Roy's Blog

October 16, 2017

How to survive the absolutely crazy tipping rules

The hospitality industry expects you to tip their employees and employees expect to be tipped.

Your bill arrives, and, under the guise of making it easier for the customer to calculate the tip, owners provide at least 3 options; the minimum amount is usually 15 - 18% and it heads north from there to at least 20% - remember when the minimum was 10%?

I object.

From a customer’s point of view, the tip is no longer useful to express one’s delight with the service provided. A tip is expected even if the service provided is shabby. Shabby service is rewarded perhaps with the minimum tip expected and the recognition for better service goes up from there.


How many times have you NOT tipped? Very few times I suspect. Why? Because “everyone” expects you to; people believe that servers are somehow entitled to a percentage of the bill. And the customer “feels guilty” to not comply.

From an employee’s perspective, the tip no longer represents an incentive to deliver amazing service; it’s treated as a part of their salary.
Why bother when you can expect to receive the minimum tip regardless of how you treat the customer? I’m not talking about blatantly bad service, but if mediocre service is provided - displaying basic competence - servers “get paid” over and above their basic wage.

So why should a server stretch and treat their customers in that special exemplary way? There is no downside for the server especially when the base tip amount is at least 15%.

From the store owner’s perspective, the tip is an essential way to control operating costs and assuage employees’ demands for higher wages.
As long as their customers are prepared to tip their employees ever increasing amounts, and they effectively manage their other costs of doing business, employee wages can be contained.

The “benefit tree” from my perspective of the current tip paradigm looks like this: owners first - employees next - customers last.

Does this make any sense to you?

The basic intent of tipping has been watered down so much over the years, it has now been lost. It’s no longer a reward; it’s an expectation.

What to do?

Customers have to own the issue because owners and employees are unlikely to suggest a change to tipping - it’s not in their best interests.

Customers must…

1. Stop tipping for bad or less than satisfactory service (even if it’s a “back of the house” issue) and ask to speak to a manager. Explain why you didn’t tip and what should be done differently. Be constructive. Coach the manager. Don’t berate the employee unless you want your next meal mixed with sawdust.

2. Ignore the suggested tipping scale. Tip what you feel is appropriate. It’s time to empower ourselves and pay what we want NOT what they expect - why haven’t we always been entitled spend our money the way we want?

3. Expect blowback from your decision; be strong and prepared to defend your tip decision - It’s insane to have to do this, right?

4. Raise our expectations of service - I don’t care if they are “having a bad day”!
The only way the industry will improve service levels is if we “drag them up” with our higher level of expectations.
If the tip base is to be 20% - and I think it soon will be - don’t you think it’s reasonable to demand MORE sensitive caring service?

Only WE, the customer, can fix this problem. But do we collectively have what it takes to start a revolution to live our rights?

Somehow I think not.

Cheers, Roy

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 10.16.17 at 02:46 am by Roy Osing
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October 9, 2017

This is what happens if you’re not different

If you are not different from others in some meaningful way, you will likely achieve no more than 50% of your potential; you leave 50% of your net worth on the table.

This is what young professionals face today as they begin their journey to fulfill their career dreams and be successful.

There are more people looking for jobs than there are jobs.

And the people in the crowd approaching organizations for an opportunity look the same.

When being interviewed, members of the job hunting herd are literally indistinguishable from one another.

— They have a boilerplate CV they downloaded from the internet.

— They talk mostly about their academic credentials and the marks they earned.

— They exhibit a superficial understanding of the organization they are speaking to and the challenges it faces.

— They don’t ask meaningful penetrating questions about the company and the markets it serves.

— Their answers to interview questions rely more on what they’ve been taught in school rather than from a practical perspective.

— The conversation is replete with standard cliches: “My strength is dealing with people”; “I understand new technologies”; “My weakness is trying to do too much, or I’m impatient at times” and on it goes.

If you're not different

When they cannot demonstrate something unique about themselves, they unfortunately provide a hiring organizations no compelling reason to pay attention to them over others and to consider them high for employment potential.

Some say that it is ok to possess skills and competencies similar to others; that there is a limit on how people can be different.

HOGWASH! That’s like saying there is no way you can turn a commodity into a differentiated product and we all know that is absolute rubbish.
Products can be made to be special in a myriad of ways and all it takes is imagination and creativity to create something different and unmatched in the marketplace - ever heard of The Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas?

It’s no different with people.

Each and every one of us can be distinct from every other person in some special way if we are motivated to discover our specialness.

The problem is we have never been led to think that being different was expected. Rather, “the system” imposes on us conformance and compliance expectations and has brainwashed us to believe that fitting in was the only acceptable outcome.

The school system is all about grinding our students who have all mastered the same stuff in the same way.

Being different is not driven into young people; it’s frowned upon.

So the consequences of not being different are, first, young people have an extremely tough time getting a job and launching their career, and second, organizations are robbed of the creativity they need to survive and thrive in our unpredictable and chaotic world.

Double jeopardy with very unfortunate outcomes.

Cheers, Roy

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 10.9.17 at 03:51 am by Roy Osing
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October 2, 2017

How can people lose themselves in the boring crowd?

“The crowd” is a mass of people who all look the same. They are indistinguishable from one another. They are all conformists to a standard set of rules, whether they be in business or in life.

— They are not individuals, but rather express the lowest common denominator of the mass they are embedded in.

— They are all “average”, expressing all that the word implies.

— It is safe in the crowd. You get to hide out and avoid exposure and recognition. There is safety in numbers particularly when every digit is the mirror image of the next.

— It’s warm. Heat, lots of body heat. Everyone is close to one another; existing in each other’s personal space. Body heat transfer through conduction and convection is alive and well here.

Lost in crowd

— It’s stress-free. You never have to be apprehensive about the direction to follow. Just follow the person in front of you; they obviously know where they are going.

— It’s risk-free. By being like other members, you can feel confident that whatever you do won’t be noticed and therefore won’t attract criticism.

— It’s consistent. There are few ups and downs; activity doesn’t vary much as crowd members are consumed with “the straight and narrow” and perpetuating the momentum of yesterday.

If crowd membership sounds appealing to you, here are the “must do’s” to gain entry.

1. Look at what the most popular person is doing and copy them. Emulation is THE key behavior to exhibit if you want to bury yourself in the crowd.If you are inclined to be different, you’re not a crowd qualifier.

2. Determine the really important rules and always obey them. Conformance is critical to survive in the crowd.

3. Never do anything to draw attention to yourself; you want to go unnoticed.


4. Don’t ask questions; challenging the status quo is unforgivable.

5. Never challenge an idea or point of view. It’s very important to support your fellow “crowdsters.”

6. Avoid reading new stuff. This will only fuel the desire to try new things or offer a different perspective on things. Unacceptable!

7. Never hang out with new or crazy people. These people are outside the crowd and you can’t give the impression that you are looking for more than the crowd can offer.

8. Some advocate weirdness as a value they covet in people. Don’t go there. Weirdness = fun and nonconformity. Reread No. 2. It’s verboten.

9. Talk the way everyone else talks. Don’t invent your own words. Cool sayings must be muted. They are the tip of the stand-out iceberg and will freak out fellow crowd members (and draw attention to you and get you kicked out of the crowd).

10. Take shit from anyone who offers it. Another key requirement of blending in. You must let anything thrown your way stick. Turn the other cheek and ask for more.

11. Always say “yes.” Make it your answer to everything even if you’re not asked a question.

I guarantee that if you take on this list of 11, you will be a bonafide player in the crowd with many years of slipstreaming others ahead of you.

Cheers, Roy

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 10.2.17 at 03:22 am by Roy Osing
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September 25, 2017

4 practical ways a leader can keep on growing

Once you’ve grasped the leader brass ring you’ve made it; now you can relax and ride the wave until you decide to do something else.

If that’s what you believe, get ready for a rude awakening.

What you’ve earned today, you must fight to keep tomorrow. It’s amazing to witness a leader in free fall who doesn’t stay relevant to their organization.

Every standout leader has a personal development plan; a strategy to continually build their value as an individual that can enhance the performance and long term survival of the organization.

Leader growing

A personal development plan should have these four elements.

1. New organizational capabilities. Defining the new skills and competencies that must be acquired if the organization is to retain its competitive position - and the current ones that must be abandoned because they’re no longer relevant.
Long term success isn’t about continuing to do what created past success; it’s about defining the course to be charted that will meet the challenges tomorrow of changing customer demands, disruptive technology and new competition.
The survivor leader must paint themselves a rich and detailed picture of what the organization must look like tomorrow if it is to continue to thrive.

2. Personal competencies. Given the new capabilities the organization needs to develop for future success, the leader defines the new skills they must possess and an action plan to acquire them.
If for example, their business faces much more aggressive competition brought on by new disruptive technology, a personal development plan to learn and practice new marketing skills would be very appropriate.
For leaders to grow, they must continually be morphing their skill set to be synergistic with the challenges facing the organization.

3. 360 degree feedback. Obtaining feedback from others on a leader’s performance is a vital element of a personal development plan.
Many organizations use this tool to measure performance; I believe, however, that it has the most powerful impact as a personal development tool.
Personally, the 360 was most useful in obtaining feedback from my peers; my boss and direct reports tended to rate me favourably and from them it was difficult to define a specific improvement action plan. My peers, in the other hand, had no problem hammering me on behaviour they thought inappropriate.
I used my 360 results to improve my performance and to identify developmental experience and skill gaps that I had to close.

4. A lateral move. Most leaders don’t give this element of their personal development plan the attention it deserves; in fact it is rarely mentioned.
As a developmental tool, however, negotiating a lateral move into a completely different position has invaluable growth benefits for the individual.
I moved from VP Marketing to VP Operations and it was the best thing I could have done. I applied my strategic skills to the operations role and took away an “in the trenches” practical experience that served me well on my way to a president position.
Moving around the organization is the most effective way for a leader to develop themselves and enhance their relevance to the organization.
And it gets them known in all corners of the organization as a leader who wants to learn all aspects of the organization.

A leader that doesn’t have a personal growing plan is at risk of being irrelevant sooner or later.

Don’t be a victim.

Cheers, Roy

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 9.25.17 at 04:16 am by Roy Osing
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