Are you supposed to tip in hotels?

Because tipping only makes sense within cultural bounds, (or in some incredibly exceptional situations, I suppose).
Why not tip the cashier at COTO? Why not pay the verdulero double what they ask you?
Outside of cultural context, the whole thing makes no sense.
You end up just a schmuck who likes to overpay.
Or, you’re trying to establish yourself as some kind of high roller. Or mobster out of Goodfellas, handing out little gifts to everyone.
One of your Best posts ever , Ben! Loved it! :D
It’s very simple:
  1. Just about everyone agrees that the system is retarded.
  2. That said, it’s so absolutely prevalent in the US that for the people you are tipping, this is basically considered part of their salary.
  3. Bottom line: if you don’t tip, you are stiffing the waiter.
    In the name of an arguably good idea, it may well be. But again: you are stiffing the waiter.
Excellent primer to get the US perspective on this across, here at New York Magazine. TL;DR:

I’m a millennial and we are famously bad at managing our money. I’m on a tight budget and I watch every dollar I spend.
If you can’t afford to tip 20 percent of the total amount that you spend at a restaurant, you can’t afford to eat at that restaurant.​

Also from NYMag, an explanation of why tipping is so entrenched. TL;DR: Until and unless tipping is uniformly and simultaneously abolished across the board (probably possible only if mandated by law), it is here to stay.
Hi. Agree with most of this but can[t follow the logic completely. If employers pay very poor wages on the expectation that customers will pay the wages then we collude in low wage economy and servile expectations. If the tip has nothing to do with the quality of the service then it is a tax and not a reward for good attention. I cant agree however that unless tipping is uniformly and simultaneously abolished it can never change. Cultural attitudes on many issues have changed radically by cumulative, small scale actions that build to a wave of consensus. This is the basis of the American ideology / that anything is possible. If you "stiff" the waiter for bad service or because you want to eat but cannot afford to tip then that could be the beginning of employees asking for living wages. Waiters in the great majority of countries don't expect anything like 20% and they survive. If a lot of people decided they cannot afford to tip so cannot use restaurants that would not help the waiters to live. So the enforced, substantial tipping seems weird to me and one reason I avoid using restaurants and services in USA. I get food from good quality supermarkets anddont tip the staff or cashiers however helpful they have been. In BA I tip often about 8% but as high as 20% if the service has been outstandingly good. That gives me as a customer the discretion to decide how I feel I have been treated.