A few weeks ago I posted Tip jars (and their slogans), with the overall message being that the various signs attached to the ubiquitous tip jar are more than just amusing puns or witty anecdotes – they are designed to change the way we think about tipping more generally.
Another thing is striking about tip jars. As one, over time, goes to a number of bars, coffee shops and cafés one will eventually realise they are never empty.
NEVER will you find a tip jar that has nothing in it.
The amount in the vast array of tip jars may vary – and vary considerably. Each of us might consider them to be half-full or half-empty (depending on your philosophical bent). Those of you who know me personally will know that I consider all glasses half-full, which reflects my constant sunny disposition to all things… but I digress.
However, I put a challenge to anyone to find a tip jar that is completely empty.
But shouldn’t we see the odd empty tip jar from time to time? People working at these places don’t fashion tip jars only to watch the money sit inside it. Presumably they want to take it and spend it on things (and maybe they end up putting some of it in other tip jars, so that the circle of life may continue).
However, they do not take the money, well not all of it anyway. There seems to be some sort of rule in these establishments to leave some of the money in the tip jar at any given time. If for some reason the tip jar finds itself empty I am sure the cash register is pried open to fill the void.
Because it gives the impression that others are tipping. It gives the impression that we’re all doing it and perhaps the fear of being left out will spur on the rest of us to tip also.
This logic does not only apply to tip jars.
Have you ever seen a busker without coins in their guitar case?
Have you ever seen a homeless guy without any money at all on the blanket that lay in front of him (and surely they have the least change to spare)?
These are all subtle messages that those around you are giving money to the cause. The complementary message is that if you want to be part of society, if you want to fit in, you should give too.
The money in the jar reinforces the message from the signs I wrote about in that previous post. The signs say that tipping is something that you should be doing and the money inside the tip jar says that other people in your position agree.
As I have said before I am not against tipping, nor am I against giving money to buskers or the homeless, but I am saying that not all is as it seems on the surface.