Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
- Leo Buscaglia

Monday, March 25, 2013


     I've been a little remiss in my writing lately, so I'll try to get back on track here.  It was a rather wet, snowy, sleety kind of day in NJ today and I felt bad as I pulled into a gas station in town to fill up my car.  NJ is one of those few states where you can't pump your own gas, so an attendant had to stand out in the nasty weather filling people's cars for them.  That can't be much fun on a day like today.  Anyway, when I was done and the young man was handing me my receipt, I thanked him by giving him a McDonald's gift card.  He was really surprised and appreciative.
     Those who know me well, know that I hate tips.  It's not that I don't appreciate what people do.  Rather, it's that I hate the unknown aspect of tips. You never know what's expected, what's reasonable, what's cheap, etc.  I'd rather just be told what the price of an item is and have it include any and all service.  Or better yet, I'd love it if there were a clearly communicated scale that we all understood with appropriate amounts for poor, average, good, and outstanding service.  Then I could rate the service I received and compensate appropriately.
     As much as I hate the places where tips are "expected," I enjoy the opportunity to give a little something (like today) where it's not expected.  This gives me a better chance to really make a difference in someone's day.  I suspect that gas station attendant doesn't expect nor does he get many tips.  He likely went home tonight feeling pretty good, with an extra bounce in his step.  Not that the gift card was so huge, but simply knowing that he was valued and appreciated.
     My daughter is a tour guide on her college campus.  A couple of weeks ago she was given a $10 tip by someone who participated in one of her tours.  This was totally unexpected and so it had a significantly larger impact on her.  I don't doubt that she felt just a little bit better about life for the rest of that day.  That's pretty cool to be able to do that for someone.

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