You cold, heartless conservative, you!
Falcon84: We're already halfway through the Bush era...and you still don't know the correct phrase! It's: compassionate
conservative!!!! Like me and the other 51%!!! You must be part of the other 48%!
Seriously...for me, it depends on the service. If I don't have to wait a long time between drinks and being served, and it's friendly service, I'll leave 18-20%. Like was said earlier, I double the tax amount to arrive at the tip. Here in the Seattle area, the tax is 8.5-9% depending where you are, and doubling it gives a nice tip. Also, many places now print a "tip helper" where it shows the exact amount for 10%, 15%, and 20%.
If you visit a place regularly, the waiters/waitresses/bartenders remember you...give them a shitty tip, and if you go back, they'll remember. I have a Mexican place down the street that I always go to, and always tip 20%, and believe me, they love seeing me each time and take care of me, and give great, quick service each time.
I know that in Europe, tipping isn't expected and unconventional. I was there in July, Germany and UK specifically. There were many times where I received prompt friendly service. While they were somewhat surprised, I did give them a tip, and they clearly appreciated it. I think they understood it coming from an American, and considered it a nice bonus. I was at the former border of East/West Germany one day, (Point Alpha....http://www.pointalpha.com
) and didn't have a place to put my bags, so the lady at the front desk/store offered to watch it while I spent the day there. At the end of the day, I gave her 10 Euros for her trouble...she was quite happy but pleasantly surprised at my gesture. Made her day!
And the winner for best actress is....REESE WITHERSPOON for 'Walk the Line'!!!!!!!!