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jberryhill's Journal
jberryhill's Journal
August 16, 2014

Watch Rick Perry pardon himself...

Bet me he doesn't try.

And then watch all the Konstitooshinal Skolarz back him up!
August 6, 2014

Strangers, political opinions and tips

There was a thread that touched on "sharing political opinion with strangers" the other day, and I had a weird moment a few weeks ago that I've been turning over in my head and just can't figure out.

I was coming back from a trip abroad, and my assistant had arranged for a car to pick me up from the airport and get me home.

I live in a townhouse on a little loop of a road, and it's hard to see the house numbers. But since I have a red Smart car that sticks out like a sore thumb, I usually just say, "Pull up to the Smart car and you'll be there. That's my car."

The guy pulls up, pops the trunk, I get my stuff out of it (since I feel kind of dumb having someone else unload luggage I'm going to be carrying into the house anyway), and as he's standing there looking around he says, "There's one thing about that car that's not very smart."

"Oh, what?"

"The Obama bumper sticker, ha!"

Whatever. Now, this is something like an $85 town car ride, and I usually tip around 15 bucks, but sometimes my assistant pre-pays the tip on the card and doesn't tell me. So, I pull out my wallet and ask, "Did my assistant pay a tip?"

And he says, "Yep. No problem. I'm taken care of."

"Okay, thanks."

And, I was kind of disappointed because I wanted to give him a cash tip immediately after he'd made his comment, just to see if there would be any sign of him thinking "Hmmmm... maybe I shouldn't insult people when I'm expecting them to pay me for good service."

I mean, I'm in a service occupation too, and I have clients with all kinds of crazy opinions all over the map. They're entitled to them, and if they want to go on about them while paying an hourly rate, that's fine with me. If they ask mine, I usually say, "Oh, I'm to the left of Che Guevara, so you don't want to really hear about it" as my general "I'm not going to get into politics unless you really, really want to" line.

I liked the ride a lot, since the last couple of times I've had drivers who were just chatty as all get out, and I usually just want to take a nap. This guy wanted to listen to a baseball game, and that was fine with me since I could just tune it out and nap.

But I couldn't help thinking, "Is it normal to essentially say 'I think you are stupid' to someone who just billed $100?" I'm thinking if I was a limo driver I'd pretty much keep my opinions to myself and concentrate on getting the luggage in, keeping the passengers comfortable, and sending them off with a "Have a nice day!"

I'm thinking I should tell her not to pre-pay the tip anymore. It's a convenience because I don't always have cash, but I'm also wondering if the fact that he'd been tipped already gave him a license to do that.

My other awkward driver-tipping moment was when my driver turned out to be one of my neighbors down the street. Odd thing was I had loaned him ten bucks at a local bar when he was short one night, and he'd never paid me back. Not that I lend money with the thought of it being re-paid, and not that I would chase down a neighbor over ten bucks, but at the end of the ride, I had a quandary over whether I should tip a guy who owed me ten bucks.

I went ahead and gave him a generous tip. I figured if he couldn't pay me the ten bucks back, then he probably needed more anyway.


Situation 1: Would you have asked for the charge receipt and taken the tip out? Or just leave it be?

Situation 2: Would you tip the guy who owed you ten bucks?

Or am I just an idiot?

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Delaware
Member since: Fri Jan 20, 2006, 08:14 PM
Number of posts: 62,444
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