Friday, May 15, 2009

The Tipping Point

Yesterday, I stopped in a sandwich shop for a pannini to go. The counter help was high school-aged and probably working for minimum wage. I noted a tip jar with a hand-lettered sign.

I was reminded of all the friends I had in high school and college who worked for tips. And of my son who has his own sign on a tip jar at the coffeehouse he currently works for: "Tips supporting Costa Rica Summer Study Abroad". He says even students smile at the message and dig a little deeper for some extra change.

So, when the girl ran my debit card, I added a two dollar tip. She glanced at it and said,
"Wow. WOW! Thank you. THANK YOU!"

Then she asked if there was anything I needed or wanted while I was waiting for my order. I requested some water. She gave me a nice glass (not styrofoam like the the other customers' drinks) with lots of ice, slices of lemon and lime, and two straws. 

I was thinking: Wow. WOW! She is really grateful for $2. We forget sometimes that a few dollars seems like a lot of money to some people. I won't miss it, but she apparently has plans for it.

I wish I'd left $5.

Next time, I will.


Craig Weeks said...

One thing I find so impressive about this is that a young person:

1. felt genuine gratitude
2. expressed it to you personally
3. responded with her own kindness

This should not be exceptional, but I think it is.

Thanks for reminding us that blessing someone else's day in a memorable way does not have to be hard.

Linda said...