Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Tipping and Tything - Meyer

I was interested to read recently about the waitress who received a snide remark written on the bill instead of a tip. The message read: “I only give God 10%; why should I give you 18%?”

Ah, why indeed. I just bet that fella had never been a waiter. And before passing judgement on the poor woman (which is what he very clearly did), he should have listened to the old adage to first walk a mile in a man’s shoes. If you’ve never been a waitress before, don’t judge that she is unworthy of the 18% tip that the rest of society has judged to be a fair compensation to her.

I was a waitress while my husband was going to school fulltime. We would gather up the tips and use it to buy food to last us until the next day when we would use those tips to buy food for the following day. My wages went to pay for our rent, heat and electricity. Most waitresses don’t have unions, pensions, sick days, benefits, or any of the other job perks that many of us enjoy. A case in point, the waitress in the above news story got fired for telling about the incident.

I read a very good article about this in Christianity Today. One comment the writer made was that we shouldn’t go out to eat if we can’t afford to tip. A very good point! Ditto with getting your hair done or ordering a pizza or ordering room service. If you don’t have the money to pay the tip, you don’t have the money to ask for the service – period.

And whatever happened to generosity? Why are we limiting ourselves to 18%? Do we pull out our calculator and make sure that if our bill is $15.73, we give a tip of $2.36? Or can we be gracious and loving as our Father commanded us to do and leave three dollars or better yet, what used to be a common comment, “Keep the change!” So our total expenditure is $20.00. What has that extra $4.27 cost us in terms of a relationship, a witness for Christ, and just good common decency?

Can we just make it a policy to give 20% (it’s easier to calculate) and round it up to the next dollar? After all, that is how God treats us, richly lavishing blessings on us each and every day until our cup literally overflows!  
Dorene Meyer
Author of newly released Jessie's Secret

1 comment:

Peter Black said...

Very good, Dorene -- an ordinary, everyday subject and scenario, but one that evokes a multitude of musings and emotions -- as the comments on CT show!
The "tithing pastor" comment that sparked the discussion was surely an insensitive, ungracious display that represented the Christian community very poorly. The point is well made and well taken regarding the “church crowd” and the allegation of many Christians’ hypocritical lack of generosity. Shabby. A poor witness
Years ago my wife and one of our sons were servers in commercial establishments. Nowadays, both are generous tippers. Even so, she and I hold the view that a tip of any value is to be received with gratitude, for it IS a gratuity.
As to the suggestion that if one cannot afford to tip, one can’t afford to eat out. We should consider those who have very limited means. Imagine a low income family or a single parent, who themselves are on minimum wage. Over time they scrape together enough to provide a once-in-however-many –blue-moons meal out. They don’t order a lavish meal, and yet it takes all their disposable cash to pay for it. They pay the listed price and the tax. Their change after tax is small potatoes – not even 5%, but they leave it as a tip. Now vacating that establishment, it will be many months before they could ever be back again. That scenario could also fit some seniors. Should they be denied that special time together to brighten their lives?
Heh! Heh! If I might be personal: Recently my wife and I gratefully enjoyed five nights of soup and sandwiches for supper. That helped towards our next meal out with two widowed friends.
As it is, I’m very grateful for the grace-gifts I’ve received through the generosity of others over the years. They didn’t have to do.
It is indeed “more blessed to give than to receive,” and so, as we are blessed we in turn can bless others.
Thanks Dorene. :)

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