Does the person at Dollar General deal with your and you and someone else's body fluids? Maybe some kid pukes in an aisle here and there, or they have to clean a restroom sometimes, but a housekeeper at a hotel has to do room after room after room after room...ugh. You should at least give a buck or some change. And, hotel staff on that level make a pittance--and then many people are like you and don't tip a dime. I would never thought I had to even tell someone like you, Griffy--but that's cheap.
How entitled are you? Because this post seems like it's turned into a "WAAAAA POOR ME I DON'T GET TIPS" type of thing. As a mystery shopper, you aren't expected to play therapist. You aren't expected to make sure 10 different parties with special orders get their food within 15 minutes. You aren't expected to clean up a stall with a toilet that somebody clogged, crawled out from under the stall door, and promptly peed in front of. That's what we get tips for. Also, with your little comment about the $3-$5 per job blah blah blah...taking the $3 jobs really IS a choice when there's a plethora of higher-paying jobs. Mystery shopping isn't the only thing that requires you to have a smartphone; if you live in the US, then day to day living requires a smartphone. If you go out and buy a car just to do mystery shopping, then that's on you. I wouldn't buy a car for something I do on the side and only clear a few grand a year from. I take the bus; a monthly pass is $27 and it's a lot cheaper, and I already take the bus to doctor's appointments and such anyway. And finally, as others have said, your analogy about painters is a false equivalency. A painter is rarely required to go outside their job description. It's demanded of a server and that's why you tip them.
Dear thermmager, I have no idea what your background is but it seems quite limited from what you write. I have lived in quite a few states, I have known quite a few servers and I have even been a server myself. If the server is required to clean the toilets and they do not appreciate that part of the job then that server needs to do just what you suggest for mystery shoppers ...go and get another job. They, like the shopper, are not required to stay in that job. If they need to because it is the only show in town what about the shopper who cannot easily find other work? Some shoppers cannot find better paying shopping jobs for a variety of reasons (not including smart phones and computers and such). It appears to me there are shoppers who do not do well with grammar or spelling or even forming a cogent sentence. These shoppers have a choice, yes, they can get a job in a restaurant as a server or they can take the lower paying shopping jobs or both of them can go back to school and find a field that uses whatever skills they have. Or aside from that they can contact their state and report their employer for having a person in a tip job where the wage is lower doing work that does not qualify for the lower wage. My daughter, in fact, was working in just such a place earning $2+ an hour and they asked her to clean the toilets...mostly because the cooks who usually did it (and may or may not have cleaned their hands in between) were mostly hung over. She refused to add that to her job list. Did she get fired? No. That was not part of the official job description of a server. If you know of such places. better than giving tips in money would be a tip as to what the servers rights are in their state and what to do about infringements by their employer. Yes, some do not even pay the wages they should. Most, I would guess do not stoop as low as the types of things you are mentioning. Yes, we have choices but so do they. And I do not feel I need to leave extra money because some people who do not respect other's property foul up a hotel room or a restaurant. I leave my table clean. It is not my job to make up for those who do not follow rules. The restaurant should have clean up people. I see the line servers cleaning but those jobs are not subject to the lower wage and I would suspect it is part of their job description.
And I can read a little into you by your statement that a smart phone is required. I and several others I know do not use smartphones and not only are we still alive but we are doing just fine. In fact I personally think my life is much better than most.. I am not a slave to a phone like many people are. Open your eyes and get off your high horse and start to see people all around who are different than you are. It will be a treat and maybe you will even find some smiling faces if you stop accusing people of things they never said. Read my lips, I am not asking for tips, I am asking you and others to perhaps compile a list of who does and does not deserve tips in their eyes and the rationale for where the line is drawn. And if the line includes lots and lots of jobs then why are mystery shoppers not on that list? I do not personally need tips. Personally I think all should be paid a living wage and not be expected to live on tips.There are many places around the world where people survive without tips at restaurants.
Oh, and by the way, when we take the baby with us (she's now 1, and VERY well behaved in restaurants!), I ALWAYS leave the server $10 -- even if the total is $25 for us 3 adults!!! Because the baby, although very well behaved, does throw food on the floor and I AIN'T CLEANING IT UP. If the bill is over $25, my tip goes up, up, up.
And before an editor jumps on me, is it "for we 3 adults"? LOL!!!