What Could Possibly Justify This?

     Someone should clue me in, because I’m drawing a blank:

     In a viral video, this woman and her boo were confronted with this screen at the most unexpected place—the grocery store.
     In the TikTok, Ev (@incrediboii) explained that she and her boyfriend stopped by a small “bougie” grocery store in Austin, Texas called Tiny Grocer, which they normally wouldn’t go to. But they just needed to pick up a few cheeses, hard meats, and wine for their date night, so they stopped in.
     She knew it would be more expensive than at the grocery store she normally goes to, and it turned out to be $40.
     But here’s where the surprise kicks in.
     The cashier turned the tablet around after Ev paid, and Ev was confronted with a screen asking for a 25% tip.
     “I look at her and my jaw like [dropped],” Ev said.

     I can’t imagine how I would have reacted. Not well; I can be sure of that much.

     Tipping for personal service, especially in restaurants, is an old American practice. Most of us are used to it, and see nothing wrong with it. After all, waiters and waitresses don’t get a very high hourly wage. More, they endure an unusual amount of stress during their shifts. But tip a cashier who has merely rung up a grocery order? A 25% tip?

     I’ve been told that Austin isn’t much like the rest of Texas, but I would not have guessed that the differences were that profound. State capitals do tend to be perverse, though. All those politicians and pleaders for other people’s money must have corrupted the atmosphere.

     Has any Gentle Reader been confronted with a similarly outrageous demand?


    • SteveF on January 15, 2024 at 1:56 PM

    Not quite as outrageous, but five years ago a bakery in Troy, NY, had a tip added by default if customers paid by card or app. The employee’s service consisted of pulling the cookie or bread from the display cabinet or shelf, which involved taking no more than two steps and reaching down or up, putting it in a bag or napkin, and punching a few buttons on the sales terminal. Not worthy of a default 20% tip on top of the already inflated prices. (Their bread and cookies were better than what I make but not worth the money. I sometimes got a cookie for my then-preteen daughter as a treat.)

    I tip waiters in sit-down restaurants well, in part because I go only a couple times per year and stay for a couple hours to chat with family. 20-30% is perfectly reasonable. I don’t tip sales clerks, donut grabbers, or cashiers unless they’ve provided some unusual service such as helping my daughter select properly-fitting clothes and teaching her what to look for in terms of fit, material, and color. I certainly can’t do that, so $50 for instructional services is well worth it.

    • gl on January 15, 2024 at 4:27 PM

    I moved to Austin in 1983. What a great town to move to. Easy to get around as long as you stayed off I35. Saw Willy and his co-hosts at his place for free. Rent was reasonable. Could walk from bank to 6th street and have a pound of peel and eat shrimp at the bar for next to nothing. Single women did not have to fear walking alone at any time. Never saw anyone sleeping on the street or rooting through garbage or begging. Moved out to country but still we gathered on fri/sat nights to see the various artist. One week it was Roy Orbison. Next week was Itzhak Perlman. Both were great. Today my friends tell me they won’t even go near 6th st. or any where near the downtown or capital building. All the liberals pouring into Austin and presto changeo they  got a majority and turned it into a cesspool. Just like where they came from.

    • Groman13 on January 16, 2024 at 7:29 AM

    Replying to gl, the left are the human version of the locust. They arrive, destroy their new surroundings then move on to a new place and repeat the process.

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