Tipping: What is it good for?

Why is tipping a part of our culture?

On the one hand, I get it. People want to reward good service. This works perfectly well for some jobs.

But one where it doesn’t work so well in is waiting tables.

Not only does tipping not improve service, it isn’t doled out according to service anyway.  You are more likely to get a better tip if you are attractive than if you give amazing service.

It also turns out that restaurants end up having the cooks leave their positions to wait tables because the money is better (because the tips aren’t spread evenly among everyone). So there is this constant battle between the front of the house and the back.

Some eateries are changing this. I really do hope it sticks though. It is so confusing for folks who come here from abroad. But more importantly, it makes it easier on everyone so we don’t have to do math at the table.

I know that I enjoy going to other countries and not having to worry about tipping. Though, then I inevitably DO worry about tipping because I wonder if they do tip in these places.

This kind of goes hand in hand with the culture discussion from yesterday.

If We Hide Behind our Phones, Are We Really Discovering the World?

One of the books I am reading right now is a travel book. The author is riding various dangerous modes of transportation. I’m currently reading about the dangerous trains in Mumbai, India. They are so full that every boarding experience is an exercise in wrestling.

Another aspect that is really interesting about this book is the lack of privacy that people have in other parts of the world. Many of the people who I would talk to see it as a “Third World” thing. As our country has gotten richer and more technologically sound, it’s easier to get away. After all, 200 years ago the best thing that money could get you was privacy.

But is that all good? In this book, The Lunatic Express: Discovering the World… Via Its Most Dangerous Buses, Boats, Trains, and Planes, the author continues to see happiness and comfort in folks who have much less than he does. Some of the people in the places he visits are interconnected in every way, much like what small towns here in the states seem to many of us. Everybody knows your business in small towns. It’s both a blessing and a curse.

New York City, with over 8 million people living there can be the loneliest place on the planet. But if I go back to my hometown, I just have to stand in the local grocery store for a few minutes before I run into someone I know.

It’s all a matter of perspective.

Weighing in on Osama

It’s been almost ten years since I was informed by my college roommate that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. At that moment, I could not have imagined the impact that that event would have on everyone’s lives. It’s too early for me to fully comment on Osama Bin Laden’s death, but the below quote about sums up how I feel.

I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

I’m happy that we’ve closed that chapter, but I fear another chapter may be beginning.

Is Wii Good Exercise?

Not that this is surprising to me, but I would hope that not many people “work out” with the Wii and think that they’ve gotten a good workout for the day (unless you are insane and work up a huge sweat).


I am definitely on board with the Wii idea of actually making people move when they play games.  As long as you aren’t just flicking your wrist to mimic actual movement, playing some of the Wii sports is a lot of fun.

But if you are getting yourself up off the couch and doing something, it’s better than nothing.  I just hope that this isn’t you sole means of exercise.