Monday, September 18, 2006

Non sequitur

Around 11.30 Sunday night, I stopped into my neighborhood Giant on the way home from playing hockey to pick-up a few items my family deemed essential for Monday morning. As I walked from my car to the store, I passed a rather dour-looking guy carrying a plunger, a Costco-sized package of toilet paper and a bouquet of flowers. Part of me wanted to ask him what happened; but the other part of me -- the husband and father -- decided it was best just to leave him alone.

My 7 1/2 year-old teen-age daughter informed me this evening at dinner that "I need[ed] to listen her the first time because she wasn't going to repeat herself." About what? That she had had enough dinner and wanted to eat her chocolate cake from Booeymonger. When I told her there was still dinner to finish, she folded her arms, huffed and puffed, turned to the side and told me that "she was never speaking to me again." That is, until it was time to sing her favorite bedtime song, "In the Presence Of," by Yes.

I asked the counter-attendant at Dunkin' Donuts this morning if he had a "Retraction Cup for Bad Service" to complement the "Gratuities for Excellent Service" cup sitting next to the register. He had no answer. I asked him if he tipped people in convenience and quick-service stores like his own when he visited them. He told me he never thought about it. I asked him why I should tip him if he didn't tip his colleagues. He didn't know the answer to that either, and politely asked if I wanted to speak with the manager. No, I said, I just wanted to know when we passed the tipping point that created the tipping cup for businesses where the employees are just doing their jobs. He asked me if I wanted the 800 number. I told him I just wanted my apple fritter, and to have a nice day. And, no, I didn't tip him.

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