Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Remember when I wrote not long ago about tipping?

Entry on August 18, titled "Let's try this again..." For those inclined you can read it over there, Go down this page and look to the right, in the August Archives titled "Let's try this again...")

Well, this week tipping obviously got under this guys skin but it was handled a little differently:

Charges were dropped yesterday against a Long Island man who was arrested last week for failing to leave a required 18 percent gratuity at Soprano's Italian and American Grill in Lake George, N.Y.

The Warren County district attorney, Kathleen B. Hogan, said that she had determined that the man, Humberto A. Taveras, could not be forced to pay a gratuity.

Ms. Hogan said, "A tip or gratuity is discretionary, and that's what the courts have found."

First, I can understand not leaving a tip for bad service, but for bad food? Uh, I don't think so. That's just wrong, obviously wrong. Stupidly, obviously wrong. The wait person does not cook the food. HELLO!

Okay, next, nine people ate dinner for $77.43?!

And he's surprised the meal wasn't much good....?

As I indicated before, in the my previous tipping rant, tipping doesn't work. I think tipping is a mistake and creates problems. The employer should pay their employees a reasonable wage for doing a difficult job. If they do it well. And if they do it well, they get to keep their job and they should be paid accordingly. Like the rest of us.

If it's not based on the service and it's not based on the food, then what's it based on? The waitress breast size? If it's not a tip and it's mandatory then make it a service charge. There should be a mandatory service charge, or it should be included into the price of the food. It would make people more likely to take their complaints (of anything) to the management instead of taking it out on the wait person's pocket. It would make for easier, more honest, declaration of income for the waiter and restaurant. It would create a different, more normal, relationship between the wait staff and the customer.

The problem with adding a mandatory tip to the bill of larger dining parties is that very often the restaurant does not make it clear to the diners that has been done and the customers end up - in the candlelight and wine fog and involved in conversation - paying the tip twice, not realizing that it has already been added to the bill.

I'm fine with mandatory amounts of tips for larger parties but the establishment should make it perfectly clear before the party starts!!

The fact that the guy was arrested is ridiculous! So, the Prosecutor says:

"A Mandatory Gratuity Is Just a Tip, and Thus Not Mandatory"


Published: September 15, 2004

As it turns out, a tip is just a tip, even if you put "mandatory" in front of it.

PEOPLE!!!! We need a court to figure this out? The guy was ARRESTED and then a COURT of law had to determine the definition of TIP and if not tipping could mean jail time.! Holy Toledo. Of course personally I wouldn't mess around with a restaurant named "Soprano's".

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

So I'm thinking.....

First, what's up with this: We have a televised game show in our country where people can win a million dollars for surviving only two months in a place people already live. ???

And then I was thinking, the Buddhist says "The action of non-doing is the most important thing you will ever do," and if that's true, then maybe, instead of thinking my entire life I was lazy, maybe it turns out, I'm a Buddhist!

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Selective helplessness

Anyone live with one of those guys that can fix stuff? Here's what I find amazing...A man like that can rewire an entire house, rebuild a carburetor and assemble a lawn mower in less than an hour! But, have you ever watched that same man wrap a gift? It's the most pathetic thing I've ever seen. It's as if they are missing a gene.

Running late last week for a birthday party I asked Steven to wrap a pair of earrings I'd bought for a friend. I came back five minutes later and he was nursing stab wounds from the scissors, had used an entire roll of scotch tape and an entire 30 foot roll of wrapping paper!! This is what I call "selective helplessness!"

For instance, some men can go into the woods, stand 20 yards from an innocent deer, kill it and justify the killing because, "it's for food!" BUT, you put that same man at home alone with no one to fix him breakfast, lunch or dinner...This same man could starve to death in his own house.

(Apparently it's "unsportsman-like" to go after meat trapped in a zip lock bag).

Fortunately, except for the gift wrapping problem, my husband rarely uses this "selective helplessness" tactic. He knows better. We've been married almost 7 years, on November 1st, and he's yet to ever look at me and ask "what's for dinner?" He's one very smart (or very scared) guy.

Off the coast of Ventura, California there are a small chain of islands called The Channel Islands. At certain times of the year, well, this time of year, hunters - after purchasing a $5,000.00 permit and waiting their turn on a 5 year waiting list - are allowed to fly out to the island and hunt. But, get this...It's an island. A VERY small island. There are few trees. The deer pretty much just stand around like cows in a corral. Here's how it works: The hunters are driven around on a jeep, the jeep stops, without leaving the jeep...they shoot their deer and that's it. That's "hunting" California style I guess. Personally, I just don't get it. I don't see where there's any "sport" to this activity unless you call "not falling out of the jeep," a sport.

I don't get this either...California is dry this time of year, right? REALLY dry. It's red flag fire season people. Everything is brown. We've had no rain for months and we won't see any until at least the end of October. Everything is BROWN. Crispy, dry and BROWN. But, these "hunters" (and I use the term 'hunter' loosely because I don't see any actual hunting going on) before boarding the airplane, start painting their faces and put on camouflage outfits.

GREEN CAMOUFLAGE OUTFITS! See? Everything is BROWN. The island is brown. The shurbs are brown. The beach is brown. Even the deer are brown. But, the hunters, are GREEN. Geez Louise.

So there they sit, in their GREEN camouflage costumes, with their painted faces, laughing like "good ole boys" straight out of Deliverance (but remember, these are pretend "good ole boys" - these are good ole boy wanna-be's. These guys have waited 5 years and paid $5,000 a piece to hunt down a deer that most likely doesn't know enough to run and even if it did, it would have no where to hide - (Remember? It's a BROWN, TREELESS, ISLAND). I wouldn't be surprised if one day the deer walked up and just took a seat in the jeep.

So, here they sit, attorneys and business owners. Just sitting there, waiting for the weather to clear just enough to land the airplane on a dirt strip out there so they can get on with the "hunt". If you ask me, they might as well go "hunting" in a zoo but, whatever. I guess the thinning of the herds is necessary - or the deer eat everything there - and the money is used for the park service to maintain the island - park rangers go there and live in shifts, a week at a time. But if those deer ever get a hold of some of those guns and decide to thin some herds...oh well, that's my fantasy of the day!