The tipping taboo 給小費的禁忌

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如何在餐館或咖啡館給小費是一個十分複雜的問題。小費應該是給現金還是在買單時一併用信用卡支付?你更願意支付固定的服務費,還是認為付小費完全沒有必要?「隨身英語」 討論這個讓很多人都感到困惑而棘手的問題。

Vocabulary: service 詞彙:服務

It’s nice to go out for a meal at a restaurant. But what makes it extra special – apart from the food – is to receive attentive service from the staff. What can leave a bad taste in your mouth, though,is to be handed the bill and see that a service charge has been added. You’re faced with the dilemma of deciding to pay it, and whether you should add a tip on top.

Putting your hand in your pocket to reward good service is a personal choice, but it also depends on where you are in the world. What is the norm in one city is not necessarily the norm in another. In some places a tip is expected; but in others, good service should be expected and ought to be included in the price.

Adding an optional service charge to your bill certainly makes paying a tip less awkward because there’s no need to calculate the amount. But even though it’s not compulsory, you sometimes feel obliged to pay it. In the UK, where people tend to be too polite to complain, they might pay the service charge despite quietly complaining that the service they received was not up to scratch!

Choosing your own amount to tip may seem fairer, but should you pay it in cash or add it on to a credit card payment? And who will be the recipient? If we are to pay extra, we want to know it goes to the person who deserves it and that it’s not used as an alternative to paying someone a proper wage. In the UK in 2009, the law was changed after an outcry over staff being paid under the minimum wage and then topping up their wages with money they had earned in tips.

However, in the US it’s still customary to leave a gratuity because tips often make up a substantial part of a server』s income. Restaurant owner William Beckett told the BBC that in New York, for example, 「There’s a tacit pressure to tip. But theoretically you (could) just stand up and walk out. You don’t. Everybody tips 20%.」

Maybe we should follow Japan’s approach, where tipping under any circumstance may seem rude because good service is standard and expected. Elsewhere, there are calls for restaurants to replace the tipping system with a so-called ‘hospitality-included‘ charge – a single payment which covers both the meal and the service. This basically means, don’t tip – the price you see on the menu reflects the full cost of dining. That might make receiving the final bill easier to swallow!

詞彙表

attentive 體貼,周到的
a bad taste in your mouth 不愉快的經歷或記憶
bill 賬單
service charge 服務費
tip 小費
put your hand in your pocket 捐錢(在本文中指 「給小費」)
the norm 慣例,正常行為
expected 應該的
optional 非強制的,可選擇的
compulsory 強制性的
obliged 必須的
up to scratch 達到標準
to tip 給小費
recipient 接受人
wage 工錢,報酬
the minimum wage 最低工資
gratuity 小費,賞錢
server 服務人員
income 收入
tacit pressure 隱性壓力
hospitality included 「服務費包括在內」

測驗與練習

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. Name two ways you could pay a service charge.

2. Why would people in the UK be more likely to pay a service charge despite receiving bad service?

3. True or false? In Japan, tipping is only done if service is above standard.

4. Should you tip if your bill has hospitality included?

5. Which word used in the article means 『a difficult situation where you have to choose between two or more outcomes’?

2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單詞填入句子的空格處。

1. We’re having an urgent meeting about the future of the company so it’s _______ that you attend.

optional               obliged                         compulsory             standard

2. Your homework is not _______ so you’re going to have to do it again.

scratched up        up to scratch               up to scratching      up and scratching

3. Getting very hot summers seems to be the _______ now – some people are blaming it on climate change.

norm                   expected                       obliged                   topping up

4. The waiter was so rude to us that it’s left a _______ – we won’t be eating there again!

bad tasting in my mouth                           bad taste on my mouth

bad tastes in the my mouth                      bad taste in my mouth

5. After our tour, the tour guide made it very clear that a _______ was not included in the price!

recipient              hospitality included        gratuity                   server

答案

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. Name two ways you could pay a service charge.
You can pay a service charge in cash or with a credit or debit card.

2. Why would people in the UK be more likely to pay a service charge despite receiving bad service?
In the UK, where people tend to be too polite to complain, they might pay the service charge despite quietly complaining that the service they received was not up to scratch!

3. True or false? In Japan, tipping is only done if service is above standard.
False. In Japan tipping under any circumstance may seem rude, because good service is standard and expected.

4. Should you tip if your bill has hospitality included?
No. 『Hospitality included’ means you don’t tip – the price you see on the menu reflects the full cost of dining.

5. Which word used in the article means 『a difficult situation where you have to choose between two or more outcomes’?
Dilemma. 「You’re faced with the dilemma of deciding to pay it, and whether you should add a tip on top.」

2 . 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單詞填入句子的空格處。

1. We’re having an urgent meeting about the future of the company so it’s compulsory that you attend.

2. Your homework is not up to scratch so you’re going to have to do it again.

3. Getting very hot summers seems to be the norm now – some people are blaming it on climate change.

4. The waiter was so rude to us that it’s left a bad taste in my mouth – we won’t be eating there again!

5. After our tour, the tour guide made it very clear that a gratuity was not included in the price!