17 April 2012

How to Tip at a Coffee Shop

A barista is someone who works the espresso bar at a coffee shop, because "barista" is Italian for bartender, and coffee shops like to pretend to know Italian. Anyway, I always make sure to tip baristas (baristi?) the same as I tip bartenders— NOT AT ALL. Here's why:

  1. People who work at coffee shops are all disconsolate, anti-social hipsters who want to pretend the whole world is against them. I like to play into their little fantasy by not tipping so they have something to grumble about other than Coldplay and Republicans.
  2. People who work at coffee shops often make less than minimum wage, and certainly less than a living wage. If their employers thought these people were performing adequately at their jobs, their employers would be paying them more. I wouldn't want to step into the middle of that important employer-employee relationship.
  3. Continuing the previous point, it's arguable that rather than the food service industry being a difficult one for a small business to survive, let alone prosper, in, it's probably the fault of these hipster slackers that their employer's small business is doing so poorly in the first place. Maybe if they did a better job, the business owners would make more money, which they'd definitely use to pay their employees.
  4. Another thing to keep in mind is that people only work at coffee shops (and become hipsters) because they've got no real skills and can't find anything better for a job, like being dehumanized in a lifeless cubicle, desperately vying for a middle management position in a slightly larger lifeless cubicle. There's no need to reward their shortcomings.
  5. Tips are anti-capitalist. Capitalism is all about getting something for your money, preferably getting quite a lot of something for quite a little money. Therefore, it's best to have an underpaid hipster get no tips so they can make you a mega-grande-venti-large, three-quarter-caf, soy-almond-rice milk latteccino with gluten-free caramel, the tears of unwed mothers, and full-fat whipped cream while you spend ten minutes holding up the line before deciding to order something not on the food menu so they can make you that, bus your table after you leave a redwood worth of wadded napkins, then wash your dishes while you spend three hours occupying a table and enjoying your sense of entitlement. Everybody wins!
These arguments should convince even the lily-liveredest, bleeding-heart, hardcore tipper not to leave any money next time they patronize a coffee shop. But, if even that's not enough, remember the next time some loser hipster smiles at you, asks how you're doing, and cheerily offers to take your order that anyone working at a coffee shop isn't really a person and should be treated accordingly.