Re: Respite

1

The time tends to get gobbled up in various band-related and other personal commitments.

My therapist likes to say that there's always a real world reason for (not) doing something and then there's the irrational reason, which is far more interesting and revealing.

So let's probe your subconscious, Stanley! What's really going on? Childhood vacation trauma involving sharks and/or saltwater taffy? Shame at your unhipsterish "shades"? Deep-seated francophobia?

Don't make us hypnotize you to get the answer. Because we will.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 8:31 AM
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Hypnosis is how my dad stopped smoking.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 8:46 AM
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there's the irrational reason

Malignant lingering Calvinism.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 8:50 AM
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4: Mine too. He's still kind of bemused and offended that hocus-pocus worked when thirty years of will power didn't.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 8:55 AM
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And when I say 4, I mean 2.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 8:55 AM
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Malignant lingering Calvinism.

Catholic guilt about something or other, more likely in my case.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 8:56 AM
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4: I don't think my dad ever tried will power, but he was very surprised the hypnosis worked.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 9:02 AM
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4, 7: Were there any amusing side-effects?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 9:03 AM
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But honestly, my family just doesn't really vacation*. A lot of my cow-orkers do a yearly trek to Outer Banks for a week, and, while that sounds nice (if kinda boring), it just seems foreign to me.

*Like, going to the beach was always a day trip, be it the Indiana dunes when we lived in Chicago or Virginia Beach/Sandbridge.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 9:03 AM
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9: My family did vacation. It was always 7 people in a car driving 16 hours until we got somewhere interesting. This explains why I don't vacation.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 9:06 AM
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8: He does think he's a chicken now. But it's all right -- we need the eggs.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 9:08 AM
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8: No. He didn't even seem to be more easily angered or anything. The hypnotist did suggest that he needed something to do with his hands, so he started carrying Scotch tape all the time. He'd roll the tape into a tube between his fingers.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 9:09 AM
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I shouldn't say we never vacationed. I can think of two vacations:

(1) We got a cabin on a lake for a week near Lodi, Wisconsin; I believe that's the first (and possibly last) time I tried Jiffy Pop.

(2) When we were getting ready to move to Virginia, we took a long, wandering drive that took us to Garden of the Gods and Mammoth Cave before house- and school- and job-hunting adventures in Richmond.

I'm not fully on-board with counting #2 as vacay, but that is one mammoth cave, I tell you what.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 9:11 AM
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Catholic guilt about something or other

You would think that would inoculate you against the Calvinism, and yet.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 9:14 AM
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Unlike most holidays, there is not much of a reason for the Civic Holiday to exist

See also the UK's Bank Holidays. Why are we on holiday? Because the Bank of England is on holiday. Hooray!

See, also, this advertising campaign, advocating an Australian invasion of New Zealand on the grounds that it would produce a good excuse for a public holiday in the second half of the year, when the Australians don't have many.
rtmp://cp44823.edgefcs.net/ondemand/flash/tv/streams/gruentransfer/pitch_marmalade_hi.flv


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 9:18 AM
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||

What's up with Saiselgy and all of the warmed-over Econ 101isms he keeps spouting? It's making me crazy. If I wanted to know what simplistic economic reason looked like, I'd read the exercises in any intro econ textbook ever.

|>


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 9:19 AM
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Wow. I can't imagine a family relatively like mine (as I assume Stanley's was, in class and all that) that doesn't vacation! My parents loaded up the VW bus and off we'd go for three weeks at a time, to camp and explore. I seriously miss what I think of as real vacations. Though, this is probably the only year since I've been away from home that I haven't gotten away for a week at some point during the year, and even then I've had some mini-vacations. (Including last week. Apparently I want to be on vacation all the time.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 9:21 AM
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My parents loaded up the VW bus and off we'd go for three weeks at a time, to camp and explore.

We had a conversion van and a pop-up camper trailer. But, after the first couple of trips, mom refused to do the camper thing, so we just drive and stayed in hotels.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 9:27 AM
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Driving vacations are weird to me -- with Mom being a flight attendant, and air travel being free, we always flew someplace. (She also got mysterious people-who-work-in-the-travel-industry discounts on resorts). In my adult life, I've spent very little time in big tropical resorts relaxing by a pool, but that's still what I think of as a normal vacation.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 9:30 AM
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I am, as we speak, sitting next to a swimming pool looking out on a lovely beach, grading papers.

Grading papers on the beach is not significantly more enjoyable than grading papers at the office. However, there are many more men and women here who want you to know just how good their abs look.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 9:32 AM
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18: I used to beg my parents to stay in hotels, but no. Not even when we were visiting the East Coast - then it was family member's basements. (Which I always loved, basements being a new experience for a Californian.)

Also, many of our trips were themed around learning an area's history (cf. our Gold Rush summer). My family is clearly composed of giant dorks.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 9:34 AM
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However, there are many more men and women here who want you to know just how good their abs look.

I find that providing an audience for pretty people to show off in front of is amusing and enjoyable. That's half the fun of riding to work, checking out all the hardbodies jogging on the bike path.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 9:36 AM
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Also, many of our trips were themed around learning an area's history (cf. our Gold Rush summer).

We did "Places Abraham Lincoln Lived," "Funny how the Civil War mostly happened in a lot of nice parks," and "The further southwest you go, the more substantial the houses of the Native Americans."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 9:40 AM
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I used to beg my parents to stay in hotels

I still get irrationally giddy about staying in hotels, despite staying in them fairly often at this point, what with band gigs. (Exception: being stuck in a Doubletree for two days during December's SnoMG incident, but that was less about the hotel [which was comfy and had a bar and cable] and more about not having a change of clothes, and being a mere 5 miles away from my house.) I'm coming around to the view that I'm simply never going to get over this giddy tendency, and I think I'm okay with that.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 9:42 AM
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There's a pleasant feeling of irresponsibility. I can throw all the towels on the floor, and they'll be clean and re-hung when I come back. Look, there's shampoo I didn't have to buy! Hey, different TV channels than the ones I have at home!

I feel that way in any hotel that's not completely awful.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 9:46 AM
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We only ever stayed with relatives when I was growing up. That's what all my vacations this summer have been (though they were my partner's relatives and we were indeed staying in hotels) and I wish I'd taken my vacation time for something more interesting and selfish than going to doctors' appointments. My partner's in the middle of 10 days in Spain now, so I guess staying home is a vacation of sorts too, just one where I have to supervise the guy painting our spare bedroom and make sure the animals are fed and whatnot.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 9:48 AM
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I'm coming around to the view that I'm simply never going to get over this giddy tendency, and I think I'm okay with that.

I'm like this too. This weekend, though, I found myself complaining about the relatively fancy hotel I was in.* I think it turns out that I prefer bed & breakfasts/inns, motels and lower-down-on-the-food-chain hotels. I mean, these fancy hotels! No complimentary continental breakfast! No free wireless! When you don't provide things that Motel 6 does but charge three times as much, I get grumpy. I suppose this would change if I had enough money to order room service and the like.

*It didn't help that the shower was configured in such a way that you flooded the bathroom each time you took a shower.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 9:50 AM
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I suppose this would change if I had enough money to order room service and the like.

Faced with no breakfast, no wireless and a crappy shower, it's probably safe to infer that room service would be late, rude and inedible. Name and shame.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 9:53 AM
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I don't think that my mom was enthused about hotels over campers. She just understood that if you stayed in a hotel, nobody would expect you to cook dinner using a fire and/or a single propane burner and you'd have to go eat at a restaurant. This is a very understandable preference, leaving aside any other feature of a hotel.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 9:54 AM
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28: It was a Hyatt. I had no real choice about the hotel; it was for a conference. They did have decent meeting facilities. (It should also be noted that my version of a fancy hotel probably does not correspond with people who regularly stay in nice hotels in cities; anything that attempts to charge more than $200 a night for a room in a city that isn't NY or SF or the like, I consider fancy.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 9:58 AM
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As a kid we always camped or stayed with friends, so now when I stay in hotels I feel uncomfortable. You mean someone is going to see the mess I made? I know I'm going to leave something irreplaceable behind.
Also, hotel showers seem designed under the assumption that no body part greater than five feet above the ground needs cleaning.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 9:58 AM
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nobody would expect you to cook dinner using a fire and/or a single propane burner and you'd have to go eat at a restaurant. This is a very understandable preference,

While I totally get it in your mom's case, I do not share this preference. I hate eating restaurant food day after day.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 10:00 AM
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Also, not camping means no shitting in outhouses.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 10:01 AM
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22: The other day on the beach we stopped to talk to The Abdominal Family: A mom, two adult daughters, several dogs and a baby in a jog stroller. The mom (a guess a grandma, really) and the two younger women were wearing jog bras (or spandex tops of some sort that looked like a halter that didn't call for something to be worn over it) and shorts. They looked fabulous. And had no difficulty pushing a jogging stroller in the sand!


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 10:05 AM
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Outhouses! Those must've been some posh campsites!


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 10:06 AM
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anything that attempts to charge more than $200 a night for a room in a city that isn't NY or SF or the like, I consider fancy.

So would I. Also anything called Hyatt. I would have written to head office.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 10:06 AM
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34: How were the baby's abs?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 10:09 AM
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I suppose this would change if I had enough money to order room service and the like.

Spoken like someone who's never gotten to a hotel too late to find anyplace else to eat.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 10:09 AM
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38: Heh. Spoken like someone who travels with emergency food. (I become very unpleasant if I haven't eaten.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 10:11 AM
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When you don't provide things that Motel 6 does but charge three times as much, I get grumpy

There's something to this for sure. My most recent stay was a Super 8 in Kansas. Clean, free WiFi, accommodating staff, and fucking cheap.

When I've stayed in nicer places (most recently: some $400/night joint in DC that I booked randomly super-cheap on hotels.com), I felt resented for not springing for the extras.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 10:11 AM
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I can throw all the towels on the floor, and they'll be clean and re-hung when I come back.

I am incapable of leaving the towels on the floor in a hotel, and I also (sort of) make the bed. Guilt-related behavior? Maybe.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 10:11 AM
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Fancier hotels tend to charge for wireless; cheap hotels, when they have it, usually give it away.

My family mostly took vacations to visit relatives, who all lived either one or two days' drive away. I don't take enough vacations now myself, but that's usually for lack of funds.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 10:13 AM
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We pretty much always went on vacation in the summer. We camped, drove (usually to Florida to visit my grandparents plus a cross-country trip I was too young to remember), sailed (my parents found a clever way to afford it), and took a family trip to Europe when my father was briefly transferred to the international division of his company.

On the drive to Florida, we'd spend a night in a HoJo's or Holiday Inn. My mom would pack food and we'd get to eat cereal out of those little boxes. Very exciting!


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 10:16 AM
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I take vacations every chance I get, make them as ridiculous and luxurious and adventurous as I can afford, pamper the sh*** out of myself even when I'm not on vacation, and never ever feel a moment's guilt or regret about it. Life is too short to not bury your face whole-heartedly in the beautiful oyster of the world. Yeah, baby. I have not yet begun to party.


Posted by: cassanthropy | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 10:17 AM
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I am incapable of leaving the towels on the floor in a hotel, and I also (sort of) make the bed.

But do you leave a tip for the maid?

In most of Europe, they now post a notice in hotel bathrooms saying, "It uses a zillion megawatts of power to clean all the towels in all the hotels in the world, so if you hang your towel on the rail WE WON'T TAKE IT AWAY AND WASH IT UNLESS YOU'RE CHECKING OUT! Hey, aren't we the greenest industry around! (And if you want a clean towel just chuck this on on the floor and feel guilty about it all day, loser.)"


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 10:17 AM
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I am incapable of leaving the towels on the floor in a hotel

Me too. At almost every Hyatt, Hilton, and the like I've stayed over the last few years (traveling for work) they will only replace your towels if you leave them on the floor, on account of the environment. If you hang them up, they'll let you use the same towel two days in a row. Not as exciting as little boxes of cereal, but still.

Europe-pwned by chris y.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 10:23 AM
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sailed (my parents found a clever way to afford it)

"It was a strange and at times harrowing trip, but I'll never forget the bonds I forged with my new Somali friends."


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 10:25 AM
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But do you leave a tip for the maid?

Honestly, it's never occurred to me to leave a tip for housekeeping staff in a hotel. I've done it at inns where there's an envelope or tray left for the purpose, but I don't think to do it elsewhere.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 10:27 AM
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I find that providing an audience for pretty people to show off in front of is amusing and enjoyable.

At the end of the boardwalk at Rehoboth beach, there's a stretch alternately called Poodle Beach and Queen Street Beach (because it really is at Queen Street) which is full of pretty gay boys showing off their abs and making their cocktail plans for the evening. Entertaining to watch and to listen.

(At least this was true 10 or 15 years ago, when I used to visit a fair amount.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 10:30 AM
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46. Are little boxes of cereal more or less exciting than watching paint dry?

48. First instance on record of Europeans customarily tipping more than Americans!


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 10:36 AM
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Honestly, it's never occurred to me to leave a tip for housekeeping staff in a hotel.

I was well into adulthood before I knew you were supposed to tip at hotels.

In my circles, the standard tip $2/day (though I always leave $5, because I'm a feminist; oh, and a trade unionist). You can leave it all on the last day, but there might be different housekeepers on different days.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 10:36 AM
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Are little boxes of cereal more or less exciting than watching paint dry?

Are you kidding? 1) Everyone knows that miniature anything is cool and 2) we were allowed to get surgary things like Frosted Flakes which we never had at home. In summary, waay more exciting.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 10:41 AM
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52: Also, opening the box's front panel, tearing open the bag and then in goes the milk. Holy shit! It's also a free temporary bowl?!

It's an embarrassment of riches.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 10:44 AM
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Wow. I'm a big tipper in general (mostly because my city is so damn small and I end up seeing my servers at Ultimate games or at my gym or on the street). But it has never occurred to me to leave a tip for housecleaning.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 10:44 AM
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51.1: If it's any consolation I found out today, right here in this thread.

Tipping as mandatory strikes me as just another way for management to screw workers. I'd much prefer having everything folded into the bill, and leave a tip only for service above and beyond the call of duty.

As is I'm a chronic overtipper, assuming that if I get crappy service it's because the server is stressed out about how lousy their pay is, or some similar thing. To stiff someone on a tip they pretty much have to spit in my food right in front of me, which doesn't happen that often.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 10:50 AM
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I think that I'll start enjoying hotels more once I finish grad school and (presumably) no longer need to share hotel rooms with three other people. My husband and I sleep in several rooms, which makes the following slightly less noteworthy, but still: I've shared a bed more frequently with my grad school best friend than with my husband.


Posted by: JennyRobot | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 10:54 AM
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55.2: I consider myself sympathetic to people in the food service industry, having worked for tips as a waiter and before that in fast food. But, becoming "Emo Tipper" is probably not going to help anybody in the long run.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 10:55 AM
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My husband and I sleep in several rooms

You mean "separate"? Because I'm imagining a shift change every two hours or something. "Time's up. Two AM. On to the dining-room floor!"


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 10:57 AM
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My husband and I sleep in several rooms,

In the morning, the pieces squish back together, like in T2.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 10:57 AM
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I hoard my vacation time. You'd think I lived through some kind of Vacation Great Depression the way I hoard. It is actually because I don't fly and it takes long enough to get places that I feel I should stay there a while such that my fun time is greater than my transit time. The train isn't un-fun; just mostly neutral.

And I haven't taken a normal-person-vacation, if that means lying on a beach, anytime I can remember, though we took them when I was younger. I just go to other cities and see people I like. It's probably just as good though I wouldn't say no to a little beach time. (What I'd say, it probably goes without saying, is: hello, little beach time!)


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 10:57 AM
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16: Yglesias has been driving me insane recently, but he redeemed himself with this post, in which he makes very well the point that I've been making for years, which is that admissions policies to elite US universities aren't really a very important issue.

I used to love fancy hotels. Then I went to them all the time in my old job, and found out that work can make anything suck. Oh, and since we usually couldn't reimburse for tips to the staff, tipping hotel staff in fancy hotels ended up being a fairly significant personal expense for me.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 10:58 AM
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Stanley, that was my straight line.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 10:58 AM
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a normal-person-vacation, if that means lying on a beach

I can't stand lying on beaches, or lounging by pools. Just the thought of it irritates me. And I hate being waited on or otherwise looked after. So, not the travel industry's ideal customer.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:01 AM
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Okay, "stand lying" was for Moby or Stanley, whoever gets to it first.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:02 AM
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My family vacations were a lot like Parenthetical's, only we stayed at motels every now and then. And my parents switched from VWs to other types of vans while I was still fairly young. And we didn't do themes, unless regions in the west count as themes. And we stayed in hotels the one time we went to the east coast, except when staying with relatives outside of Boston, but there we (the kids) weren't allowed in the basement because it was no kids only. Apparently that's where the antique clocks were being stored and restored.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:02 AM
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wait wait wait you're supposed to tip at hotels? Well, fuck.

I mean I haven't stiffed too many poor underpaid cleaning-people, because...well when I got my first professional job I told myself "the next part of my life is the part where I don't stay on people's couches when I go to visit them" and then I realized how much I'd be making and I have not exactly stayed in a lot of hotels after all.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:03 AM
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Hotel cleaner tipping people: how does this even work? I mean I've been to a couple places with the envelope thing, but otherwise do you leave a note with the money to distinguish it from the loose bills you failed to put back in your wallet?


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:03 AM
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63: You should check out the Somali pirate opportunities mentioned in 47.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:04 AM
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49: I'll go there this evening and report back.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:05 AM
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I dislike travel in part because long car or plane trips do not agree with me. I am mildly jealous of people who handle travel better than I do.

On the other hand, I like where I live so I consider myself lucky in that regard.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:06 AM
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You just leave it in a prominent place, usually I would put it on the nightstand or in the middle of the breakfast table or whatever. I usually only tip on the last day, but that does run the risk of screwing over the people who aren't on shift that day.

What counts as a proper amount doesn't seem to have an established standard -- I've heard everything from $2/day to 5% of the bill/day. When I was staying at a fancy place that I wasn't paying for personally, I would generally tip $20/day, which I came up with after asking a few people.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:06 AM
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I would generally tip $20/day, which I came up with after asking a few people.

If you can get $20 by asking only a few people, you're doing better than the blind busker down the street.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:09 AM
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64: I'll mock what I want to mock, thank you very much.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:11 AM
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All the Motel 6's I've stayed in have charged for wireless. Maybe they were too posh.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:11 AM
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Growing up, my family "summered" on Fire Island. Now on the Left Coast, I don't go every summer, but if one particular year I don't make it back I feel like I haven't had a vacation, even if I have. Must be Skinner imprinting.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:12 AM
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I would generally tip $20/day, which I came up with after asking a few people

Am I right that the cleaning staff spends about 10 minutes per room (tops)? That's $120/hr...


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:12 AM
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67: You leave it in some prominent, uncluttered area. I usually leave it on the bedstand laid out nice and flat. The housekeepers know what's what.

In general, tipping housekeepers, i.e., the back of the house, is far less common than tipping the front of the house: doormen*, bell hops, and concierges. It's somewhat analogous to dishwashers vs. waiters at a restaurant, except that housekeepers perform a direct personal service; you just don't happen to be in the room at the time.

*To date, I've never seen a hotel doorwoman.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:13 AM
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67. You leave a note (bill) on the table when you check out IME. In England that would be £5 or £10 depending on the price of the hotel and how long you've been there.

I don't really like tipping either, but the thing is one person not tipping looks cheapskate, not revolutionary. You tip the waiter, cos he's the fucking waiter and that's what you do (massively more, I understand, in America than here); you tip the bell hop, because he's stood there with his hand out; but you forget about the lowest paid staff in the hotel, who are cleaning up after your bodily waste and have to come back to work on their break because you had a 'do not disturb' sign out when they were scheduled to do your room.

Makes no sense.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:13 AM
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Pwned by Kraab.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:14 AM
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67:Money out on top of a piece of furniture, weighed down by a drinking glass or the remote or something. If you do it like that, it doesn't look accidental at all.

And now I'm torn. I've always tipped cleaners in hotel rooms, but only because I thought of it as a norm so that they were paid on that basis. I'd prefer a norm where they were just on salary. (And really, while I've noticed variations in the quality of the service in restaurants, I've never noticed a badly cleaned hotel room, other than in the sort of cheap motel where nothing seems clean but I wouldn't blame it on the cleaning staff. So tipping as an individualized response to the quality of the work isn't really applicable.)

If there are enough people out there who aren't tipping that not-tipping could be a norm, I wonder if I should get on that bandwagon, in the hopes that no one will tip, and it'll turn into a straight salary job. (I refuse to tip baristas on that basis. Selling coffee over a counter isn't a tip-based job, and I don't want it to become one.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:14 AM
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Am I right that the cleaning staff spends about 10 minutes per room (tops)?

No.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:15 AM
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Tipping as mandatory strikes me as just another way for management to screw workers.

This is, of course, true. Another shocking fact of American life for our European friends: The minimum wage for most workers is $7.25/hour. The minimum wage for "tipped employees" is $2.13/hour. (Their employers are supposed to make up the difference if tips don't bring them up to $7.25.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:16 AM
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76: Yes, that seems like way too much. Unless I made a specific mess for which I feel guilty, I'll put a couple of bucks per day or so.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:16 AM
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70: Yeah, living in New York has made my dislike of travel less of a big deal, both in terms of my own satisfaction with what I have access to within a few hours on local and regional transit and (I think) people's reaction to my failure to jet around.

Actually I think I take the second part back. Maybe especially among big city people, even if you take weekend jaunts to interesting places nearby, I think you're still percieved as jarringly incurious about the world if you don't occasionally cross an ocean.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:16 AM
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Selling coffee over a counter isn't a tip-based job, and I don't want it to become one

Or you could be like George Costanza, and take tips out of the jar.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:16 AM
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And $20 per day seems way high. I do $2/person/day.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:17 AM
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A very dear friend pointed out that while I was very good at slacking, goofing off, getting nothing done and just generally wasting time, my guilt at all of these had the effectg of meaning that I left gave myself a real break or took a vacation. I haven't been able to change my behavior but as I've aged I've gotten better at ignoring the guilt.


Posted by: Middle Aged Man | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:18 AM
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85: I actually have a striking resemblance to George Costanza. Not so much physically, as in outlook.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:18 AM
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57: "Emo Tipper" is exactly my style. I figure it compensates for the occasional asshole cheapskate tipper. I worked in a restaurant as a teenager so I'm pretty sympathetic to the frontline staff and the crap they have to put up with.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:18 AM
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The minimum wage for "tipped employees" is $2.13/hour.

That wage didn't go up in the 2007 minimum wage increase? Huh. I hadn't realized that.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:20 AM
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I actually have a striking resemblance to George Costanza. Not so much physically, as in outlook.

I'll remind Buck not to lick the envelopes.

Are you devastated by your recent loss of your former boss?


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:20 AM
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And i agree with the $2/day for the people who clean your room at a hotel.


Posted by: Middle Aged Man | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:21 AM
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The thing that bothers me about hotels is that: (1) unless I'm going to be there for more than a week, I don't really need or want my towels or sheets changed, or my bathroom cleaned, and (2) I don't really want other people coming in a rummaging around in my room, not because I'm worried about theft but mostly just because I've probably got things strewn about in a way that's sloppy but, to me, sensible, so (3) I always tell them this when I check in--no housekeeping, please, unless I call specifically with a request, but (4) this is always ignored, and housekeeping inevtiably comes by every day. So I always just leave the "do not disturb" sign on the door for the entirety of my visit, which really seems to send the staff into something of a panic after a day or so, such that they're somewhat frantic when they finally catch me coming or going and they apologize profusely about not having had a chance to clean, but noting that they hadn't noticed a time when the "do not disturb" sign wasn't there, and they hadn't wanted to disturb (given the sign), and I say "I don't really need anything, thanks", and they act like I'm doing them a grave disservice (I'm reminded of the bellhop in the DFW essay on cruiseliners, who's berated by his boss for not carrying the luggage that DFW insisted he'd really rather personally carry), but I don't really feel like this is my fault.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:23 AM
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So are hotel cleaners classed as tipped employees at $2.13 or not at $7.75+? Are they hotel employees or contractors typically?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:25 AM
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37: Adorable!


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:26 AM
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Oops, I did mean to say "separate" rather than "several" rooms.


Posted by: JennyRobot | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:26 AM
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93: Keep a towel shoved into the bottom of your door and wear patchouli oil around the hotel.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:28 AM
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93 doesn't work for the hotel, I think. It's fine for business travelers, but problem customers who trash the room, bring in drugs or weapons or whatever, isn't part of housekeeping's job to flag this? Also the running minibar tab, how much of the hotel's profits come from that?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:29 AM
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I'll go there this evening and report back.

How serendipitous that you're there.

Another thing about Rehoboth is that it always seemed to me that there were more interracial (generally straight) families there than other places I've vacationed. I don't know if it can be attributed to Rehoboth being perceived as a more tolerant place in general or if it's unrelated.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:32 AM
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So I always just leave the "do not disturb" sign on the door for the entirety of my visit, which really seems to send the staff into something of a panic after a day or so

Ah, that makes this cartoon make more sense.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:32 AM
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94: I'm fairly certain that hotel cleaners aren't classed as tipped employees. If they are screwed, it is by being listed as "contractors."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:32 AM
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I've thought of 98, but I've never had anyone in a management position at a hotel tell me that, or explain that they'd have to clean the room as some sort of hotel policy; the only people who seem upset are the cleaning staff themselves, who act as if they're going to be yelled at by someone if they don't check off "cleaned room 412" on the checklist they're toting around. (I've actually had the front desk call once or twice, when it had been a few days since the room was cleaned, asking if I wanted it cleaned, and explaining that they weren't coming in because of the sign on the door, to which I explained that the sign was on the door so that they wouldn't come in, and they said "oh, okay". But inevitably again the cleaning staff still shows up the next day.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:35 AM
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Management hides, always. Nobody with the authority will listen, even if they're being spoken to.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:37 AM
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who act as if they're going to be yelled at by someone if they don't check off "cleaned room 412" on the checklist they're toting around.

They probably are. "Don't clean my room ever" is an unusual enough desire that management will probably interpret "We never cleaned 412 because the sign was always up" as slacking rather than respect for your wishes.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:43 AM
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I totally blew two fellow travellers' (who were in a separate room) minds with my cunning use of the "Do Not Disturb" sign.

"Wait. You got to sleep in? Housekeeping didn't knock on your door at 8am?"

"No. I put out the sign before going to bed."

"Oh. You can do that? And then they come and straighten up later on?"

"Uh, yeah. That's the idea, foolio."

I'm still a bit unclear how they thought you were supposed to use it.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:47 AM
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93: My reasons for preferring not to have housekeeping come through is even less justifiable: I don't like people touching my stuff or in my personal space (in the property sense, not the invisible zone surrounding my body sense, though I don't like people there either). While I'm traveling the hotel room is as close as I get to personal space, which makes it all the more valuable. I don't do the "do not disturb" sign thing because I know it inconveniences the cleaners, but I do make the bed before leaving and generally tidy up so as to reduce the slight shock of stress when I return and it's obvious someone has been in the room.

Yeah, crazy. But mostly harmless.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:49 AM
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They probably are.

Oh, I'm sure they are. But see 93(3).


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:50 AM
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The minimum wage for most workers is $7.25/hour. The minimum wage for "tipped employees" is $2.13/hour.

A few commie states like WA and CA don't allow that nonsense.

Selling coffee over a counter isn't a tip-based job, and I don't want it to become one.

Especially considering the markup. At six bucks a latte I'm pretty sure there's plenty of margin to pay people a decent wage.

And the tip jar at the Frogurt shop is just absurd. Come on guys, it's self serve.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:54 AM
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"Don't clean my room ever" is an unusual enough desire that management will probably interpret your request as "I'm cooking up meth in my room".


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:58 AM
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And the tip jar at the Frogurt shop is just absurd. Come on guys, it's self serve.

This brings up a good question: tips when you're picking up a take-out order: yes or no? Intuitively, it feels like the answer should be no, but if you pay with a credit card there's the familiar lines for "tip" and "total", which I always feel like an ass leaving blank. I'll usually tip a dollar or so, but it always feels weird. Some places have a tip jar set out on the counter, which has the virtue of making the expectations more clear, although I'm not sure that makes it right. I've had this conversation before with people who say: of course you tip; they're preparing your food! But: would anyone tip at Burger King? I'm not trying to be dense, but I don't understand the difference.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 12:01 PM
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Especially considering the markup. At six bucks a latte I'm pretty sure there's plenty of margin to pay people a decent wage.

Actually, having talked to people that run small (SWPL) coffee stands the markup is lower on coffee drinks than on many things.

The standard coffee shop makes most of its money when it can get people to pay extra for added syrup for the same reasons that soft drinks are the highest margin product in a fast food place. But (shade grown) coffee and (organic) milk are pretty expensive raw ingredients.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 12:03 PM
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This brings up a good question: tips when you're picking up a take-out order: yes or no?

I'm curious to know the consensus on this. I usually don't tip for take-out, but I've been starting to feel guilty about this.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 12:04 PM
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No. I don't tip at a deli where I'm buying food over a counter. Tips are for waiters, delivery guys, and anywhere else there's an existing norm, but not for counter service. (Except bartenders. I'm working with the norms that were here when I got here, not expecting them to make sense.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 12:04 PM
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I've been starting to feel guilty about this.

Resist tip creep! You've got to do it where it's expected, but don't let tips infest non-tipping transactions!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 12:06 PM
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This brings up a good question: tips when you're picking up a take-out order: yes or no?

I don't, except at PF Changs. I tip there because we get take-out there a great deal and take out is often provided by a waitress taking time from a table.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 12:06 PM
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I don't tip at a deli where I'm buying food over a counter.

Even if there's a big jar on the counter that says "Tips are Appreciated!"?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 12:06 PM
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OT: In other news, Reason is being reasonable.

Citing an article in The American Spectator in which Jeffery Lord claims that Shirley Sherrod lied about a relative of hers being lynched because he was beaten to death instead of being hung, Radley Balko in Reason says:

Lord also has no idea . . . what he's talking about. The term lynching refers to a mob execution unsanctioned by law. It's often associated with hanging, but there are dozens of documented, racially-motivated lynchings in American history that had nothing to do with hanging.

The original Spectator article says further:

What difference is there between a savage murder by fist and blackjack -- and by dangling rope? Obviously, in the practical sense, none. But in the heyday -- a very long time -- of the Klan, there were frequent (and failed) attempts to pass federal anti-lynching laws. None to pass federal "anti-black jack" or "anti-fisticuffs" laws.

("Fisticuffs"? Seriously?)

There's more, including this from Balko in response to Lord's tortured attempt to accuse Sherrod of something or other for not bringing up Robert Byrd's Klan membership:

Also, and most importantly, never, ever, ever talk about any historical racial injustice without also mentioning that the late Sen. Robert Byrd, a Democrat (be sure to mention this part, it's important!), was once an Exalted Cyclops in the Ku Klux Klan.
Anything less would be dishonest.

Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 12:07 PM
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I think of takeout tip jars as "pay what you want." If the food is good and cheap and the people behind the counter seem to care about doing their job, I leave something, a buck or two. Basically, this means that I do not tip at chains, but do at mom+pop places.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 12:08 PM
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"Oh. You can do that? And then they come and straighten up later on?"
"Uh, yeah. That's the idea, foolio."
I'm still a bit unclear how they thought you were supposed to use it.

They probably thought "DO NOT DISTURB" just meant there were naked people in the room.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 12:08 PM
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I used to be firmly on the the side of 113/115/118, but I've definitely heard staff at take-out deli counters grumble about "cheapskates" who don't tip, which makes me worried that it's more common than I thought.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 12:15 PM
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120: Pissed-off twenty year olds. Oh Nooos.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 12:16 PM
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I've know a fair number of bartenders and waiters who love to bitch about low tips, when the tips they're getting seem fine to me. ("That guy only tips a dollar a beer!") No doubt baristas and sandwich makers spin even more self-pitying narratives on the subject.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 12:19 PM
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109: "We're not cooking meth, we are shooting a porn movie!"


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 12:22 PM
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121 seems like an odd attitude; you wouldn't say it about wait-staff who were pissed about a lack of tips, and I don't think the percentage of 20-year-olds behind the deli counter is any higher than at the local TGIFs. There's either a common expectation of tipping, in which case they have a right to be a bit pissed, and it's sort of shitty not to tip, or there's not, in which case they don't and it's not.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 12:32 PM
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No doubt baristas and sandwich makers spin even more self-pitying narratives on the subject.

I know I'm not the target market, but I don't really appreciate the whole "coffee house" thing, at least the upmarket version. If I understand correctly, I'm supposed to develop my palate so that I'm not satisfied with crappy coffee used primarily as a caffeine delivery system. My reward for this will be the ability to experience a whole 'nother level of coffee flavor and it will only cost like $12 a day. Pass.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 12:33 PM
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My parents treated vacations as a top priority and were full of moral outrage at the two weeks on offer in the US. My dad solved that problem a few years after he got to the US when he told his boss he wanted four weeks, the boss refused, and he said 'well I'm taking it, should I bother coming back to work or not?'. Thereafter he had four weeks. In the first half of my childhood they tended to be very barebones, later it was a weird mix of very cheap with the occasional serious luxury. Either way, I was spending tons of time in the mountains hiking and skiing - three or four full weeks plus a bunch of weekends and day trips.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 12:34 PM
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124: I would say it to wait-staff who were pissed about getting a perfectly standard (15% to 20%) tip and put up a sign saying they wanted 30%. I don't want them upping the expectations.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 12:35 PM
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The difference between fresh roasted, fresh brewed and doubly stale is huge. Real coffee is a double espresso, I have so many times been thankful for being able to get it out. Leave the sundae in a sippy cup for other people, $3 for a good or at least not vile coffee is not that bad.

My mental map of many dozens of neighborhoods includes giant throbbing nubbins showing the espresso machines. I don't care what other people do, or how fucked-up their attitudes are. Until they're in line in front of me, looking up puzzled at the menu, or explaining that they want theirs half-skinny with caramel on the left or some shit like that.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 12:39 PM
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The difference between fresh roasted, fresh brewed and doubly stale is huge.

I'm very happy with the "fresh" part of the coffee revolution. Beyond that is where I start to wonder. Anyway, I never put anything in coffee but milk.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 12:41 PM
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My daily trips to the coffeehouse are a selfless mission of advocacy, bringing limericks and progressive policy ideas to a trustafarian bassoon-playing barista.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 12:45 PM
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Also, while I dislike long plane journeys, I absolutely love being someplace new and different and doing the sightseeing thing coupled with the 'wander an unfamiliar city more or less randomly'.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 12:48 PM
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What are the table service tipping conventions in the UK? In the US it's 15-20%, in France, Switzerland and Germany they're token amounts and I'd always assumed it was the same in Britain. Chris's comment suddenly makes me worried.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 12:52 PM
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And love, Stanley. Bring her my love.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 12:53 PM
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(67) If there are enough people out there who aren't tipping that not-tipping could be a norm, I wonder if I should get on that bandwagon, in the hopes that no one will tip, and it'll turn into a straight salary job.

I don't think this logic will work in the U.S. Too many undocumented workers are willing to work for $0.98/hr, so you will never earn a "living wage" making beds - period, even with the tips. (Unless "living" means ten to a double-wide.) If you take away the tips, they'll just live 14 to a double-wide. Meanwhile, watch for the price of hotel rooms to rise in AZ as the cheap labor supply dries up.


Posted by: cassanthropy | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 12:59 PM
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132: I was just there and was confused. One place we ate had an included 10% service charge, so I figured that 10% was normal.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 1:02 PM
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134: I don't think AZ is representative of the whole U.S. on those counts.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 1:14 PM
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||

I'm going up to Maine to visit my parents this weekend which happily coincides with the Lobster Festival. Supposed to be semi-respite.

Not so happily my Dad was admitted to the hospital on Saturday for difficulty breathing due to newly-diagnosed congestive heart failure.

I am in the process of getting forms for him to sign so that his doctors will give me his medical information. My Mom's not reliable when it comes to these things.

My sister said that my Dad told her that he was on an intravenous antibiotic, because before they diagnosed the heart failure, they thought that he might have an infection.

There appears to be only one large cardiology group in the entire state of Maine. I am somewhat nervous about the hospital. They can't do invasive procedures--he was scheduled to go to the cath lab for an angiogram today, but that was put off because of his hospitalization. He would have had to go 2 hours away for that, because the local hospital is not set up to do invasive procedures.

I talked to my pediatric cardiology friend who specializes in heart failure and his comments were somewhat reassuring--talking to the nurses has not been--but I can't figure out the antibiotic business, and I don't know which one he's taking.

The nurse on the special care unit told me what he'd been given, because my Dad was right there. Not being able to access the information is so unnerving.

|>


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 1:18 PM
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In the US it's 15-20%

My general impression is that this has crept up over time. (It's the executive-pay problem--you don't want to tell the person you're interacting with that they're "average", so you give them a bit above.) When I was a kid, I understood tips for poor/average/superior service to be 10/15/20%, respectively. My sense is that those numbers are now 15/20/25%.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 1:18 PM
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137: Sorry to hear about your dad. Best wishes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 1:20 PM
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138: Yeah, when I was a kid 15% was perfectly standard, and any more was unusual. Now I know more 20% tippers than 15%.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 1:22 PM
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When I was a kid, I understood tips for poor/average/superior service to be 10/15/20%, respectively. My sense is that those numbers are now 15/20/25%

20% across the board; service doesn't enter into it.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 1:24 PM
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It's a matter of social justice you see.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 1:24 PM
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137: Best wishes to your dad, and to you and the family.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 1:28 PM
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142: Is the diner not part of society?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 1:33 PM
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Thanks, paren and moby.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 1:33 PM
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141 is correct (barring some egregiously bad behavior).


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 1:44 PM
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141 is how I actually behave, it's true. (Or: sometimes slightly more or less--18-22%--when the math comes out nicely.) But I think the 15-25% range is the mental framework that a lot of people use, even if they rarely deviate from the 20% in the middle.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 1:47 PM
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On the coasts, but I think 15% is still normal in the rural areas in the middle of the country.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 1:53 PM
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Is there any explanation for the shift other than a generosity arms-race? ("15% is normal, so I'll tip 20% to be particularly generous" --> "Huh, looks like a lot of other people are also particularly generous tippers" --> "Less than 20% is stingy and wrong".) I can't think of what could actually have changed to make the change make sense.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 1:58 PM
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You know what tippers annoy me? The ones who, regardless of how it affects the tip percentage, insist on tipping up to a round number, just so they're billing statments have all $X.00 readings.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 2:02 PM
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Maybe more people have become aware of the extent to which waitrons depend on tips to earn their living?

("Ah", you will say, "but the waitstaff at upscale restaurants is actually usually quite well recompensed." Just wait until I tell you my ingenious strategy for getting around that.)

("Ah", you might then say, "but what about the kitchen staff? They don't see a dime of your tips and likely earn even less, even at the nicer restaurants." This is true.)


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 2:03 PM
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117 - I don't think that's Reason so much as Radley Balko, who has a long-standing interest in monitoring what the police do to innocent black guys.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 2:10 PM
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150: Oh, Stanley, I'm so guilty of that. I assume it's a leftover twinge of the obsessive-compulsive tendencies that plagued me when I was younger. It just feels so much better to leave a whole number and itchy if I don't!

Bostonian Girl, I hope your visit can be restful and lobsterful and that things go smoothly for your father.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 2:10 PM
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20% across the board; service doesn't enter into it.

This is me too, with an additional policy that I won't tip less than $3.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 2:13 PM
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151: I kind of hate the idea that social justice can be achieved by better-off people whimisically giving some, but not other, working people money in an amount that increases depending on how much money the recipient makes. Giving money to people who need it is a good thing -- giving small amounts of money to waiters in cheap restaurants, large amounts of money to waiters in nice restaurants, and no money to the cleaners who vacuum my office isn't social justice, it's just a weirdly fossilized system that we can't unilaterally opt out of. Given that, increasing the standard tip percentage does not mean more social justice.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 2:14 PM
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This is me too, with an additional policy that I won't tip less than $3.

Even on an $8 meal?


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 2:15 PM
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I can't think of what could actually have changed to make the change make sense.

The Wonder Bra in combination with a disproportionately male population of tippers and a disproportionately female population of tippees. On the veltd, if she had a C cup, she got 1/2 of the rabbit.

(Look ma, your boy is a evolutionary psychologist just like he said he'd be.)


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 2:21 PM
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I remember when 15% crept up to 20%. I never did hear an explanation, so I mildly resented it until I got used to it. I no longer resent it, but I never did hear why it happened.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 2:24 PM
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My tips jumped dramatically when I started eating out with (noisy, messy) kids, since I sort of feel like we need to buy off the waitstaff in order to prevent them from hating us.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 2:27 PM
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156: Yes, if the $8 tab required a normal amount of table-waiting that a $20 tap would require. The point being not to penalize servers at cheapo diners who are doing the same work as other servers.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 2:28 PM
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What are people's conventions when automatic gratuity is figured in? I used to feel guilty when I got double tipped, assuming the tipper didn't catch the auto-grat, but I subsequently realized that many people intentionally tip on top of the automatic 18% or whatever. I usually do, but not, like, an additional 20%. Probably more like an additional 10-15%.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 2:31 PM
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158: I hate to even suggest it... but, you know, 20% is quicker and easier to do the math on in your head than 15.


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 2:33 PM
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161: Might I suggest that you check what 18% and 10% sum to? Also, I've never been anywhere with auto-grat (excepting the "a gratuity is included for parties of XX or more.")


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 2:34 PM
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I think it was Frank Sinatra who would double the price of the check as a tip. $100 bill for a shoeshine, that sort of thing. Or maybe his publicist was really good.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 2:37 PM
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excepting the "a gratuity is included for parties of XX or more."

That's the kind I was talking about.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 2:37 PM
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156: Yes, if the $8 tab required a normal amount of table-waiting that a $20 tap would require.

I'll have to think about that.

I understand the argument but that implies that a $15 meal is a baseline for "restaurant service" and that just isn't my experience. Probably 80% of the meals I order out are under $10 (pre- tax & tip).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 2:38 PM
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What about tipping waiters at buffets? All they do is fill your water and take away the pile of bones you leave outside the cave remove the used dishes.
We're pretty thorough vacationers- when I was a kid not as much, a couple times my parents picked me up at camp and we'd drive around parts of Canada or the US, never further west than Minn though. In the 5 years since we've had kids we've done Hawaii, Dominica, Costa Rica, NH, Maine, Nantucket, Amsterdam, plus visiting family in Florida and lower and upper NY that doesn't really count as vacation.
Recently stayed in a fancy DC hotels, which actually wasn't crazy expensive the nights I was there ($200 per). True about the lack of free wifi at fancy places, but holy crap the rooms were huge and amazing gym/pool and nice grounds.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 2:39 PM
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158: I was influenced by the blog waiterrant, which argued frequently for 15% as the absolute minimum and 20% as standard, for reasons of wage structures and basic decency. Plus I realized the difference between 15% and 20% is negligible to me. I don't know how other people came around to it.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 2:40 PM
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My wife tips 20%, but only on the food. Wine, booze, she exempts, but tips the barkeep. I think that is way to much trouble. And as ps said above, the math is easier on 20%.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 2:44 PM
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My rule is never to tip when food is provided over a counter, with the proviso that bars are not members of the set "counter." I assume those receipts with tip lines at takeout places to be some combination of guilting the unsuspecting and not going to the effort to make the other kind of receipt. I'm not sure if that makes me a monster.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 2:44 PM
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I do know someone (friend of my mother) who routinely tips 100-200% because of his youthful experience as a waiter.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 2:44 PM
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Wine, booze, she exempts, but tips the barkeep

She might be inadvertently sticking it to the server. A lot of places have each server tip out the bartender a certain percentage of their night's sales, on the (correct, in my view) assumption that the bartender spent time uncompensated making drinks for the servers' customers who don't tip the bartender directly.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 2:48 PM
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My wife tips 20%, but only on the food. Wine, booze, she exempts, but tips the barkeep

Why not exempt the food, and tip the cook?

My tips jumped dramatically when I started eating out with (noisy, messy) kids

My kid isn't especially noisy/messy, but he's a little more work for waitstaff than I am, he orders less food, and he doesn't drink, so my percentage generally goes up enough that I'm tipping on him as I would on a typical adult eating in the restaurant.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 2:49 PM
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172 makes more sense for mixed drinks than for wine.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 2:50 PM
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I worked in a few resort hotels back before some of you were born. Housekeeping was never a tipped position. Waitresses/bartenders always made at least twice what anyone else got -- over the course of a week, anyway, so the odd bad shift got evened out. (No one tips the garbage man. But I did have my pick of the neat stuff that ended up at the dump . . .)

Hanging with you folks has revealed to me what I have to say is a serious character flaw of mine: I really don't experience guilt to anywhere near the extent as seems quite common.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 2:55 PM
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175: Maybe you just have to less to feel guilty about.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 2:57 PM
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I really don't experience guilt to anywhere near the extent as seems quite common.

Charley, you can't call yourself liberal without a healthy dose of guilt. Think of the children.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 2:58 PM
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Why not exempt the food, and tip the cook?

You can't.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 3:00 PM
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I tip baristas, but I haven't worked to free any political prisoners. I'm thinkin' you got a great big get-out-of-guilt-free card, Mr. Carp.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 3:03 PM
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Thanks Thorn.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 3:03 PM
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Housekeeping was never a tipped position.

You mean never in that "you can pay them less than minimum wage" category, or that they never got tips?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 3:03 PM
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176 -- I lead a charmed life. If I but wanted to feel guilty about a small fraction my undeserved good fortune, I'd probably be paralyzed with it. (See, I don't even feel guilty about not feeling guilty).


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 3:04 PM
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When I was on a trip in high school and staying at a fancy DC hotel, we received detailed instructions on how much to tip everyone at the hotel. Some amount per bag when checking in, etc. So: we arrive to check in, and find the rooms are not ready yet, so we have to leave the luggage. A bellhop takes the bags, hands them to another one standing a few feet away, who hands them to another one, who hands them off to someone else, who puts them on a cart to wheel away. Then they all expectantly wait for tips. None of us tipped them, and we got a very angry chewing-out over it from the people running the program.

I tend to avoid fancy hotels. I want people to leave me alone, not pamper me.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 3:05 PM
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181 -- They not paid a lower wage.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 3:06 PM
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Wi fi at fancy places. If you join the Fairmont President's Club which requires nothing other than filling out an online form you get wifi and printing and fax for free.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 3:06 PM
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I try to hold the line at 15%. I'll round up to the next dollar, but inflating the tipping norm to 20% is offensive to me.

I am aware that makes me a cheap bastard.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 3:06 PM
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I travel light, and I honestly can't remember anyone ever taking my luggage up to the room for me. I don't think I've ever tipped a bellhop.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 3:08 PM
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Jesus, Megan, the opportunity to work with a bunch of smart interesting people on one of the great issues of our time is good fortune, not detriment.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 3:09 PM
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I almost always tip waiters/waitress 20 percent of the bill.

I hate tipping anyone else and mostly avoid it.

I get mildly offended by the tip jar when you are picking up food.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 3:09 PM
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Bellhops are paid, ime, as if they will be tipped.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 3:10 PM
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I get mildly offended by the tip jar when you are picking up food a barista.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 3:11 PM
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I would tip a bellhop if I interacted with one, honest! I'm just riffling through memories of entering hotel rooms, and I've always got my bag over my shoulder and no hotel staff accompanying me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 3:12 PM
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I honestly can't remember anyone ever taking my luggage up to the room for me

Some places don't give you much choice. Seems especially common in Italy, where they insist on carrying my bag and escorting me to the room, where they provide unnecessary demonstrations of things like how to turn on the lights or use the sink. I guess this is to entice me to give them a Euro for their trouble.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 3:12 PM
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I understand the argument but that implies that a $15 meal is a baseline for "restaurant service" and that just isn't my experience. Probably 80% of the meals I order out are under $10 (pre- tax & tip).

I hardly ever eat out by myself, so it has to be really cheap per person to ring in under $10.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 3:14 PM
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I once went to a fishing lodge in the middle of Alaska. It was fairly expensive per person.

The lodge left a note in our rooms, specifying that we should tip the guides 10 percent if their service was fair, 15 percent if it was good, and 20 percent if it was excellent.

I was mildly offended.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 3:14 PM
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What does one tip a room-service person? When eekbeat were at a nicer hotel in DC awhile ago, it came up during check-in that it was her birthday weekend. The front desk guy said, "Oh. Happy birthday. We'll send up a complimentary bottle of wine in that case. Red or white?" I had no idea what to even base the tip on, and I didn't even know the cost of the wine (or if that should figur into the tip calculation).


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 3:15 PM
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I guess this is to entice me to give them a Euro for their trouble.

Here is where you insert the joke about tipping the bellhop one million lira, thinking it is about a dollar when in fact it is one hundred dollars. It always slays them in Poughkeepsie.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 3:17 PM
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Room-service bills often include a gratuity automatically, and it seems to be of the same order as what you tip a waiter at a restaurant.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 3:17 PM
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I think of room service as a waiter, and tip as if tipping a waiter (that is, 20% on the bill). For the free bottle of wine? Eh, a couple of bucks? You don't know what it cost, and you didn't ask for it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 3:18 PM
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What does one tip a room-service person?

It depends on whether you get the "happy ending".


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 3:18 PM
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195: Did the lodge draw mostly working and lower middle class mid-westerners? Because many would consider 10% a proper tip for great service, especially if this was a while ago.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 3:19 PM
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True, but it still excuses you from a whole lot of liberal guilt. You could have been defending tobacco companies with your time.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 3:20 PM
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These days I try to make as much of my travel as possible extended trips to places where I can stay for a couple of weeks to a month in a place with my own kitchen. Makes life much more tolerable. But that's work-related travel, not vacations; my vacations mostly seem to be a few days I squeeze in after or in between conferences or workshops.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 3:20 PM
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I hardly ever eat out by myself, so it has to be really cheap per person to ring in under $10.

I often buy lunch when I'm at work.

Even so, I was thinking per-person because at least some of the effort involved is based on the number of people.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 3:20 PM
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||
Heh. Furloughs are back. Thank god. Working five days a week was awful.

|>


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 3:35 PM
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Megan I think furloughs count as a respite, so you are right on topic.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 3:43 PM
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Exempting the wine and drinks from the tip is nuts.*

*What Blandings said.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 4:24 PM
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205: Temporary lay-offs. Good times. Ain't we luck we got 'em.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 4:28 PM
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After one of my grandmothers died I inherited the remainder of her season tickets to the Friday afternoon concerts at the BSO. Most of the people there are old ladies, so the problem of the lines to women's restrooms being slower was compounded.

They had restroom attendants whose job was to manage the flow, and women tipped them. I think that I may have given a quarter once, but I felt really uncomfortable: I had really good seats, but I did not personally have a lot of money as a student.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 5:40 PM
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209: A sleazy club venue in Chicago (the Metro) used to have a surly chick sit in the ladies room and hand out brown paper towels. You know, instead of a dispenser. She expected to be tipped. I'm an exorbitant tipper, but that was seriously not going to happen. I do tip the women in the ladies room at the opera, because they do stuff.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 5:47 PM
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Heh. Furloughs are back. Thank god. Working five days a week was awful.

Word. We do 4 X 10's with a paid lunch break, ie swing shift of 2:30-12:30. I love it.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 5:50 PM
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I do tip the women in the ladies room at the opera, because they do stuff.

We're grown here. It's called pooping.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 5:51 PM
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Four-tens? Inhumane. I'm telling you. Thirty-two hours a week is when life gets civilized.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 5:55 PM
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Since we're living through a depression/super-recession anyways, I still think we should just switch full time to 32 hours and overtime starts there.

max
['Thirty-two hour work week for everyone!']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 6:10 PM
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Didn't that work for Kellogg in the thirties? The cereal one, not the Brown, Root one. (Please, let them not be the same.)

LizardBreath, perhaps food has gotten cheaper compared to other costs of living, so that higher tips are needed to be as useful for, e.g., rent? But I can't believe the customs are based on anything so practical, or we'd be pressing our fives on the busboys and housecleaners. Looks to me like we tip people who do things that private servants used to do. Vails!


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 6:25 PM
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They had restroom attendants whose job was to manage the flow, and women tipped them.

I should hope so, for such a personal service.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 6:27 PM
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Four-tens?

With lunch break, so more like four-nines?

Still, I'm with you on this one.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 6:28 PM
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Exempting the wine and drinks from the tip is nuts

I quite agree and had never heard of such a thing before dating her. I used to think it was a chick thing, but now I think she was misinformed, because she is usually quite generous, especially with servant type persons.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 6:30 PM
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G.H. Hardy had it right: the four-hour workday is ideal.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 7:05 PM
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Four-tens?

Eight-tens are pretty sweet, actually.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 7:29 PM
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220: Try to find a day care that does that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 7:38 PM
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Most of the time that I was growing up, my dad worked a schedule that was something like: 4 12-hour night shifts, then 3 days off, then 5 12-hour day shifts, then 3 days off, then 4 12-hour night shifts, then 7 days off. I'm probably getting the details wrong. It was unusual, but he loved having a whole week off every few weeks.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 7:48 PM
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220: Wow, it's remarkable how much more free and easy we were then, in 2008!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 7:52 PM
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Why are we on holiday? Because the Bank of England is on holiday.

Oh lord, this confused me so much as a child reading British fiction.

I used to beg my parents to stay in hotels, but no.

I loved hotels. Especially the little toiletries, which you could take home and use to play Hotel. By the time I was a teenager, it was more about crunching myself in the bathtub to read because the rest of the family was asleep in the hotel room getting ready for the next day's soccer tournament and I wasn't read to crawl in my lumpy cot. I always got the cot.

I wish I'd taken my vacation time for something more interesting and selfish than going to doctors' appointments.

Yeah, last summer I had a genuine period of confusion about where all my vacation time had gone, until I remembered Vortex of Family Medical Emergency.

I am incapable of leaving the towels on the floor in a hotel

Housekeepers with repetitive-stress injuries thank you. /humorless

1) Everyone knows that miniature anything is cool and 2) we were allowed to get surgary things like Frosted Flakes which we never had at home.

Sir Kraab had my childhood.

You just leave it in a prominent place

Oh, now, see, I came to hotel tipping in my adulthood, but I was told that you leave it on the pillow but under a sheet, so that if the housekeeping manager sweeps through and tries to grab all the tips, she'll miss it and the worker will get it.

And we've discussed leaving a tip for hotel housekeepers here before, although I'm darned if I can find the link.

Thirty-two hour work week for everyone!

Right, so this seems a good moment to mention that I've been more or less directed to take a vacation. So: Charlottesville here I come! When I get the dates firmed up I'll let y'all know and maybe there can be a meetup.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 7:53 PM
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224 was me. Not sure what happened.

And sorry about your dad, bg. That kind of situation is challenging and stresseful even when everything works out well. Sounds like you're handling it wisely, though. Insisting on being listed as eligible to get HIPAA-protected info is a good way to keep yourself informed when other family members aren't good at relaying updates reliably.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 7:55 PM
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Reading this thread, I've decided that I work too much. I'm not sure what to do about it.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 8:04 PM
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What I'd really like is about a 25% cut in my hours, and a 50% raise.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 8:05 PM
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I do tip the women in the ladies room at the opera, because they do stuff.

What kind of stuff?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 8:18 PM
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80

If there are enough people out there who aren't tipping that not-tipping could be a norm, I wonder if I should get on that bandwagon, in the hopes that no one will tip, and it'll turn into a straight salary job. ...

Well, I have never tipped in motels and I don't intend to start.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 8:28 PM
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229: Shocker. I'm shocked.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 8:29 PM
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So: Charlottesville here I come!

Huzzah, Witt!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 8:41 PM
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This seems to be the spot to ask a question that's occasionally come to me - did B&B's change their nature or am I misremembering things. The ones we used to go to in NH and VT ski-resorts in the late seventies were these dirt cheap places - basically somebody's decrepit old house with third hand furniture and no character to speak of. These days they seem to all be mid to high end Laura Ashley fantasies.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 9:02 PM
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16

What's up with Saiselgy and all of the warmed-over Econ 101isms he keeps spouting? It's making me crazy. If I wanted to know what simplistic economic reason looked like, I'd read the exercises in any intro econ textbook ever.

You referring to this post about credit card fees? Yglesias's analysis does seem questionable. For example he concludes:

I'm not going to weep for days if we wind up with a regulatory crackdown on this front, but it strikes me as primarily the sort of business versus business dispute that we should stay out of.

ignoring the fact that we have already intervened on the side of the banks by banning credit card surcharges.

And how come every dubious economic argument gets blamed on Econ 101? Applying Econ 101 principles does not get you to Yglesias's conclusions.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 10:12 PM
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61

Yglesias has been driving me insane recently, but he redeemed himself with this post, in which he makes very well the point that I've been making for years, which is that admissions policies to elite US universities aren't really a very important issue.

I don't agree with this either. It is an important issue because it is something that people care about a lot. I doubt your and Yglesias's claimed indifference on this issue would extend to letting people like me determine these policies.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 10:17 PM
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It is an important issue because it is something that people care about a lot.

I completely agree. I mean, yes, it's just one woman in jail, but that woman is Lindsay Lohan!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 10:20 PM
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yeah, shmibertarianism manages to contain more misapplied ideas than econ101 has ideas.

though i'd like to hear more about this argument that 'since government has some regulation on this industry, therefor said regulation is cause of all problems in this line of work'


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 10:23 PM
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Hey Sifu, that guy who's writing your blog for you is doing a good job. Keep up the good work.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 10:41 PM
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Ok, I keep automatically thinking of the word "nepenthe" every time I read the title of this post, so I have to ask, am I the only one? (I blame Poe.)


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:03 PM
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well i thought 'rasputin' so you're probably closer to the mean than me


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 07-28-10 11:37 PM
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With lunch break, so more like four-nines?

A lot of the time, yes. But with us, the break isn't guaranteed.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07-29-10 12:37 AM
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Traditionally the Dutch don't tip in restaurants, because that's already included in the bill, though we've started doing it much more so than a few decades ago largely because of pernicious foreign influences. The exception on this is toilets, where public loos usually have some sour old pram face "keeping it clean" who expect you to drop in a euro or so when using it. This also happens a lot in bars and restaurants which annoys the fuck out of me.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 07-29-10 5:06 AM
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re: 241

Yeah, when I went to Amsterdam in my late teens I was scandalized at being repeatedly asked for cash every time I went to the toilets in a bar. After about the 6th time paying in one place I walked in without paying and she went mental. You'd think I'd just stolen everything she owned.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-29-10 5:14 AM
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225: Thanks for responding Witt. No lobster for me this weekend, because the date was miscommunicated. The festival is actually next week.

I may need to try to convince them to get on a waiting list for assisted living. I know that my Mom will need that when he's gone. I doubt very much that he'll stick to a low sodium diet.

An old friend of my Mom has been very helpful, btu I do not want to overburden her, and my aunt has chosen to keep her distance, but help researching the options would be much appreciated.

I don't know what kind of elder facilities are equipped to deal with people with serious psychiatric issues, and I wouldn't want to see her in the regular public mental health system. She wouldn't want to live in a group home, and she'd see no need to be rehabilitated a la medicaid rehab option. Plus, everyone smokes in those places, and even though they do it outside, it still reeks.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 07-29-10 6:12 AM
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"some sour old pram face": Well, having to endure the casual contempt of pennypinching up-themselves punters while trapped in shitty service jobs like toilet cleaner will possibly sour you, especially when you're old and know things aren't likely to change for you.

Also: in the UK at least "pram face" is a pretty disgusting bit of class-based misogyny (a metropolitan sneer at young working class girls for having the effrontery to have children): I know English is Martin's second language, and he seems to be using it in a weird sense here anyway ("old pram face"?), but just to alaert him...


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-29-10 6:23 AM
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Oops, crossface ^above is me.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 07-29-10 6:29 AM
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Man, does Urban Dictionary ever corroborate that.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-29-10 6:34 AM
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re; 244

FWIW, I used to work as a cleaner. I'm not entirely unfamiliar with the situation from the other side. I think my general disdain for high school teachers stems partly from that job.

And yes, re: 'pram face'. I can also get quite vocally annoyed about rhetoric about 'chavs'.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-29-10 7:19 AM
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246: Plus the little ad is great. Buy pram face mugs, tshirts and magnets!

I'll look oh so dapper in my pram face tshirt...


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-29-10 7:36 AM
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At a coffee shop in Brick Lane yesterday, they were advertising drip coffee as "chav coffee." Is drip coffee a chav thing?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-29-10 7:47 AM
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I expect chavs to drink instant, not having the patience to mae anything that takes longer. But that's accepting the negative stereotype. Maybe there are earnest chav coffee tastings, sponsored by Burberry.

I drink drip coffee at work. Low tech and quick.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-29-10 7:52 AM
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Witt in CVille?

Stanley, I vote meetup at Mas. http://www.mastapas.com/

Br and I will definitely come up.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07-29-10 7:54 AM
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you will all be unsurprised to know that I take lots of vacations. we used to go to eleuthera in the bahamas when I was young, and stay at the trippes' house. after I was 7 my brother and I always spent part of the summer with our dad and part in east hampton with our grandparents (separately, as they were long-divorced.) we've spent christmas in rented villas in florence, rented quite different villas in bali, gone to phuket, etc. etc. basically I should feel more guilty for being lucky and rich and generally useless (though we did spend many of my childhood years perversely poor, as my mom rebelled against her family and both my dad and step-father were always unemployed), but there you are. this will be our last summer in my grandfather's house in wainscott as it's being sold; I am lying in my granddad's bed right now/ and looking out the huge glass doors to the deck and georgica pond and the light of the shining sea behind the trees. I will miss this place terribly, and none of us will ever be able to afford anything like it; it is a tale of wasp decline from Gull Crest (read down), to this place, and soon only my uncle will have a big house on the pond here. this is why english people had primogeniture inheritance, otherwise it's french aristocrat-style (relative) impoverishment of successive generations just because there's more of everyone. I suppose when my dad dies I might be able to buy this back, but probably not. it's not appropriate to feel sorry for oneself in this situation but there is nonetheless a kind of elegaic feeling. my uncle values hard work and insists that people aren't happy doing nothing, they become alcoholic or go mad. from my point of view we can and do become alcoholic or insane regardless and on the whole I'd prefer a life of indolent leisure. not entirely true, I guess, or I wouldn't have started a business, but it was a very uncharacteristic thing for me to do. I am sick almost all of the time, so a certain amount of lying in bed is inevitable. my husband maintains I'd exchange good health for any amount of money and thus there is a karmic balance in which chronic pain equalizes unmerited wealth. I'm not sure about that.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 07-29-10 12:35 PM
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Rational musing about illness of family or friends seems unkind.

My dad last year got out from under a beautiful villa on a large plot that his grandfather built, full of bad memories and maintenance headaches for him. A benefit for everyone, except for the lost sense of opulence, and the one wonderful photo of my dead aunt. In fact, I think that opulent surroundings corrupt people-- if you have enough, the setting creates a grandiose and unpleasant mindset, and if you don't, it mocks you. I'm going for an apartment in every place I like, and friends for whom I won't be the last invited to the party.

Any contemporary poets to recommend?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-29-10 1:00 PM
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252: I am hesitant to post such a mundane and practical question in response, but as long as you're near NYC, what are you doing next Thursday night?


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 07-29-10 2:28 PM
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I think Nelson DeMille's Gold Coast may be his only good book.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-29-10 4:50 PM
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Images of Georgica Pond but not many

"I have no idea who owns any of the boats or houses in these pictures. There are a lot of rich people (I doubt there is a house on the pond that can be bought for less than $4 million) and some very famous people who own houses on this pond. But none of them put out signs saying who lives there. :-) I have seen houses on Georgica Pond for sale at prices well over $12 million BTW."

I don't want to intrude on al's rapturous melancholy, but it is a personal fact the the DeMille, for all its potboiler irony and liberal ennui, moved me to a kind of melancholy too. It's a clever play on Gatsby, imagine Tom & Daisy's grandaughter, reduced to poverty, marries Nick Carraway's grandson. Meanwhile Gatsby's grandson, now a thuggish heroin lord buys the ole Buchanan estate. Or something like that. Funny as hell, commentary on changes in America, yet still poignant. A new improved disillusionment, now farce rather than tragedy.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-29-10 5:31 PM
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I'm going to be in south carolina next thursday, but I will be in NYC the 8th and 9th, flying back to narnia on the 10th. I'm staying with my aunt and uncle on the upper east side, and will have the kids with me so I sort of can't go to fresh salt or some bar or whatever. seems like endless meet-ups but might still be fun...we could, like, get those touted burgers from the shake shack and sit outside? if my uncle weren't the tidiest control freak person ever I would host, but if anything went wrong it would be the worst thing of all time, so... seriously, we are having to scramble periodically to get this place ready for showings; if my uncle needed to get ready for a showing he would need 35 seconds warning, to fold up one section of the new york times. cedar closet lined with suits; shirts that have come back from the cleaner with cardboard in the neck and tissue paper around them. his trash is, like, neater than my house.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 07-29-10 7:23 PM
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I want a cedar closet so bad. I'm at war, always, with moths. I get really upset and take their advances personally.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-29-10 7:58 PM
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258: Is it on your gift list?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-29-10 8:00 PM
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It's hard to say.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-29-10 8:30 PM
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||

For Megan.

|>


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-29-10 8:32 PM
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That doesn't seem like it should count as a catch. But it counts as really athletic.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-29-10 8:34 PM
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262: I don't know the rules, but he seems to get a firm grasp on it pre-ground-contact and doesn't lose control of it after that. I'd lean "catch" by football rules, which are obviously not relevant.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-29-10 8:37 PM
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I don't know the rules, but I'm a very canny observer of human behavior, so the video leads me to believe it counted.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-29-10 8:49 PM
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We should argue about it. For the old-time-blog's sake.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-29-10 8:53 PM
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Yes, let's!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-29-10 9:01 PM
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Racist.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-29-10 9:06 PM
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It's true!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-29-10 9:07 PM
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Comity! Yay!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-29-10 9:08 PM
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Just like the old times.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-29-10 9:32 PM
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The comments on the video appear to provide an answer to the question of whether it was or was not a legal catch.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-29-10 10:13 PM
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I read some comments, and have now learned that he has a bald spot and Ultimate Frisbee is gay.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-29-10 11:02 PM
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265: What if he had a telescoping prosthetic arm?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-30-10 6:40 AM
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271: I know better than to read youtube comments; care to summarize?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-30-10 6:51 AM
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271: I know better than to read youtube comments; care to summarize?

Somebody claims to have been at the match and says that the video cuts off before the referee's ruling, but that the ruling went against the player, and it was not counted as a successful catch.

Which seems fair if you believe the player needs to have control of the frisbee before it touches the ground, but I'm vague about what the actual rule in ultimate it (sad, I know, since I played quite a bit of ultimate for a while but (a) they were casual games rather than matches and (b) none of us were trying catches like that).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-30-10 3:28 PM
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Well, we'll just have to keep this thread active until Megan shows up and offers the One True Final Judgment.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-30-10 4:14 PM
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Oh, sorry. Didn't know we were chatting here. It looked like a good catch to me. He had control of the disc (stopped its rotation in his hand) and his body hit the ground before any part of the disc did. If it was in-bounds, I'd have said it was good.

A friend sent that to me last night. That was an amazing catch. (Although the spike was rude.) His thrower sure didn't help him out any.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-30-10 4:19 PM
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Just watched it a few more times. I'd still call it good.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-30-10 4:23 PM
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The single most unbelievable thing about that catch is the number of spectators in the stands. They can't all be members of other teams, friends, and relatives, can they?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-30-10 11:01 PM
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Wouldn't have counted in cricket, because he grounded it after he's caught it.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-31-10 4:45 AM
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So long as he controls the disc in the air when he lands, the catch is good. If an edge of the disc had touched down before any part of him, it would be a drop.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-31-10 12:28 PM
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