Framing the Dialogue

Tips For Naught

…Therefore I Am…

I was out and about yesterday so dinner was going to have to be a quick deal and that means take out.  There is a new shopping center not far from our house and much to our delight a Papa John’s Pizza opened.  We like some of the local, independent pizza shops around our house, but we do enjoy Papa John’s too and I used to pick up dinner there a few times a month at one that was located on the route home from work until I switched jobs.  No more Papa John’s until yesterday.  I was visiting my Mom and sister and Papa John’s was one my way home.  I dutifully downloaded the Papa John’s iPhone app, logged in, and ordered our pizza.

The store was a small one and they seemed pretty busy.  The young lady got my order and printed out the credit card receipt for me to sign.  I was a little taken aback that the receipt actually had a line for a TIP.  I find myself to be a rather generous tipper when I get service, but this seemed rather extreme when she didn’t really “serve” me.  This wasn’t her doing as it is the system put in by Papa John’s and she was very pleasant, but she probably only spend a matter of 90 seconds getting me my order.  I don’t think that’s tip-worthy.

I had been noticing this at many places lately where people put out the tip jars for just about every “service” provided.  We have a frozen yogurt joint near us where you serve yourself.  They have probably eight different kinds of the frozen treat and fifty or so toppings that you can add.  When you are done you take your cup to the checkout where the workers weigh it and ring you up.  The last time I was there they had two working.  Actually one was working and the other was enjoying a yogurt while distracting the girl who was waiting on us.  They don’t even give you the spoons or napkins, that’s all on your own.

I noticed that they had this big honkin tip jar the size of one of their heads sitting on the counter.  They had a cute note stating “colleg fund” taped to the side.  I have a hard time with this.  They did as close to nothing yet there was the tip jar staring at us.  I have a really hard time with this.  My wife was paying this night (YES) so I didn’t have to compromise my ethics…she did and gave them a little tip.  I probably would have also given them a smaller tip grumbled inside my head and to my family as we enjoyed our yogurt.  By the way I like the green tea yogurt.

I have a daughter who worked at an ice cream store last summer and she relied on tips for her salary.  She, however, would take your order, make your food, and bring it to you.  That is tip-worthy.  Based on her experience not many people are all that generous.  There may be in inverse relation between the size of the tip left and how expensive the car is that you drive.  Also inverse between how demanding you are and how much you leave.

The most structured place that I have every experienced was when my wife and I went on a cruise with friends.  The cruise line actually had “guidelines” for how much to leave as tips for each person.  So much for the waiters, so much for the steward, etc.  When I read the guidelines I was aghast at the amounts expected until I experienced the service of most of the workers.  Our steward was phenomenal and I actually left him a much larger tip that suggested.  I also left his envelope in the lap of a towel folded in the shape of a bunny (he showed me how to fold some shapes).

I’m not sure how to end this rambling commentary except to do just that.

The end!

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