Tips

At what point did employers stop paying employees and tell the customers that you not only have to pay for a service or good, but you must also pay the salaries of the people that provide the good or service? I am a pretty generous tipper, but the bar has been raised to a new level on this trip. We land in Seattle and schlep our bags to the curb. The shuttle, that Judi pre-arranged and paid for, arrives to take us to our hotel. The driver then puts our bags on the curb and needs a tip which I provide because Judi has researched the appropriate amount to tip for various services.

At the curb a hotel guy (I don’t know his title, but we shall call him bag shuffler 1) put our bags on a rolling cart and required a tip for his extreme exertion. Bag shuffler 1 hands off the rolling cart to bag shuffler 2 who very cheerfully denies me any opportunity to carry my own bags or push the cart of which I assure him I am quite capable. No, there is no fun in tipping myself. I am handed off to yet another employee whose job is to push the elevator button. I determine not to tip the button pusher. My wallet is getting thin and I haven’t set foot in my room yet. Everyone is exceedingly polite and cheery and uses my name in every sentence. I feel like my name is the F-bomb in an Eddie Murphy movie since I hear it so much. We get to our floor and I am totally ready to relax and escape the polite enthusiasm.

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Seattle from the Space Needle

We open the door to find bag shuffler number 3 standing in the middle of our room with a big goofy smile on his face. Whoa! What is he doing in here. He is delivering our bags, fluffing our pillows and fussing over us while he waits for his big fat tip. I make the mistake of asking where the ice machine is located. He blurts out, “I’ll get that for you,” and darts out of the room and reappears with a bucket of ice. He darts out again and returns a couple minutes later with a bottle of water. At this point I start to panic. Is he going to stay and tuck us in? Is he going to unpack our bags and put outfits together for us to wear tomorrow? What happens when I run out of money? Can I tip him with hugs. Maybe he’s into me and that is why he won’t go away. I’m much to old for him. I come out of my reverie to see me handing wads of cash to this deliriously happy young man. Judi’s research didn’t cover how much to tip your new best friend.

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