Tipping – a wacky story

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In scanning over articles in Greek newspapers (especially those like Kathimerini that publish an English language edition) a reader may come face to face with an article which poses more questions than it answers. Usually with such articles the first question I internally pose is, “Why was this written?”, and the second, “To what demographic is this article directed?”. A third question related to the second is, “Did this article appear in the Greek language edition?”.

Maybe it is the downtime between Christmas and the build up to New Year’s eve which provokes articles which would have a tough time seeing the light of day at other times.

One such was a recent article (link) which describes tipping practices in Athens for food and services. The article also mentions briefly tipping customs in far-flung France, Sweden, Thailand, China and Japan.

The question for me is what provoked the reporter to write on this theme? Personal initiative, a bad night in a second job in the service industry? There is no rule for tipping in Greece that I am aware of but my sense of the article is that the author would like to invent one.

I have no problem at all with the overall message: tipping for service is a good idea and makes people happy.

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One thought on “Tipping – a wacky story

  1. A few years ago a flat-fee taxi fare was instituted to/from the city center to/from the Athens airport. The fee was put in place to counter the sometimes egregious overcharging of foggy foreigners by some of the taxi drivers. The flat fee was considered fair by the authorities, the drivers, and I suppose the customers. As I recall (and as I will soon be reminded) that the fare between 5am and midnight is €38 per taxi all inclusive. The meter from the airport is around €30, maybe a little less. The driver pays the tolls and any other fees. I think that it works well and there is some padding in the flat fare for the driver.

    Since the fare is €38 the driver sometimes might be given the change when someone pays with 2 €20s but not always.

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