I'm biased towards this question since I am a server, but I view anything less than 20% as a bummer. I'm a senior in college and can only afford to work weekends (even during the summer with my unpaid internship). Being a server means I have no idea if I'm going to make $30 a day, or $130, so I average it out to about $200 a week to live on. It's not easy, and for the average table (let's call it a $40 bill), the difference between 15% and 20% is $2. And, after maybe 10-15 tables a shift, an extra $2 a table adds up to an extra $20-$30 a shift, meaning I could budget for $300 a week. Not an insignificant.
Being a server is a lot harder than people think. Remembering the demands of 5 different tables all at once can be overwhelming and tough. "Table 1 just sat down so I need two iced tea's, a kids chocolate milk, and they all want waters that they'll never drink. I also need to bring their bread on the tray too because they don't forget about that shit. Table 2 needs two boxes for their food and I need to try and sell desert because an extra $8 on their bill is an extra $1 or $2 for me. Table 3 is fine for now. Table 4 wanted more bread and some extra ranch for their pizza. And, oh shit I still need to put in Table 5's order." And that goes on for five hours. And if the kitchen isn't on their game and the food either comes out slow, or just isn't that good that night, it's me who loses more money.
I'm venting a bit here. But seriously, guys. It's an extra $1 or $2 from you that really could make a server feel less shitty. Man up.
I was working construction jobs for $12 an hour. Literal backbreaking work and you are making more than I was. I'm not saying your job is easy but their are plenty of jobs that are just as shitty and pay less than yours. I'm thinking 15% on average is nothing to complain about. That said, someone who has a decent job and can afford to tip more, should.
Don't shit on someone else because your lot was worse. This is something the poor do to one another and it is absolutely unforgivable. He should earn more and you should as well. You're underpaid and so is he. Instead of pointing out that you had it harder and claiming he shouldn't complain, you should be a little more supportive of a fellow laborer who is being exploited and paid shit just like you.
1. He wasn't "shitting on someone else".
2. The guy was complaining about getting less than 20%, and he has the balls to tell people who are tipping the customary 15% to "man up". If he's unappreciative of getting 15%, especially since many more people don't tip that much to begin with, he deserves to be bitched out.