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Tipping point

To tip or not to tip?

I was presented with a thought provoking question: How do you feel about tips? 

Coming from the background of a hairdresser working for corporations, I thought that I needed tips to survive. That a tip meant that the person really liked my service. That I "deserve" a tip. Now that I am my own business, beholden to none, I have an entirely different view. 

The concept of the tip is an interesting idea. Here, I paid for my service, which you have executed proficiently, and now I shall give you some extra money for what you've done. I believe that the tip began as a method to ensure that you could get a good table and decent service, however, that was provided before the service was even begun. I have heard that it was originally an acronym from the words "To Insure Promptness". I have only once in my whole career have someone slide me a few dollars before the haircut. As time went on, some businesses discovered that people were receiving tips and decided that those tips would be sufficient to cover the minimum wage and could, therefore, not pay a full minimum wage. I am thankful that I live in a state that guarantees minimum wage for all employees and don't have to rely on tips to make up the difference. 

I know that, for myself, I would look for a tip after each service, because I worked for a company and the salon got the payment and they would eventually turn that in to a paycheck. I also started feeling like the perceived quality of my service was in direct proportion to the tip given. So if I didn't receive a tip, then my service quality must not have been very good. I tried to remind myself that I should never expect a tip. That didn't stop me from feeling disappointed when I didn't get tipped. 

This has changed quite recently for me. After contemplating the question I wrote at the beginning, I realized that I don't need tips at all. I can be very comfortable not expecting any. I finally realized that as my own business, I get every cent that a person pays me. This means that my prices should reflect the product cost, time cost, rent, and miscellaneous fees of the entire service and be sufficient to cover all of that. If I need tips to actually cover my my expenses, then I need to raise my prices. I feel, now, that by accepting tips, I am in effect saying: "Thank you for paying for your service today, now please give me more money." 

I have chosen to start easing people in to not feeling compelled to tip by removing the tip option from my credit card transactions. It is a little awkward to explain that I don't need a tip, but I am still accepting cash or Venmo as options for those that choose to tip. Some people really want to give me extra money. I am feeling like I will continue discouraging tips as time goes on, as I no longer need them to help me supplement my income. I think I shall completely eliminate tips in about a year.