Tablets that Ask for a Tip

Because cash registers are now tablets in numerous places of business, apps that accept credit and debit card payments often prompt the customer for a tip. This puts me in a constant moral and social dilemma. I understand and fully buy into the notion of tipping waiters and waitresses. That’s part of their salary, which they depend on to live. However, does the rude teenager wearing air pods at the takeout restaurant whose sole service he provides to me is pressing a couple of buttons on a screen deserve that tip? He is not a waiter, so I’m sure his salary is a livable wage. He will not have to clean up my mess, or refill my water, or exchange more than a couple of social niceties with me. I am unaware of how the food I am being will taste and ultimately have insufficient data to assess what the restaurant experience was worth to me. For this reason, I am frustrated by the social stigma that surrounds not tipping on these tablets.

This brings out a couple of questions. 1) Does that stigma even exist or is it just a figment of my imagination? 2) Are these tablets simply attempting to replace the tip jar in our almost cashless society and there is actually no obligation to tip? I do not know the answers to these complicated questions.

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