Originally uploaded by Vélocia.
If you're not from America, tipping is a weird custom. It takes a bit of getting used to and, I have to admit that when tipping is required, I tend to be over-generous rather than stingy. I give the standard 20% tip in restaurants, and hope to Hades that I've calculated it right. For the most part, I have had excellent service in restaurants here, so I have not been bothered about adding the gratuity to my bill.
This last week has taught me that perhaps a tipping system should be applied to other businesses that don't currently practice it - and I'm particularly thinking about the phone company, the US Postal Service, and the City of Chicago Fleet Management Department.
If the tipping system were to be applied to these industries, perhaps their employees might actually make an effort at customer service. Becaue right now, there's no incentive for them to do so, and so they simply do not care. And you, as a customer, can't do anything about it, because you need them for a specific reason, and they don't need you for anything.
Hmm. I seem to have become one of those people who thinks that by throwing money at a problem, it will simply go away. But what other recourse do I have?
Money talks, it makes the world go round, it is the root of all evil - truck out whatever cliche you want; I just want these utilities and public service organisations to be staffed by pleasant people and right now, that seems too much to ask. So if I have to pay for the privilege of a few kind words and some efficient service, then so be it.