Tips We All Could Use


“So we finish the 18th and he’s gonna’ stiff me. And I say, ‘Hey Lama, hey, how about something, you know, for the effort. And he says, ‘Oh, there won’t be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness.’ So I got that goin’ for me. Which is nice.” ~ Carl Spackler, Caddyshack

For a very long time now, tips, to me, were something to do with sports in general and betting specifically. From simple news about somebody injuring his knee in practice and out for Saturday’s big game, to more complex math models for dissecting an individual matchup or trend for an entire team in certain situations.

Up until about ’98-’99, you could even find out where certain umpires were traveling to start a new baseball series if you had a contact in the travel business who was also a bettor and big fan. But you didn’t hear any of that from me.

That changed recently when I took a job at a local brewery in New Braunfels as a barback-slash-janitor-slash-assistant in charge of doing what he’s told to do. I’m employee No. 4, unless you count the yeast in which case I’m employee No. 5. Not sure who else applied for the job via the facebook post, but I could only chuckle when they made me an offer they expected me to refuse because, as the owner worried, I wouldn’t find it fulfilling.

But I didn’t refuse, and it has been an incredible blast so far… even the messy parts.

10 People You Are Not Tipping Enough

That was the title of a recent article at MSN.com, a photo of a bell hop part of the teaser link that I didn’t click. Got no clue what professions we are apparently not tipping enough, and quite frankly don’t understand the whole idea of tipping beyond that it has simply been a tradition for several jobs – that whole service thing spreading to other fields these days.

Waiters and bartenders along with bellhops, that was about it for the list of people to be tipped when I was younger. I can remember very vividly when you were supposed to leave 15% for a bar and/or food tab for great service, which was easy to calculate since the Harris County (TX) sales tax was 5% at the time. And I also recall the rule of a quarter per bag for a bellhop who toted your luggage while escorting you to a hotel room.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been so long on the giving side of this equation that I’m confused why tips are even needed at all. Several waiters and bartenders in the past have noted if you paid the staff a higher salary and upped the prices at the pump, people wouldn’t pay it. Really? We’re that numb-skulled that we’ll fork over $15 for a sandwich and beer all the while knowing we’re expected to leave an extra $3-$4-$5 tip, but we wouldn’t buy it if you just told us up front it was $18.50 and gave us the same excellent service?

Ok, so maybe we are a pretty stupid lot and that wouldn’t work. I know it would work in joints that beckon me, places that deliver a great product and super service. When the service is bad, or the meal I ordered was not what was delivered – I don’t tip as much or sometimes at all. My father-in-law says I’m a hard-ass for doing that and shouldn’t take it out on the poor little waitress. What I can’t figure out is why he wants me to give away money to someone who isn’t doing their job right, yet preaches against giving assistance to the less fortunate in the form of food stamps or other welfare payments.

Five People That Should Be Getting Tips But Aren’t

5.) Your Mom: Seriously, if anyone deserves tips, it’s the moms out there. And including them at No. 5 is no insult since it’s really No. 1 on this list. Next time you see your mom, just give her a buck for no reason at all; and if you’re not going to see her until the next life, give some other mom in your current life a tip.

4) Brewery Guides: This might be a future job duty of mine, so I threw it on the list. Thanks in advance.

3) Your best friend who knows all the stupid or bad things you’ve done: This will get expensive for those of us with several best friends, since they know some shit but not all of the shit. Then again, it will be fun to watch ’em scramble to see who knows more secrets about you than they do. Next time you see one of your friends, just hand ’em a couple of bucks and say thanks for sticking by, despite all of your faults.

2) The neighbor who shares goodies from their garden: Nothing beats fresh veggies and flowers. And if you don’t have your own garden to share with others, why not?

1) A kind stranger: Remember that weird-lookin’ guy who held the door open for you? How about the gal already struggling with two little kids in tow that handed you something you didn’t even know fell out of your pocket or purse? There are a lot of folks these days with their hand out expecting to get paid for jobs they’re not doing. Isn’t it time we gave their tips to those going the extra mile without any thought of compensation?

Author: A crotchety old man since his birth during Gen. Eisenhower’s first term as US president, Willie B. Lakey resides in the bee-yoo-tiful Texas Hill Country along with his wife, too many cats and his beloved beer fridge. Employed as an overworked and underpaid freelance sportswriter, his few moments of happiness usually come when communing with critters, tending his garden or sippin’ cold beer and enjoying tunes at Gruene Hall.

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2 thoughts on “Tips We All Could Use

  1. Pingback: Chaos 2013: Year in Review | Chaos Section

  2. Pingback: Chaos 2013: Year in Review | Chaos Section

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