maybe it’s not

October 22, 2009

I’m in a desperate place here, on the bubble, trying to decide if I’m a good person or a bad person.

The scales of justice in this case? The tip jar at a restaurant with no table service. Call me a sucker–I generally drop in a dollar. Or write a dollar on the tip line. I don’t know why. I realize they’re not coming out to my table. In fact, at Cold Stone ice cream, where they say they’ll sing a song if you tip, I drop a dollar in if they promise not to sing.

Am I just shallow, vying for favor from people I will never see again? Am I generous? I don’t know. What’s the next step, everybody asking for and giving dollars? That sounds like my relationship with my kids (sans the getting-a-dollar-from-them part).

But Kim has the most compelling argument–“Hey! Don’t give them that dollar. Give ME that dollar! I’ll go buy a diet coke.”

I guess to me it feels like giving a dollar to the guy at the stop light with the “veteran out of work” sign.

But, um, maybe it’s not?

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13 Responses to “maybe it’s not”

  1. Rachel Says:

    Maybe we should all have tip jars. You could have a paypal tip jar in every post, in case we thought that post was so good it was worth tipping.

    I could take one to church with me, for when parents think they’re kids are in especially good hands. I wouldn’t leave comment cards, though.

  2. Rachel Says:

    shoot! “their kids”, not “they’re kids”. not in good hands.

  3. KanyonKris Says:

    I think it’s good you *want* to give. But I don’t like feeling obligated to give. Tip jars seem a bit pushy and lazy to me. It seems like everyone is a beggar these days. What’s wrong with just doing your job?

    The worst tip jar was that one taped to the drive-thru window you photographed. Seriously?

    For me those tip jars are a way to reward above-and-beyond service.

    Not giving in to the tip jar insanity does not make you a bad person. A deeper yes within allows me to say no (from sensai Covey).

  4. bikemike Says:

    2 dollars, give me my 2 dollars. obscure?

    on the subject at hand, though, i tipped the chinese take out guy a buck, at the counter…i came in and picked up my dinner ($11.00). he’s a nice guy and a small business (like me, well, maybe not the nice part). i want him to stay in business. maybe we need a tip jar at the bike shop.

    fairly certain a dollar isn’t going to be the deal breaker on being a person or not. i could be wrong, though.


  5. This reminds me of the movie Drillbit Taylor when the guys gives Owen Wilson a buck as he’s holding up a Vietnam Vet sign but first he writes all over it “NOT FOR POT” (like that would work). Maybe you should do this from now on.

  6. Rob Says:

    I am always conflicted by the tip line at a place where there are no “tipable” services performed…

    I am always tempted to write -$2 in the tip line and subtract it from the total.

  7. Zoonhollis Says:

    It’s a little worse at a local Mediterranian joint I like to visit now and then. They not only have a tip jar (and no table service), but if you pay by debit card, they ask if you would like to add a tip to the total! I respond with a smug “Pffft. No. Are you going to bring the food out to me and refill my tea?” to which the demure burkha’d lass behind the register smiles wanly and secretly petitions Allah to strike me dead.

  8. mark Says:

    Tip jars are stupid. If the proprietor wants his employees to be rewarded for exemplary service, he should give bonuses to those who do a good job. But I’m pretty sure tip jars are socialized and the nice girl with big boobs who brought in all the dough gets the same as the dude who was out back smoking pot and picking his nose the entire shift.

  9. forgingahead Says:

    I tip the burrito joint where I go – oh let’s say conservatively – twice a week. I’m always so over the moon happy with the food that it just seems like the good karma thing to do.

  10. tohellandback1st Says:

    not a big fan of tip jars, but don’t underestimate the memories of counter help. you just might want to go back there. you can bet they notice who puts dollars in those jars.


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