Insanity Point in Economy Reaches New Level

New Africa /
New Africa /

Unless you’re one of the one-percenters who have so much money you don’t need to pay attention to consumer prices for, well, anything, you know that surviving our current economy isn’t getting any easier. And now, you’re being expected to tip just about everything.

For as long as we can remember, tipping certain services and in certain industries has been commonplace. You know, like when you go out to eat, get your nails done, or have luggage carried up to your hotel room. Someone is doing something for you or serving you, so you are expected to pay them for that.

But what about giving a tip when buying a bottle of water at the airport? Or using the self-checkout register at the grocery?

It might seem a bit odd, but that’s exactly what is starting to happen.

If you haven’t noticed, consider yourself lucky. Unfortunately, it’s become a growing trend in all sorts of industries, including retail.

Naturally, it’s a bit annoying. What’s the point of giving a tip when buying groceries when no one is even helping you check out? And where in the world is that “tip” going?

But beyond that, as one person told the Wall Street Journal, it’s “emotional blackmail.”

This airport traveler explained buying a bottle of water, which is already overpriced at $6 a bottle and then was asked if he wanted to leave a 10 or 20 percent tip. “Just the prompt in general is a bit of emotional blackmail.”

However, as a professor of consumer behavior and tip culture, William Michael Lynn, explained, it could be a way for businesses to get their employees extra money without giving them a raise.

OTG gift shop chain says that’s exactly why they do it. “It is always our goal to create valuable experiences for our guests while taking care of our crew members, and the option to leave a tip if you have received assistance allows us to do both.”

Now, if they would only explain that before asking for a tip…