It’s true that in most countries, a respectable tipping service is in order. But should you always have to oblige? Olivia doesn’t think so.
When I went travelling in some of the states in the East Coast of America this summer, I had a less than pleasant experience with tipping. This is how the story goes:
I was in New York ready to catch my Super Shuttle ride to JFK airport. I booked my place in the van a couple of nights before for about $50 after I didn’t take into account that VAT and a tip was included in the price I had to pay. I was contacted through email that they had received my booking and I was good to go. The only thing was that I forgot to put the actual number of the Airbnb flat I was staying at.
I emailed the company to rectify my error and I received one back saying it had been received and acknowledged. I didn’t know the area in Brooklyn I was staying at so I downloaded the webpage that worked as a map. I could follow my ride to see where it was and how far away it was from me, and it was taking forever.
“He didn’t give me chance to speak or stand up for myself, and was so rude to me.”
My slot to be at the van was between something like 16.20PM and 16.40PM, so I thought “right, that’s ample time, there’s no way I can miss it”. Well oh how I was almost so wrong.
The van was late for me anyway, as I was watching it move slowly across the NYC grid, and didn’t turn up at 16.20PM like it was provisionally supposed to. At this time, I was ready and waiting, sat in the bedroom my friend and I shared, and we couldn’t work out why it wasn’t coming to where I was. Next thing, a pop-up message on the interactive map pops up saying “Your driver is here”. Well I went outside and he most certainly was not.
Then I get a call from the Super Shuttle company, saying that I need to get a move on because my driver was there and waiting, which panicked me because I still couldn’t see him. It turns out he was waiting three blocks down, so I said goodbye to my friend and set off – but the walk took a bit longer as I was dragging a large suitcase with me.
When I finally saw the van and approached, I started apologising by saying how the map didn’t tell me it was there – only the man didn’t give me the chance to speak. Instead he ordered I hurry up and give him the suitcase, appalled that I was so late, questioning why I had the audacity to make everyone wait and just kept ripping into me. Right in front of all the other passengers in the van. He didn’t give me chance to speak or stand up for myself, and was so rude to me. I got in the van in silence, but so angry at this man for not letting me and humiliating me like that. His reaction was uncalled for and he could have dealt with it much better.
He was also a really shit driver. He cut corners, drifted, and even pulled into a turn on the highway at the very last second nearly causing a crash because of his recklessness.
When we finally got to the airport, he got out the van and proceeded to take my suitcase out of the boot. I said thank you and goodbye, with no intention of tipping the driver after his unnecessary behaviour towards me. Next thing he says “oi”, holds his hand out and says “I want my tip where’s my tip?” and I just said I had no money. He gave me the finger and started swearing and I walked away.
My only regret is that I didn’t stand up for myself and tell him straight why I wasn’t tipping him.
I still believe I was in the right and don’t believe I should have tipped him, even though it was expected.
What do you think? Have you ever been in a similar situation? How did you deal with it?