Tipping In Japan

Discussion in 'General Topics - Life in Japan' started by Zaphod222, Dec 25, 2013.

  1. Zaphod222

    Zaphod222 TAG Member

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    I made a new thread, in order not to clog up other threads with this.

    Right off the bat, I hate the American custom of "tipping", and I love it that Japan is free from it, with the exception of some very special situations. So I really wished our American friends would not try to infest Japan with this....

    Here is an article by someone who feels exactly the same way:

    http://travelblog.dailymail.co.uk/2...-dont-have-to-top-up-their-wages-in-grat.html
     
  2. Wwanderer

    WwandererWwanderer is a Verified Member Kids, don't try this at home!

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    Thanks for starting a new thread on this.

    I'll post something more substantial as soon as I have a chance.

    But fwiiw now, I never tip in Japan *except* in p4p encounters. They are and imo should be exceptions to the rule.

    -Ww
     
  3. GoldenDalton

    GoldenDalton TAG Member

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    It's really difficult to avoid it. When I'm abroad I have to consciously check myself. In the U.S. servers don't have to be paid minimum wage, so it's reasonable to tip fifteen percent as standard on every ticket. I try to go higher as I was a server in undergrad and I know how it is.

    On a side note, black Americans rarely tip no matter how wealthy they are. Sure this sounds racist, but even black servers did not look forward to black customers as tips would not be forthcoming. I myself had no problem giving black customers excellent service, tip or no. It's just a cultural difference.

    In Europe it's easier to avoid tipping. In Japan and some other parts of Asian customer service is excellent relative to U.S. standards so it feels awkward not to tip. In Europe it mostly sucks, which is ironic because Spanish, French, and Italian waiters see themselves as professionals yet generally give out horrible service. In the U.S. service can sometimes resemble European standards in the big cities. I like bartenders that talk and waiters/ waitresses that smile, so I tip. In Japan that's a given (except for the talking part ) without tipping.

    My two cents.
     
  4. k1234k

    k1234k TAG Member

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    If a tip, in any culture, is given to acknowledge above the board personal services rendered in a professional manner, then certainly a guy raised in such a culture will feel the desire to tip, especially when he has stripped off all his clothes and had sex with said provider. It doesn't get much more 'personal' than that!

    Chalk it up as yet another thing you find charming/annoying about Americans.

    You don't have to be afraid of this 'terrible American epidemic' of spreading in the Japan p4p scene, since gaijin (and especially tipping gaijin) compose of only a fraction of the average daily J-provider's clientele.

    Personally, I don't tip because during the session, I put effort towards working for the girl's pleasure, as much as my own, so in my warped thinking, this 'equality' negates the need to tip.

    That being said, I don't fault those who do tip, because it invariably makes providers happy to receive it, and if it creates one small POSITIVE stereotype (amid all the negative ones) in a girl's mind towards gaijin, all for the better, right?
     
  5. Zaphod222

    Zaphod222 TAG Member

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    True, but they have managed to spread this nuisance in some other places, e.g. in SE Asia, to the point where white foreigners in some places are expected to tip, even when nobody else does it.
    So, first, you negotiate a good deal, and you are supposed to shoot yourself in the foot afterwards? It is crazy.

    E.g. in Bangkok, the traditional way to get a good deal on a tuktuk ride is to haggle about the price before you get in. That out of the way, both parties know what the deal is, and the driver takes off, trying to find the best route for the money. Tipping totally throws this system in disarray. Suddenly, you negotiate one price and pay another. Wtf??

    And who the hell do you tip? If the waiter deserves a tip, how about the dishwasher? Is he well paid? Don´t you want HIM to do a good job? I sure as hell do! Don´t you want everybody to do a good job? So why tip only the face you see, why not tip the whole hotel or restaurant? Crazy on so many levels.

    I fault them because they create expectations for others, and throw the system out of balance. Suddenly, sub-standard service becomes the norm, unless you always carry a pocketfull of small bribes with you. Like going to the zoo with peanuts in your pockets. I don´t understand how Americans can live like this.

    My bike mechanic does a fantastic job every time I take my bike there. Should I tip him? He´d certainly deserve it. How about the garbage people who jog behind their truck and pick up even the last dropped banana peel. Should I wait at the corner with a bag of small cash and tip them? Why not?

    NB: I am not talking about giving gifts.... that is entirely different thing in Japan, and actually sort of a science here.
     
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  6. Wwanderer

    WwandererWwanderer is a Verified Member Kids, don't try this at home!

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    Another quick remark due to lack of time to yet make my main points:

    I don't think this discussion should focus on either tipping in Japan in general or on tipping by Americans in particular. First of all there are plenty of countries where tipping is common and plenty where it is not. See

    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/travel/world/2007-09-10-tipchart_N.htm

    Or just google up your own list of tipping customs by country; there are many such lists online. Second, most American travelers (including me) generally try to abide by the local customs re tipping in general. Third, if there were any danger of Americans "corrupting" Japanese culture into one in which tipping was common/expected, it would have already happened long ago, in the post-WW2 period when Americans totally dominated gaijin presence in Japan and when Japanese culture was obsessed with all things American. Neither is the case today. Fourth and finally, tipping providers is by no means standard practice for hobbyists in the US; guys mentioning that they tipped an escort on a US board similar to TAG can count on being criticized by many, maybe most, of the other participants.

    -Ww
     
  7. psd

    psd TAG Member

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    Problems with tipping
    • shifts the business risk from the employer to the employee
    • employee is held to be at fault for low salary (ie work harder)
    • reduces the labor cost to the employer so staff are over employed (ie more staff than the market would demand)
    • tax evasion due to cash salary
    • waiting staff are only one part of the chain, and in my opinion the least important.
    • waiting staff are not my friends, my friends are seated with me at the table
     
  8. meiji

    Global Moderator

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    In America, the waitstaff is often expected to share their tips with everyone else (bus boys, dishwashers, cooks, etc) -- this is called "tipping out". Keep in mind that while waitstaff are usually making sub-minimum wage, the rest of the staff is usually making the standard $10/hr or whatever.
     
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  9. Wwanderer

    WwandererWwanderer is a Verified Member Kids, don't try this at home!

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    There are a couple of reasons I routinely tip sex workers regardless of the local tipping customs. One is a matter of principle/philosophy; the other is a practical matter and an issue of taste.

    The former is that the fees sex workers charge their customers are basically/mostly determined by market forces, by "supply and demand", just like the costs of nearly all goods and services in a market economy. However, I think sex workers should (deserve to) be paid above market because of the several ways in which their job differs from that of almost all other workers.

    In most places their work is illegal, and they bear by far the greater share of the legal consequences (compared to their customers I mean). In almost all places their work is moderately to severely socially stigmatized, to the extent that they almost must lead a "secret life", normally under a false identity, that significantly isolates them from their families, friends and lovers (present and future) and which creates a "hole" in their personal and professional histories in most cases. They run far greater risks of contracting infectious diseases of all sorts (not just STDs), of encountering criminal violence and of suffering from work related psychological disorders. The requirement of their jobs to quickly (often within minutes) become intimate with strangers also requires remarkable courage and self-confidence that few people possess. Most people feel nervous, often quite nervous, the first time they get undressed in front of another person for the first time, even if it is someone whom they know reasonably well and to whom they are attracted. Try to imagine having to do that multiple times per week or day with someone you've just met and whom you may find quite unattractive...but of course it doesn't stop at taking you clothes off.

    You get the idea by now I hope. Sex work ***could*** in principle be just another job/profession. And it ***could*** in principle be regarded as noble work, like that of a health care professional or a teacher or a firefighter etc. But it ***isn't***. Societies, to varying degrees, go out of their ways to make a difficult job that benefits other people much harder, more dangerous and more stressful than it needs to be. The reason I tip is that I totally disagree with society's (a typical society's) view of sex work.

    In slightly different words, I personally am extremely grateful that there are women who are willing and able to do sex work, and I want them to be rewarded beyond the market's hard economic "justice"/"fairness", so I do my tiny little bit toward that goal with tips (though not only with tips). Imo, all thoughtful hobbyists of character should be doing the same.

    This is long enough, and I have run out of time. I'll put my second reason in a separate post another day soon.

    -Ww
     
    #9 Wwanderer, Dec 27, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2013
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  10. GoldenDalton

    GoldenDalton TAG Member

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    Sounds more than reasonable.

    Seems like tipping when you're a repeat customer would be a good way to build rapport for future visits. Tips don't have to be large either.
     
  11. Zaphod222

    Zaphod222 TAG Member

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    I think e.g. Kitty would be surprised to hear all those dire things about here.
    Sure, the horrible things you describe do exist, but that is an entirely different scene, and not the one I hope you move in.
    And you are really not going to save the world by throwing a couple of additional additional bank notes around
     
  12. Zaphod222

    Zaphod222 TAG Member

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    That is an American problem, and something that Americans should deal with at home. Instead of exporting their problems to us. Like the article from the Daily Mail said: Here is a tip for Americans: Pay your staff properly so that we don't have to top up their wages in 'gratuities'!
     
    #12 Zaphod222, Dec 27, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2013
  13. Zaphod222

    Zaphod222 TAG Member

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    Well, that is another insulting aspect of this. Do you really think someone like Kitty is happy to get some extra small change? Seriously?
    How is this tipping small change thing different from organized begging?
    And do you people even realize that handling cash is looked down upon in Japan? The polite way to give money is in clean envelope. But if you only put a few coins in there that turns into an insult.
     
  14. k1234k

    k1234k TAG Member

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    Zaphod- at this point your comments are bordering on trolling.
     
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  15. GoldenDalton

    GoldenDalton TAG Member

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    I have never, ever had anyone turn down a tip. Sure there have been people confused by it, but never insulted by it. I tipped Manami 3,500 Yen. That's the only time I've tipped a pro and I thought she deserved every bit of it. I wish I had had more.

    Besides, any of these women with a semblance of intuition would understand that it's more about the man feeling generous than it is her being bought cheaply. It's also confirmation she did a good job.

    Also, I'm having a hard tine understanding why the Flemish/Walloon way of doing things is automatically superior to the American way. Why not each his own?
     
    #15 GoldenDalton, Dec 27, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2013
  16. GoldenDalton

    GoldenDalton TAG Member

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    Also Zaphod, have you ever had anyone demand a tip in Japan?
     
  17. Wwanderer

    WwandererWwanderer is a Verified Member Kids, don't try this at home!

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    Fwiiw, I think it rude and disrespectful to put Kitty (or any other provider) on the spot in this way, essentially to ask her to "take sides" publicly in a disagreement between and in front of potential clients, and I will say nothing further at all about her specifically in this thread.

    Not that I care, but it also seems a tad disrespectful to me to imply that I think I can "save the world" by expressing my gratitude to and admiration of sex workers via gratuities, a form of appreciation that is common in many countries around the world, not just in the US btw. Where did I ever say or imply anything of that sort?

    Finally and perhaps most importantly, you are being *extremely* naive if you think *none* of the downsides/difficulties of sex work that I listed in my previous post affect upscale, independent, educated, intelligent, multi-talented escorts who enjoy their work and do it out of choice rather than out of desperation or lack of other options. Such escorts certainly face a lot less of the problems I mentioned than a street walker in some Third World country with a sex-negative culture, but they are still there and still extremely real. I can post specific stories if you (or anyone) wishes.

    -Ww
     
    #17 Wwanderer, Dec 27, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2013
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  18. Wwanderer

    WwandererWwanderer is a Verified Member Kids, don't try this at home!

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    Obviously (I'd think) a tip should not be an insultingly small amount, and it should be delivered in as gracious, complimentary and graceful (from the perspective of local customs) a way as possible. Otherwise it is counter-productive. In Japan this typically means including it with the fee in the white envelope or in a second white envelope and not mentioning it explicitly.

    It appears that you are making unjustified assumptions about how people tip to cast it in the worst possible light, but it can and should be done with class and style.

    -Ww
     
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  19. Zaphod222

    Zaphod222 TAG Member

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    Never. But if you go to some places in SE Asia, you will find that Americans have managed to introduce the nuisance, to the degree that if you look Western, you are expected to walk around like a small cash dispenser.
     
  20. Zaphod222

    Zaphod222 TAG Member

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    GoldenDalton said the amount can be small. Now you say the amount should be big. So which is it?

    Yes, that is how you pay in Japan. However, I don´t know how you "tip" like that. If if is a large amount and prepared, is that still "tipping"? Isn´t that more like simple paying for for the service? So why don´t you do that up front? Why do you leave your partner dangling in suspension if he/she gets a second payment or not? Is that how you deal with your official business partners too?

    Well, you guys seem all over the map with your description of tipping. GD said small amount and spontaneous. The way it is described in the article. To me, that is institutionalized begging. Now you talk about pre-prepared large amounts. Which to me just seems obfuscate the whole picture.

    Just out of curiousity, if we ever meet and have a pleasant conversation, would it make you happy if I whip out my wallet and give you some small change? Really?
     
  21. bichan2

    bichan2 TAG Member

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    Let's put this issue to rest!
     
  22. Gunslinger44

    Gunslinger44 TAG Member

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    Tipping isn't rampant in the US. I haven't lived there for more than 3 weeks at a time since 2008, but the only time it ever really comes up is when dining out. For whatever reason, laws allow waitstaff to be paid much less than minimum wage, so most of their actual take home pay is from tips. A lot of servers are college kids doing it for cash between classes, so I don't really mind. Great service? Good tip. Terrible service and the waitress is acting like I'm distracting her from her iPhone by ordering a meal? Shitty or no tip. At least it gives you a chance to say "Screw you too, buddy!" when you get a server who would provide better service by calling in sick that day.
     
  23. GoldenDalton

    GoldenDalton TAG Member

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    The amount depends on the service, what you yourself generally want to give, etc. the dynamic is very natural. There's a big difference between giving what you can even if it's a small amount and throwing some coins on the floor in a humiliating fashion.

    Tipping ensures that you get better service when it cones to services in the U.S. Again, may not be necessary in a service- oriented society line Japan.

    At the same time, I like to be generous when I can.
    When it comes to Thailand I have no experience or even desire to go so I can't comment there.
     
    #23 GoldenDalton, Dec 28, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013
  24. Wwanderer

    WwandererWwanderer is a Verified Member Kids, don't try this at home!

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    For me it is typically 20% of the fee, although that fraction is not set, and as GD says, the whole practice is more subtle, natural/graceful and fluid than it looks from afar (just like many Japanese customs, such as the constant giving of gifts for innumerable reasons).

    I get the impression that tipping seems intrinsically crass and insulting to you; that is not an uncommon reaction people have to common practices and customs in cultures other than their own. For example, many Americans with provincial outlooks consider it deeply insulting and demeaning to be asked to bow to another person. They find the custom at least as disgusting as you appear to find tipping. People, including many Americans, with a more sophisticated cosmopolitan outlook take a multi-cultural view and understand that there is no single correct/right way to do things.

    I wonder if you'd be more comfortable calling the tips/gratuities "bonuses" instead. After all, it is common practice in many of the world's most prosperous, conservative, successful and prestigious corporations (including particularly banks and investment/financial firms) to pay employees hefty end-of-the-year bonuses, which serve as both rewards and incentives for good performance. Do bonuses strike you as objectionable as tips?

    -Ww
     
    #24 Wwanderer, Dec 29, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013
  25. Wwanderer

    WwandererWwanderer is a Verified Member Kids, don't try this at home!

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    Please forgive me for the self-quotation, but I want to finish this thought by giving the second reason I think it very appropriate to tip escorts. It is a lot more direct and perhaps conventional than my first reason, described in the quoted post.

    Although we often debate how important other factors are in the interactions between sex workers and their customers, presumably everyone agrees that p4p is first and fundamentally about just that, *pay*-for-*play*. Furthermore you don't need to have much experience as a hobbyist or to read many reviews on TAG and other such sites to understand that the best p4p encounters are delivered by escorts who do more than just fulfill the basics of the exchange by allowing access to their bodies and providing ordinary sexual stimulations leading to release in return for their fee. The great…or even just good…ones go far beyond those basics and provide charming/seductive/playful companionship, a happy mood, enthusiastic sexual participation, ego stroking, more exotic sexual activities, generosity with their time, focus on their customer's full satisfaction etc etc…what someone on another board likes to call a GGFE (for Great GirlFriend Experience). My reasoning is that if we want, appreciate and expect p4p experiences that go beyond the basics on the providers side of the bed, isn't it only reasonable for us (the customers) to go beyond their basic fees as well. In different words, why should the provider go beyond the basics of the deal if her client does not?

    Another aspect of this same consideration (imo, although one could think of it as a third reason to tip I suppose) is that you (as a customer) are much more likely to get a provider's very best service and treatment if you tip generously than if you do not, especially if you are a regular customer. Now many escorts will tell you that they treat all of their customers exactly the same way, and perhaps this is true for some of them, but the large majority of providers do have favorite customers for whom they bring their very best, their A-game so to speak, to the table. (The same is true of essentially any customer service industry of course; even your attorney and your accountant have their favorite customers.) This is not entirely, not even primarily in many/most cases, a matter of tipping, but financial generosity is definitely one of the factors in play…just as the quality of the service beyond providing basic sexual stimulation and release is a major factor in determining our (customers') favorite providers.

    In a certain sense, this reason boils down to Kant's Categorical Imperative (of which Zap222 is so fond), or the Golden Rule as it is more widely known: If you want your p4p partner to treat you generously in all of the wonderful ways in which she can do so, you should treat her generously in all the ways that you can manage (and, again, tipping is the topic in this thread, but please don't misunderstand and think that I am saying that it is the only way of treating her well/generously).

    HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!

    -Ww
     
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