I should not have to tell the waiter/waitress/manager that I want the fee removed.
I agree with you, that mandatory tipping in intrusive and offensive. However, disputing this with a food server is usually ineffective. It's like complaining to a McDonald's employee that you don't like their corporate policies. Going to management to resolve your issues is usually your best bet.
For many food servers (especially the most skilled ones), mandatory tip policies are an embarrassment. Any waiter or waitress that takes any pride in their work understands what a gratuity is, and does not want it forced out of you. It takes from you the pleasure of showing your appreciation by leaving a tip, and it takes from them any idea of how satisfied you were with the service they've given you.
Along with the initial embarrassment of receiving a mandatory tip, complaints made to the server, especially if made in the presence of your guests, only add insult to injury.
Additionally, for food servers, timing is everything. Servers have a plan, a rhythm, which allows them to gracefully juggle many different tasks at once. This is their skill. Imagine if you couldn't serve the hungry, impatient customers that were staring you down, because you were dealing with a complaint you weren't even in the position to address. In my experience, this event usually has the same effect on most servers: one pissed off customer (oh, sinking stomach) and 5 minutes being held up unexpectedly keeps them off kilter all night.
I never did understand the idea anyway, paying someone to do their job they are being paid to do anyways...
Well, I and many other servers have wished that we could make the same money from our employers, and that tipping be done away with, altogether. But, that's the food service industry, at least in the US.
Food servers are getting paid to do their job, yes. Minimum wage. No pity: customers know this, and contribute to a service person's income tenfold, to make up for the wages their employers pay them. They appreciate good service and (regulars) understand that they themselves contribute to that service by contributing to their servers' livelyhood. That said, anyone who objects to this practice should never
leave tips. Waiting tables in general is decent, respectable hard work for good money, & you'll often find a great deal of pride in the the hearts of the best waiters and waitress that exist. But most servers, skilled or not, have their pride and would sooner miss a meal than accept a tip left in disdain, and no one customer who chooses not to tip is going to bring any great harm to anyone. BTW, let's not forget the others who are making minimum wage + tips: The people that shine our shoes on demand, deliver our pizzas, clean our homes, detail our cars, cut our hair, give us manicures & pedicures, walk our dogs, etc., etc.
Do you have the same belief for these people, or is it just food servers?
As a side note, it's an honor for me to have been able to serve others, and as long as my customers were OK with tipping, I was, too, most of the time. The few times that I've felt like a beggar (thanks, Mom!
) have only pushed me to refine my skills, so I could give even better service, and therefore feel completely worth their gratuity.