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<   No. 1244   2006-06-23   >

Comic #1244

1 Ishmael: {delivering pizzas to the Martians in his own room} Here're your pizzas.
1 Martian 1: Ah. Thank you, Earthling.
2 Martian 2: Amazing, this Internet. You can order food and someone brings it without you having to do anything else.
3 Ishmael: Actually, you have to pay. That's $28.37. Plus tip of course.
3 Martian 1: What?
4 Ishmael: Oh man! Invading Earth, using my net to order pizza, and having me deliver it is one thing, but no tip?!

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Ishmael lives in the US, so of course he expects a tip for delivering pizza.

Living in Australia, I'm blessed by not having to deal with the whole issue of tipping. I think I mentioned this topic in a previous annotation, so I won't go into it further now.


2015-11-24 Rerun commentary: I've noticed there seems to be a growing movement in the US towards adopting a more European approach to tipping, at least for restaurant waiters. The idea being that restaurants (a) pay their wait staff a decent wage so that they don't require tips to make a living, (b) put realistic prices on the menus that include the actual cost of labour, and (c) discourage automatic tipping of the staff.

Not only does this make sense from the point of view of not stiffing the wait staff, it also makes things a heck of a lot easier for international tourists. I've learnt to tip appropriately in most circumstances when I travel to the USA nowadays, but on my first couple of trips there I'm sure I must have accidentally screwed several unfortunate staff in places by not tipping - simply because I was ignorant of the fact that a tip was expected.

For non-Americans, learning to tip properly in the USA is not easy. It's like this secret language that natives understand and use without a second thought, but is confusing and opaque to foreigners.

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