I didn't think I'd cause such a consternation about tips, but I'll try to bring it back on-topic.
Now that we have explicit prices on meals: $20 for breakfast, $25 for lunch, $45 for dinner - how does everyone feel about 20% tips? That's $18/day for three meals to the LSAs, and not including tips to the SCAs.
I might argue newer riders don't tip because everything's included in the ticket process and perhaps Amtrak employees are Federal? Tipping/gifts gets weird for the postal service, so I can imagine the internal conflict around Amtrak employees.
If by strange you mean completely out of control I would have to agree. There is almost no service, no task, and no transaction too small to request a tip at this point. Even actions that amount to handing back a purchase a customer selected and brought to a register now count as a tipping event. It's crazy to me.
That's what I meant. I'm old enough to remember "general" tipping rules, even when the service industry was attempting to tweak at the margins and percentages. (First 15%, then 18%, then 20%, and maybe 18% with tax included, etc....) Now I get asked to tip my Italian grocer which is connected to a restaurant, and we have a good laugh about it.
I wouldn't mind paying higher bills pre-tip if the money went towards paying those who work living wages, and then (like Europe) rounding up or tipping up to 10%. The "pay for performing" aspect of tipping in its current scheme in the USA has made tipping feel somewhat contrived.