Gratitude Challenge Day 10: Give a Gratituity Tip

This is Day 10 of the 14-Day Gratitude Challenge where hundreds of participants around the world gathered to practice gratitude for 14 days. This challenge was conducted in Aug 2013 and is now over–however, you can still do the tasks in your own time! Visit the overview page for all Gratitude Challenge tasks and posts.

Gratitude challenge

Hi everyone, welcome to Day 10 of our 14-day gratitude challenge! 😀 We have four days left till the end of our challenge!


Day 10: Tipping

Tip jar

I’ve to admit–up until the gratitude challenge, I have never thought much about tipping.

It’s because I grew up in Singapore, where tipping is not part of the culture. Dining costs at restaurants here are, by default, subject to 10% service charge and 7% GST (for companies with over $1 million turnover a year). Because service fee is already included in your final restaurant bill, most (if not all) Singaporeans do not tip. This non-tipping culture is also present in many parts of Asia and Europe I’ve traveled to.

It was when I went to U.S. in 2011 that I began to tip, out of obligation. In U.S., you are expected to tip–be it to waitresses or cab drivers–at least 12 to 15% (depending on the state) of the final bill. Even if you receive poor service, you are still expected to tip–just perhaps lesser. I’ve heard of stories of people who didn’t tip or forgot to tip and were driven out of the restaurant immediately. My understanding for the compulsory tipping in U.S. is because service staff gets very low basic pay and relies on tips to make a living from their work.

Having been accustomed to the no-tipping culture in Singapore/Asia, for a while I felt ridiculous that I had to tip (in U.S.) even when I received poor service (e.g., cab drivers who don’t help you load your luggage). I also felt turned off by saccharine sweet waitresses who behaved that way just to get more tip (it’s obvious because their attitude changes right after the bill is paid or their disinterest seeps through their false demeanor). I always tipped while I was in the states even when I received poor service (save for one time with a cab driver, because I didn’t know I was expected to tip cab drivers as well until later); I just didn’t see the point in doing so.

Now that we are having this gratitude challenge, I realize that tipping is also a way of showing gratitude–to service staff who take care to serve you. Sure, there are always crappy service staff out there (the Italian waiter Ken and I encountered at Bar Napoli in Edinburgh last week is a perfect example; it’s not a place I want to step into ever again), but there are also awesome service staff are meticulous in their work and welcoming and helpful to customers. While it’s great that we appreciate these servers in our hearts and reciprocate with courtesy, why not show some generosity and reward them for a job well done? It may well encourage them in more ways than you realize.

 Today, your task is to give a gratuity tip!

Your Task: Give a Gratuity Tip

Give a tip (or if you normally tip, give a bigger tip) to a server who gives you great service today. It can be a restaurant waitress, a cafe server (Starbucks counts!), a bellboy, a taxi driver, or any service staff.

If you happen not to be engaging any service today or you don’t receive any good service worth tipping, then keep this task in mind for the next few days, then report back with your results after you have done it. See if you can complete this task before the challenge ends!

PS: I’ll be keeping a look out for good service in the next few days so I can do this task too!

Daily Journaling: Write 3 Things You Are Grateful for Today

On top of today’s task, identify 3 things you are grateful for today. These 3 things can be events that occurred today, mishaps which could have happened but didn’t happen, or simply things which have always been in your life but which you suddenly came to feel grateful for today.


3 things I’m grateful for today:

  1. My friend Kwanz, who is always making an effort to meet up and catch up, even when we are both busy with our own lives. Thanks for your friendship Kwanie! 🙂
  2. Campbell for their soups. They make it easy to have cheap, tasty, and healthy (relative to say, McDonald’s) soups at home! One can of Cream of Mushroom is only $1.20 USD in Singapore!
  3. Home-made salads. Again, cheap, tasty, and healthy, and you can control the ingredients that go into them!

Share Your Results!

Who did you tip today? How much did you tip?

(If you normally tip, how much more did you tip today?)

How did you feel when/after you tip?  Would you be more open to tipping in the future?

What are 3 things you are grateful for today?

Share them in the comments section! 🙂

Once you’re done, proceed to Gratitude Challenge Day 11: List 3 Things You Tend to Take For Granted (and What You Plan to Do About Them).

Images: Gratitude, Tip jar

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