April 26, 2011

Penny Pinching

Benjamin Franklin said that a penny saved is a penny earned. I don't know for sure, not having spoken with him, but it seems the sort of thing he might have said, famous as he was for frugality. But in Franklin's day, a penny was worth saving. Now? Not so much.

Thus I offer the following: A penny tipped is a penny wasted.

It's not that I don't appreciate the gesture - if, of course, the gesture is a polite one. Maybe you're tipping me a penny because you don't appreciate the condescension with which I detail what exactly a dirty chai is. But let's assume, for just a moment, that you're trying to be nice.

Keep the change. No, seriously, keep it. I'm just going to toss the penny in the penny cup - the clearly labeled receptacle for pennies. Again, I appreciate the appreciation, really. I'm not one to turn down generosity. But if you've only got a penny, throw it in the cup. It exists for that singular purpose, after all.

And do what, then? Just say thanks. Just be nice. I like tips, obviously. I'm glad to get them, especially when I feel they're earned. But kindness is rewarding in its own way - seriously.

I'm struggling to think of a way to end this without sounding like a prick, because really, I think my message is clearly the opposite of that. I'm trying to say that it's not about the money, that we should all play nice, hold hands, and sing kumbaya all day.

But mostly, if you're going to tip, tip. Seriously. I need to support my racing habit.

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