Friday, December 18, 2009

The fa-la-la-la-las have skipped my aura.

I know I'm a Scrooge this year. It's Dec. 18, and I haven't put out a single holiday decoration, haven't sent a Christmas card and just started my shopping two days ago, much to my son's horror.
I can't explain it.
The fa-la-la-la-las have skipped my aura.
I have unopened Christmas cards on my desk at home, and I didn't do a thing to deck the halls at work. I'm just not into it this year. Really: I'd kinda like to skip it.
But here is something that gets me every year, regardless of my mood: I received a blank holiday card in my newspaper address to my carrier. Apparently, I am supposed to insert some cash, sign the card with a warm-and-fuzzy message and mail it back to him. He's made it easy by including a self-addressed envelope.
He didn't include a stamp.
I have a general beef about tipping. I don't mind tipping food servers because they are compensated by their employers based on estimated tips. When it comes to paying people for jobs they are already supposed to do, I get stingy.
I don't tip my dentist, doctor, banker, real estate agent, accountant, mechanic, mailman or grocer, so why do I have to tip my hair dresser, aesthetician and laser hair removal technician? I'm paying them to provide a service. Why do I have to pay them extra for doing it well?
My newspaper carrier does a good job; he delivers the paper by 6 a.m. daily, and I have never had to call for a missing paper. (And, in the interest of full disclosure, I work for the newspaper, too).
It's not as if he has to trudge through rain, slush and snow to get to my door.
I remember working as a carhop at Pietro's Coventry Drive-In in Akron, Ohio, (where I schlepped through the rain, snow and slush) and the owners told me if I wanted to get better tips, I should stand at by the cars and wait for the customers to tip me. (People thought because we were a drive-in restaurant that they didn't have to tip the wait staff, who were paid a paltry $1 an hour.)
I never felt comfortable asking for tips. And I bristle when someone blatantly asks one of me.
The newspaper carrier didn't even include a holiday wish TO ME! Humbug!

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