fruit seller 4-27-2014Fruit seller – watercolor on 300lb Arches approx 1/4 sheet

A friend who is in the process of planning a party and has been accepting a lot of deliveries recently wrote and asked me the following:

I’ve been thinking about tipping lately and how ridiculous it has become.

 Why do we automatically tip 18 to 20% to wait staff?  Why is the tip determined by the cost of the food? Is the steak heavier to carry?  Does it come from a different location in the kitchen?  I think there should be a flat rate for tipping – meals under $50; $100; etc.
Also, why does the pizza place now have a tip jar?  and Starbucks?  And the guy who takes your money when you’re going into an AUTOMATIC car wash  and, oh, everywhere else.  
Should we start tipping the conductors on the subway? Or the guards in your lobby?  Should we tip flight attendants.  How did this happen?  
Sadly, I do not have any answers to these questions.  I know that in NYC everyone expects to be tipped.  I also know that wait staff do not even get minimum wage and depend on tips.  I am probably an “over-tipper”.   Especially when I get services for something I would never want to do.  On the rare occasions when I get a mani-pedi I will over-tip to the point of ridiculousness.   I can’t even get my husband of 25 years to rub my feet.  These poor women have to touch peoples’ feet all day long.  They deserve a huge tip.  Maybe CEO’s should reduce their salary by like a bazillion dollars and people who have jobs where they have to touch other people (people who are gross, or sweaty or have a rash) should get CEO salaries.
I’ve been to countries where I’ve been told not to tip.  Cabbies and waiters don’t expect it and may even be insulted.  I guess they get paid a living wage.
Certainly there will be no solutions to tipping found here. But if the woman in the above painting was in NYC I guarantee you she’d have a tip jar!
I worked a little more on this fruit seller.  I posted the WIP version a few posts ago.  I am working on trying to keep paintings airy and more “watercolor-y”.  If anyone has any tips for me, please put them in the jar (aka comment box).