Chapter CCLXVI in Tales From the New Gilded Age:
A banker left a 1% tip in defiance of ‘the 99%’ at a Newport Beach restaurant the other week, according to his dining companion and underling who snapped a photo of the receipt and posted it to his blog, Future Ex Banker. (Update: the blog is now offline.)
In posting the photo, the employee gave some background on his boss and the receipt:
Mention the “99%” in my boss’ presence and feel his wrath. So proudly does he wear his 1% badge of honor that he tips exactly 1% every time he feels the server doesn’t sufficiently bow down to his Holiness. Oh, and he always makes sure to include a “tip” of his own.
The “tip” of his own in this case was to tell the server to “get a real job.” Pleasant.
The whistleblower’s Future Ex-Banker blog (now offline) included additional background on his boss, and some insight into why he would out his gross behavior, likely resulting in an employment status of current ex-banker:
I work in the corporate office of a major bank for a boss who represents everything wrong with the financial industry: blatant disregard and outright contempt for everyone and everything he deems beneath him. On top of that, he’s a complete and utter tool. At the same time, I’m still cashing paychecks, an admittedly willing—albeit reluctant—cog in the wheel of this increasingly ugly industry, so I’ve created this blog as a confessional of sorts. It won’t entirely clear my conscience, but hopefully it’ll help. I’m sure I’ll get fired eventually. Until then, enjoy
This is more proof, if any were needed, that tipping is an obnoxious social practice, whose primary purpose is to reinforce class differences. It reminds me of this passage from Homage to Catalonia:
This was in late December 1936, less than seven months ago as I write, and yet it is a period that has already receded into enormous distance. Later events have obliterated it much more completely than they have obliterated 1935, or 1905, for that matter. I had come to Spain with some notion of writing newspaper articles, but I had joined the militia almost immediately, because at that time and in that atmosphere it seemed the only conceivable thing to do. The Anarchists were still in virtual control of Catalonia and the revolution was still in full swing. To anyone who had been there since the beginning it probably seemed even in December or January that the revolutionary period was ending; but
when one came straight from England the aspect of Barcelona was something startling and overwhelming. It was the first time that I had ever been in a town where the working class was in the saddle.
Practically every building of any size had been seized by the workers and was draped with red flags or with the red and black flag of the Anarchists; every wall was scrawled with the hammer and sickle and with
the initials of the revolutionary parties; almost every church had been gutted and its images burnt. Churches here and there were being systematically demolished by gangs of workmen. Every shop and café had
an inscription saying that it had been collectivized; even the bootblacks had been collectivized and their boxes painted red and black. Waiters and shop-walkers looked you in the face and treated you as an
equal. Servile and even ceremonial forms of speech had temporarily disappeared. Nobody said ‘_Señor_’ or ‘_Don_’ or even ‘_Usted_’; everyone called everyone else ‘_Comrade_’ and ‘_Thou_’, and said ‘_Salud!_’ instead of ‘_Buenos días_’. Tipping was forbidden by law since the time of Primode Rivera; almost my first experience was receiving a lecture from a hotelmanager for trying to tip a lift-boy. There were no private motor-cars,they had all been commandeered, and all the trams and taxis and much of the other transport were painted red and black. The revolutionary posters were everywhere, flaming from the walls in clean reds and blues that made the few remaining advertisements look like daubs of mud. Down the Ramblas, the wide central artery of the town where crowds of peoplestreamed constantly to and fro, the loudspeakers were bellowing revolutionary songs all day and far into the night. And it was the aspect of the crowds that was the queerest thing of all. In outwardappearance it was a town in which the wealthy classes had practically
ceased to exist. Except for a small number of women and foreigners there were no ‘well-dressed’ people at all. Practically everyone wore rough working-class clothes, or blue overalls, or some variant of the militia
uniform. All this was queer and moving. There was much in it that I did not understand, in some ways I did not even like it, but I recognized it immediately as a state of affairs worth fighting for.