Thursday, May 7, 2009

KarmaTickle

What's the opposite of a Karma Slap? Good things happen to people who tip well. I took a cab today to pick up my car and left the cabby a $4 tip for a $19 ride, for no particular reason. I'd consider that a decent tip. As I was waiting for my car, the cabbie came back and dropped off a small brown bag I'd forgotten in the backseat. The weird thing is I thought I had checked that I had everything because I was also carrying my camera case and a chequebook. The package (which didn't look like much more than a work snack, honestly) actually contained some naturopathy pills, which I had just paid $50 for. So there you go.

The cabbie was obviously a good guy, but I'm guessing he's not turning the car around if I give him a twenty note on the nineteen dollar fare.

2 comments:

Joe July 15, 2009 at 10:33 PM  

After spending two weeks in Japan, where tipping does not exist and where service is consistently better than in North America, I'm convinced this is the way it should be everywhere. If you tried to sneak a cabbie a tip there, my guess is that he would turn his car around to give you the change.

The common argument for tipping seems to be that it provides customers with a way to reward good service. I would prefer to reward good service with repeat business, and let the business reward its employees with higher pay, etc. Did you know that some Japanese stores are using smile-detection algorithms in their security cameras to make sure their staff maintain a friendly demeanor at all times?

Dave Cunningham July 16, 2009 at 11:26 AM  

I guess tipping is a way of individualizing reward. What you're talking about doesn't benefit the service person directly (in the case of a cabbie or a waitress), but rather the institution that he or she belongs to. And I think that's a particularly North American failing - the assumption that a group benefit is less valuable than the individual benefit.

I also heard that Canon makes their employees stand, to be more productive. So I guess we all have our good and bad ideas. :)

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