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Friday, September 15, 2006

Tipping Crazy

Last week, our landlord replaced our stove. As the delivery guy was leaving, I heard him say from the other room, "Mucho dinero!" and then laugh. Dwayne laughed with him. I sprung from my seat and ran for my purse. Just as the delivery guy was hauling the stove away, I lunged toward Dwayne. "Tip him!" I said waving my purse.

"What?" Dwayne said and closed the door tight.

"Tip him!" I demanded.

For three years, Dwayne and I have been fighting over tipping. It all started when we moved out to California and I told him to tip the curbside check-in guy. After all there was a sign that said, "I work for tips." Dwayne retorted, "For what?! He's already getting paid to do his job."

In LA there are endless chances to tip people. This is a city run on folded cash slipped into palms. You tip cab drivers, you tip car washers, you tip waitresses, you tip bell hops, you tip valet attendents, and you tip a delivery person. There's even debate about whether or not to tip your tatoo artist. Not only do you tip all these people, but unless you want to bring down the wrath of the tipping gods, you give at least 20%.

I have caught tipping paranoia. I feel compelled to push $5 into the hand of nearly every person who does me a service. If they help me with my grocery bags, if they pick up my pen, or if they open a door, I'm left wondering if I should give them money. If it weren't life threatening, I would probably feel compelled to tip drivers who let me into traffic.

You can see now why I lunged for my purse, and went dashing after the stove man. Dwayne pushed past me and my waving purse. "We don't need to give him money!"

"But I thought he was hinting that he wanted a tip," I said walking back into the computer room.

From the kitchen, my husband started his tirade, talking back and forth to himself: "A Tip! A Tip! He wasn't asking for a tip. He was saying, 'Why is your crazy wife running after me?' and I said 'My crazy wife wants to give you money.' and he said 'Oh your wife is talking crazy! You don't need to give me money' and I said, 'I know! Tell my wife!'"

I find my husband endlessly entertaining. In the end, this is really a story about being amused.


Blogger Dave & Lynnette Mason said...

Thats funny...I would have to say that I would lean toward Dwayne's view...BUT I do tip waitresses really well because I was one and really you don't make ANY money except tips($2.45 an hour, but it's all taken pretty much if you claim your tips, which you are suppose to do), plus it's a lot of hard work. I think I would have a hard time tipping anyone that is getting an hourley wage...But I'm not made of money either and if I was...maybe I would go tipping crazy:)

5:22 AM  
Blogger Les Brown said...

Same here. I have friends who wait on people and I know what they go through, so I tip really well in restaurants. But other places I'm never sure when it's expected. I know the hair people, and the pizza delivery guys, but beyond that it's too confusing. Some people are insulted if you tip them. I don't get that at all.

1:08 PM  
Blogger Annie Wright said...

There's no tipping in New Zealand. Really nice. It get's rid of the guilt feelings.

3:56 PM  
Blogger Brandon and Lisa said...

Oh you two are too funny. I can just HEAR this conversation taking place! I read this story with great fondness and amusement because it couldn't be any better of an example of your personalities and interaction. It made me miss you guys and the humor you both bring to my life. Thanks for sharing. :) (Also, I can relate to the tipping awkwardness that life sometimes brings.)

12:20 PM  
Blogger Christin said...

Lynette: I think waitressing has got to be one of the hardest jobs! Primarily, because you have no power. You're just a server, and yet you get all of people's complaints as well as compliments.

Les: Right! I forgot about hair dressers. Then there's the manicurist, the pedicurist, and all those pamperers. I'm sure you're savvy.;-)

Annie: Ha! Just wait, there are other guilt feelings to be had, I'm sure.

Lisa: Really, it's all Dwayne. He's the amusement maker in my life. Come home quick, but before you do, take lots more pictures of England. I'm loving them!

9:19 PM  
Blogger ap said...

i side with dwayne, too. i can see him talking through it, too. i have had a good many conversation with dwayne about the confusing and strange ways of the world...most of the time we agree, so they were fun conversations.

12:54 PM  
Blogger Jo said...

So Christin, did you enjoy "The Cave" by Saramago, or did you dislike it?
--just curious.

10:40 AM  
Anonymous Terry said...

Just for the record Christin, what is your position on tipping the tattooist? :)

9:39 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Ooooh, I never know when to leave a tip.

Three weeks ago I did curbside check-in at an airport. Here's what it looked like:

(I hand over my suitcase)
Me: Thanks!
Him: I'll be the porter for your bag miss.
Me: Uh, thanks.
(I start to walk away)
Me: (stopping) Uh, thanks. OH! (I reach into my pocket finally realizing he's asking for a tip).


11:12 AM  
Blogger *Heathluvsing* said...

Canadians generally don't understand tipping because there is no such thing as a waiters wage etc... My hubby is CAN and I am from NY and we fight over tipping all the time.

I tend to side with you on this story.

1:28 PM  

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