Thursday, June 03, 2004

There I am, standing in line waiting to order a burrito, wondering what to write about next. I ordered a Baja burrito (shrimp and special sauce) and a bottle of Snapple. As I received my order the cashier looked at me with a strange glance, she looked at me and then she looked down at the counter, she looked at me again then she looked at the counter again. That?s when I noticed a little paper cup with the letters T-I-P-S for the cook; it was full of money, so I reached in my pocket to give back the change she had just given me. That was the weirdest thing I had ever encountered, I just tipped the cook for doing what he is paid to do, cook! Okay, somebody answer this who should we tip? I?m going broke tipping my life away, sounds like a Sam Cook song huh? ?Tipping, yeah tipping, yeah tipping, my life away?, I think that was Sam Cook.
I was in a Starbucks recently, where all they make is coffee; they have no chefs, cooks, waiters, or waitresses. Yet almost every Starbucks I?ve been to, seems to have the same paper tip cup, except, in the well to do neighborhoods, where they have ?tip jars?. Let?s see, I ordered a ?grande? Mocha Latte, three dollars and fifty cents; they expect a tip around a dollar for turning around and filling up a cup. What a novel idea, a new website, every member gets their very own tip cup to be placed in strategic locations. Every time your wife or husband cooks your dinner you can make a contribution to the cup. I remember seeing a tip cup at a newspaper stand, a newspaper stand! I still don?t understand that deal. We tip the guy at the carwash and the woman at the fluff and fold; we even tip the guy who cuts your hair. When I flew for the first time back in 1984 I tried to tip the flight attendant, she wouldn?t accept the money. Personally I think they should be tipped.

Tipping should be reserved for the front line workers. Who are these front line workers? They are the people who put up with rude the customers, spend long days on their feet and deal with abusive employers. I am talking about the waiters, waitresses, bellmen, and limo drivers of the world. They have to put up with so much stuff every day; it?s a wonder why anyone would want to work in these professions. Some people believe the reason we have these annoying tip cups is rather simple. Since most shops only pay their employees minimum wages, this is a supplemental source of income. Just in case you live in a cave, the word ?TIPS? means ?To Insure Proper Service?,. The server in their anticipation of a good tip works hard to make your stay enjoyable, in return the customer enjoying the fine service rendered rewards the server with gratuities, thus completing the wonderful experience of dining out!

Now, if we have a tip jar every place we visit, we begin to erode the very essence of what tipping means. It could cause a paradox. The next thing you know panhandlers will be holding cups on every corner (San Francisco), ok to late. Wait, I?ve got a good one for you, I go to the restroom in a nightclub, after finishing my business I go to wash my hands. There is a guy standing there holding out paper towels and next to him is a tip cup. Why do I have to tip a guy for giving me a ?fricken? paper towel? I thought this is my private place, why do I have to pay to wash my hands? Will this madness ever end? One final note if you are a musician, it is totally ok to have a tip jar, since your hands aren?t free.

Anyone wishing to respond to my notes posted in this weblog can do so on the we8there forum.