 20 people are eating, 20 people are eating, how does the fact that they are together triple the work load? Unless you are saying normally, you only deal with 7 people at a time, but even then tripple the work for tripple the tip isn't so bad.

Second, I am certain you said you server 64 lanes at the same time. That doesn't seem to jibe with your ascertion that at most you have 10 people.

Finally, why would anyone negotiate with the manager to pay more than the mandatory. If one thinks the mandatory amount is not enough, they can always add to it.

--------------------
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Jack Dragon, On Being a Dragon
Confessions of a Dragon's scribe
Diary of my Heart Surgery

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