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Do I Really Have To Tip The Cable Guy?

Poll QuestionIs it just us, or has tipping gotten out of hand?

CNNMoney really set us off with its recent article, “5 people you might not tip (but probably should).”

On the list: exterminators, cable guys, spray tanners, dry cleaners and road service employees (think tow truck driver).

We’re sorry, but what? And, more importantly, why?

In the article, etiquette expert Diane Gottsman advises, “when in doubt, do.”

“The reason why we tip is to show respect to the service provider. Part of our responsibility is to be a respectful community member and give to those who deserve a tip, without going overboard.”

Look, we get why you tip wait staff in a restaurant. They are obviously providing a service, and many earn a significantly lower minimum wage of $2.13 for tipped employees.

Essentially, those folks depend on your tips as part of their salary. (Whether that’s right or wrong is another conversation.)

But what about tips for other workers who either make at least minimum wage, or who offer a service or product that you pay a premium for?

Case in point: Tipping hairdressers 15% to 20% appears to be encouraged by etiquette experts everywhere. Obviously, that can really add onto the price of a cut and color.

And then there’s Starbucks’ new app, which has a “digital tip” function so you can “share your appreciation for your favorite baristas.”

We long ago surmised that the company’s mobile app cut down on the amount of change tossed into the tip box by the register.

But we were always confused about why you’d tip the person who hands you a cup of (overpriced) coffee that you ordered at a counter.

No one would consider tipping a fast food worker like that – even given their well publicized dire straits.

We’re guessing the majority of the five professions on CNNMoney’s list net more than minimum wage.

According to job search site Indeed.com, a pest control technician’s average salary is $38,000; a cable installer’s, $36,000; and a road service employee’s, $35,000.

We want to know: When does it end? Where do you draw the line?

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