Do You Remember When You Tipped for Good Service?

When did tipping become a requirement instead of a reward for good Service?


The whole point of tipping your waiter, taxi driver, hairdresser or anyone else in a service industry was to reward the person that went above and beyond the basic requirement of the position.

A taxi drive takes you from A to B for which he (or she) generally receives a percentage of the fare. If they also open your door and help with your luggage then they are entitled to a tip. Hell, I’d even settle for a pleasant disposition. But, I really get pissed when the cab is dirty, the driver is unpleasant and smells, I struggle with my bags and then the driver holds his hand out for the customary gratuity.

My wife and I were at a restaurant in Key West a few years ago called “Red Fish Blue Fish”. We had never eaten there before but the menu looked interesting so we decided to try it.
The food was excellent and our waiter was polite and attentive. He pointed out his menu recommendations and checked back several times during the meal to make sure we had everything we needed. We enjoyed the meal so much we decided to return the following day.

Unfortunately our waiter from the previous day was not working this night, so we were seated by someone else. This one took our order and delivered our food – presumably the basic requirements that he is paid to do. At the end of the meal I paid the bill and added the customary 15% because I have become a politically correct, spineless whimp that doesn’t have the ‘cojones’ to make a stand for decent service.

At least, I thought I left 15%. Perhaps my unconscious was doing what my conscious mind couldn’t. Anyway, regardless of how much the tip was, it wasn’t enough for this waiter because he followed us out the door hurling abuse. It was one of those, you want to curl up in a dark hole moments. I should have demanded to see the manager and had him fired but I missed the moment.

The point is, why are we now required to supplement the wages of service workers that provide no more than basic service? Worse yet are the restaurants that automatically add a service charge to the bill. If you don’t notice it you can easily double tip.

The corporate takeover of independent restaurants has meant rising prices well beyond what can be blamed on inflation. A fairly ordinary meal for two can easily approach $100. At 15%, or the now suggested 20%, that’s 20 bucks for carrying two plates from the kitchen to your table.

If you are in a service industry and rely on tips for your income, I’m sorry but you are going to have to start earning your tips. I for one am fed up with playing the politically correct games and handing over my hard earned wages and getting nothing in return.

What do you have to say? Do you agree or do you think I’m just a cheap SOB?

Do You Remember Lawn Darts?

Were we inspired by the poll at Gypsynesters – What toys did you survive without major injury? – be sure to add your comments to their poll.

We survived Lawn Darts!

Yes, this “toy” was actually banned because of numerous injuries.

Hey, who wouldn’t want to throw pointy metal objects at each other. That MUST be fun!

Well, we can actually remember having a set of Lawn Darts as kids – and – we SURVIVED!

We weren’t able to come up with an original commercial as Gypsynesters were able to find for Creepy Crawlers but we did manage to find a rather tongue-in-cheek safety video. Enjoy!

Remember When Baked Beans Filled The Can?

Baked-BeansWe both work pretty hard each day keeping our stores healthy and responding to customers but Vicky seems to do the bulk of the work so I at least try to make lunch for us. Nothing fancy, just soup or a sandwich. Today I was craving some baked beans on toast but when I opened the can I couldn’t see any beans.

I Remember When …

Do you remember when there were so many beans in a can of baked beans that there was hardly any room for the juice. They used to be packed in the can so tightly you had to slap the bottom of the can silly just to get them out. Then they sat in a lump in the bottom of the saucepan until you pried them apart with the serving spoon.

Things Have Changed

Nowadays you can pretty much count the beans as they float in the watery liquid. Forget about having beans on toast because after you drain all the juice there aren’t enough beans left to cover the toast.

Did I miss the memo about beans becoming a rare commodity or are the food companies just getting incredibly greedy and splitting the contents of one can between three.

I understand about inflation, costs of everything go up and I would gladly pay the extra few pennies if they would just fill the baked bean cans like they used to when I was a kid. I don’t want half a can of watery tomato or molasses juice, I just want beans.

Make You Own

Fortunately I’m married to wonderful cook and making a big pot of home style baked beans is no challenge at all. Here is Vicky’s recipe for her special Baked Beans. Please let her know if you like the recipe. And if you know any brand that still packs the can full please let everyone know about that too.

Remember when TV was free?

Old-TelevisionThere was a time, way back in history, when TV was free. You probably find that hard to believe but I remember it, I was there – and I’m not that old, regardless of what my kids say.

Wow two channels

To be totally honest, in England, where I grew up, there was a small annual license fee but that was all you paid. That money went to the BBC to pay for the programs and there were no advertisements. Later on the ITV network came along and they paid for their programming by selling commercials.

We had a couple of rabbit ears* built into the back of the set which was all we needed for a beautifully clear, crisp black and white picture. It continued like that until I moved to Canada at seventeen. I think they still have the TV license fee in England but they also have cable and satellite fees as well so I’m sure they are no better off than North America. If you live there please let us know by leaving a comment below.

North American TV

North American broadcast TV has always been paid for by commercials. Several times an hour Speedy Alka Seltzer or the Ajax White Knight would come on screen to sing to us while we had a quick bathroom break or headed to the kitchen for a sandwich. Does the increase in the number of commercials over the years account for us all getting so fat?

Rabbit ears were fine for local stations in Toronto but across Lake Ontario, in Buffalo, USA was where the TV action was. If you held the rabbit ears in just the right position (usually standing on a chair in the corner) and peered through the snow you could just about make out the picture.

The Outer Limits and Twilight Zone were not available on local Toronto stations. I had no choice but to install an antenna. Not just any old roof top antenna but a super ten foot wide monster mounter on a rotor atop an aluminum tower that soared twenty feet above the roofline. Full 360º rotation was controlled from a box that sat on top of the TV. I could pull in twenty or more stations from cities on both sides of Lake Ontario. The antenna wasn’t free but TV still was.

The Wonderful World of Color

Of course not all the stations were perfectly clear. The ones that were furthest away looked like the Buffalo stations when all I had was rabbit ears. And naturally they were the ones that had all the best programs. Fortunately cable was now available in our area and it was only a few dollars a month. Worth every penny to get clear crisp reception on our brand new Zenith – works in a drawer – colour TV.

The years passed, the cable services – and the prices – increased. More and more stations with less and less content. New series would come and go at an ever increasing rate. Most of them disappeared before we had a chance to watch them. Episode counts for a season shrank to thirteen, then less as shows got rerun during the season.

TV From Space

That’s OK, satellite TV had evolved from the giant ten foot dish that had to be embedded in concrete to a small light two foot dish you could mount just about anywhere there was a clear view of the southern sky. Only $49.95 a month and you got stations from all over the country plus specialty channels for sports and movies. You could even pay a little extra and watch new movies before they came out on VHS tape. We didn’t need to go out to the movies so often so we were actually saving money.

Time passes and the reality show was born, cheap TV even compared to game shows. You got to watch people eating bugs while you were eating your supper. Viewers lost interest, ad length and frequency increased, cable and satellite rates went through the roof and even with 500 channels there is still nothing worth watching.

It’s Dead Jim

I remember when TV was great and free. Does TV have a future? HBO still manages to crank out a decent series once in a while but I’m not willing to pay over a hundred dollars a month for a couple of hours entertainment – how about you?

* Have you ever wondered why rabbit’s feet are considered lucky. The bunny had four of them and it sure didn’t do him any good!