You just reminded me of something.
When I first came back to the States after living in Japan, I had to relearn to tip.
Now, of course, you see tip jars *everywhere* -- even on counters where there are no waiters. That just cheeses me off.
Don't get me started. I find it an absolutely disgraceful practice. Coffee shops, cleaners, pizzerias, clothing stores...it's just ridiculous now.
You can't always blame employees though. Managers use the "work on tips" tactics to exploit workers. Once some friends and I went to a little trendy chinese restaurant in the city...long story short the service was abominable. Little known tipping fact...when the service is terrible, rather than leaving nothing you're supposed to leave two pennies as an indication of the terrible service. So that's what we did. As we were leaving we were stopped at the door by the manager and waitress, who basically barred the exit unless she received a tip, because apparently tips were her salary. "Her problem," I said, "next time do a better job." I mean, it was fingers in the food bad. It was throwing dishes on the table bad. Anyway, I refused to tip and dared the guy to bar my way as I walked. However he sensed weakness in two of my friends and stood in their way until they finally forked up a dollar or two tip. I laughed at their weakness for days. I reported the business but they're still around to this day (not sure if it's under the same management, though).