The English Only Tip Their Hats

| London, England, UK | Right | February 27, 2013

(I’m visiting my long distance boyfriend in London. We decide to stop for lunch during our walk through the streets of London. I’m from Canada.)

Worker: “So, your total is [total].”

(I hand him a little more than he asked for.)

Me: “Keep the change.”

(He looks confused for a moment and tries to give me back the money.)

Me: “No, no, keep the change. It’s money for you.”

Worker: “What…?”

My Boyfriend: *to me* “In London, no one ever uses the term, ‘keep the change.’ It’s unheard of for people working behind the counters to get tips.”

Me: “Oh, geez… I had no idea.” *to the worker* “I’m actually from Canada. Over there, we use the term ‘keep the change’ when we don’t really need the change back. It’s considered giving a tip. I honestly had no idea that you guys here didn’t do that. Still, it’s just a little bit of money and I don’t need it that badly. Go ahead and pocket it. It’s for you!”

Worker: *huge smile* “Thank you for explaining!”

(He kept the change. It seemed like such a minor cultural difference, but I think we both learned something that day!)

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