dbaker: Somewhat subjective. Whether it's trashy or "corny" depends on the persona in use and the location.
No it doesn't.
"I take tips" in English translates to "I don't believe in myself enough to get paid for this. So I'm going to make a balloon for your kid and do a trick for you. And this button will hopefully guilt you into giving me a dollar."
Either you are good enough to get paid, or you're not.
And I speak from experience. My first restaurant was a "tips only" and I thought I was hot stuff for pulling that off. Turns out I only pissed the servers off because I was taking money away from them.
I never wore a tip button though.
Again - tip buttons = trashy. Not for any professional.
I never said that an "I take tips" button wasn't bad, in fact I believe I specifically said that it WAS bad.
I said that
1) Buttons themselves where not inherently "bad".
2) A button that reads "Suggested tip $1,275.23" is funny, and hence acceptable SOMETIMES - provided it fits the setting of the location and persona of the performer.
3) Buttons of any kind are unacceptable in many places.
4) Change your uniform to fit the setting (that's what the last line was about).
I speak from experience as well (though I'm sure not as much). My first restaurant job was for tips as well, and I'm sure I pissed off my share of servers - though none spoke up.
I'm not saying you should take their tips (as I said before, you should at least split 50/50 if not 0/100). I am saying that a "Suggested tip $1,275.23" button is funny and has it's proper place.