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As a whole, Australians have a reputation for being generous, especially in the area of foreign aid. Where they have a reputation for being misery bags, even at home, is in the area of tipping.

Sixty years ago I traveled through Italy on my way home from a working spell in the UK and I can still remember how disturbed I was at the aggression towards me when I either failed to leave any tip or failed to leave enough of one to satisfy the blokes who had given me service.

When I lived in London I could not afford taxi rides so I never received a famous cabbie spray for failing to meet their expectations.

The American system of paying staff nothing, sometimes selling them the right to work (usually behind a bar), has almost disappeared now, and so it should.

“Service included” should indicate that a tip has been added to the bill but this will usually provoke those aggrieved customers who reckon the service was so awful that there should actually be a deduction for bad service.

I must have mellowed somewhat over the years, but I’m a little jealous that no one has ever given me a tip.