When tips no longer mean thank you

8937222395299_9658891252759If you are a regular user of the under-bridge tunnel linking East Legon and Spintex road, then you would be familiar with the upgrade in the mode of tipping the unofficial traffic wardens there.

The manner of these traffic “helpers” literally begging motorists for money has evolved into a TIP BIN system.

Now, instead of collecting tips by hand, two well branded TIP BINS fixed on both ends of the tunnel greet commuters and appeal for tips while the “helpers” concentrate on their business of directing traffic.

Though very innovative and improved, this idea of a TIP-BIN for receiving favors in the full glare of the Police and other local authorities confirms how the phenomenon of tipping is gradually becoming allowable and even mandatory for receiving services one has already paid for.

Don’t get me wrong, these guys who have been helping out with the traffic in that area are heroes; the one-way tunnel would be inaccessible to vehicular traffic without their morning, noon and nightly “altruistic” services.

For that, a gift of one Ghana Cedis a day from at least one out of ten commuters seems harmless but raises serious concerns.

Are the monies tips, levies, gifts or bribes?; and sensitivity – are motorists obliged to be generous to these traffic helpers?. It is also the issue of responsibility- who is responsible for ensuring the free flow of traffic which motorists have already paid for through their road levis?

From the layman’s point of view, whoever collects these road tolls and levies must ensure the safety of the roads and the convenience of traffic for motorist. Even if unofficial wardens are used, someone, not the motorist must be responsible for paying the TIPS.

Unfortunately, this tipping phenomenon pervades various sectors of business in Ghana so much so that, making full payments for goods and services does not guarantee timely receipt of those goods and services anymore.

It’s becoming clear that after paying for services, somebody must be tipped to deliver that service. So deafening is this phenomenon that, customers allege that service providers deliver poorly through intentional delays, obstructions, disqualifications, misinformation among others just to force customers to tip.

Though customers have already paid for such services, a tip in hand always facilitates the relationships that effects excellent performance.

Today, tips are not for saying thank you. They are surcharges for efficient service delivery.

People must be tipped to do the simple things they have been paid to do.

If you are still in doubt, the next time you visit the car wash, just pay the normal charge without tipping the one who washed your car and see.

That scornful look on his face would tell you one thing; you did not pay in full.

You left the tip bin empty.

– See more at: http://www.myjoyonline.com/opinion/2015/September-3rd/when-tips-no-longer-mean-thank-you.php#sthash.c5j1yIbc.dpuf