- Reaction score
- San Francisco, California
- # of dives
- 200 - 499
100% agree with the above, but the current process enables this. Etc etc etc.
The guy was retired, v blue collar etc, wife died what kid was 13, dad put him through college ‘Wisconsin math I think’ son doing well at work, wanted to treat dad for retirement, surprises him with refresher diving lessons and a liveaboard ( dad had been so in in the 80s and always spoke about how much he loved it)
We had a great 10 day trip. Guy ha an amazing time. Most of his kit was loner. Just a great all round old guy having the trip of his life, the stuff we all like to see on a boat. Comes to tip time an it’s mentioned. He asks me if I think his son paid it, I said I don’t know, he gets a bit stressed, asks how much, discussion is going g on on top deck about 10 Vs. 20 % etc etc. Loud dude strolls in and goes on about anyone paying less than 20% is a bum because the staff need it to survive etc. Old guy tells me he is worried because he doesn’t know how much the trip was but thinks it was over 4K as he doesn’t know if he has room on his credit card etc. I tell him not to worry, but he clearly does. He asks me again later and I tell him not to worry. He tells me he is usually a good tipper and he has no idea that he would have to add this much, but goes on about it probably being fair if they say it is and he just didn’t realize. Then next morning before we leave he is saying again that he should have asked before he came and he would have discussed it with his son and he can’t afford $1000 for a tip and he doesn’t think he has room on his credit card to cover it and if he had known he would have probably turned down the offer to come, all of it is out of shame as opposed to pride...and I try to reassure him.. but he clearly isn’t reassured.. and that it... that’s now his experience of his trip. From the best thing that has happened to him in the last 30 or so years since his wife died to shame....and I hated it and in that moment I hated that guy with his big mouth and the whole absurd tipping culture... and that’s that story...
I really feel for this guy. I can feel a lump in my throat just reading that. I have a lot of empathy and compassion for him in that situation. Even if he could afford to tip more and didn't, it is none of anyone's business even if we all disagreed with it. I would have reassured him with you had I been on that boat and would have hoped others would have as well. I also would have given the pompous arse an earful for that statement and been not so discreet about it given how he wasn't so discreet about his opinions.
I do think the American tipping culture has been expanded to other parts of the world and into different industries in a way that I don't necessarily agree with. I don't completely agree on the tipping culture even at home for many industries but that is a different topic altogether.
I tip on liveaboards but I see it as a way to show my appreciation. I don't do it out of obligation or because it's what I should do to "keep them surviving", so to speak. It's no wonder many people who come from non-tipping cultures/regions or places that have different tipping standards refer to tipping as a "tax". Yes, it is their job to be there and do things for us. Yes, the job requires that they get up at 5AM and not have personal time to wind down and sleep until 11PM. However, I appreciate how hard they work and all that they do to make my trip as enjoyable as it is. I appreciate and understand why they are far from their families and they are on the boat for long days, many days in a row without time off, and for long periods of time for a better lives for themselves and their family. I don't tip because of pity or because they "survive on it". I tip for appreciation. I tip for the small things they didn't have to do but did anyway. I tip for the various questions or requests I've had throughout the 7-12 days on the trip that they tried as hard to accommodate. I tip because it is my way of saying "thank you" in a meaningful way to them. I tip specific crew members more when they have really gone above and beyond. I have never heard of tipping 15-20% on liveaboards and that is from asking the operators themselves. That is also from asking the cruise directors and guides who have more to gain from answering with a higher amount. As I said, I've been on 9 and leaving for #10 and #11 next week. I've asked out of curiosity each time what their suggested amounts are. Most often, I end up with about 5% being the answer. A couple times, I was told by the head office to give what you feel comfortable with.
It's a lot like religion. Do what works for you and makes you happy. Don't push your ideas onto others. Share with others your opinions and feelings and let them decide if that is a compelling enough of a reason to be on your side of the fence with you. Have compassion and empathy in everything you do. It goes a long way in life.