OK, I don't usually write anything controversial, but I'm going to today because it is my blog (dagnamit!!).
I hate the forced 'tipping' they do in the States. Everywhere you go, people are more than willing to help you out, but when people do it with their hand extended I get seriously embarrassed and insulted.
Firstly, I never carry cash, ever. My dad says I'm like royalty. Secondly, if a job is worth doing people should be paid the wages to do it. It shouldn't be up to other workers to supplement crappy salaries.
I know Brits have a stingy reputation, but we're not stingy--just look who always sends aid in a crisis and look at how generous the British people are during Children in Need and Red Nose Days. We are just not used to tipping everybody we smile at, or ask for directions, or who holds a door open for us.
I tip at restuarants and I tip my hairdresser (God bless her). Everyone else can take a look at my overdraft and compare it to theirs, or check out my kids non-existant eductaion savings account or... you get the picture.
So there--I'm mean and stingy, but I do smile and open doors for free :)