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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Gray Matters- Tale of a Tip

Monday, June 9, 2008

As a favorite grandson and I had started out very early on our way home from a recent trip, we stopped along the way for breakfast at a fast-food restaurant. This place had long been a favorite of mine, but unhappily, it didn't live up to my recollections. Now I'm curious to know whether the quality of the entire chain has declined or if it was just that one. But I will have to wait to check that out next time I'm in Sioux City for I believe that is the closest location for that particular eatery.

Anyway, we were greeted by a friendly, chatty, waitress who seemed a bit befuddled. I ordered coffee, expecting a glass of water to be served with it, but I didn't get any. It occurred to me that it might be a part of this so-called 'greening' I'd read something about. The idea seems to be that there is some sort of saving in not serving water unless it's asked for. So I requested a glassful when she came to take our order, but it still didn't arrive. My grandson finally got me some from another server. There were a couple of other missteps along the way, as well.

I consider myself a reasonable tipper, though my kids sometimes accuse me of being a bit on the cheap side. I think those of us who grew up in the great depression may lean a bit in that direction, but I try to be fair. When we had finished eating and I'd sent my grandson to settle with the cashier, I was alone at the table. I was preparing to leave just a dollar for a tip, considering the quality of service we'd received, when the waitress returned. As she started to speak, there was a bit of a quaver in her voice and she seemed near tears. She started out by saying that she just had to tell me how much I reminded her of someone who was very near and dear to her but who was 'no longer with us.' She repeated that and then elaborated a bit as I started asking questions. It turned out she was referring to her grandmother who had lived in Janesville, WI, but had recently passed away. The young woman went on to say,"I was amazed and so pleased when you walked in this morning because you look so much like her. It brought back memories and just made my day! I couldn't decide whether I should tell you this or not, but now I'm glad I did."

I, too, was glad she did. After that brief poignant conversation I totally changed my mind about the size of the tip. My kids would have been proud of my generosity! Isn't it amazing, the interesting and unexpected things that sometimes take place along life's way? I guess that's just part of what keeps us going. Now I hope reading this little tale may have helped a bit to keep you going along your own way today. Thank you for listening.