Economy

A British YouTuber Explains Why Tipping Is a Scam

Americans are so used to tipping that we forget what an overwhelming and even bizarre practice it can seem to foreigners.

Which is why the U.K. based YouTuber/animator GradeAUnderA, known for his funny and slightly crude MS Paint-animated videos, felt compelled to share his views on tipping in the United States in his video "Why Tipping Is A Scam." Tipping culture is a very uniquely American thing, so much so that BBC America posted some tips (ahem) on its website titled "Tipping In America: How To Do It and What To Expect If You Don't."

And with over 1 million views and 98k likes, GradeAUnderA's thoughts on tipping are resonating with Europeans and Americans alike. Whether you agree with him or not, here are his reasons for why tipping is a scam.

Reason 1

"No, no, no, fuck off mate," GradeAUnderA says to the idea of leaving a tip for good service. "When you go the grocery store to buy food, and the cashier's nice to you, you never leave her a fucking tip, do you?"

Some may counter that's because grocery store employees do not rely on tips. The average salary of a grocery store cashier in 2014, for example, ranges from $7.25 - $10 hourly. Without tips, servers can make anywhere from $4.35 - $5.50 an hour compared to $11 - $14 with tips, at certain popular chain restaurants. The federal minimum wage for tipped workers is $2.13 per hour.

Reason 2

To those who point out that $4.35 an hour is not enough to live off of, GradeA's rebuttal is, "It's not my fucking responsibility to pay their bastard salary, is it? That's their bosses'!" — a point that ATTN: has raised in our coverage of the minimum wage. Some restaurant bosses are realizing this and are eliminating tipping from their restaurants, choosing instead to raise their overall prices, meaning better wages for their employees.

Reason 3

This is where GradeA points out that he used to work as a teacher, no easy job, and he was never tipped for his services. "Not only did I work hard, but I worked hard as fuck. And with all due respect, my job as a teacher was a lot more important than any job in the restaurant industry [...] if anyone deserved a tip... it's me."

One could argue that teachers are sort of tipped when they're given gifts during the holidays, but more than that, one could point out that no one would get into education because they're expecting an influx extra cash.

The sad reality is that teachers, particularly public school teachers, are underpaid. It's not exactly a job you pick up on the weekends while you're waiting for your band to make it big.

One could also argue that since jobs are not paid based on merit or their nature of importance in society overall, everyone should be able to make at least a living wage — something that restaurant workers sometimes cannot do and must rely on government assistance programs to survive. "Due to their low wages and higher poverty levels, about 46.0 percent of tipped workers and their families rely on public benefits, compared with 35.5 percent of non-tipped workers and their families," the Economic Policy Institute reported in 2014.

Yet despite all of these reasons, he recommends tipping.

Why? "Because these people are the people who make your food," he states. "If you don't tip, you'll soon build a reputation of being 'that guy' who doesn't tip." And that's just the tip (ahem) of the iceberg. UnderA believes that one should tip if only to avoid having your food spat in, or "even worse." He refers to tipping as a "'please don't spit in my food the next time' bribe."

But as one of many Reddit users point out, in a post discussing the video

"No restaurant (no great restaurant) is going to risk loosing their business and health code violations just because a customer was an asshole. Plus what do I or my cooks get out of tampering with your food? 'Oh look, that guy is eating our spit hahaha!' We're not 10. That's just silly."

Really, you should tip not out of fear that your salad is going to be assaulted, but because over 43 percent of restaurant workers live well below the poverty line. But really, the solution is to abolish tipping entirely in favor of raising the minimum wage.