Monday, August 15, 2011

an andy rooney rant (lyn)

When I was on the Cape, my sister and I go to a local ice-cream place one night.  It’s staffed by college students, and they all do a great job.  First, they are nice.  Smiling, helpful, willing to let you sample as many different flavors as you like.  Then, they overstuff the cups, so a small order looks like what would be a large order anywhere else.  When you see the unadorned glass tip jar sitting on the counter, you want to put money in it.  These kids have earned it.

Today, Alexander and I go to my new favorite spot, Sixteen Handles.  We walk in and:
  • We go to the cup section where we choose small cups.
  • We select the yogurts we want.
  • We choose the quantity of each yogurt.
  • We pull the levers and fill our cups.
  • We then go to the topping section, and choose among an array of fruits and chocolates and little candy bits.
When we are done, we hand our cups to the cashier who then tells us what we owe.  We pay.  The end.

But then I see a colorful ceramic jar, hand-painted with the word TIPS on it.  I can’t help but wonder what it’s for.  Since when should I tip someone for figuring out what I owe?
  • I don’t give my cleaners a tip when I bring in Alexander’s shirts.
  • I don’t tip at Agata when they weigh the vegetables I buy.
  • I don’t tip at Duane Reade when I buy toiletries.
  • I don't tip the saleswoman at Bergdorf's when she helps me choose a dress to buy. 
  • I don’t tip the pharmacist who measures out the prescriptions I purchase.
I don’t get it.  Why should I tip someone who tells me what I owe?  Will I soon be getting bills from Con Ed and Verizon with a section to add in my tip?  And what about my landlord who has to figure out my yearly rate increases?  Now that’s far more complicated than weighing a cup of yogurt!

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