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FEATURED QUERY: Do you rely on tips for a living? Tell us more

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Annalise from St. Croix Falls, WI

Q: How do you make your tipping decisions?

A: Tipping, to me, is highly personal. The quality and level of service greatly weighs in my decision on how much to tip.

Q: What personal experiences influence your tipping style?

A: As someone who has spent summer waiting on tables — something everyone should do at some point — it is easy to see if the quality of service is related to the actual person giving the service, or things outside their control (i.e., the kitchen not keeping up). On the receiving end, however, I can say that nine times out of 10, the people who tip the least are the people who demand the most.

Q: Any other thoughts?

A: A tip from someone has a lifetime spend in the service industry: Avoid being a “verbal tipper.” Verbal tipping is something that happens when people don’t want to tip for their service. Though it can be both conscious and unconscious behavior, it’s equally irritating. The verbal tipper will sprinkle comments about how great the atmosphere is, how great the food is, how delightful the service is, and will then proceed to leave a 5 to 10 percent tip for their server. No verbal tipping. Your face will be remembered and you can guarantee that every server in the joint now knows that you are a verbal tipper. Your service will always suffer from that day forward.

In May, we asked our listeners and readers how they decide what to tip for the services they use. More than 500 people responded to our survey. Many provided their personal experiences, strategies and rationales for how they handle this often confusing part of everyday life. Click here to see all the responses, and please visit our interactive map of tipping trends in the U.S.

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