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A Word about Tipping

A Word about Tipping

She was sitting in my office a couple of years ago with a quizzical look on her face. She was a client. I had just scanned her credit card and handed her the ticket to sign. The way she was looking at it, I thought I had made a mistake with the charge, so I asked, “Is everything all right?”

She replied, “Oh, yes, I was just looking for the tip line!”

She was embarrassed, but I was thinking, “What a great idea! A tip line! A whole new revenue stream!  Happy days are here, again!”

Okay, I didn’t do it, but it reminded me of a true story I heard several years ago. A minister was eating lunch at the counter in a local diner. The service was terrible. The waitress had messed up his order, and when the food finally came, it was cold. In addition, she was surly to the point of being rude.

So, of course, she was shocked when he left her a $20 tip for a $5 meal. She caught up with him in the parking lot, knowing that he had made a mistake and handing him his $20 bill.

He replied, “It was not a mistake, I just thought you must be having a really bad day.”

The waitress hung her head, her shoulders slumped, and she broke into sobs. “You have no idea!” And she shared with him just a few of the burdens she was carrying.

She was right. We have no idea! There is simply no way we can fully know what is going on with other people. We can “stop, look and listen,” but we have no idea about the stresses, the losses, the fears and anxieties, the wounds and hurts that others are carrying with them.

“Sean of the South” recommends that we make a habit of “over-tipping” (not your therapist) but your wait staff. I agree. I know some customers are simply unable, but for many of us, it is money we will not miss and may mean a great deal to the recipient.

Remember: We have no idea!

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