‘Tis the Season – for Giving

Since retiring I don’t make as much money as I did. Most people don’t, obviously. But during December (and sometimes in November) I have had the joy of being able to leave generous tips to the waitress or waiter at various restaurants.

Recently I read about a waitress getting a $1,200 tip! Most of us are not able to come close to that, but giving a generous tip is always appreciated. Especially if the restaurant is really busy and the wait staff is walking faster than most people run to serve everyone.

It’s not an easy job, and it takes a particular set of character values to be good at it.

So especially during the holiday season, I look at it this way: Good service should be tipped, but excellent service should be rewarded. And if you pay attention, sometimes it’s not the waitress’s fault your food is not prepared right, or your plate comes out missing something, or even if it’s a not piping hot.

Sometimes giving a generous tip involves some forgiveness; most of the time it means rewarding a waiter or waitress who is obviously interested in serving, not just the food, but hospitality.

I don’t hang around to see the reaction from receiving a large tip, but I have had a waitress or two chase my wife and I down in the parking lot and ask if we meant to leave that much tip, and then to thank us. And we tell them, yes, we did, Christmas is coming, you’re welcome, you earned it, keep up the good work.

Another good sign of good service: Honesty. Wanting to do what’s right. They didn’t have to find us to see if we “made a mistake” and left too much money on the table, but they did.

It proves there is virtue and valor in all occupations, and it’s a choice.

A choice that should be rewarded.