I have been meditating every day and practicing doing things mindfully, and dumb shit still does bother me. At least it takes up more of my mental energy than I feel it deserves.
There was a post that popped up on my Facebook feed (isn’t that the way these things always start?), and I’ve was thinking about it off and on for most of yesterday. The person posted in one of the Village’s community groups that he was upset because he ordered pizza delivered but didn’t tip the delivery guy, and the delivery guy got sarcastic with him, thanking him for the (no) tip. No mention was made of poor service. Mr. No Tip chose not to tip for his own reasons.
So Mr. No Tip felt he had to justify his actions (poor, single dad with no car) and complain that he doesn’t get tipped for his work, and seek assurance from the Facebook community that he was right, goddammit, and the delivery guy was wrong and let’s all talk about it and get worked up and hopefully delivery guy gets fired and the named pizza business takes a hit for employing someone so rude.
Well, this wasn’t explicitly said, but why else wouldn’t you just shake it off and move on with your life?
I think I know. Because Mr. No Tip just might have felt like a bit of shitheel for no tipping, and then he gets called on it, so now he feels even worse and therefore has to take measures to feel good about himself again, online. I’m no therapist (thank goddess, eh?) but I’m just supposin’.
Anyways, I read the comments (I know, I know…sigh) and people were commenting on how a tip is not a given and yeah, they had problems too with said business and drivers…but what about poor servers, yada yada. The general consensus was that the driver never should have said what he did. And I agree.
But the driver didn’t complain on the community forum about that douche that stiffed him for a tip or call him out by his name*, so I focused on Mr. No Tip’s behaviour instead.
And this got me thinking all kinds of thoughts. I tried to not think about Mr. No Tip himself, whom I’ve met IRL and who has not impressed me with other
whiny shit things he has posted. I tried instead to put myself in his shoes as I thought through what was posted.
Which was easy, because I have been in his brokeass shoes. And when we couldn’t afford to tip someone for service, guess what? We didn’t eat out. We didn’t order in. We made do with what was in the kitchen cupboard.
Money was always tight growing up. When we went out for the day as a family, Mom made sandwiches and the Coleman stove was packed so we could have soup and tea to go with our meal. Because there was no extra money for restaurant food, not even at a cheap diner. We picnicked at a roadside rest area instead.
Once a year, my parents treated themselves (and later, us kids too) to a meal out for their anniversary. They saved up the money (including tip) to go out for a real treat – Chinese food. They didn’t say: We are supporting 5 people on 1 immigrant working man’s salary and we can barely make ends meet and this is our only meal out for the next 12 months, so we are entitled to not tip.
They tipped, because that is what you do in our society when you receive good service at restaurants and the like. You don’t make your brokeass life the server’s problem. If you can’t afford the tip, stay home. If you can’t afford the tip, don’t order delivery.
That doesn’t mean you have to tip – but if the service is decent, you should tip and you should factor that into the cost of your meal before you go out or order in. That’s how I was raised.
In my younger days as a married adult, money was tight as well. I was still in university. I remember one of our first meals out as newlyweds – could’ve been an anniversary, I can’t remember – we thought we had enough cash with us to cover our meal and the tip but when the check arrived we found we had miscalculated. Oh shit. We were young and unprepared – no credit cards; debit cards were not a thing yet, nor ATMs; banks were closed; and I had left the chequebook at home. So we had to slink out of the restaurant without leaving a tip for our nice server. I left a note explaining that there was nothing wrong with the service; we were dumbasses who couldn’t add. I felt like a total shitheel that night. I never let that happen again.
I went back on Facebook later in the day and saw a post that said the original post (and comments) had been removed and Mr. No Tip has been removed from the group as well, by the group’s administrators (yet again). He was removed about a year ago too, for making an somewhat similar ranty post, with racial overtones that offended a lot of readers including yours truly. Then he popped up again a few months later, having rearranged his name on his Facebook account.
So, what does any of this have to do with mindfulness, you might be asking by now?
Like the cool cat at the top of the post, I was hoping that being more mindful would mean this kind of thing wouldn’t occupy so much of my brain on a November Sunday. But that is not what mindfulness is about actually. It is about taking a pause before automatically reacting. And in that pause, (hopefully) seeing and acting with more clarity. With mindfulness.
I paused yesterday. I did not fire off a comment (snarky or otherwise) to enter the fray. Which is something I might have done earlier. I did take a pause to not react, and instead to clarify my own thinking. And I recalled some nice (and some humbling) memories as I did so. And then I wrote it all down on Ye Olde Blogge, because…NaBloPoMo…hehehe.
*Mr. No Tip didn’t either (I doubt he knew his name), but he did name the business involved which I think ultimately led to his post being deleted.