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Keepin' It Real with Cam Marston

Dec 7, 2022

It just feels like everyone's hand is out, asking for more for simply doing what they were asked to do. 


It was a convenience store. Just like all the convenience stores you’ve seen. I grabbed a drink from the refrigerator, walked to the counter and handed the drink to the guy at the register. He scanned the bar code, I give him my card, he processed the card and handed me the receipt to sign. And there it was, big as day – a line for me to add a tip. A tip. For buying a drink at a convenience store. I froze. Really? Asking for a tip for buying a drink at a convenience store. The store offered no foodservice, no delivery assistance, nothing that traditionally begs a tip that would explain the tip line on the receipt. He simply scanned the drink, swiped my card. I wanted to ask him about it but the line was getting pretty long so I  signed the receipt, put no tip, and walked out shaking my head. My buddy was waiting outside for me. “Can you believe they wanted a tip to sell us a drink?” he asked. He saw it, too, and was as taken aback as I was.

Is it me or does everyone seem to want a tip these days? For simply doing the job they’re there to do, like selling me a canned drink at a conveniences store. That guy behind the counter likely had nothing to do with the tip line on the receipt, but I assume he would be the beneficiary of any tips he got that day. I don’t know what to think about it, but my initial reaction was, “that’s offensive.”

I took an Uber from my hotel to the airport in California a few weeks back. A hotel employee jumped in front of me as I reached for the car door and opened the door for me. I climbed in and he stood there with the door open for a moment or two looking at me. I assume he was waiting for a tip. As soon as the Uber got started towards the airport, the Uber app on my phone asked if I wanted to tip the driver and we had hardly started rolling. There was a note on the counter in my hotel room asking me to consider tipping the housekeepers. A club where I’m a member once forbade tipping in cash. Now tipping in cash is done openly everywhere, and employees seem to expect it though the rules remain unchanged.

I understand the need for tips on some jobs – those tips provide necessary income for the people doing the job. And the origin of the word Tip, as I understand it, is “to insure promptness.” However, that’s not the case in most places where tipping has become expected, like the convenience store.

To change the subject a bit, I also understand there’s a reason we’re called grumpy old men. It seems, as men age, we find new things that make us grumpy and for me, tipping is the thing du jour. It just feels like everyone’s hand is out for simply doing what they were asked to do.

By the way, if you liked this commentary and agree, please feel free to Venmo me a few bucks to show your support.

I’m Cam Marston and I’m just trying to Keep it Real.