Your Grrrs: Dec. 8, 2005

And now for your Grrrs ...

Mike from Oklahoma City: I have to take exception to your reference to the mailman or woman expecting a tip. I was a letter carrier for more than 10 years, and in all that time I never knew of any letter carrier who "expected" a tip for doing their job. We've all had customers who express their generosity at Christmas time with a small offering of holiday food or even an inexpensive gift, but there are strict regulations regarding the acceptance of gratuities, and the majority of us follow those guidelines to the letter (pardon the pun). So please don't paint the U.S. Postal Service letter carrier with the same brush as the bathroom valet.

Mark from cyberspace: Thanks for hitting the tipping issue. I never gave it much thought until spending four years in Japan, where tipping is an insult. Over there, good service is expected — a point of pride in a polite society — and the idea that you should have to pay extra for it is disgusting to them.

Scott from Indianapolis: Here's my favorite: mandatory tips for parties larger than (insert arbitrary number here). Since tips are supposed to be a way to communicate that the recipient is going above and beyond when it comes to service, what is the motivation if the "tip" is mandatory? Not only that, but the last mandatory tip I was asked to pay was 18 percent — pretty steep for the lousy service I received.

Jerry from cyberspace: In response to the Grrr! about tips for large groups, I own a restaurant with no such policy. We will soon implement one because — no matter how excellent the service — 80 percent of the groups larger than six leave NO tip. Our service staff and kitchen work hard to ensure that everyone gets their meals at the same time, have drinks when they need them — we divide bill if asked — yet these people think because they are a large group that the waitress doesn't need a tip because of the "volume buyer" attitude. One other Grrr is service staff who expect a tip no matter how poor the service. So there are two extremes working here. TIPS are To Insure Prompt Service — somewhere along the line we forgot that prompt service thing or something. Don't expect a tip if you don't earn it — but if the server earns it then pay the tip.

Mike from Vancouver, Wash.: Is it really that big of a deal to tip someone who has performed a service for you? I enjoy tipping. I like making someone else’s day a little brighter by going over the top in giving someone a great tip. How can I afford to do it? I do it because what goes around comes around. My life is better for it. Quit being such a Nag-a-lot about tipping servers. Save your inner rage for the things that really matter, like obliviots and Wal-Martians and the like.

Amanda from Ashland, Ky.: My Grrr! goes to the people who think that going to a store at five minutes 'til closing and then insisting on shopping for 15 to 20 minutes after we have already closed the store. Come on! The store does not revolve around your time schedule. I don't care if you are the Queen of England: Come back when the store is open!

Terry from Idyllwild, Calif.: Why is it assumed that because I say "Happy Holidays" I'm anti-Christian? Christmas is not the only holiday celebrated at this time of year. Why has this turned into such a battle? For as long as I can remember, people and stores have been wishing "Happy Holidays" and "Season's Greetings" and I don't remember it ever being considered a snub at Christianity until recently. How do I know what holiday you celebrate? Isn't the point to wish others good cheer and if I've done so, how can that be taken as an insult? It seems to me that Christians should be more worried about the commercialization of their sacred holiday than whether people choose to acknowledge that there are other faiths and other holidays.

Jenn from Florida: OK. I can understand being carded for beer or cigarettes, but I never ever thought I would see the day when I would be carded at Wal-Mart when buying canned air. Canned air! What should have taken three minutes to check out turned into a 10-minute ordeal, because the purchase needed a manager’s override at the self-check lane. What will we be carded for next? Rubber bands?

Terry from cyberspace: My Grrr! goes to the fast-food drive-through operators that continually ask if I’d like to try their “fish tacos” or have something from the “breakfast” menu each and every time I visit their restaurant. If I wanted a “fish taco” or something from their “breakfast” menu, I’ll order it without their suggestions. Each time I must say “no thanks,” then order what I really do want. Is the power of suggestion that strong?

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