Here;s something very American, but that doesn't involve guns or bullets.
For those of you not familiar with the US, if you happen to be travelling to the US, please be advised that you are expected to leave a bigger tip in restaurants here than pretty much anywhere else in the world, as far as I know. Here is America, you are expected to leave.....well, that's the subject of an article that prompted this thought. I'm not going to link to it becuase it's a click-throught that gets to a New York post article, but by way of msn, which probably means even more than the usual tracking....so I'll just describe it. The title, which could prbably be used to search for the article if you really wanted to, is
Tipping culture is out of control — and now people are giving less than ever before
So....when I was very young, I remember being told to leave a 10% tip. However, by the time I was in college, I think the norm was 15%. The mathematically challenged could get little credit card sized cheat sheets to keep in their wallet that had a lookup table for 15%. Once calculators became dirt cheap, I saw one that even had a .15 key on it.
However, according to the article,
"Americans are far from generous when it comes to tipping service workers at restaurants, new research has revealed, with most diners leaving less than the standard 18-20% gratuity following a sit-down meal."
"While an 18 to 20% tip is now considered the standard at eateries across America, most of those polled proclaimed that they do not fork out that amount."
Now wait just a dog gone minute. If most Americans don't pay 18%, it's not standard, is it? "Standard", by definition, is whatever most people pay.
And that's still 15%, according to the article, although the article called it a "whopping 57%" who left that much.
What has actually happened is that chains have come to dominate Amrican dining, and those chains usually have electronic payement of some sort, even if it's just a credit card reader at the cashier. That card reader can be programmed to prompt for a tip, and the smallest prompt is usually 18%. The most common I think is three choices - 18, 20, and 25. There is also "custom amount" and, usually, "skip", for true skinflints. (At carry out restaurants, I'm one of those skinflints. I tip waitresses, not cooks or cashiers.) The point of the whole scam is to let corporate bosses pay their workers less.
There's so much that bugs me about the article. The title says "People are giving less than ever before", but the body of the text says, basically, people are giving the same amount they've given for the last fifty years, except some people give more. I also hate their assertion that 18% is now "standard". Says who? I have read it elsewhere as well. Who are these clowns writing these articles? Why do they get to define "standard"? Well, most Americans aren't buying it.
The article also, correctly, notes that people are being asked to tip more and more places, and people resent it.
So, more and more corporations are trying to hide their costs and pass costs to consumers in more sneaky ways that cut the corporate tax bills.
By the way, the article left out the most important point of tipping in America.
If the service is bad, you are allowed to pull out your concealed carried weapon and shoot them.