San Marcos High School ~ Santa Barbara, CA

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Showing Appreciation: Why Tipping Your Landlord Can Make a Difference

Jeremy Strand
Junior Cole Heckman tipping his landlord (Jeremy Strand)

In the bustling streets of our cities, there exists a group of unsung heroes – landlords. These hardworking individuals toil day and night to provide their tenants with safe and comfortable homes, yet their efforts often go unnoticed and unappreciated. Imagine, if you will, the situation of a landlord, eagerly opening their mailbox on the first day of the month, only to find it devoid of the tips they so desperately rely on. With tears in their eyes, they are left with no choice but to raise rents by 20% to combat the nonexistent tips. This scenario may sound far-fetched, but for many landlords, it is an all too familiar reality.

This is what landlords are forced to do in today’s society, as inflation increases and the housing market grows. Landlord’s deserve to be tipped just as much as baristas, even more if you take into consideration the fact that landlords are around 24/7 to fix any and all issues with their renter’s homes. Baristas just make overpriced coffee, while landlords provide comfort, security, and safety to their renters by providing them a place they can call home. Why does a 20-year-old hippie who misspells my name on a cup deserve a tip? Some might say that it’s because they don’t make a “livable wage”, but I’d argue that young adults these days are too entitled. Making coffee does not entitle them to a high-paying wage. A barista is a good starting job, as it gives you experience, but does not require actual talent or skill to perform. If you really think you deserve more money, acquire a skill that translates to a good job.

Furthermore, even if it’s true that Barristas don’t make enough money, why is it the responsibility of the customers to pay the rest of their wage? Why not raise the minimum wage instead, so owners are forced to pay their employees enough money to survive. This would not only make it easier on customers, relieved from the job of tipping baristas with their hard earned money,  but also make sure that all workers get fair pay for their work. Plus, raising the minimum wage can help the economy by giving workers more money to spend, which can in turn help businesses grow. So, pushing for higher wages is a good way to make sure everyone can afford to live. If even these glorified coffee servers make tips, why in the world would a landlord not deserve the same treatment?

“I think tipping is a good thing, and I’m glad it’s becoming more popular”, said junior Ashton Johnsen. “I work as a host at a restaurant and the majority of the money I make comes from tips. Without tips, I would be making way less money.”

Despite these challenges, tipping culture remains deeply ingrained in American society. According to my mom (a tax paying American), the average tip in America is a whopping twenty-two percent, far surpassing the norms in many European countries where ten percent is considered satisfactory, and in some places, tipping is not expected at all. In Japan, for instance, tipping is not only unnecessary but can even be considered rude or impolite.

As we navigate the complexities of tipping culture, it is essential to recognize the contributions of all workers, including landlords, who play a vital role in our communities. By acknowledging the efforts of these unsung heroes, we can create a more equitable and inclusive society where everyone receives the recognition and compensation they deserve.

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About the Contributor
Jeremy Strand
Jeremy Strand, Staff Writer
Jeremy is in 11th grade at San Marcos Senior High School. He joined the Kings Page during the spring of 2024. In the classroom, Jeremy enjoys history, along with the sciences. He is an avid athlete, making varsity Track and Field as a freshman, along with playing basketball for his first two years of high school. Off the track, Jeremy enjoys hiking, chess, listening to The Beatles, and the Detroit Lions. #OnePride.
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