I'd like to say my piece about tipping. Specifically, when it comes to your server in a restaurant.
20% is what seems to be the norm if you ask a server.
Two words: Bull crap.
Just a foreword, I've worked in restaurants. I've done every single job in the industry. I've served you your food. I've cooked your food. I've cleaned your table, I've washed your dishes, I've even sat you at your table.
I know the ins and outs. I know what the job entails. And I find it absolutely RIDICULOUS that you find the need to give them a little extra something.
In Washington state, the minimum wage is $8.55 an hour. You go to any store. For example, your local hardware store, small time grocery store, deli, Subway for a sandwich, thrift shop. You go to these establishments, and you're met with quality service (well, maybe not Subway), these people will work hard for you, not because they're dependant on you giving them an extra 5 bucks a customer, but because they do their job, and they earn their money.
Now, I think a server earns $8.55 an hour, and $7.25 in the bare minimum states, do I think they earn more than that? Hell no.
Servers lead you to believe that they're doing so much.
"Oh, I have to deal with rude people all day." - Not true, most customers are mild mannered. To a server, a rude customer is the one that asks for another napkin, or returns their food when it's cooked wrong, not the right dish, etc, etc.
"I'm on my feet 8 hours a day, rushing back and forth carrying food!" - So what? There are a thousand jobs worse than you, where people also stand for 8 hours a day, moving back and forth. A perfect example is a day laborer. They bust their ass doing construction, shoveling dirt, sand and rocks to complete a job. They bust their ass for that same minimum wage you earn.
A pl-ether of servers are SLACKERS. They eat free food, they shoot the shit with their co-workers, they go out back and smoke a cigarette.
Think of the hosts, the bussers, the cooks and the dishwashers. They each make minimum wage, aside from the cook, who hardly ever makes above minimum wage. And even if they make more, the off-set of the tips for waitresses well exceeds the money a cook will make, and they do not get tips. The cook will stand over a hot line grill all day long, sweating their asses off, cooking the food, while the waitress will just carry it from the hard worker to the customer.
What's the point? Quit tipping these lazy drags on society, keep your hard earned money, because they get exactly what they EARN.