Model Goes For Massage, Owner’s Request Gives Her ‘Bad Vibe’

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When a model showed up at a salon for a scheduled massage, the owner stunned her with an odd request before the service began. It was so unexpected and uncomfortable that the model tried to leave. Would you have walked out?

Taylor Stewart
Taylor Stewart was dumbfounded by a salon owner’s request when she went for an $80 massage. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

Taylor Stewart, a model and artist in her mid-twenties who goes by @heyitstaystew on TikTok, was so disturbed by a salon owner that she posted a video about the ordeal, venting her frustrations on social media. In the clip, Stewart explained that she had gotten a bad vibe when she showed up at a salon for a massage and had the owner approach her with a question before the service began. The odd request was so baffling that Stewart tried to leave.

So, what did the salon owner want before Stewart could enjoy the $80 massage she had booked? A tip. While gratuity for such services is nothing new, the fact that it was requested before the service even began left the model dumbfounded, and she took to TikTok to talk about it. But, as viewers listen to Stewart recall the encounter, things quickly go from bad to worse because we soon learn that asking for the tip upfront wasn’t the only ridiculous thing the salon owner did.

“I really don’t consider myself to be a cheap person,” Stewart began her video. “I’m more than happy to tip, but I feel like tipping nowadays is just getting out of control,” she continued before explaining what had happened at the salon.


i also think my left eye is infected or something, life is good

♬ original sound – Taylor Stewart

First, we find out that the woman at the salon didn’t even remember that Stewart had booked an appointment. Then, she asked her to pay for the massage upfront, which she gladly did. However, that’s when things took an uncomfortable turn. After Stewart gladly paid the $80 for the massage, the salon owner handed her a slip to sign, which asked how much she wanted to tip for the service she hadn’t yet received. This is where Stewart became baffled, unsure of what to do.

“Now I’m standing there kind of wondering what’s a fine, acceptable tip, because obviously when I go out to eat, it’s a $15 or $20 bill,” Stewart explained. “So I have no problem tipping 20% because I’m already only paying 20 bucks for the bill. But, here, I’m paying $80 as it is for the service.”

Stewart finally settled on $5, writing the tip on the piece of paper and handing it back to the shop owner. Sadly, rather than that being the end of the uncomfortable encounter, it went from bad to worse. “Is that it?” the salon owner allegedly asked Stewart after seeing the tip. After explaining to viewers that she was on a budget but would have been “happy to tip a thousand dollars” if she “was a millionaire,” the model said she decided to ask the woman what she thought was an appropriate amount.

Taylor Stewart was hoping a massage would help her back, but instead, the salon owner left her with a “bad vibe.” (Photo Credit: Pixabay stock image for visual representation only.)

Much to Stewart’s shock, the woman suggested that a $20 to $30 tip was “definitely” what was expected in addition to the $80 for the service. Although her younger self might have just handed over $20, Stewart felt the need to stand up for herself, declining the request for a larger tip. Of course, this didn’t make the woman at the salon very happy.

“She goes, ‘Well, the girls here work really hard,'” Stewart recalled. “And, I said, ‘Oh, I’m not questioning that at all. I’m sure they do, but that’s why I am already paying $80,'” the model continued.

Rather than leave well enough alone, the woman claimed the fee for the service only covered the salon’s rent, but Stewart wasn’t swayed. Instead, she shut it down, saying that wasn’t her problem. Stewart informed the woman that it was “unfortunate” employees weren’t paid enough, but it was the boss’s responsibility to ensure an appropriate wage for their workers, not something they should expect clients to make up for with a tip. Then, she offered to take her business elsewhere.

Taylor Stewart
After being made uncomfortable by the salon owner and her odd request, Taylor Stewart decided to stand up for herself. (Photo Credit: AI-created image for visual illustration only)

Of course, the woman encouraged Stewart to stay, likely not wanting to refund the $80 she had already paid. So, the model headed to the massage room, where she once again got a “bad vibe” as she heard the salon owner and the massage therapist talking in another language. Believing they were talking about her, she decided to leave. However, the woman from the front desk started chasing her as she tried to exit, telling her to “come back.” Stewart was then offered a discount, and the woman even offered to remove the tip from the bill.

“I’m like, ‘Well, no, that’s fine. I’m fine with paying full price. I’m fine with leaving the tip. I’m not trying to pay less or anything,'” Stewart recalled. “I’m happy with paying the full price and the tip, but I just don’t appreciate being made to feel bad for what I am able to tip right now,” the model reiterated.

After being reassured that the staff wasn’t talking about her, Stewart decided to go through with the massage and admitted that it was good. She tipped an additional $5 afterward, she said. Then, she asked her viewers for their input on the uncomfortable encounter. Unsurprisingly, the clip started to go viral as droves of people commented, with most agreeing with Stewart and saying that asking for gratuity before a service isn’t proper tipping etiquette.

“So I changed the tip to 10. Everything was good. Told them to have a good night. Everything was fine,” Stewart said. “But, I left still just thinking to myself, was that kind of rude or am I a cheap person? I don’t know.”

Many commented, agreeing with Taylor Stewart and saying our tipping culture is out of control. (Photo Credit: AI-created image for visual illustration only)

A tip is given to someone “to thank them for their services,” according to the Collins Dictionary. Typically, the amount is a reflection of how good the service was. Being asked to tip first leaves many of us feeling like the gratuity culture is out of control. Some even called it “toxic,” saying it is “ruining consumers’ experience,” according to the NY Post. Indeed, with gratuity prompts popping up at checkout counters everywhere, most feel it’s gone too far.

Many even suggest that companies use tipping as a way to underpay employees, forcing them to look to the customer to make up for their low wages. What’s more, the progression of our tipping culture has caused “tipflation” and created anger among Americans as tipping no longer serves the purpose it should. Rather than giving those in the service industry an incentive to do a great job, customers are instead suffering “tipping fatigue” after being prompted for gratuity even at places where patrons self-serve. Is it time to put an end to this customary American practice? You decide.