Re: Penny For Your Thoughts

1

Yeah, those liberals say they are all into helping people out, but do you ever see them tip anyone? Huh?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 11:44 AM
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Was the driver white?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 11:44 AM
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oh sure, you want to use *other* people's money to help out some lazy bums, but do you ever use your *own* money to help out a working man?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 11:46 AM
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Maybe he puts that station on whenever he picks up a white fare.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 11:47 AM
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You did the right thing.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 11:52 AM
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Did you peel off the tip right in front of him? Bonus style points for that.

A guy at the airport charged me $45 to unlock my sister's car (one of those very stupid smart cars). He didn't have change for a $50, and I made him go into the airport to get it. $45 is too much.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 11:52 AM
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4: White People like Right-wing Radio.

Hmmm, I still don't think I'm getting the concept.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 11:53 AM
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Totally fair. If you'd been up for it, you should have quietly peed on the seat.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 11:54 AM
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Not fair. Tips are a system designed to reward efficacy of job execution within a labor force that is under-compensated. Tips may be increased if you have some reason to feel specially emotionally/ideologically connected, but tips should never be decreased on the basis of ideological divergence, let alone speculation thereof.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 11:56 AM
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"quietly" s/b "ostentatiously"


Posted by: arthegall | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 11:57 AM
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Shoulda axed political affiliation before ya got in the cab


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 11:59 AM
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Not fair.

I despise the tipping system (don't get me started!), but mere ideological differences with someone do not justify lowering a tip.


Posted by: zadfrack | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:00 PM
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I put part of the money back in my pocket. I still gave him a decent tip, just not as large as I would have.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:01 PM
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Hmm. But, if part of the money originally counted out for the tip was based on general goodwill/likeability, then there would be no principled objection to subtracting that back out once the likeability calculu changed....


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:02 PM
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I guess that I'm a bad person, because I don't regularly tip taxi drivers other than by rounding up a fare to a whole dollar amount. That said, I *very* rarely take cabs. I've taken two in the past year.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:03 PM
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9 & 12:

What is the cab driver said something blatantly racist? "Those darn [racial slur]!"

Still tip?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:03 PM
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General goodwill should also not be impacted by the station a radio is tuned to. White People do, however, tend to know what is best for poor people.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:04 PM
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Not fair, but I used to do the same thing to radical Islamist cab drivers in Cairo, so I'm not really one to talk.

My dad, on the other hand, would refuse to even ride in the taxis of the bearded extremists koran-blasting fellows.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:04 PM
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Maybe he puts that station on whenever he picks up a white fare.

I'd probably be tempted to mess with people in that way if I drove a cab. Until it became a boring game, anyway. I did once take a longish cab ride (45 minutes?) during which the driver turned on music that, it gradually dawned on me, was the Beatles. I cheerfully thanked him at the end of the ride, saying I hadn't listened to the Beatles in ages ... then it dawned on me that he may have put it on because, you know, long ride, white woman.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:06 PM
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On the subject of tips, what do you all generally tip a pizza delivery person? I've been tipping around $5 on a roughly $25 order and have been getting effusive thanks from the kids bringing my pizza. Is this particularly generous? (I'll keep it up, either way, as my deliveries have been getting progressively faster... )


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:06 PM
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Altering a tip on the basis of a racial slur is fine enough. In addition to its being a more legitimate detractor of goodwill, overt displays of racism should negatively effect business and a cab-taker should be able to microcosmically reflect that. I see no reason why a cab driver should not be able to listen to whatever radio station s/he wants to while driving a cab.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:07 PM
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16: this happened to me. A cabbie in Cincinatti started bitching to me & my husband about how all those darn black people had come to town for the music festival & & they were messing up the city & he wished they'd go to Detroit. We didn't tip. I didn't feel guilty for not tipping, I do feel like the awkward-silence-no-tip response was inadequate--he probably got what was going on, but maybe he just thought my husband was a cheap jew bastard. At the time, well, we needed to make our flight, & didn't know the way to the airport, & didn't see any other cabs on the highway.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:08 PM
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I took my car to get fixed at a garage where the dude was listening to Rush Limbaugh. Sure enough, the fucker totally ripped me off. So this was totally justified by that.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:08 PM
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16: Using racist slurs would be a firing offense at most workplaces - withholding a tip is justified in such a case.


Posted by: zadfrack | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:09 PM
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I see no reason why a cab driver should not be able to listen to whatever radio station s/he wants to while driving a cab.

They can, of course. But, if their choice of radio station makes the ride less pleasant for their fare, I don't see why the tip can't reflect that.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:09 PM
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20:

For pizza, I generally only tip a dollar or two to round it up.

At dinner though, twenty percent is the norm for me. Great service and you get more. Bad service, less (down to 10 to 15 percent)

I rarely tip hotel maids and always carry my own bags.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:09 PM
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When BR cuts my hair, I usually slip a $5 in her pocket.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:11 PM
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but many cabbies own their own cabs, and just contract to the cab company serving as a dispatcher. No? But if so, the cabbie is essentially self-employed and can presumably say and do what s/he likes, racial slurs and all. Whether it's good for business is another question.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:13 PM
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20: At least in this part of the country, that's a pretty generous tip. A pizza delivery driver, at least at peak times, can make a lot more deliveries in an hour than a server can cover tables.

10-15 years ago, when I was driving, I considered $1 adequate, $2 good, and more than that awesome. Adjust those numbers for inflation, esp. price of gas.


Posted by: zadfrack | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:13 PM
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If your cab driver has an air freshener up that you don't like, and if it makes your ride less pleasant, can you lower a tip on those ground? How about if the driver smells bad? Or if you can't stand his haircut and having to think about it makes yoru ride less pleasant? What if he takes a phone call and his side of the conversation makes it clear that he is gay and you feel sort of squeamish around gay people? Less pleasant ride for you, so smaller tip?


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:15 PM
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I tip 20% on pizza delivery.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:16 PM
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20: And you're right, tipping your pizza driver generously will ensure that your pizza gets delivered before that of other people.


Posted by: zadfrack | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:16 PM
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I think it's fine, on the same grounds that it would be fine to withhold a tip if he was playing obnoxious music at too high a volume, listening to the "Morning Zoo", talking on his cell phone, or ran a red light... It's his job to make the environment pleasant, safe, and professional. He should know better than to subject his customers to potentially irritating or offensive programming.

Then again, class guilt should be a factor.

On the subject of tips, what do you all generally tip a pizza delivery person?

I wonder this all the time. I tip between 10-15% on deliveries, for no good or considered reason.


Posted by: Chris Conway | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:16 PM
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I'm sure I would have done the same thing. That said, however, the better solution would obviously be to ask the driver to change the station or turn it off rather than the quiet p-a lowering of the tip. (Which, I reiterate, is what I too would have done.)


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:19 PM
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30: You can lower the tip for any reason at all. You should lower the tip if he's listening to Limbaugh. If he doesn't like the tips he makes, he can change the radio station, or move and drive in more congenial climes. I hear Oklahoma can be beautiful.

(If I'm honest, I probably wouldn't change the tip, on "don't pick on the little guy" grounds.)


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:19 PM
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20: Yeah, that sounds generous to me. I'll usually tip more like $2-3 bucks, around 15% of the pizza cost.

Of course, I don't order pizza more than a few times a year because walking out to pick it up is usually faster around here. The last time I did, I ended up tipping about $0.03 because the pizza took over an hour and a half to get to me and I had to call the place to find out if it had even been sent out and when.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:20 PM
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30: Yes, all of those (well, except for the gay thing -- though the "taking a phone call" part might) strike me as reasonable bases for not tipping as well. It's really the same thing as saying that a pleasant air freshener, decent haircut, good hygiene would all incline me to tip better.

Also, the last dozen cab rides I've taken have involved the driver having an animated


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:21 PM
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Maybe you could try asking him to change the station?


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:21 PM
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#25 is so right. We take cabs a LOT, the GF in particular who pretty much takes one home from work every night and between the incredibly smelly cabs and the obnoxious - and often homophobic (!) - chatter, her tips reflect that. Whenever I've gotten someone like that - like the guy who wouldn't LET UP about whether I was gay and how God was not okay with that when MEN DID IT but how it was all right for women (you are not winning friends, pal) - the tip's reflected that. I am constantly amazed at how often the homophobic comments crop up here in SF, even when you're cabbing it to the Castro.


Posted by: moira | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:21 PM
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30 gets at the heart of what I hate about the tipping system - it's inevitably going to be applied in a discriminatory fashion, and there's no recourse for the worker.

If an employer pays you less because you're black or fat or whatever, you can sue. But if your customers tip you unfairly, you're SOL.


Posted by: zadfrack | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:22 PM
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Less pleasant ride for you, so smaller tip?

On what other basis can you decide a tip?

If it is some set standard, then why have a tip? Why not just make it the set price?

I am not in favor of discriminating on the basis of race, sexual preference or gender.

But you would certainly agree that a combination of physical attractiveness and personality play a part in the size of the tip? Because these are short interactions, the tip is based on the quickest of first impressions.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:23 PM
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Whoops, I had to call the place twice. All in all, pretty bad for a place that's only 3/4 of a mile from where I live.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:23 PM
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40:

I agree with zadfrack.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:24 PM
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41 sounds right.

If you don't like "Less pleasant ride, smaller tip", then how about "More pleasant ride, larger tip"? Sound more fair?

We don't have taxis here anyway. I tip waiters and pizza people usually just under 20%. And the haircut people more than 20%. And I put my change in the cup at the coffee shop, except for the quarters, which I keep.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:25 PM
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Golly, now I feel bad for all the NYC cabbies listening to NPR and Air America (many, many) who are presumably stiffed by Republicans. I think that's shitty. Unless the cabbie were listening to it loudly and wouldn't turn it down, or trying to involve me (and not taking the hint that I would not like to be involved) in some hideous discussion, the cabbie gets his/her tip.
My favorite not tipping a cabbie story: the guy who pervily lectured me for 20 blocks about Koranic regulations governing menstrual blood.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:26 PM
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General goodwill should also not be impacted by the station a radio is tuned to. White People do, however, tend to know what is best for poor people.

What does any of this have to do with professing to know what's best for poor people?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:26 PM
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I certainly wouldn't tip a Muslim taxidriver who was playing the Eagles.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:26 PM
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The hotel maids made delightful little animals out of the fresh towels, which made my kid happy. If dinner is cheap, I tip 25%; if it's expensive, I tip 15%, rounding up. I basically hate the feeling of being served (more specifically, obsequiousness or snob appeal), but am OK with paying someone else to do a job. It shouldn't matter whether server likes customer or vice versa; formal commercial rituals help with this, learning the waiter's name does not. I used to sell newspapers on a streetcorner (not obsequious) and to caddy(ideally not obsequious, in fact yes). I recognize that these attitudes come close to making me a freak in the middle-class US.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:26 PM
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But it's not the same thing as saying a nice air freshener would incline you to tip better if you had already counted out the money and then put some back. On the basis of a radio station. Not only is it, again, a speculative reflection of the driver's beliefs (for example, I listen to Limbaugh at least twice a week; I find it useful to know what's being said), but Jesus, you're so morally superior that you feel the need to financially punish a cab driver for not voting the same way you do? This is not the same thing as choosing to do business with establishments that you know are ideologically sympathetic or patronizing businesses that share your values. This person has already provided a service that you have valued in the the final 2 minutes turns on a radio program you don't like.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:27 PM
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don't order pizza more than a few times a year

I order it alot. Or order other dishes from the pizza place. When I call, the person who answers usually says, "You're at [my address], right?" straight off. I'm sure this just means they have some cool database that links their caller i.d. to past orders, but it always makes me think, "God, I order out too much."


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:27 PM
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Listen, this is not a situation about the pleasantness of the ride. The ride was perfectly pleasant. The problematic radio station played during the final 2 minutes. This is about punishing someone for not sharing your values.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:32 PM
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I say, "Not far enough." Withholding part of the tip without explanation is lame. You're not making a point, either--it's not as if stingy fares like Bostoniangirl are so rare that he would get to wondering why the tip was small.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:33 PM
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This is about punishing someone for not sharing your values.

What's your point?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:34 PM
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My point is, that sucks.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:35 PM
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I would not have withheld the tip, but I'm probably on the stingier end of tipping to begin with.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:38 PM
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54: Just to be clear, you have a perfectly good cab ride, and right near the end, you notice an "88" tattooed" on the cabby's neck and a swastika flag on the glove box, and you think it would be wrong to cop some of the tip back, right? We disagree.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:38 PM
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Oh yes. And BG needs to tip better than sometimes rounding up to the next whole dollar. Unless (perhaps) all she does is take $4 cab rides.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:39 PM
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To #49 - I agree with that (though maybe not the tone), in that it doesn't seem jake to punish someone for having different ideological beliefs/listening habits. But - driving a cab is being in the service industry and I'm wondering how I would feel if I - for example - were having a lovely meal, with excellent service (and part of that was this mutual fiction that the server and I are chummy) - and suddenly, as we're being served our digestifs/coffee/whatever, and the server whips off his/her jacket revealing a GOD HATES FAGS t-shirt (substitute your own, personally offensive slogan). Would I reduce the tip?

Would you?

I'd stick with my usual 20% but they'd never get more than that, b/c the t-shirt negated the 'excellent' part of the service.


Posted by: moira | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:39 PM
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When I call, the person who answers usually says, "You're at [my address], right?" straight off.

Rah and I used to share a house with some friends out in the middle of nowhere. There was one place that would deliver to us; luckily it was fantastic food, the kind of local place that is always packed and you have to call ahead to find out if they have a zucchini that day if you want zucchini on something because, you know, they have what they had time to pick up on the way in to open.

At any rate, we called them a lot. One Saturday night two of our housemates ordered dinner from there. The next day Rah and I wanted lunch from there so we called them. It's all one phone number, though, so when the phone rang and we came up on their caller ID the owner picked up the phone and simply said, "Don't you people ever cook?"


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:42 PM
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The point loses some salience when listening to right wing radio is made functionally equivalent to tattoing nazi alliance on your body or wearing a Rev. Phelps Tshirt.

I do have a tone about it though, which suck. I'm in a mood today.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:42 PM
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Not only is it, again, a speculative reflection of the driver's beliefs (for example, I listen to Limbaugh at least twice a week; I find it useful to know what's being said), but Jesus, you're so morally superior that you feel the need to financially punish a cab driver for not voting the same way you do? This is not the same thing as choosing to do business with establishments that you know are ideologically sympathetic or patronizing businesses that share your values.

Reducing an already adequate tip may not have reflected a judgement on the (speculated) cabbie's voting practices. It could reflect a preference that the cab radio play something more conducive to a comfortable ride (e.g., neither right- nor left-wing talk show). Becks can tell us more about what happened here, but I wonder if you'd see any difference in these motivations.

It would be a bit difficult to patronize cabbies based on shared values known from prior cab rides. Cabs are rolling businesses and, in the absence of a practical way of avoiding businesses with different values, reducing a tip may be one way of getting across the idea that you wouldn't choose to do business with (take their cab) if you could.


Posted by: Annie | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:43 PM
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I'd stick with my usual 20% but they'd never get more than that, b/c the t-shirt negated the 'excellent' part of the service.

Liberals are such candy asses.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:44 PM
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49: The thing is, it's not so different from the air freshener. The radio station is part of the atmosphere, too, which is part of the service. So your listening to Limbaugh perhaps doesn't reflect your politics at all -- I'd still wager, if you are at all in any sort of service industry, you wouldn't listen to that in front of a customer/client. Not because it's right-wing, but because it's political, and chances are about half the people you meet will be offended.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:44 PM
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45:It is too early in the election to year to go soft on the Eternal Enemy. It is only compassion to make Republicans listen to Air America, something akin to Gideon Bibles. There is alawys a chance. But if they don't tip, it is because they are Republicans. Double standards are always fair.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:45 PM
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56: Is the idea in this case to discourage drivers from subjecting their fares to right-wing talk radio, or to distribute karma on the basis of political beliefs? Because the latter is not really what the practice of tipping is meant to do.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:45 PM
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Okay, so the shirt doesn't say God Hates Fags. It says, "I'm a loudmouthed homophobic hypocrite who abuses prescription drugs but thinks that's NOTHING like using 'illegal' drugs."

(The server is a very large person.)


Posted by: moira | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:45 PM
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50: Oh, for sure, I do eat food from little pizza places around here all the time. It's just that around downtown, it's way easier for me to make the 5 minute walk and grab the food myself than to pay someone to deliver my food when they feel like it. For some reason I've yet to discover, delivery seems considerably slower in downtown than in any of the other neighborhoods or suburbs, even through all the places are way closer.

Also, tipping cabbies has a large degree of capriciousness. Becks was perfectly in the right, though it probably will get brushed off as "some lousy tipper" rather than "I guess she didn't like the radio station". But hey, a couple bucks is a couple bucks. Add it to a contribution to an NGO and consider yourself a karma arbitrageur.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:47 PM
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I've only taken cabs maybe two or three times in my life, so I don't know enough about tipping etiquette for cabs to weigh in on the precise issue here. In restaurants I generally tip $2, which ranges from around 15% to around 30% at the restaurants I go to. I just write it in on the credit card receipt, which reminds me that I've been meaning to ask someone how that works (i.e., where the money goes and how). On the rare occasions when I pay cash at a place with a tip jar on the counter I just drop my change in the jar.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:48 PM
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66: Fattist.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:49 PM
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"God, I order out too much."

We ordered pizza so much when I was a kid that the pizza guy would regularly show up and tell us the pizza was free this time.


oudemia:
That is a great story. Did you express interest so that he would continue with the story? Too many people miss out on the wonderful parts of life by discouraging the just barely sane from speaking.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:50 PM
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Tip in cash wherever possible. When you write it on the credit card receipt, it takes a while for the server to get it and then it must be declared as income. Cash is immediate and you leave it to them and their god to decide how to report it.


Posted by: moira | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:50 PM
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(The server is a very large person.)

For people in her business, fat is defined as exceeding a 20 BMI.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:51 PM
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So my server is wearing a tshirt that says "I Like Rush" or "I aspire to be like Rush," or perhaps "I am Rush." No, I don't lower my tip. I don't doubt that my tip is always impacted by judgment of superficial qualities (appearance, smell, quality of smile) and myriad nuances that are not strictly related to the service But I don't think that's good, it's not what I endorse. If you do your job well or adequately and are nice to me, then you deserve your tip regardless of what you listen to.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:52 PM
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Tip in cash wherever possible. When you write it on the credit card receipt, it takes a while for the server to get it and then it must be declared as income.

I was afraid someone was going to say that.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:52 PM
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Also, Becks' action was completely fair. When I was a waiter I didn't talk politics or religion with my tables even when they tried to get me to do so - even in the faux chummy places like the country club, where they could never quite decide whether to treat us like their kids or like the help (or maybe they didn't see a distinction). The one time I did let myself get dragged into expressing an opinion it offended half the table. That wasn't my job; my job was to bring them another round of cocktails, thanks.

Trying to make it a situation where I would convince anyone that I was right or they were wrong was a mistake. I don't see how having the offensive opinions, invited or not, come out of a radio instead of my or the driver's mouth makes it any different. Any alternate scenario in which it's the driver doing opposition research is (a) unlikely and (b) just as ginned up as any belief that the driver was listening out of genuine agreement with Rush. The cabbie's job is to get Becks to her destination with a minimum of inconvenience and as much comfort as a cab will allow. Blaring Limbaugh at her was uncomfortable. He failed in his job. She expressed this with a reduced tip.

My guess is, whether he likes Limbaugh or reviles him he'd rather be a $1 short than listen to anyone tell him he's wrong.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:53 PM
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The point loses some salience when listening to right wing radio is made functionally equivalent to tattoing nazi alliance on your body or wearing a Rev. Phelps Tshirt.

One assumes the customer gets to decide the salience. On the whole, I agree with you. As I said above, I probably wouldn't change the tip, but mostly because picking on a cabby for what, ultimately, is a minimal and speculative sin seems wrong, somehow, to me. And because I'm a total candy ass. (Though not as much as moira, apparently.)


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:53 PM
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driving a cab is being in the service industry

Right, and the least people can do is tell you what kind of service they want. What bugs me about the scenario (and this ensuing discussion) is how very much energy gets wasted *worrying* about this shit rather than simply saying "would you turn that off, please?"

On the up side, this discussion has definitely stiffened my spine to speak up if/when I'm in a similar situation. Jeez.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:53 PM
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"Having different political beliefs" is different than "belonging to a different church" or "liking different movies". So yeah, I might punish a cabby for being a winger. He's free to be a winger, and I'm free not to tip.

On the other hand, making someone listen to Limbaugh is ALSO like making them listen to crappy music.

The practice of tipping isn't "meant to do" anything. But it does have the general effect of giving the patron a bit of leverage on the service-provider.

If the cabbie didn't seem like an otherwise bad guy, I'd probably tip normally and mention that I thought Limbaugh is full of shit.

The jobs I've had have been cabdriver-level jobs, more or less, and I don't feel class guilt.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:56 PM
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And because I'm a total candy ass. (Though not as much as moira, apparently.)

Just because fewer people want to lick your ass doesn't mean you get to be a snippy bitch about it, Tim.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:56 PM
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If you do your job well or adequately and are nice to me, then you deserve your tip regardless of what you listen to.

Part of doing your job well is not advertising a political position, isnt it? Put another way, isn't it a job function to create a relatively non-offensive place?

Would a restaurant in Pittsburgh get a lot of patrons if the servers wore Browns jerseys?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:56 PM
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I do undertip for bad driving -- riding the brake makes me ill. I always consider explaining (a) that I'm intentionally undertipping and (b) it's because the driving made me sick, but I can't see the conversation being anything but unpleasant, and so I always chicken out.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:57 PM
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Don't worry about wasted energy on my part. It's either this or working up a lecture on infanticide. It's been raining all day and I just can't bear it.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:58 PM
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So can you tip strippers less if they're wearing really obnoxious perfume?


Posted by: zadfrack | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:58 PM
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In some restaurants the tip goes to the restaurant. Mostly ethnic family restaurants, I think, but they take non-family-members tips too.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:59 PM
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81:

There is a time and place for constructive criticism. A potentially violent cabbie isnt going to get a lot criticism from me.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:59 PM
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#73 - I guess what I'm saying is that I wouldn't lower my tip for 2 minutes of an otherwise well-executed performance.

What I AM saying is that I wouldn't tip more than the usual when an aspect of the service OFFENDS me at the end of an otherwise positive experience.

I am also saying that I would definitely tip LESS when the ENTIRE experience is colored by the cabbie's views which he will not keep to himself. Why should I tip a driver more than two bucks when he spends the entire trip trying to tell me how my entire existence is wrong? He's in a service industry. (Oh, and I've told them they would have gotten a bigger tip had they kept their mouth shut so the lower tip isn't a mystery.)


Posted by: moira | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 12:59 PM
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A restaurant in Pgh where the waiters wore Browns jerseys (or Pats jerseys) would not do well. This is a terrible analogy. Not only was the cab not painted with a giant elephant, the cab driver is supposed to assume that his market - cab takers - are all antagonistic to Limbaugh?


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:01 PM
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Gah. This thread is just reinforcing my desire to never, ever take cabs. I can walk 15 miles at 2am; I've done it before.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:01 PM
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the least people can do is tell you what kind of service they want

I suppose this is the bottom line: service industry means service that meets the majority of possible needs and opinions out there, which may mean not having or revealing any of your own opinions. That's the safest route, in any case; but it has to be left open to the server (cabbie) to disregard the mandate to serve in quite that way.

Twice in the last few months I had the same cab driver who talks endlessly on his cellphone, call after call, in what sounds actually like Farsi, though of course I'm not sure. I can easily see a number of his fares being freaked out by that (the arabs are all around us, talking to each other!) Perhaps the cabbie shouldn't talk on the phone in his native tongue.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:01 PM
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37 cont'd: squirrel fellate him.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:02 PM
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Perhaps the cabbie shouldn't talk on the phone in his native tongue.

Not while he's actually driving, anyway.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:02 PM
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87: No, the cab driver should assume that his market - cab takers - want a comfortable, relaxed ride. Playing radio talk show blowhards of any persuasion is not conducive to a relaxing, comfortable ride.


Posted by: Annie | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:03 PM
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Tip in cash wherever possible. When you write it on the credit card receipt, it takes a while for the server to get it and then it must be declared as income.

But... if I understand correctly, servers end up paying the tax on the average percentage tip from credit card receipts at that particular restaurant times their total receipts. So tipping in cash only helps if you systematically overtip. Or, leave a less-than-average tip on the credit card receipt and "top it off" with cash.


Posted by: Chris Conway | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:04 PM
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are all antagonistic to Limbaugh?

Are you suggesting that someone shouldn't know that a large number of people dislike Rush?

How about Hillary? What would happen if the cabbie had a large Hillary yardsign in the front seat?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:04 PM
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But, of course, I believe in progressive government and paying ones fair share of taxes.


Posted by: Chris Conway | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:05 PM
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92 gets it right.

However, I wouldn't reduce the tip unless I had actually asked him to switch the station and he refused or insulted me. The bitchphd policy, in other words.

And I think most drivers would change the station. Who wouldn't?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:07 PM
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Not while he's actually driving, anyway.

Phone headset.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:07 PM
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The weird thing about this is that it hits home how I'm more likely to ask the guy to turn down the radio, turn it off, close the window, open the window, lower his voice on the cell phone, etc., that tell him which way to go.

Why? Because I hate feeling like I'm Jane Craig.


Posted by: moira | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:08 PM
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93: Do you know if they include credit card receipts with zero tip as a 0% tip in the average or are they not counted?


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:11 PM
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97: doesn't help with safety much if at all.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:12 PM
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isn't it a job function to create a relatively non-offensive place?

Unless you happen to actually *like* places that aren't generically non-offensive. For instance, I did tip more not too long ago when I got a cab ride from a driver playing some old punk station--and during the ride, I smiled and told him that I'd never have expected to hear that stuff playing in a cab. I actively enjoyed the ride more than I would have if he'd been playing muzak. I also liked it when the driver who picked me up from the airport had NPR on during the last presidential election and I could listen to (and comment on) Bush debating Kerry about something or other.

The reason a lot of business owners go for "relatively non-offensive" is that a lot of people are wusses about saying what they *like* (or don't). If you like relatively non-offensive, this is a good thing. If you don't, then you do kind of have a responsibility to make your preferences known (and contrariwise, to say something if you don't like what's being offered).


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:12 PM
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What would happen if the cabbie had a large Hillary yardsign in the front seat?

You tip double, of course.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:15 PM
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98: Funny. I'm actually better about things like "take x route" than I am about radio stations or whether or not the window's open. I assume that the driver's indifferent to the route (and if not, is motivated solely by raising the fare), but that he has the radio on or window down because he prefers it that way--so if I ask him to change it (which I'm arguing I should partly because I'm trying to convince myself to overcome my own dumbassery), I'm actively irritating another person rather than just expressing a neutral preference.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:16 PM
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1. Sybil got it right in 9.

2. Many cabbies own their cabs; many others do not. Regardless, a medallion costs I think close to $350K in NYC, and at least $150K in other major cities. That's a heck of a lot of money. Also, some cabs are driven 12 hours/day by their owners, and then rented to someone else to drive at night.

3. In my city there is a list of rules posted on the back seat. "A driver may...." and "A driver may not...." This includes things like turning down or off the radio if the passenger requests it. That seems sufficient -- we cannot possibly expect a driver mind-read whether the passenger wants to hear classical, hates NPR, or doesn't want any radio at all.

That said, I am a total hard-nose about refusing to talk with friends or family members when they are driving and talking on the phone. And yet I've never asked a cabbie to get off the phone. So I'm inconsistent.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:16 PM
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97: doesn't help with safety much if at all

Okay. It doesn't bother me, however; nor would right-wing talk radio, to be honest, unless it were a long cab ride. I'd probably find it fascinating.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:17 PM
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It's interesting that being exposed to political views with which we disagree is considered "offensive."


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:19 PM
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Jane: This conversation is beneath you.

Aaron: I'd give anything if that were true.

Okay, speaking of movies, Bullitt is on in HD on Mojo, a network which a friend described to me as the Douchebag Channel.


Posted by: moira | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:20 PM
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106: We're wussy liberals, Ogged. What do you expect?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:21 PM
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I assume that the driver's indifferent to the route

FYI: The few drivers I've known hated this. As I understand it, they know what they're doing--it's their job--and you don't.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:21 PM
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97: doesn't help with safety much if at all.

I know that's what the studies say, but I drive much better with a headset than during (those few) times when I've held the phone.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:21 PM
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Well, there's a line between 'political views with which we disagree' and 'political views that make us thing people holding them are bad people' -- the difference between someone you have some policy disagreements with and neoNazis, or whatever. Being exposed to the latter is offensive, although what you put in each box is individual.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:22 PM
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Sybil says ...

I listen to Limbaugh at least twice a week

... which, when taken with this statement ...

It's either this or working up a lecture on infanticide.

... causes me to wonder: Pro or con?



Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:22 PM
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You know, I haven't actually heard anything in a Chicago cab that made my ride unpleasant. Even if it's winger radio, that's still kind of entertaining. Whether it's smoove jazz, rock, NPR (pretty common here), or some winger shit I am usually interested in hearing something that I almost never listen to (I rarely listen to the radio except sometimes NPR on the weekends if I'm bored).

On the other, hearing droning Koran recitation full blast on shitty, shitty speakers that are distorted and blaring in your ear is very unpleasant. Buck up, kids.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:22 PM
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110: The studies are right. Driver distraction is the issue, not the means of technology. An emotionally laden conversation with a passenger is equally likely to be a risk factor, as is having more than 4 other people in the car (for teen drivers at least), and several other non-phone-related tasks that require concentration.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:23 PM
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I wish I had a car so bad.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:24 PM
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I've had the same problems in NYC with cab drivers who listen to screamy left-wing stations. I remember one night doing the exact same thing to someone who had an obnoxious Air America show on with people screaming at each other and making stupid personal attacks at candidates. When I'm in a taxi, I don't expect to be exposed to something that jacks up my blood pressure.

Also, in the same vein, I always tip extra if I'm blabbing on my cell phone for any length of time in a cab ride because I'm sure the driver finds having to listen to me yap on my phone to be really freakin' annoying.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:24 PM
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Ha. You know what I'd get stingy about tip for? A cab with freakin' black exhaust spewing from its tailpipe. They're all over the place around here, and it Pisses Me Off. So there you go; not just anything goes, you know.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:28 PM
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Driver distraction

SMSing cabbies: do you speak up or not? IME, less terrifying than the recent African immigrant with decorative scars on his neck and TEETH FILED TO POINTS whose driving made my last visit to Philly so memorable.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:28 PM
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The question here is: Is Limbaugh beyond the pale? I'd argue: Yes. Decent people may listen to Limbaugh (as Sybil does and I have), but there are social penalties for doing antisocial things like this in a public setting. And there should be.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:29 PM
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118: Dude, are you serious? Why on earth?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:29 PM
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when i went home in may i took a taxi to jfk
the nj driver did not know the road, because his gps was broken, or the entrance into the midtown tunnel or how it is called
so he drove three times through the lincoln tunnel
my sister was glad to get a bonus manhattan cab tour, i was nervous to miss the plane
but i tipped him nevertheless, he looked so confused and lost, though it got already 145, expensive because going from one state to another they say
when i first came here the cab charged me 125 though, and the one way discount air-ticket was 800! nobody goes to NJ by taxi i suppose


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:30 PM
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Why on earth what?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:31 PM
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Philly is scary. Only scary people live in Philly. Witt seems nice, but you never know....


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:31 PM
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an obnoxious Air America show on with people screaming at each other

Really? I've always found Air America to be pretty genteel. (Not that I would keep it on the air if I were a cabbie.)


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:31 PM
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Why on earth would someone file their teeth? (or wear something mimicking that?)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:35 PM
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117: That seems incredibly counterproductive.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:35 PM
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The practice of tipping isn't "meant to do" anything.

People are arguing about how best to go about it. The discussion starts from the presumption that tipping has some rational basis. Unless it's an end in itself, tipping is meant to effect something. The issue is whether we should tip as an incentive for good service, or in order to reward people for being good.

109: When I drove a cab I didn't mind being told which route to take. Then again, I didn't do it for long. The more experienced drivers hated it.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:36 PM
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I'd imagine that the Limbaugh cab driver gets extra tips from winger riders. For his sake, I'd hope so.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:36 PM
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That seems incredibly counterproductive.

What? Being stingy on the tip? or having a shitty emissions system on your cab?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:38 PM
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Google "ovambo teeth" for ethnographic accounts.

Again, re SMSing drivers: nag or not?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:38 PM
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I think that tooth filing is a cultural thing in some places.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:38 PM
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Undertipping someone who doesn't have the money to maintain his cab is counterproductive.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:38 PM
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129: What LB said.

Also 131 was me.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:40 PM
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96

"And I think most drivers would change the station. Who wouldn't?"

Someone who really wanted to hear what was on. Like the last two minutes of the Super Bowl.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:40 PM
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132: Ah. Perhaps so. I'd tended to assume it was just carelessness, but you do have a point.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:41 PM
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I actually talked to a driver once about the emissions system, because the car reeked of exhaust. It didn't occur to me to change his tip -- I just asked if he owned the cab, and then tried to explain what I thought the problem was. Unfortunately I don't speak French, so I don't know how well he understood me.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:42 PM
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Usually there's a plaque in the cab to the effect that "radio can(?) operate at reasonable volume." This is presumably for the comfort and happiness of the passenger - therefore, I argue, "radio can operate at reasonable ideology" as well.


Posted by: marichiweu | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:42 PM
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As someone mentioned above, cabbies are often in their cars 10-12 hours a day, so I rarely begrudge them the chance to listen to whatever they want, as long as it's not blasting in my ear, or to talk on the phone. It's fun to listen to other languages, which is common in D.C. cabs. The safety issue of talking on the phone tends to pale in comparison to the weaving through traffic and running lights anyway.

All that said, my few Austin cab trips to/from the airport have been extremely pleasant and generally involved interesting conversations about everything from movie-making to Nigerian politics.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:42 PM
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SMSing drivers

That, however, is not okay.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:44 PM
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121

NYC cabbies are notorious for swindling foreigners.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:45 PM
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funny, cab drivers often ask me, right at the start, what route i prefer them to take me on. that's happened in several cities. It's never felt obnoxious for either party involved.

i fall in the bitchphd camp of just asking the cabbie to switch radio stations. No-one seems to mind particularly. However, am still examining my inability to ask cabbies to stop talking on their cell phones while driving though... and conducting heated conversations with relatives... or sometimes even polling me on something w.r.t. said heated conversation with relatives...


Posted by: mrmf | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:48 PM
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Is that the general consensus here, that Limbaugh is beyond the pale? (I assume 'beyond the pale' means, in this context, clearly beyond the bounds of what decent and reasonable people can be expected to tolerate.)


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:51 PM
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I rode with cabbie in Chicago who drove at 110 mph down the freeway. It was one of the most frightening experiences of my life.

I still tipped the guy, though. I really should have said something.


Posted by: zadfrack | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:52 PM
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sometimes even polling me on something w.r.t. said heated conversation with relatives...

Oh, now, see this is something I'd totally enjoy.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:52 PM
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yeah, and when i was back i took A subway and the port authority bus and it took less then 20
stupid
but this time i had only a suitcase to carry


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:52 PM
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121: I hate to say it, read, but he may have pegged you for a foreigner and done that on purpose.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:52 PM
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142: It's right at the edge of the pale.


Posted by: zadfrack | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:53 PM
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funny, cab drivers often ask me, right at the start, what route i prefer them to take me on. that's happened in several cities. It's never felt obnoxious for either party involved.

Really? I'm really surprised. I've been told by a couple of cabbies--once stridently-- that this was the number one complaint that cabbies had about customers.

Is that the general consensus here, that Limbaugh is beyond the pale?

Not really, at least for me. Maybe if it had been a peculiarly bad day. I suspect that you'll get more yeses than you would if you asked in real life. People are pretty decent IRL.

I don't really have problem with people docking a tip for it, though. Except for the fact that "cabbie" doesn't seem like the easiest or best-paid job in the world.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 1:57 PM
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Sometimes "everybody hates x" means "everybody hates x" and sometimes it means "I hate x and believe that everyone agrees with me."


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 2:00 PM
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The work is indeed tiring, and shifts are generally 12 hours long: twelve hours is what you've paid for, so that's how long you end up driving. The company I drove for lowered their lease each day throughout the week, so that drivers worked six or seven days consecutively. The best money is in driving weekends, but drunk fares can be scary and belligerent. Lots of drivers I met went on food stamps in the summer.

One driver I knew would hit the button for the weekend rate on his meter when he had foreign students ("A-rabs") in his car, because they generally didn't tip.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 2:02 PM
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Really? There's some question about whether Limbaugh is beyond the pale? Granted, I haven't listened in well over a decade, but even back then when I was still moderately conservative myself and was trying to like Limbaugh because I was madly in love with a guy who'd just fallen head over heels for Rush, even then I found him so unbearably over the top offensive that I just couldn't stand it.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 2:07 PM
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It is ethically required that you explain the change in tipping unless you feel that this will lead to violent confrontation, if you feel that such a confrontation can occur you may decide to still pursue the matter or not on your own discretion.

it is certainly fine not to tip as high as you would for someone that shared your political beliefs. Tips go into the pocket of the tippee, thus it could theoretically go to supporting the political beliefs you are against - obviously this chance exists in any exchange but in this case the chance is significantly heightened and advertised as such. As you should not be obligated to support monetarily political causes you are against (unless this support is given via taxes collected as part of your membership in society) then you are not obligated to give a tip to those whose political views are offensive to you.

Above advice tendered without any warranty, if by following this advice you end up bitter, misanthropic, and hated by all you encounter it's your own damn fault.


Posted by: bryan | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 2:07 PM
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I was madly in love with a guy who'd just fallen head over heels for Rush, even then I found him so unbearably over the top offensive that I just couldn't stand it.

See, this is the kind of thing ev psych explains. Not any sort of intelligible behavior. On the veldt it was the dittoheads who best provided for and protected the females. And dittoheads like slender, giggly females with large firm breasts.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 2:13 PM
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than
yeah, may be, a good actor then
about ideology, listen to whatever i don't care if it's not too loud


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 2:14 PM
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And dittoheads like slender, giggly females with large firm breasts.

Thanks, John, for clarifying precisely why the dittohead ultimately dumped me.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 2:15 PM
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Sure, it's reasonable to make one's dating decisions based on matters of personal taste, but being 'beyond the pale' suggests to me that no one worth talking to would deign to listen to Limbaugh with any degree of affinity. And I find that truly hard to believe.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 2:16 PM
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On the veldt, you would have been doomed, Di. but we've gone beyond that!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 2:18 PM
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back then when I was still moderately conservative myself

How did you come to enlightenment, Di? Or is this a story you've already told here?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 2:21 PM
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In Cleveland, I had about five cab drivers in a row who ended up ranting about n*****s ruining "our" city. I gave small, but still reasonable tips, and then I contacted the cab company and said I didn't appreciate their drivers' racist monologues. Yes, I identified the drivers. Is that going too far?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 2:22 PM
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(I did say to them each, individually, that I didn't agree with them, while on the cab ride, but I wasn't going to risk getting kicked out on the street. Not one of them responded to my protestation by, you know, shutting up about it. They'd proceed to lecture me on the precise ways in which "excuse me, *African-Americans* are ruining our city.")


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 2:26 PM
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148: yep, on multiple occasions in Boston and Washington DC, right at the beginning of the ride when I stated my destination, they ask. Boston is a complicated enough city that you might know how to get home faster than the cabbie, seemed to be the presumption.

I have also had to give cabbies directions (and directions how to get back out of the neighborhood again!) more than once in Boston and in Brooklyn (Williamsburg, no less). The days of encyclopedic cabbie knowledge of streets - over? or maybe that always only extended to Manhattan anyway.


Posted by: mrmf | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 2:26 PM
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Don't any of you people ever listen to Limbaugh/other right wing crap radio just so you can get irritated, informed of the latest bile spewing from his mouth, etc etc? Even apostropher reads the Bible - better to know your enemies*, &c. Sometimes right wing pigeon from outer space radio is great for staying awake on a long drive through the middle of BFE, Tennessee.

(* I mean not to imply that Christians are enemies, but a talk radio station on in a cab doesn't equate, in my mind, to *actual* talk coming out of the cabbie's mouth.)


Posted by: KJ | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 2:27 PM
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Hmm. But, if part of the money originally counted out for the tip was based on general goodwill/likeability, then there would be no principled objection to subtracting that back out once the likeability calculu changed....

I basically agree with Di.

I travel a fair amount for business, and therefore can charge any tips I give out (within reason) back to my employer or to a client. I generally treat this as an opportunity to engage in modestly scaled redistribution of GDP, so I tip waiters and cabbies generously. I especially overtip those who appear to be working mothers or immigrants. When I encounter a taxi driver who listens to Limbaugh, I cut him back to a normal tip (10%).


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 2:27 PM
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dittoheads like slender, giggly females with large firm breasts Filippina mail-order brides.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 2:29 PM
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if I understand correctly, servers end up paying the tax on the average percentage tip from credit card receipts at that particular restaurant times their total receipts

This doesn't make sense to me, and was not the case where I worked.

As has been said upthread, withholding the tip sends no message if the reason isn't made explicit, but I'm fine with it. Why waste an opportunity, however small, to fight back against the normalization of dittoheadedness?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 2:31 PM
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Don't any of you people ever listen to Limbaugh/other right wing crap radio just so you can get irritated, informed of the latest bile spewing from his mouth, etc etc?

If I want to be irritated, I just come here. However, I never seem to be short of things to be irritated by.

This is perfectly normal. McManus will vouch for me.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 2:35 PM
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cab drivers often ask me, right at the start, what route i prefer them to take me on. that's happened in several cities. It's never felt obnoxious for either party involved.

I hate to break this to you, but that is the cabbie's way of finding out if you are a local, and therefore whether he can give you the runaround and rip you off.

BTW the best response to that question is "Do you think there's a lot of traffic on the highway?" (because one of the options is almost always "the highway*"). Regardless of whether he says yes or no, you reply "I guess it doesn't matter then which way you go."

*NYC is one place this doesn't work


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 2:38 PM
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How did you come to enlightenment, Di? Or is this a story you've already told here?

Critical thinking.

The conservative political phase was part and parcel of a nascent born-again experience. But then I went and read parts of the Bible myself and engaged in discussions with smart and thoughtful people and had the epiphany that the values I found significant to my own Christian faith (charity, tolerance, and the like) were not, in fact, reflected in the Republican party platform no matter what Pastor Redstate said in his sermon.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 2:39 PM
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For example, my sister is a wonderful person who's been exceptionally nice to me recently, we have no lingering issues from the old days, and we've worked out a very pleasant household routine.

Nonethless, living in a house which someone else is remodeling is extremely irritating. Especially when you can't invite anyone over because it doesn't look right yet. Especially when substantial parts of the place are better designed for visual effects (which no one ever sees, because i's not ready yet) than they are for any kind of human use.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 2:39 PM
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But then I went and read parts of the Bible myself.....

The conception of Issachar is the key to Bible interpretation, though few realize this. It's all right there.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 2:43 PM
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In NYC, the Taxi Commission says that cab riders have the "right" to (among other things):

That surprises me. I didn't think NYC cab drivers could drive without lots of horn.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 2:44 PM
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167: In NYC they frequently ask if you want to take a particular route because some people have VERY STRONG FEELINGS. It takes 12 minutes to get from where I am to Laguardia, but I am always asked if I want to take the tunnel because there is no toll on the tunnel. Many, many people want to drive the fuck down to the mid-town tunnel to save $4.50.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 2:46 PM
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Granted, I haven't listened in well over a decade, but even back then when I was still moderately conservative myself and was trying to like Limbaugh

I listened to Limbaugh on and off in the summer of 88. I was less invested in politics at that point (not being able to vote and not being as precocious as Katherine) and thought he was clearly good at what he did.

In retrospect using "Short People" as the theme music when he talked about Dukakis was unfair, but it was funny.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 2:51 PM
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Since the question's been lying there a bit, I'll say that yes, listening to Limbaugh for any reason but something like real research should be out of the pale. The man's been a cheerleader and critically important booster and fundraiser for people and policies that have led to the deaths of millions and the wholly avoidable suffering of millions more. There's apparently nothing so vile he won't say it, push it into pop culture, and then shun responsibility for it. He's a poster child for drug war hypocrisy to boot. He's been of incalculable aid to the standing of racism, sexism, homophobia, and countless more prejudices in American society. There is no reason to listen to him in general that doesn't also apply to listening to Goebbels or a Maoist spokecritter - any entertainment or information value comes seated in an irredeemly vile framework. Rush didn't wreck America single-handedly, but its ruin is so far advanced in significant measure because he's such an effective advocate for the destruction of all its best features and the exaltation of its worst.

Yes, I do ask cabbies to change the radio. I'm polite about it, though - I've practiced saying things like "Would you change the station till I'm out, please?" And I will tip extra for a driver who's polite about it, and thank them for being polite about it. Positive reinforcement and the explicit declaration are both important.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 2:55 PM
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In retrospect using "Short People" as the theme music when he talked about Dukakis was unfair, but it was funny.

"Short People" has never been funny. Ask any short person.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 2:56 PM
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But The Dude very mildly asked to have The Eagles turned off, and what happened to him? He was dumped out on the freeway shoulder!

Don't argue with crazy cabbies, just short them on the tip. Movies don't lie!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 2:59 PM
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"Short People" has never been funny. Ask any short person..

True enough.

I'm just saying that, at the time, he seemed more like an entertainer with a good radio voice than a political force.

The fact that almost everyone I knew was a Democrat certainly made it easier for me to not take him seriously.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 3:04 PM
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165: I read it on the Internets (see here and here). Can't vouch for the veracity.


Posted by: Chris Conway | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 3:05 PM
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But The Dude very mildly asked to have The Eagles turned off, and what happened to him?

Because John Wayne was mentioned over the fighting* thread, I initially read that as "The Duke" and was trying to figure out what possible movie would have had that scene.

(*About which you all know a disturbing amount, by the way.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 3:10 PM
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178: Something like that accounting might come up if a person were audited; restaurant worker income can be hard to track, and relies heavily on self-reporting.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 3:18 PM
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180: yes, but see here. If reported tips aren't in line with reported sales, the restaurant will be audited.


Posted by: PeaDub | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 3:26 PM
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Yeah, I do tend to come down on the side of "the cab driver shouldn't have been playing Rush Limbaugh" - no more than a restaurant should - or at least not without checking with the passenger "Do you mind if I listen to this?"

On my way home from a long trip with a lot of luggage, the final leg of the trip was with a taxi driver who spent most of a 20-minute ride trying to convert me to Christianity. I found this annoying, and privately resolved to pay the fare only, no tip, and possibly to complain to the company that owns the cabs.

We got to the front door: I was getting my luggage out and checking the cash in my wallet, finding exact change and not looking forward to the three trips up five flights of stairs I was going to have to make with all my luggage.

The cab driver said spontaneously and cheerfully "Need help with that?"

...and I ended up making only one trip upstairs, with two light bags, while the driver raced up and down the flights twice.

Yeah, he got a tip. A generous one. And I didn't report his proselytising efforts to his employer. I guess a consistent person would have said "No, I don't want your help, and don't try to convert me to Christianity, here's your fare, buzz off!" but, well.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 4:02 PM
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Did someone mention large, firm breasts?

Because Rush Limbaugh doesn't have those.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 4:04 PM
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Jes, my personal policy is to give more weight to opportunities to express gratitude, pleasure, and good vibes than to complaints, unless the complaints are really, really, very much more serious. So I'd have done what you did too.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 4:21 PM
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183: Yeah, but he wants them.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 4:23 PM
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Unfair. I have two coworkers (an MS and a PhD) who are not from the US (Asian countries). They complain about the local yellers -- they detest them. Yet, they still listen.

That's when I suggest Sirius or NPR.


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 4:58 PM
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185: Emerson! Class went very well, but my assez engag├ęs etudiants said, "So? This is what colonialists do!" I think Papa Emerson really must have been a piece of work. Did you know he was arrested and convicted of child abuse for beating the crap out of Elizabeth when she was wee? Can you imagine what it would have taken to be determined to be excessively beating one's kids in 169x?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 5:12 PM
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Oudemia, in our family we understand how important it is to raise kids strictly. Occasionally things don't turn out well, as with Elizabeth, but as it says in the Good Book, shit happens. We're very proud of Hannah.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 5:35 PM
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Oh, I hope you are related to them. That would be awesome. I know someone who is related to Cotton Mather and we should have a cocktail party.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 5:52 PM
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189: For real? Is this friend female and single? Because I know a whole flock of young early-Americanist gents who would love to get up in that bloodline.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 5:55 PM
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When I was little I found it so confusing that everyone said Manhattan was an island, because according to the map in the backseat of the taxi-cabs, it was clearly a peninsula.

But now I get it! Black people live up there!

Also I used to get to sit on the little pop up stool in the back seat, which was fun.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 6:02 PM
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Heebie you grew up in the 1920s?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 6:03 PM
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Heebie isn't old. will is old.

Anyway LB's sister drove an ex-cab that had jump seats. Jump seats were cool.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 6:08 PM
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I'm eighty nine years YOUNG!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 6:10 PM
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Old-er.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 6:10 PM
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I had a friend who drove a Checker airport limo for many years, with jump seats. When they were up, I could stretch out prone, with my head touching the back of the back seat, and not be able to touch the back of the front seat with my feet.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 6:11 PM
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Hott.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 6:13 PM
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190: For real! But he is a married Episcopal priest. About 60.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 6:14 PM
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196: Sifu, ask LB about her Checkered past.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 6:15 PM
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Picture of the Checker Marathon Aero Cab is here. The last Marathon was made in 1982. Sob!


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 6:16 PM
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I'm almost certainly related to Hannah and Elizabeth, but not a direct descendant. The first Emerson came over in about 1632, and Hannah and Elizabeth were born about 1670-75 so they were probably the second or maybe third generation born in America. there couldn't have been a lot of Emersons by then.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 7:21 PM
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201: Cool. Maybe you are somehow a descendant of the daughter she had before the twins she (perhaps) killed!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 7:25 PM
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I googled around and it seems likely that I'm descended either from a brother of hers or an uncle. Her father came from England in 1656 and had a brother who came from England in 1638. They founded two different lines, and at least one other brother came over too.

This is all scuttlebutt for me at this point, though answers are said (by my late father) to exist. My own knowledge goes back only to about 1750 or so. The 1656-1750 connection is my conjecture.

Our line diverged from the Ralph Waldo line right from the beginning, though there is a relationship.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 7:52 PM
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Dick Cheney is unquestionably descended from one of Hannah's brothers (Jonathan).


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 8:05 PM
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Seriously?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 8:06 PM
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Heebie isn't old. will is old.

Only in spirit. I would never make a video of cats jumping on bed. Maybe of cats jumping off a bridge.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 8:08 PM
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I worry about oudemia's obsession with women committing violent acts. How much to hire Megan to protect me from oudemia at the next Unfogged meetup?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 8:10 PM
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Megan can stop hatchets? My ladies all roll with hatchets and hatchet-related program activities (Hannah, Hecuba, Clytemnestra).


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 8:14 PM
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I dont plan on going to sleep any where near you, Hatchet girl.

Megan is a badass. Don't underestimate her handspeed and ability to leap high in the sky


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 8:18 PM
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205: It turns out that I am descended from the same brother of Hannah and Elizabeth as Dick Cheney.

Oudemia is also fascinated by lewd women who commit infanticide.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 8:34 PM
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I find repressed religious women who commit infanticide more intriguing.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 8:36 PM
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Personally I like lewd women who don't commit infanticide.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 8:37 PM
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We should make a chart.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 8:38 PM
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So John, since Cheney is your then cousin Obama is too?


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 8:39 PM
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ugh.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 8:41 PM
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167: you think?
no need to break anything to me; i have lived (& driven a car) in all of the cities mentioned & know how much the cab ride costs, so not getting ripped off. the more usual pattern, to be honest, is that they charge me a fair rate and then give me their card so i can call them personally any time i want. ymmv.

the only time i have felt actively unhappy sitting in a cab was in washington dc, where somehow the cabbie and i got to talking about the languages we knew, and it turned out he was from khartoum, had gotten his education in cairo and istanbul, and was going to night school so he could join the CIA as a professional translator. he had gotten his green card by signing a contract to be a translator for the US in Iraq for one year, and got very interested in telling me about all the terrible things he had seen personally inside and outside of the green zone while he was there... yurgh.


Posted by: mrmf | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 9:50 PM
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But was he gay?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 9:58 PM
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So John, since Cheney is your then cousin Obama is too?

I am going to be crestfallen if it turns out Emerson is blacker than I am.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 10:05 PM
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Black and White Emersons.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 10:11 PM
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I have actually met a black John Emerson. He would be described as mullatto by most -- not very dark. I received a piece of mail intended for him.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-21-08 10:26 PM
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What happened to meeting minimal expectations of quality of service? I wouldn't give a taxi driver a tip if he spit on me, and I'd rather get spit on than listen to that shit eater Limbaugh.


Posted by: W. Kiernan | Link to this comment | 02-22-08 10:06 AM
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