Dated June 3, 2018
Original text is at the bottom.
This is a big mess to even articulate it. I don't know how to start, I am not going to lie. So let me speak about what I have been told:
One has to, or better say, [one] is expected to tip the waiter in the US. Say 10–15% of the original bill. They would even remind you to do it if you don't tip them enough.
In Japan, however, one should not tip the waiter as it is considered wrong—waiters are expected to do their job and to be nice to the customers. Rewarding them with money is, I guess offensive. Doing what is expected from humans—when you pay for it (in terms of money) this can have various meanings.
I have not travelled to distant lands or worked at a restaurant but I can make some deductions.
Money, in various cultures[,] can mean very different. And tipping, I guess, it is just an act of appreciation.
It is no secret that the helping nature is diminishing. Actually, saving actions of humanity, it is getting harder and harder. We are surrounded by so many people who deny us help, or mistreat, or act like a douche-bag, or act less than a human should act. I don't suppose I need to bring out all the possibilities of thing[s] going wrong if a woman is walking on an empty, silent road at 1 AM.
The condition has worsened that when someone does not misuse us or takes an advantage, we appreciate their act—not that we should not appreciate, but it happens so rarely nowadays that a normal act of human seems an act of an angel.
If a man sees a woman lying on the ground, unconscious, and takes her to her home instead of misusing (not misusing—as you might have noticed it is not easy for me to agree and write about it—but the statistics suggest otherwise—what are the chances that the person would not rape her?)
So doing it, the act of not-even-thinking-about-rape-and-instead-taking-her-to-her-home, is what one is expected to do. Not doing inhumane things does not make anyone an angel: they are "good humans".
Similarly, I feel waiters are expected to treat the customers nicely. And asking for money [tip] makes them no different from a bully asking you for money [for] not bullying you.
Maybe not the best analogy but it is not something a waiter should even ask for. It is the professional ethics.
Tipping the waiter is, regardless of which culture is considered, appreciating them for their services. At the same time, money is something which can have multiple meanings.
You appreciate a waiter's service. You show this appreciation by tipping them. Maybe because that was the only thing you could do [at] that time. But in all fairness, do you tip your mom for feeding you when you were a kid?
There is a very little you could have done for the waiter then [at that time]. And somehow we think tipping them is better than actually telling them about it, thanking them for their services.
Don't tell me it is a problem—language—because, in 2013, I went to a restaurant where the waiters were deaf: none of them could hear. And I remember the waiter who took out order—I thanked him [before leaving]—I did not know sign language, nor could they hear, but when you truly want to convey a message, you need no words. And when I thanked him for his service, Abhijeet, from Kolkata, the waiter, had a big smile on his face. I could feel he was happy, and that made me happy. If I had money and I had (instead of appreciating via word-less actions) tipped them, it would not have brought a smile. It would have been so bland, and temporary thing. Money is not the only way to appreciate anyone's work.
I agree the words are losing their meaning because they are overused, used at the wrong places [in the wrong context], maybe because people are no longer interested in the fact that someone is putting an effort to speak to them.
That is not the case with emotions. If you truly mean something, and if the person is in front of you, you will be able to convey it. Even the newborns are able to communicate with their parents, you have no excuse not to.
Don't hand out a 100-rupee note to a hungry person on the road who is destitute. If possible buy them food and if you have "enough" "time" from your so-called "busy" "life" in this "social" world, take them to a restaurant and have a meal together.
When you pay ["give money to", not "pay"] someone at the restaurant because they opened the door for you, they would thank you for the money—but I can not think of a more embarrassing moment if someone gives me money for some random act of kindness [or, things] I was expected to do.
If you thank that person instead, can you imagine how happy that person would be? Acknowledgement they receive and the appreciation, that is the driving force. Money is going to make them feel invisible and unimportant. That is not what you want to do to someone whom you appreciate[,] for their service. Make them feel visible, appreciated, and important by actually saying rather than finding a short way around, tip-toe the situation.
[A] lot of people make [a] huge sum of money and more than what they need for a happy life. There are so many six-year-old orphans on the streets selling flowers or cleaning [car] windows to earn enough not to starve to death. Don't let "we can't help everyone" stop you from helping someone. Sometimes it is money, what one is looking for. A boy, hundreds of kilometres away from home, who paid the money for the ticket, but by mistake, somebody else was handed his ticket, and he had no money left—that boy needs money. A waiter, who receives money, [it] might not be enough for the pursuit of happiness, they need to be felt important.
"Excuse me, waiter! I really appreciate your kind services. Thank you so much! I really wanted you to know how much I appreciated your services. If you don't mind, I would like to tip you. But if you don't want to be tipped, please take [accept] this money, and use it to help a needy person. Again, I am so lucky that you were my waiter. Have a great day!"