I like to see people happy. I also like saving money. I don’t readily donate to charity because I’m poor, but every once in a while I like doing something nice for people that could use the money. I usually avoid donating to organizations because I prefer to see the recipients of my charity. The positive reinforcement and increased likelihood of repetition more than compensates for the silly pride I feel in being nice, I think.
Tonight, I went by Taco Bell to buy a 7-layer burrito. When I pulled over to the window, I saw a sign that said “Tips greatly appreciated” written in wonderful handwriting. The lady who took my money seemed nice, and I realized she had put up the sign because of the terrible pay at Taco Bell.
About tips… I don’t like giving tips at restaurants because it’s expected. I tend to avoid restaurants for this reason: the restaurant pays the service so poorly that they have to rely on the charity of the clientèle. I just can’t support an establishment like that any more than I can support buying chocolate that was produced by slavery. 🙂
Having once had a friend go crazy while working at Taco Bell and having worked for minimum wage before, I realized that these were the workers who truly deserved a tip, but sadly were also the people least likely to get one.
So I gave her a dollar.
She was happy. She brought my food with a smile and asked if I wanted anything else. Then I thought of all the people who were preparing my food and thought it was unfair to only give her a tip. I asked her for change for a $5. When she gave me five ones, I gave her back three and asked her to share with the two other workers. Then I drove off happy.
For just $4, or double my meal price, I was able to make four people happy (three workers and myself). In comparison, the same amount would buy me a meal at a sit-down restaurant and perhaps give a tip to an underpaid waitress who wouldn’t appreciate it as it would only be one part of her whole salary.
Thus, I have decided that— from now on— every time I get some fast food after midnight, I will compensate the workers with what I can. You should too. Try it tonight: it’s fun and it always makes the workers happy. It’s like a 20 percent pay raise for that hour.