Saturday, January 30, 2010

malaysian tipping culture

honestly, i rarely leave any tips other than loose change behind. except if the service is really REALLY good, i'ld probably leave another dollar or two but nothing more than a five.

if there's something i have noticed from working in the beverage industry, i would say that malaysians rarely give tokens of appreciation to the services provided. i mean since an additional 10% service tax is billed, people dont really find the need to tip anymore.

working to provide service is quite a pain. really. thanks to impatient angry customers and those who have oh-so-many-requests-and-needs. of course, they might be thinking, damn, ''i'm paying you people 10-freaking-% to do me simple jobs.'' (mind you, in our industry, 10% isnt just rm20 or so. the service charges itself does come up to rm200 or more).

if you dont know yet, not the entire 10% service charge is given back to the floor staff and those who provide you service. maybe only 20% of the service charges is divided among the staff, excluding those who work part time. mind you, i'm not a waitress, and i'm not part of the floor staff. and yet, i have to provide as much service, if not more, than what they do.

malaysians' idea of tipping generally is simply about "leaving the change". probably not taking the blue notes and coins. of course, it is JUST a token of appreciation. even a smile or a 'thank-you' can be considered as a tip.

when working to provide services, it is always ALWAYS nice to have the customers smile and thankyou for your service. especially when its peak hour and the service might be unsatisfactory, its ALWAYS nice to have the customers smile and say 'its okay, i understand' whenever you apologise instead of have them SCOLDING you for no apparent reason.

whenever i get scolded for something which isnt my fault, i would simply just walk away. wouldnt even waste my breath trying to explain to idiots. i mean, if you expect EXCELLENT service and people wiping your shoes every step you take, well, FUCK YOU. your fucking 10% service charge doesnt mean that much to me. idiots who threaten to not come again? well fuck them. because our place certainly doesnt need patrons like them.

its common sense to know that you cannot expect the best service during peak hours. like during mega sales, do you REALLY expect the promoters and workers to provide you great service? if you hate queueing up for the changing room or fighting with other excited shoppers over items being thrown out in a basket, dont go and shop during the sales. as simple as that. even a five year old understands that concept. =.=

if you want to get the most out of your money's worth, do not ever, EVER attempt to try to get it when the place is crowded and you KNOW that you wont get it. yet INSIST on it. kinda annoys me to the max when customers blame us for the slow service and crap like that. makes me wanna poke at their eyeballs and ask them if they can see how crowded it is and how busy everyone else is. urgh.

anyway, back to what i was saying about tipping.

not so sound like an ungrateful bitch, and i'm not trying to say that a smile or a thankyou does not convey your appreciation, but people who work or have worked in the service industry would know how much a REAL tip means to them.

i have met all kinds of people from all walks of life. but more about that some other time. different people have different perspectives when it comes to tipping. doesnt mean that all malaysians are very 'kiam siap' (kedekut), or stingy to part with a bit of their money as a token of appreciation.

there are rich people out there who dont mind paying thousands for a night out, and yet wouldnt even leave a dollar note for the waiters who tended to their every need. there are funny people who would complain about how expensive our items are and yet, tip MORE than what they paid for their drinks. some would take all the change left behind, even the coins and every cent left behind but smile very sincerely and thank you. most people just leave their small change behind. some pull out another ten or twenty and press it into your hands while they shake your hand and thank you for providing great service.

ah well. people.

so next time you eat out, or take a cab, or get a hair-cut or manicure, or even just having the house-keeping people send fresh clean sheets and soft pillows to your hotel room, do remember to smile and say thankyou. and if you're generous enough, leave a small tip. unless the service really sucks for no apparent reason, except the fact that the staff themselves are fucked up, go ahead and screw them. if not, think twice.

a smile (and a small tip) goes a long way in making someone's day.

p/s: okay. so i was tipped very very generously last night. not gonna disclose the amount here, but lets just say it was enough for a new pair of adidas sneakers =)

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