I like to tip out at the end of the night. Then, I can tip $5 or $10 depending on how many drinks I've had and how the service was.
Now if a bartender asked me for a tip, I would tell them that I thought that was very presumptuous and tacky, and I would not leave them one.
I worked for tips for a long time (and made a LOT of dough in the process, I might add - it ain't so bad being a bartender in a half-busy establishment, let alone one that's crowded).
I would never demand a tip, unless the person was asking for something so COMPLETELY OUTSIDE THE REALM OF MY NORMAL RESPONSIBILITIES. For instance, when I worked in coatcheck, if you came to me with NO ticket, NO idea what time you came in, NO idea what your initials are and NO friends who came with you AND if you had a standard black Marc Jacob jacket like everybody else up in there, you would normally have to wait until the end of the night. If you wanted me to go digging through 1,000 coats, you were gonna have to pony up.
Other than extreme cases like that, tipping is customary, but should be based on receiving good service, not on the expectations of the bartender.
When it becomes an expectation, service quality drops automatically (hence, bad service throughout Europe where service is compris).
I want good service, and I tip WELL when I receive it ... but I will not tip, or will under-tip if the service sucks. It's my hard-earned money and I am not just giving it away because you think you need it more than me.
One other thing on this topic: one of the tackiest things I've ever seen is when I get someone a free drink at a party and they don't leave a tip. Now THAT's tacky.
[ September 07, 2003, 09:43 PM: Message edited by: JMNYC ]
"MAY YOU LIVE AS LONG AS YOU WANT, BUT NEVER WANT AS LONG AS YOU LIVE. MAY YOU LIVE TO BE 100, & ME 100 BUT MINUS A DAY, SO THAT I'LL KNOW THAT NICE PEOPLE LIKE YOU, HAVE PASSED MY WAY. AND REMEMBER, WHEN FRANKIE CROCKER ISN'T ON YOUR RADIO, YOUR RADIO JUST ISN'T REALLY ON."