In prior years around Christmas, I normally tip waitresses (and even some waiters) extra money at the beginning of November through the end of December. There were times when my tip was as large as my total bill. Looking back I’m curious if the servers may have thought that I was paying my bill that way and not leaving a tip all…
The problem with leaving 5 to 10 dollar tips is that it’s not that impactful and probably gets absorbed by the servers without providing much benefit for the waitress or waiter, so this year as an experiment, I tried a different approach. To be honest, it grew out of the desire to tip a Subway worker $50 because she reminded me so much of my daughter and I really enjoyed chatting with her. Ironically, before I was able to tip her, she had quit working at the sub shop but I decided to continue with what I have planned anyway.
So instead of giving one girl (she was seventeen) $50, I gave my next two favorites employees at the sub shop each $20. The seemed happy at the time and I explained how I’m kind of “passing it forward” from when I was a kid (which really did happen when I was a bag-boy at a grocery store). I still kept the fifty dollars in my wallet though, just in case I might run into the girl who reminded me so much of my daughter. But then at a different restaurant I frequent, one of the females (she’s at least in her 20s) was ripped off when she got a new cellphone and plan. This touched me because she was a nice young woman and seemed to be taking it hard. So after leaving I came back to that restaurant and told her my story about being tipped as a kid at Christmas and the I was “passing it forward” concept to her. While it didn’t cover the amount she got ripped off by the unscrupulous cell phone company employee, it seemed to cheer her up a bit.
This year is odd in that in the past I’ve mainly given out extra money to waitresses, but this year I actually didn’t tip any extra money to waitresses other than the standard 20 to 25%. The reason I didn’t is because mainly I’ve been on a special diet where I mostly eat at Subway instead of a sit-down restaurant. This was an expensive year, so I’m glad that I was still able to do this at the level that I did it.
My giving goal n 2017 is to give out an even $100!
Hope you enjoyed this new Christmas tradition that I’ve been doing for the past 4 or 5 years!