Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Those who have a newspaper subscription know that every year in December, the newspaper carrier sticks a small card in the paper with a self addressed envelope and a holiday greeting. This is so people can send them tips. 'Tis the season of tipping, you know.

A few days ago, we received the typical card in our mailbox instead of the paper. I recognized the name as the guy who has left a card for the past couple of years. I set it aside and have thought little about it. Until today that is, when I got a typed note in our paper from an Independent Consultant for the morning news. This letter informed me that the guy who left a card in my mailbox is not my newspaper carrier and has not been for some time. It went on to give me the name of the real newspaper deliverer and her address.

What a drama. Part of me is fairly angry at the guy who was trying to steal money from people. But then, what if he delivered the paper for half the year and then this lady took over the job? Then why should she receive all the tips? But who really knows the story, or what the motives are. And then I think, why do we tip the newspaper deliverer anyway? I mean, who started all of this tipping stuff and who decided what jobs get tips? The garbage collectors don't get tips. Why not? I can't tip the mail carrier- it's not allowed. Hairdressers are supposed to get tipped. But don't we tip them every single time we get a hair cut? Why do they get an extra tip at the end of the year? I guess I am hopelessly out of touch with modern tipping etiquette. Frankly, I find it annoying. I don't mind giving gifts/tips because I feel like it, but I hate feeling like certain things are expected of me. For example, I love to give our crossing guard a gift card at Christmas just because he is nice, and helpful, and works hard for probably not much money at an important job. I have no idea if tipping the crossing guard is required etiquette and I don't care. I do it because I want to. And that is how I wish it all worked.

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