What is Proper tipping etiquette?

That depends on where you live and what service you are tipping for. Try this link: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0193529.html In a resturaunt, you need to tip anywhere between 15% and 25% (it's 2009 people) depending on service. Servers are only paid $2.33/hr and usually don't see any of that $$ because it is taken out for taxes. Servers often work very hard and have multiple tables. They do the best they can. If you get crappy service, which will sometimes happen, it is often because a resturaunt is short staffed on that shift and the server is being forced to handle more tables than they usually do. Or perhaps you were sat in their section at the same time another table was sat in their section. There are many reasons for sub par service and it's usually not that your server sucks at serving. You have bad days at the office and have had too much to juggle at once...servers are the same way, It's just more obvious to their customers. If you can't afford to tip 15-25%, then don't go out. We don't do our job for fun, we do it to pay the bills.