Posted June 30th, 2016, 11:51 AM
My driver/guide worked every day for the 31 days of my travel. We had the same hours which were often up to 12 hours a day. He never had a full day off and though I know he didn't sleep in the vehicle, not all sleeping/food arrangements on the road are pleasant. At least on a ship you tend to have a bed and actual plumbing.
If you tip big, then there is an expectation that all tourists will tip big. Also, the employer knows people tip - so why should they fairly compensate when employee earnings can come from your pocket instead of theirs? This may be the reason people see it as adding to the problem. Tipping is not the same globally and when non tipping cultures are forced to tip, there is resentment and often that resentment trickles down to the poor average Joe/Jane who is trying to do their job. I heard this frequently around the campfires or meal tables in Africa and could see the way they sometimes treated the staff. Suspicion and resentment can develop on both sides - traveller and staff. Tipping is not the answer in my opinion; neither is measuring a wage by our personal yardstick. In many countries, $1500 is more than than an annual wage for a person - not necessarily 'right' but not uncommon.
Thank you for the insight. I never thought about it this way. For someone to work extremely hard, and not get paid by their employer, is a travesty. Just because some people are accustomed to tipping and others are not, working and hoping you get a tip to actually compensate you is not the way I would conduct business. Even the tips alone is probably more than these employees would typically get in their home countries, it's still truly sad their their employers, who are making quite a decent profit, can't take care of their employees.
Since I can't control what others do or not do, it's hard for me not to tip someone who has helped me in some way.
I appreciate the perspective.
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