Tip Cups - Everytown USA

Eval from NYC says:

I’m a lazy bastard. Don’t get me wrong, I mean that in a good way. If something benefits myself, my friends or my family in any way, I’m the first one to volunteer, but anything else and I’m outta there. So you figure I’d be the kinda guy who appreciates when someone else does a good job, and I would want to reward them as such….well you’re wrong.

Being such a lazy bastard I bring my dirty clothes into my neighborhood Laundromat to be cleaned and folded. Now I realize that no one but myself should have to touch my underwear, but people are paid a salary to do such. So I went to pick up my clothes the other day, paid the clerk the with a ten dollar bill for the $8.65 charge, and noticed he was kinda staring at me, and then down towards the desk, as the monetary exchange took place. Well, when I looked at the desk, much to my surprise, I noticed a glass jar with the word “TIPS” emblazoned across the front.

I looked back at him and his eyes said “hey buddy, howsabout placing that $1.35 change in the TIP jar”. Well needless to say, I pocketed my money and walked out without leaving him so much as a red cent. But wait, I did leave him something…my $8.65. Now if he wasn’t the owner then he didn’t get the whole $8.65, but he has to be getting paid at least $5.15 an hour, which happens to be the minimum wage in this great free land of ours.

I started to think about the ‘TIP” jar when I got home, and thought to myself…"what a scam". My friend works at a large Publishing company as a computer technician, should he bring a “TIP” cup with him so that when he fixes PC’s he can wave it in the customer’s face. Or maybe it would be better if he asked for the tip first, kinda like “you want your computer fixed, you’re gonna have to fess up”. So he gets paid handsomely for performing his job, so what. He wants a little more.

3 days later, I’m at work in my midtown Manhattan office building, it’s lunchtime and I’m hungry so I go outside to grab some food. There’s a little food cart on our corner, “The Potato King”, serves baked potatoes with all kinds of slop on them. Now I like me my carbs, so I saunter on over, and ask for one with chili and cheese. Guess what I see on the cart, you’ve got it, a “TIP” cup , and it’s got about $5 worth of bills and change in it. Now I’m wondering, do people actually put money in these things, or does the guy kinda start himself out to get the ball rolling.

I started to wonder if this was a couple of isolated incidents, or was this “TIP” cup thing becoming a common occurrence, so I asked some friends of mine what they thought. You wouldn’t believe what they had to say. Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks and just about every other coffee shop in New York City had one as did most street food vendors, and we still have to deal with the Squeegee boys downtown.

Now don’t get me wrong, I do believe in tipping waiters and waitresses, delivery persons and cab drivers, if the service is good. Here in NYC, the tax rate is 8 ½%, so I just double that for the tip. 17% ain’t bad, but these people are being paid under minimum wage. It’s how they make most of their monies, unlike the out-of work, struggling (read hack) actor working at Starbucks, who wants a salary and something extra, something extra out of my pocket.

I say BITE ME!!!!!

Conversely, Ethan G. of NYC writes “TIP” cups - those who DON’T have them, but really should:

1) People who hold the subway doors open for you (as you're launching yourself down the stairs to catch the F train to Park Slope at Broadway/Houston, saving you at least a half hour or more, usually).
2) Business owners who address you by name - and comment when you've lost weight (at least when YOU'VE lost weight).
3) Gorgeous joggers/bladers/etc. in Central/Prospect Park who do loops the "reverse" direction to give you a good view. (then again, coming up from behind ain't too bad...i mean, when your in the park...well, actually, not just in the park...)
4) Subway musicians..ok, they already have cups, but they do earn their keep and should be mentioned.
5) People who stick their unused free transfers from the bus into the "guide-a-ride" post for a lucky rider. I guess it would be hard to tip these guys cause they're anonymous.


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