Saturday, February 27, 2010

When to listen to advice, and when not to

Pumping gas
I've never heard such balderdash in my life, and I've heard plenty, let me tell you!

The Internet is awash with helpful advice on a wide variety of subjects. You can get advice on which video games are actually good for you; how to prevent an affair; how to avoid diet pitfalls, Farmville tips and tricks; and rules for drafting a quarterback. But the advice I was looking for recently had to do with knowing who to tip and how much to tip them.

And what I found was shocking!

Everybody knows you tip the wait staff -- 15 percent if great service, 10 percent if they spit in your food -- and according to a Yahoo! Finance series on being financially fit, you also need to tip doormen and skycaps ($1 per bag), bartenders (15-20%), the pizza delivery guy (10%), and the person who shampoos your hair at the stylist ($2).

But do you know how much they suggest tipping the gas attendant who provides you with full service at the pump?

Absolutely Nothing!

An attendant comes out to your car (rain or shine), fills up your tank (in sickness or in health), washes the windshield (forsaking all others), checks your oil and tire pressure (till death do you part), and you don't tip him or her one red cent? Like I said -- balderdash. Absolutely balderdash!

I'm guessing the person who wrote the article (had to be female) just went through a nasty breakup with her long-time live-in lover, who admitted he was seeing a beautiful gas attendant (you know, the one who works at the corner gas station that got all that news lately about having beautiful half-naked women filling up the tanks of mostly men customers who waited hours in line just to get serviced), and that they had plans to jet off to Rio and open up a coffee shop together, leaving poor Tiza (just guessing that's her name) all in a tizzy.

You want to tip that girly-man for shampooing your hair? You go right ahead. You want to tip that doorman for carrying your bag up a flight a stairs to your apartment because you don't want to spill your Starbucks? Fine with me. But to suggest that you don't have to tip a gas station attendant who just got his hands dirty while changing the oil in your car -- well, that's just un-American!

I don't care what Yahoo!Finance says -- gas station attendants are an endangered species, and if I can save just one with my $2-5 tip, then by golly, I'm going to give them a tip.

All in favor, say Amen!

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