I think we should start tipping BEFORE we get the service. That way, the server will understand the urgency behind the recipient.
I pick up the car at the parking lot next to the Empire State Building, where I work. I wait 10 minutes in 110 degree garage until the guy comes down with my car. But, there's a car in front of him so it's another 10 minutes until I finally get some air conditioning. By then, I'm sweaty and stinkin' before I drive to meet new clients.
I decide not to tip. I had an awful experience and don't want to reward this service monetarily. I usually hate tipping (because I'm cheap), but I try to be a good one. I was a waiter and synpathize. These people's jobs depend on the generosity of their customers. If they help me, I want to reward that.
But this guy was terrible. I don't want to tip to communicate that the service was poor. But then I run the risk that the next time I go there, the guy will remember me as a badf tipper and again give me poor service. Pre-tipping offers more control, though social standards dictate that I tip even though the service wasn't deserving.
Alternately, the guy working the cab stand at JFK on Friday evening was amazing. He handed out ice cold water while we were waiting in the garage area. Made the 10 minute wait that much nicer.
I immediately pull out a dollar to thank him. After all, good deeds should be rewarded (besides, I can expense it back to work), but he won't accept it. He smiles, tells me the water is free and goes on to the next person.
The guy who deserves the tip refuses to take it. This world makes no sense to me.