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I was wondering what the etiquette is on this. From what I've read, they don't make a lot and online searches don't give any consensus.  What's the standard in Chicago and if it's expected, how much?  What about tipping on work that is done under warranty?

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Interesting concept.  It never occurred to me to tip a mechanic.  Then again bike mechanics don't make a whole lot compared to most other types (judging by how little the LBS's around here charge for labor.)

I try to tip my mechanics.  I usually tip what I can when I can.  I do feel bad when I cant but much of the time I can.

 

On a side note, I've noticed that my burritos have gotten way bigger after I started tipping at one of my favorite burrito joints.

I find that it is easier to tip bike mechanics later in the day, after they have a few beers in them.

I'd think that if bike mechanics are being paid so little that they're not earning a living wage, that it'd be better to advocate for the mechanics to be paid a living wage and only get service at shops that pay living wages rather than forcing bike mechanics to depend on tips to survive.  If they go above and beyond that's one thing to create an expectation for tipping would result in reduced wages for the mechanics since they'd make it up on tips (which will probably never happen).

 

People don't typically tip car mechanics, electricians, plumbers, etc.  and bike mechanics shouldn't be different.  They should be getting a fair wage to start with and which doesn't require them to depend on regular tips to survive.

I feel that if someone isn't getting a "living wage" they should find employment elsewhere.  Nobody is forced to work against their will in this country.  Whenever I hear the term "living wage" I usually just roll my eyes and shut my ears.  The speaker merely has an agenda that runs counter to my own.  Sometimes, when I look around at my fellow members of the riding community, it is shockingly clear that the concept of Austrian Economics is anathema to the progressive agenda of most bike activists.    

 

I guess well have to agree to disagree.  But I'll reserve the right to tip or not tip whomever I wish on my own free discretion.  If that upsets anyone's apple cart that is something they will have to deal with personally...

Bike mechanics make enough to live but not, provided they are good, what skilled labor should make.  There are a ton of reasons for this not the least of which being that so many people out there see bikes as 'toys' and have no appreciation for the skill it takes to fix them well.  This means that even a shop that values it's mechanics cannot pay them well because they are unable to charge a good labor rate; a problem compounded in an urban area where crap shops charging low rates pop up all the time.  How do you charge a good rate at your shop when the shop down the street is less and most people cannot tell the difference between good and bad service?

 

Long story short if you recognize, and appreciate, your mechanic as competent, friendly and eager to educate throw down some tip money. 

 

If nothing else think of it like leaving a tip for a good bartender; eventually they are going to throw you something for free.

I tip all of those people, not always with cash, sometimes food or beer, but I always make sure to tip anyone who provides me with good service.

S said:

 

People don't typically tip car mechanics, electricians, plumbers, etc.  and bike mechanics shouldn't be different.  They should be getting a fair wage to start with and which doesn't require them to depend on regular tips to survive.

Beer used to be the universal currency for "favors" in the construction trades until the weenies took over and had a shitfit if a drop of "demon alcohol" ever showed up on a jobsite.  Things have gotten pretty bad in the construction trades and now that beer isn't used to smooth over the difficulties that inevitably arise when negotiating favors and coordinating work between the trades it has only gotten tougher.   I worked as a supervisor/foreman running electrical work for 15 years up in Madison before moving down here and I saw the handwriting on the wall long ago.  

 

It used to be good work -still is if you can get it...

Austrian Economics assumes all actors are logical. Experience has shown that to not be the case for me personally.

 

I used to tow the same line. I was a Libertarian for a long time. Went so far as to do a couple years independent study on it in college. 

 

I'm not trying to argue with you, I think the point of Austrian Economics is a good one, even though it has its own flaws. I think people tend to swing too far the other way and assume that government is pure good and that it is full of logical actors. This isn't the case either.

 

These days I consider myself more of an empiricist. Show me that it works. Do a study, bring some facts.

I don't feel it is my problem if someone isn't a logical actor.  Life is harsh...
But it is the problem of your economic theory.

It's not a problem any more than it is a problem to the laws of thermodynamics when some fool puts his hand into a fire and gets burned.  

 

It's just the way things are.  If you are dumb life is hard. 

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