Steven L. Taylor
Monday, April 10, 2023
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective.
He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog).
Follow Steven on Twitter
So… Thanks to some bad weather somewhere, my flights yesterday got all messed up. It all started 2 hours later that anticipated, included a new leg from Vancouver to Seattle, and had me landing 5 minutes after the last bus to Madison pulled out. The next one is at 06:30.
So here I am, currently at 35 hours with no more than an hour if sleep, spread out in 5 minute nods over 20 hours, sitting in the dingy departure lounge at O’Hare.
A few thoughts:
So very many lovely young women in Seoul. Fit, fashionable, and friendly. Whereas Chicago can triple their mass with half the quantity.
Holy hells, this place is a dump. It’s like something out of a dystopian 70s movie.
I’m pretty sure that the US customs station in Vancouver YVR airport is where they send people who are utterly incompetent, but unfireable. Having already cleared customs in Inchon, fully half of us had to have our luggage rifled through because they couldn’t recognize car keys, a USB, and a travel adapter in the screen. One woman had to go through a full pat down and have her bags scanned three more times—after they were physically searched. Why? Because their 9 year old put the water bottle he was given on the plane into his backpack.
I have no idea what’s going to happen when I finally fall asleep (in another 7 or so hours), but the fact that I’m able to type coherently scares me a little bit.
Misery is not about to be outdone by Floriduh.
$388 in Sushi. Just a $20 Tip: The Brutal Math of Uber Eats and DoorDash
When reading this article yesterday, I asked myself the question; How are the stresses of a food delivery driver handling a $400 order from one delivering a $40 order and why should they tip be different? Shouldn’t the tip, be based in at least part, on the value add of the service?
Except for the occasional pizza, we seldom get take out delivered, I’ll run out and get it myself, so the etiquette is a bit of a mystery to me.
As someone who worked F&B for a few decades, tips are for service. Delivery is a task, and the value if the food should have little to do with it.
Especially when Door dash, et. al. already add a huge % to the bill (the one time I uses them, it was $25 on $50 worth of food).
Bonnie Gooch is a extraordinary very awesome name. Especially for a multiple offense bank robbing granny.
That seems like a really short probation for a repeat offender. Did she even go to jail for the KC robbery?
Yeah, I tip food delivery folks a flat amount. Ten bucks.
Picking something up at Joe’s Diner that cost me $12+fees, or picking up something from Le Chez Fancy-Pants that cost me $388+fees is the same the same thing. The price of the food does not matter in that scenario. In my mind at least.
Thankfully, I rarely get food delivered so this really isn’t an issue for me. The premise for that article was not well thought through. It was, frankly, really stupid.
@Sleeping Dog: Honestly, I’ve never gotten the appeal of getting hot food delivered. Well, I guess if you are ordering Papa John’s or Dominos it doesn’t really matter whether it arrives hot or cold. But we ordered pick up (never delivery) a number of times during the pandemic, more as a way to help out the local restaurants than because we really wanted to. Going to a restaurant is about presentation, atmosphere and service as much as it is about the food, and you lose all of that with pickup, even if you try to move the food from generic styrofoam boxes to china plates. But my daughter will pay for Door Dash or equivalent once a week or more. To me, it boils down to paying twice as much for worse food.
@MarkedMan: In fairness, Indian food is fine for take out.
JohnSF, I’d be interested in your take on Macron’s comments re: China and Taiwan. I suspect you know mine: I feel that France’s default stance in almost all international relations involving strong countries is to triangulate, in this case between the US and China, and the most advantageous outcome occurs when it can keep it a three way exchange. Therefore they constantly work in the background to try to weaken any coalitions or alliances. Since China doesn’t do alliances, this strategy only applies to the Western side and means they are constantly trying to pull down any coalition the US and its allies are building up.
Re: food delivery.
Having waited tables for years. And done a little delivery for extra money, the comparisons are pretty shallow.
Costs for each
Tip out that goes to various FOH functions that provide service to the waitstaff. Think: bussing, hosting, tending bar, food running.
The minimum is usually 3% of sales. Depends on class of the restaurant. Often it behooves servers to tip extra to get shit done faster.
Opportunity cost depending on section, schedule, etc. In most restaurants I know of, the difference between good, average, and bad sections can be a hefty chunk of change.
Further, luck can play a role on most nights–you get the table that lingers far longer than expected and keeps you from making money during the rush. Or you end up with a bunch of two tops on any given night while the the sections around you get the bigger spending parties.
Subject to the mistakes or lack of initiative of others, other servers, bussers, kitchen getting their teeth kicked in. Often gets taken out of the server’s tips even if it isn’t the fault of the person providing the direct service.
No tip out. (yay!) but in exchange….
Accidents or heavy traffic that delay delivery.
Some of the same issues waiters can get blamed for–incorrect orders, restaurant backed up. But waiters have the opportunity to get things foxed, because they are there in person and get real-time feedback.
Most restaurants seal the bags before the driver gets there. The most the driver can do is check the receipt against the app. But unless an order is clearly missing items (by weight, size of bag) it’s not really possible to know.
But most importantly:
You are using gas, increasing maintenance frequency on your vehicle, risking nails in tires. Insurance can be tricky, most insurers, if they know that you are doing any kind of rideshare or delivery contracting, will require commercial insurance.
Those costs are not negligible.
Put it this way: if a delivery takes 30 minutes, how much should the driver be paid?
Once one accounts for the overhead costs borne by the driver, it becomes clear that it’s only sustainable with either a high base pay or a high tip percentage.
If it’s the former, the already high fees charged by the company will go even higher.
A while back when I living in a high rise downtown, I bought a new sofa.
Unfortunately, I did not check the length vs. what the delivery elevator could accommodate. Rookie mistake.
The delivery guys showed up. Two guys both named Ignacio. Nacho y Nacho! Los Dos Nachos!
The sofa did not fit into the freight elevator. There was no way to Tetris that thing in there. It could not fit. I was flummoxed. The Ignacios were flummoxed. I was going to have to have it sent back and get a return.
Nacho 1 asked me to show him the stairwell. I did. He eyeballed it. He asked what floor I lived on. Eleventh, I answered. He went and talked to Nacho 2.
He came back and offered that they could haul it up the stairs for $100 cash. I said yes. It was a super awesome mid-century style sofa in canary red with nickel feet. I wanted it.
They seriously bit off more than they could chew. Maneuvering around the corners in the stairwell meant they had to hoist it over the safety rails at the turns. So twice per floor. I followed them up. It was damn tough, tiring work. At one point I hustled upstairs and brought down two glasses of water. They gulped that down in like two seconds. Both were blowing hard like a steam engine about to burst. Please don’t have a heart attack! I pitched in to spell them out for a few floors. Crikey, was that exhausting!
It took about a half hour. We got there, finally. I re-evaluated the cash agreement. Their effort was above and beyond.
I gave them $220 in cash. Twenty bucks per floor. I had to. It was demanded of me as an ethical person. They underestimated the effort and came in with a lowball offer.
I got two handshakes, two very sweaty hugs, and two high-fives.
Money well spent.
@Mu Yixiao: I once flew with all my absolute had to have caving gear for an expedition in my carry on (it barely fit). I was certain that I was gonna have to open the bag and empty it all out and explain every bit of it at every x-ray it passed thru.
I went thru 3 airports with nary a raised eyebrow. Surprised the f out of me.
@de stijl: I was working a job where the only available stairwell for hauling construction materials to the 2nd floor was a circular one. My boss had hired the Mizzou fullback son of a Hall of Fame pro tight end. His first day and my boss gives him to me to help get the drywall upstairs. I won’t go into the logistics but you no doubt got a good demonstration from those guys. It took half the damn day to get it all up there and then of course we started hanging it.
He never came back.
Absolutely. One of my gripes about dining at local fine dining establishments is that the service is meh. They go through the motions and hit the right behaviors, but w/o making it special. The server at the local bar and grill does as good a job. Fortunately there aren’t very many truly expensive restaurants around here.
Our best dining experience, that we still reference to this day, was at a long closed restaurant called the Chanticleer, in the village of Sconset on Nantucket, the service was magical and everything about the food was stupendous. It is also the single most expensive dinner out that we’ve ever had and it was worth every nickle.
Base pay should be high enough to cover costs and charges should go up. If Uber isn’t workable at those higher prices, well that’s your free enterprise for you. As is, they’re basically running a con, exploiting their own “independent contractor” workers. Also, too, Amazon delivery.
Atrios had a crack a week or two ago, in the context of Silicon Valley Bank, that it’s been years since he saw anything creative from the tech bros. Not even so much as the another proposal to disrupt the city bus business.
Many of the narrow, tall houses in Europe have decorative pulleys installed at the peak of the home. This is to load/remove furniture from the upper floors through the windows, which are designed to accommodate large pieces.
I always thought that seemed smart.
The amount of upper middle class and middle class excuses to not properly compensate someone giving one a service in this thread is peak effete liberal. @Kurtz: gets it. BTW…the person doing the delivery doesn’t usually get much of those high delivery fees. The only reason I tip about 2% less than sit down is that they aren’t getting me drink refills.
When my sister had her “supper club” restaurant, I worked F/S for tips only. Fish fry special was $9.99 (all you can eat), top end was under $50.
Couple A had a Grey Goose (3 olives) and chablis on the table before they walked in the door. Couple B always got my section (May/Dec gay couple) because they were comfortable with me, and I wouldn’t bother them with the fish fry–they want the panfish, trout, etc. Couple C gets a slice of lemon meringue saved if they show up. The old lady and her son on Wednesday for beef ribs get a bag of all the bones from the night (very happy dogs). And the guy on Thursday gets his steak cooked to request about 5 minutes after sitting down at his table with his drink waiting, and then gets left alone until he’s ready for the bill.
Tho @de stijl: redeems himself with the furniture delivery story
The only thing I get delivered is pizza (when I’m too drunk to cook or drive). It’s literally 1 mile from my house. $5 for 2 minutes in a car and handing me a box is plenty.
On the other hand, Sammy at bar in YVR got $20 on a $56 tab, because I was stressed out, he made a great recommendation, and got me back on track. He earned it.
Some very interesting backgtound on lvin Bragg, Fani Willis, and Letitia James:
So the tip should be based on distance and travel-related expenses, not the amount of the order. It’s fair to compensate them for all the reasons stated but that’s not the original complaint; it’s a huge bill only got a meh tip based on percentage. The same damage and frustrations will happen with a $10 Starbucks order as with a $380 sushi order to the same address but one ain’t getting a good tip. The math needs to change here, not the perception someone’s being cheap with their tips
Customers don’t care that drivers are not waiters as they see you as servers. In their minds, interchangeable. Remember, the average person isn’t really thinking when they order something so they’re going to default to years of social training and expectations.. and that expectation is the delivery guy (exclusively pizza for so many years) isn’t getting a decent amount of money. $20 for a driver was a good tip till very recently. If the social calculus needs to change to update reality, it’s on the drivers to really push this new norm (Lord knows the companies won’t). A reasonable flat base tip of X no matter what to help cover gas, repairs, etc sounds like a good start and then add from there.
I am not understanding your pov here.
For a delivery person why does the cost of the item delivered determine the tip? Am I missing something? Am I seriously under-tipping? I think not, but convince me otherwise.
Please lay out the argument that the delivery person tip should be determined by the cost of the item they deliver but did not produce. I just don’t see the logic in that.
@de stijl: The entire model is set up to exploit the delivery person. They make little and also suffer the wear and tear on their vehicle (and incur fuel costs). They also have to bear the burden of paying their share of the social security taxes because they are treated as “independent contractors” and therefore the delivery companies do not pay their share (and they do not withhold income taxes, meaning these already low-income individuals are often a bit surprised at tax time each year).
So, the argument I would make is either one chooses consciously to help perpetuate that exploitation by poorly tipping or one chooses to try and recognize the situation.
It is the same reason I tip at places that used to not take tips (like when I order at a place where I have to stand in line and largely serve myself) because I know that the workers are paid poorly and I can afford it.
If someone is ordering $400 worth of sushi and can afford to pay for a delivery, they can afford to tip generously.
While I am not a fan of tipping (because it is one huge collective action problem that allows employers to get off cheap), it is here and I think we all need to understand who gets screwed if we don’t tip well..
@Steven L. Taylor: In other words, I think it is more about justice and compassion than it is about anything else.
Five dead, including killer at a shooting at a Louisville bank this morning. Six sent to hospital.
Thinking it through in my head I imagine that every step up is a turn so you have to hoist the load over the railing every step.
There is a major work discrepancy in hauling furniture up stairs. The person further up the stairs gets the easier job by far. The person at the bottom works way harder. They get the majority of the weight of the load and are responsible for hoisting the piece high enough to clear the corners.
My lower back hurts just thinking about the logistics of it.
@de stijl: I’ll give you at least two small incentives, perhaps:
1. Delivery drivers are, in essence, an insurance vehicle for the items delivered. They’re the first ones blamed for missing food. If you order $300 worth of food, the delivery driver is background shouldering $300 worth of self-insurance – if that food goes missing, the delivery driver gets the blame and needs to prove that they did not fail to deliver it. Failure to deliver $300 worth of stuff – or even 1/3 of that order – will likely be pursued through the company and destroy the person’s ability to deliver in the future. If you order a $10 Starbucks, the delivery driver is shouldering limited cost for the same problem. A customer is maybe 50/50 going to really pursue the matter with Door Dash if that order goes missing.
2. A delivery person bringing you more items in general is doing much more than a delivery person bringing you very few. A single pizza: if the driver shows up with a pizza, they’ve done their job. A dozen side dishes: making sure the delivered order is complete is part of the job. They actually are doing something in this case. A good delivery person will check the tickets to make sure that all 3 bags of items are coming with them. Note this does not 100% implicate the cost of the food, but it’s usually a pretty good proxy.
Neither of these may suggest that a proportional tip is required. My general delivery tip is flat-rate for the delivery – how much time have you saved me by doing this service? – plus 5-10% for the cost of the items (rounding to make it easy). For a pizza, this is usually something like $6. For a couple pizzas, it could go up to $10. For 8 pizzas (not unheard-of in our neighborhood) they’ll probably get $20. Usually the total tip is around 10%. If you deliver $388 worth of sushi, that’s probably 25-30 items, so a $30 tip would be “minimum” as far as I’m concerned, and I’d probably drop them 50 bucks if the whole lot of it made it to my door.
(All that having been said, I’m with @Steven L. Taylor on this one – tipping is about compensating for the power dynamic. I’ll even tip at Wendy’s, where they tell you not to. I know what a few extra dollars in your pocket can do to your disposition when you’re making minimum wage and dealing with everybody’s bad day.)
Excuse me: Alvin Bragg. Not enough coffee when I made that comment, cleary.
@Steven L. Taylor:
Except people don’t think like that. Or rather, they’re not conditioned to think that way due to social norms and tipping is very much a social norm. Not only is it different based on the expression of your job (you tip the waiter that walks to your table but not the McDonald’s worker that brings the food to the counter), there’s also built in classism for what amount gets tipped where and when.
For years and years, delivery was associated with pizza, a relatively cheap food. People don’t tip pizza on percentage, are you kidding me? You slipped the guy 5 or 10 for a small order and 20 for a larger one. It was normal to see it as set amount instead of related to the greater bill since that gave the driver the bigger payout. But when deliveries started getting diverse and worth more, the idea that delivery gets a set amount hasn’t really changed because the facts haven’t changed. All the costs associated with using your own car were always there, it was just the low-wage pizza guy getting screwed instead of someone running a side hustle.
This isn’t about “you can afford to tip better”. This is about the fact that delivery costs are not inherently tied to the value of the delivery but the distance and work to get them there. Tips should reflect that as larger orders are rare and drivers doing the same work will get screwed on the mentality of small order= little money. If I regularly deliver to the same address, it costs me the same each trip no matter that it’s a $300 meal or a quick coffee & donut run; therefore, the tip should be the same each time, not dependent on the whims of what’s being ordered today.
Sure (although clearly, some do).
But I wasn’t asked why people behave as they do. I was asked for a case for why they should tip better, specifically as it pertains to deliveries.
And really, I think what you are arguing is a justification for why a person who orders expensive food should be justified in tipping the same as a cheap order.
I am asking a broader argument about morality and tipping in general.
BTW: I flat disagree. See @ptfe’s point above.
For that matter, why do we tip based on the value of meals at restaurants?
The amount of physical effort to bring me a $15.00 plate of tacos is not any different than bringing me a $45.oo filet. And yet, the first waiter is going to get a smaller tip in absolute dollars.
We don’t get deliveries just mail and UPS. When we got a new roof on the house I gave each roofer (6 of them) $20 (bought them lunch or maybe a case of Bud Light) because I know how hard they fucking work and no matter how much they get paid, a little appreciation lightens everybody’s day. I always tip our appliance repairman too.
I wonder is anyone’s written a story where the robots rebel because humans don’t tip them well enough.
Seriously, i’d love to see tipping eliminated, as long as it’s in exchange for a living wage for all workers who now get tipped. Yes, I know that’s so unlikely to happen as to be impossible. And yet, now and then I read how in this or that country there is no tipping, not even to wait staff at restaurants.
@Steven L. Taylor:
That was well thought through and clear answer to a question I did not ask.
I did not ask how to fix capitalism and America.
I asked whether the value of the delivered thing should determine the tip to the delivery person.
A $12 delivery order from Joe’s Diner is the same amount of work input from the delivery person as a $400 order from Le Chez Fancy-Pants, with a bit of mileage variance. The delivery person did not make the food. They provided a service – delivery. Things outside of my control are outside of my control. I cannot re-jigger America’s employment and wage structure with a tip.
I do not get the argument people are making.
In my sofa delivery story the tip was not based on the cost of the sofa, it was determined by the sheer physical effort.
The bottom line is that employers pay lower wages for these jobs because of tips and then employees who are dependent on tips are left to the whims of individual customers. It is inherently a flawed system.
So, I think, that as a customer, I have a choice to make as to how I will react to this situation. Everyone else has to make the same choice.
I tried making the apple filled puff pastries again.
I got five apples instead of three, shredded them, and cooked them in a pan with a cup of apple juice. While I again powdered the nuts, I used a lot more of them. I also managed to roll the pastry dough thinner, which yielded, unsurprisingly, more pieces in the end.
I won’t say the result was delicious, but it did improve over the first attempt. I’m also aware it’s hard to make tasty enough sweet treats without adding any sugar.
@Steven L. Taylor:
Oh, in that case it’s immoral as it props up a system of abuse that lets restaurants under pay hard workers. They should be paid a decent wage and tipping option on top of it like elsewhere in the world. I do not like that customers are guilt tripped and made to feel bad for “not giving enough” when the only criteria you know of them is they spent money on food. It shifts the morality away from the people taking advantage onto people who may or may not be in good financial position, just wanting some food.
Food is getting more expensive so hitting a high number is easier then before. Poor people can place large orders too. Spending $380 on sushi could be for a party of 10+ minimum wage workers with everyone chipping in to celebrate something special instead of a well-to-do person with extra cash to give. You don’t know the circumstances of the customer but make a value judgment based on the number. When I worked in a group home, the guys would pool their allotted spending cash once a week for pizza. It would top $100 depending on who was in residence but they did not have extra for tips – were they bad people for wanting a treat but couldn’t afford to give more then the ten bucks I’d chip in for the tip for the driver didn’t get screwed?
Apologies but It really bothers me that the perception is large order = wealth. Nobody seems to think that people of modest means can save and have something nice once in a while. It’s very similar to people who look in the grocery carts of those on assistance and comment that they shouldn’t be buying pop or more expensive items as treats. DoorDash has become useful to people who cannot easily leave the house but still want something delicious or people who don’t have time to go out but still want a nice night. Dumping on them for not being moral enough is unfair; companies are exploiting their workers but it’s the customer that needs to chided for not meeting an arbitrary goal that’s suddenly moved to match a totally different pricing level.
One of the ironies in the restaurant business is that the lower the menu prices, the harder the servers have to work.
I don’t just mean having larger sections; more tables simultaneously. That’s obvious. But there are hidden dynamics at play as well. One, fellow servers are less likely to bust their ass, because their pay can fluctuate so much.
Second, and more importantly, there is typically much less support staff. Stores on the lower end of the price scale are unlikely to have positions dedicated to foodrunning or waitstaff assistants.
That’s not to say that waitstaff at high-end restaurants don’t work hard. They absolutely do. And they have to deal with wealthego much more frequently than someone waiting tables at low or low-moderate price point.
The further you go up the price scale, it begins to resemble something closer to a white collar job, even if it doesn’t quite reach it. Turn and burn stores are quite firmly blue collar, physical jobs.
@Steven L. Taylor:
I think part of the disagreement here is that you are arguing about two different things. Steven is arguing that delivery people are underpaid and we should be generous in tipping. I suspect de Stijl would agree and believes he is generously tipping. But, separately from that, he is arguing that one should tip based on the service provided. I agree with him. For example, If I buy a piece of furniture from a department store, I tip the people who deliver it based on how much it weighs, how awkward it is to carry and how many stairs they have to go up. I wouldn’t adjust that depending on the cost of the piece of furniture.
Steven, you seem to implying this is immoral, but I can spin the argument in the other direction and say it is immoral to tip a delivery driver less because of the value of what they deliver. The work they did was the same.
@KM: While we can agree that the system is a problem, tipping poorly will not change the system, and it punishes those who are being exploited rather than harming the exploiters. One can get on a high horse and suggest that they are fighting the man by not giving in to the guilty but I would suggest that it will not accomplish the stated goal.
Look, do what you like. I have stated why I do what I do and why.
@MarkedMan: Like I said to KM–people are free to do as they will. I have explained why I do what I do and why I think we should think about this issue in a specific way.
That’s fine, but as a generic matter we actually don’t, as a society, tip based on work effort (as per Kurtz comment).
It’s an emotional argument, not a logical one.
Haven’t you ever been involved in a situation with an stubborn person who’s wrong but everyone starts putting pressure on you instead as the reasonable one? Rather then beat their heads against the wall with the true problem, it’s easier to get the other to change and “fix” the issue rather then solve it. People know restaurants will fight tooth and nail against wage increases so they instead focus on the other potential source of money: the customer.
The argument comes from a good place – the desire to change a bad system and help someone get more. It’s still blame shifting though. Accusing a customer of “punishing” a worker for not offering up extra, arbitrary amounts of money seems insane to the rest of the world. In the end, it’s not the customers’ moral duty to make up for the employer’s failings, it’s a personal choice based on one’s own ideals. The concern here is the side-eye others get for not conforming to the ideals of others when they give but not “enough”.
More stupidity from the Missouri Lege:
These are the same people who want to give classes on patriotism.
I use a LOT of DoorDash. A LOT, as in, when I go on a diet their stock price drops. I tip $15 across the board on the grounds you cite: reasonable pay for half an hour’s work. If it’s a really big order I go percentages, 20% as a rule. Sometimes a driver gets lucky and it’s just ten minutes for that same $15.
But people are still making the choice to go to Capital Grill or Morton’s or Nobu. Ditto choosing to order DD or UE. More on delivery in a moment.
I raise this point specifically because most people absolutely know the pay situation. Menu prices are very much tied to labor costs. Absent changes to that well-known dynamic, patrons who choose to dine out or order delivery with knowledge of the way the market works are consciously
acceptingparticipating in that exploitation if they do not uphold their end of the bargain.
Yes, everyone deserves to have a night sometimes. But understand that paying appropriate wages would also mean that those celebratory events are even more difficult to manage because the price of everything would spiral. As it stands now, the people you’re defending are consciously exploiting the situation by going emulating Mr. Pink.
In fact, in my experience, the most reliable overtippers at both restaurants and delivery services are working class folks.
Specific to delivery:
The vast majority of neighborhoods in my area are gated. I delivered to a handful of communities that had multiple gates. Mind you, not a gate with security guards followed by a gate with a code. No! Multiple gates with human guards! And those residents were also highly likely to undertip despite the fact they live in 8 figure homes in a community with high six figure annual fees.
Imagine the snobbery that entails. They need to be protected from the rabble whose homes barely cost more than a mil. To them, that’s the South Bronx.
OK, new subject since the thread getting too specific (partly my fault. sorry!)
Everyone recover from their food coma of choice yet? I hosted my first holiday yesterday and am pleased to report the napping continues for the retired folks and the dog. Us poor youngun’s had work and needed to up but the leftovers are proving to make a fine lunch
We’re having trouble with our most important, essential piece of office equipment.
Last month, the power strip the percolator is connected to would pop its breaker once or twice per week. Then last week it started popping every few minutes. If we hooked it to a wall outlet directly, it worked well enough. We tried a new power strip today, and it started burning rather than popping its breaker.
So, for today we’re back to the wall outlet. The concern is the percolator is drawing too much power, likely due to an internal short circuit, and we may blow something in the office wiring rather than ruin a couple of power strips.
Options are returning to the smaller drip coffee maker, risking a major power disaster at the office, or buying a new percolator.
I favor the first two, because a drip machine makes better coffee, IMO. It’s just no longer enough for the number of people in the department.
We’ll wind up getting a new one…
If I am dumping, I am dumping on people who can afford to tip. I certainly tip better now than I did when I was in grad school or a young assistant prof with 3 small children.
BTW, the original story in the NYT that sparked this convo was about people in wealthy neighborhoods ordering $400 of sushi and then tipping poorly.
Same. Especially restaurant folk. Even now if I’m camping on a table I’ll tell the waiter I’m ex-waiter (semper fi?) so they can relax. To get less than 20% from me a waiter basically has to stab me in the neck. Then I go down to 15%.
But I’m pleased to say that after decades away from the job I have finally overcome my impulse to get up and bus some tables. Mostly.
“I see you’re weeded. I’ll bus that table. And I’ll pick up those apps for table six.”
Last week, FedEx delivered some heavy boxes. Normally, they deposit deliveries at the front door. That would have meant hauling the boxes from the front to the back for storage in our shed. I asked the driver if he would mind putting them outside the shed–he did so with a smile and a “sure, happy to.” I tipped him $20 and I wish I could make someone that happy every day. I guess that’s not a thing, tipping FedEx? As far as I’m concerned, I tip anyone who makes my life easier.
We live too far out for most delivery, so that’s not really a consideration, but I go by the “tip at least 10% for food that doesn’t require a server to deal with you” rule. Buffet? Tip 10% at minimum. Delivery? Same.
@Kurtz: Read years ago about a guy who set up a business providing donuts to office buildings. The deal was they put out a box of donuts and a cash box and if you took a donut you were supposed to pay a buck or whatever. Honors system. He kept records on how much they were shorted in the cash boxes. He concluded they invariably got stiffed worst in the C suites.
!!! Percolator!???! One of these? My (admittedly ancient) recollection of the coffee that comes out of these is that you would be better off straining it through the boots of a platoon who had just been through an august forced march in Okefenokee swamp.
Here’s what I can say about tipping in general:
1) It’s entrenched. Once tips for any service become the norm, they are nearly impossible to remove. Several restaurants have tried no-tipping policies, including raising the salaries of servers, and invariably returned to a tipping model some time later.
1.1) Best to include a service charge of 20% to be turned over to the wait staff. Just keep in mind Kathy’s first law: there are downsides to everything.
2) Tipping discussions tend to be very long, to become heated, and to reach no satisfactory conclusion.
@Steven L. Taylor:
Will tipping better change the system?
You clearly stated you want to walk away, but I will persist. Should the value of the delivered item determine the amount of the tip to the delivery person? If so, why?
And I clearly understand the system is flawed, but it is what we have, and my actions or yours cannot change that in the immediate future.
In bars and restaurants I routinely tip 20% to 25%.
(Twenty percent is actually easier. Divide by ten and multiply by two plus change. Easy. Throw a couple bucks on top. Back in the aughts when then regular was 15% I tipped 20%+ because the math was easier.)
I have not had food delivered in probably at least five years. It is not something I do. Probably not something I will do in the foreseeable future. This is not really a salient issue to me. I go out to a bar or restaurant maybe once a month where I tip at least 20%.
@de stijl: I made my case above. You do you, I’ll do me.
It’s all good, man.
Not surprised at all.
Yes, one of those. There’s 20-25 people in our half of the floor now (not as big as it sounds). the 6 mug* drip machine can’t compete with the 20 mug percolator.
I don’t like it, not any part of it. it’s harder to fill up, to wash, and makes inferior coffee. That’s why I call it a percolator and not a coffeemaker, although it arguably makes coffee.
*I know the traditional measure is cups, but I haven’t seen anyone in an office ever use a cup. It’s all mugs. And mugs are bigger. It makes more sense to measure it that way.
@Steven L. Taylor:
Define “tipping poorly”. Specifically for delivery people. They don’t make the product, they deliver it.
Back when I did order out for delivery I would order a pizza from my local joint for $18 and I tipped the driver $10. Was that insufficient?
Seems pretty substantial to me, but I am bad at math.
Do DoorDash and Ubercart drivers get penalized on tips for delivering cheap food?
If I applied the 20% rule to deliveries for cheaper food the delivery driver would get way less than my standard tip. 20% of $18 is less than 4 bucks.
BTW, to be clear and honest, I have never used DoorDash or Uber Eats or the like and probably never will.
On the whole “should the cost of the meal have any bearing on the tip”–my .02 on that is that just like any other industry, dining has entry level jobs that progress to higher-end ones. It’s not exactly an apprenticeship, but high end restaurants around here typically advertise for experienced servers. So, odd as it may seem, there’s an element of seniority in the value of the meal served and the experience of the server.
Before the disease I dined out almost every day. However it’s been several years since I sat down and had my meal delivered to my table after my order was taken by a server. I live in a college town and most of the food service professionals I get to know are a lot younger than me. At one of the places I frequented I would usually ask for the same waitress as she was good at her job and even though she is a Cardinal fan and would rag on me about the Cubs we did have something in common concerning our respective parents that I could relate to.
One time I happened to be watching her as she delivered a huge tray of food and set it on the portable legs next to the table to be served. The aisle between the booths was not all that wide and as four customers who had just got up to leave tried to get between her tray and the opposite booth one of them hit the tray and everything was on the floor. The customers were frantically apologetic. It was obvious that english was not their first language.
“Don’t worry about it.” she said “It was an accident.” They were still apologizing as they went out the door.
I could her her yell after she went back into the kitchen to remake the order fast right away.
A few minutes later as she was cleaning up the mess one of the apologetic customers came back in spoke to the table whose order was on the floor and to the waitress and handed her something.
She later told me that the fellow who had returned picked up the check for the table whose food was dumped on the floor and gave her a $20 cash tip.
On another occasion when I was just being seated at one of her tables I could see that she was just finishing up with a table of 8 or 10 college age customers of assorted genders and ethnicities. She was smiling big as I heard her say: “You guys were awesome!” to her customers.
I have no idea what she was talking about but they must have been really special because she would not have said that if they weren’t.
@Mister Bluster:..her her…
So, in today’s bank shooting that @Mister Bluster noted earlier, two of the dead are friends of Kentucky Governor Beshear. It makes me wonder if something like THIS happened to a Republican governor, would that be enough to pierce the veil? Or no? What would it take for a Republican to be swayed on this issue?
@Mister Bluster: @Jen:
And there was yet another shooting today outisde a Louisville community college. One dead.
I’ve worked in restaurants. I’ve worked in bars. I’ve worked in a pea packing plant. I’ve worked at an industrial cheese making facility. I’ve worked at a grocery store.
Back then in grocery stores it was very gender stratified. Girls worked the register. Boys stocked shelves. If you were deemed stupid you bagged.
I have not worked in a grocery store for many decades, but every time I shop at my local store I tidy up the shelves.
I face the product so label points out. I pull up product so it’s flush to front. If it’s meant to be stacked two high, I stack.
I’m pretty sure everyone knows this but the newest, freshest stock is at the back. It kinda doesn’t matter because most canned and bottled goods are shelf stable for several years. The outliers are locally produced stuff. I’ve had locally produced salsa go very, very bad and funky a few weeks after opening and exposure to air.
In the years before UPC codes and scanners you had to use the price gun to put a sticker on every single item in the store.
Good job. It suited me. Orderliness, efficiency. Little to no retail customer bullshit. I had a job and I knew how to do it. An immediate in on dating access to cute check-out girls.
I was going to conclude with a pithy bon mot. You can take the stock boy out of the grocery store, but you can’t take the …. Well, that doesn’t work at all.
Instead, know that grocery store workers are definitely unsung heroes and deserve our respect.
Two Tipping Asides:
1. The people I tip the most are the Lyft drivers. First because they actually come to my neighborhood* and two, because when they see me at 3 am waiting to get picked up from the club, covered in glitter, twitching, with pupils the size of saucers, I don’t want them to cancel on me or think “oh crap, here’s a clean up job”. Bonus tip if they wait around till I get the door open.
2. I’ll tip pretty highly on most food delivery people. My partner and I are really bad about using them. Like, Reynolds bad. We both make good money and we get lazy. One of the only times I didn’t overtip was during the pandemic and I was drunk out of my mind** on a saturday night and I desperately wanted White Castle. Order up the DD and keep drinking. About an hour later, I was confused as to why my food wasn’t here. Looked at the app and I watched my food drive around the southside for another hour. Food finally shows up and stops about 3 houses down from me. 5 minutes go by. I stagger out of the house to see what’s up and the car door opens. The only person on my block that was drunker than me was that Dasher. He fell three times before he staggered over to me to give me my cold, soggy White Castle. He reeked of booze and then staggered away. I have no idea how he didn’t kill himself driving.
* I live in an well off “White” neighborhood. Pre-Lyft/Uber it was impossible to get a taxi down here. For all the problems with Lyft/Uber, they show up.
** The Pandy was awful. This was right before I got “forced” into IOP.
How goes the battle between man and ant?
Here in Florida, the stained a-shirt of America, we have two species of invasive ant.
The one that has gradually begun to invade my house is known colloquially as the Big-Headed Ant. It is a sight to behold. Partially because the majority that you see just like regular ass ants. But some portion of the workers have a big ass head. Bobblehead big.
Have set a bunch of traps. Time to turn the tide.
@de stijl: Many years ago my partner and I opened our new law firm on the 18th floor of a downtown office building. He had a desk custom made which turned out to be too large for the elevators. The building supervisor said no problem. He lowered the elevator and cranked open the doors. The desk was placed on top of the elevator and the men stood next to it holding it upright, where it traveled to our floor and was unloaded. Problem solved.
I don’t think any committed Republican politician would favor gun control, even if one or more of their children added to the count of school shooting victims.
One thing I noticed when I shifted into office work is that most office coffee machines have a spigot that spits out very hot water. Meant for tea drinkers.
My brain decided that that could be used for French press or pour-over coffee too. I brought in my own pre-ground beans and a cheap Bodum French press and steeped my own brew. Not quite hot enough, but it worked way better than standard office coffee out of the communal pot.
It came to my attention later that some folks thought that was pretentious so I stopped. Not an energy I wanted to push out to my colleagues and peers. Besides, office coffee is about energy and concentration and not taste.
Had I been older and wiser, I probably could have predicted the effete, affected, snobby vibes off bringing in your own beans and a French press. But, I was young and stupid.
The last thing you want to get pegged as is someone who thinks he is better than you.
Obligatory House music classic:
I’m kind of in charge of the coffee.
I’ve also kept around the smaller drip machine. I use that one daily after lunch. That’s when I make the good coffee, not the store bought standard brew.
For tea we use the water cooler substitute. it’s a machine hooked to the water line. It dispenses either cold, hot, or extra hot water. It works for tea.
@a country lawyer: I’ve been told they also do it the other way. Suspend the object on ropes below the elevator car.
Macron is angling for what France has always aimed for: a Europe strong and self-confident enough to take separate stances from the US, and to set a price for co-operation.
The UK has always aimed at the same; just in a different way, and less concerned with other European states.
In this case, I suspect Macron primary aim is to seek leadership of the large number of Europeans, and especially Germans (always the prime focus of French policy) who are nervous about confrontation with China.
I suspect also his tendency to overstating his case has probably done his practical objective no good, judging by comments from other European politicians.
The Chinese snubs to Von der Leyen are also doing neither China nor Macron any favours.
To be honest, I’m astounded at just how bad the Chinese are turning out to be at managing their international affairs. And the fact that they appear set on becoming a colonial power. I thought the world was done with that crap nearly a century ago.
@KM: I planned on some leftover steak after yesterday’s cookout/Easter egg hunt. I’m going to make some wraps to take back out on the pontoon and have dinner on the lake. Just came back in after two hours, drifting and listening to Stevie Wonder(Songs in the Key of Life). Today is a very good day.
@Steven L. Taylor:
And that, right there, is how you get to the point we’re at, where customer service sucks, the servers demand money for doing nothing, and the customers accept crap service.
And, again, just to be perfectly clear: I’m saying this as someone who depended on tips for the better part of 35 years (I’d work other jobs, too, but tipped work was always a significant part of my income).
There’s a reason that I believe tips are a good thing: bad workers don’t make tips (and leave the industry), and good workers make a lot of money from tips. This is one of the few places where pure market pressure is a good thing. You’re not “tipping”, you’re specifically rewarding quality service, and abstractly voting on who you want to provide the service.
Wages for tipped employees are pathetically tiny. And yet… you’ll see tipped employees who continue to work for years–if not decades–often in the same venue. At the same time, you’ll see others vanish within a week. Why?
Simple: We, as customers, are paying them what we think they’re worth.
On a Friday night at my sister’s restaurant (in BFE Wisconsin), I would regularly make more in hourly tips than the national average for veterinarians made in hourly salary.
A few years ago, DC pushed through a bill that would eliminate tipping and institute a blanket minimum wage of $15/hour.
Know who was the biggest opponent? Tipped workers. They knew, correctly, that it would cost them money. They were right, and the bill was eventually struck down.
A good waiter or bartender will make a lot of money in tips. A bad one won’t. Bad waiters leave rather quickly. Good ones stay. This creates the incentive to do better with later table.
I’m not saying this as some stuffy-shirt academic. I’m saying it as someone who has seen it year after year.
Working “tips only”, I made seven times what the government thought I was worth. I made exactly what my customers thought I was worth.
Reminded me when the summer out of HS me and a bud took a job as construction labor. It was ceiling grid boxes of Donn metal. 12ft long sections in 90lb boxes. Not going up the elevators. 12 stories.
Didn’t pace ourselves and had to quit at lunch. Just couldn’t do it anymore. We were surprised the foreman wasn’t pissed. We had managed to stock the highest floors with a dozen boxes each, he had enough to keep the guys busy for a days and only had to pay us for half a day. Called us back the next week to finish it, and yes, we made sure it took the whole day.
To be 18 again…
@a country lawyer:
Perfect example of “out of the box” thinking.
When I moved out of my high-rise condo I told the movers to bring a Sawz-All. (That looks wrong. I spelled it weird. A reciprocating saw.)
It pained me to do it, but I had them cut the sofa in two and dispose of the remains in a landfill. Stuffing flew. Tears were shed. That hurt. It was a cool-ass dope sofa. But the only way to get it down was the stairwell.
Life, even for sofas, is ephemeral.
@Jen: The death of their child might do it.
Well, it is their turn. s//
@dazedandconfused: Learning to pace oneself is the first lesson of construction. It’s hard to do especially when you’ve got a foreman pushing you more more more. I learned to tell them to go fuck themselves pretty quickly. No way was I gonna kill myself for a higher profit margin.
Another perspective on tipping delivery drivers, in particular food delivery. When you tip in the restaurant, that tip often goes into a pot or tip-out that is divided among the servers, bus boys, host, kitchen staff etc. When you tip the delivery driver, none of those involved in preparing the food, see a nickle, so it makes sense to tip the driver on a flat fee based on an estimate of time spent during the delivery, rather than a percent of the order. And that flat fee should be based on what a reasonable wage is in your area. NYC or LA it maybe $25-30/hr, here in Cow Hampshire it would be $15-17. The driver should get that fee regardless if it is a $30 pizza or $388 sushi.
@MarkedMan: After the AUKUS submarine deal, I would pause before thinking that the French have a separate plan for their own interests.
It’s a big league and feelings get hurt. OK, got it. Not speaking up for Macron in particular. But what did wecexpect?
Um…how did it get up there???
Worst job I ever had was telemarketing. That lasted one day and three hours. We were selling time shares.
Technically, it was inducing idiots with the promise of a “free” weekend getaway to some resort up north in Brainerd or Bemidji where the pros would try to sell you on a time-share in a seminar you were obligated to attend or they would bill you for the stay. A total fucking scam.
My to-do list was a page ripped out of the White Pages. Call these people. I got an M page. Here’s the script.
After the first night I got wickedly drunk mostly out of spite at myself for taking the job. The next day I just couldn’t. I bailed before lunch. Could not hack it. Never got paid for my 11 hours. Thankfully.
I got home at noon on a Tuesday. My girlfriend asked me why I was home. “I quit.” She knew I was upset and not coping well from the night before. She gave me a hug and a quick kiss. I sat on the roof the rest of the day and brooded.
Easily the most degrading thing I have ever done by far, and I have sold my blood plasma for meal money.
Telemarketing was a million times worse than selling my plasma. Selling your plasma is an honorable commercial exchange.
The Nashville shooting claimed the life of a friend of the governor’s wife, so… probably not, unless Gov. Lee just didn’t like that friend.
Twitter is abuzz with the revelation that today’s shooter has his pronouns in his LinkedIn bio*. Perhaps the right will eventually reason that they don’t have a monopoly on guns, and then be more interested in getting weapons of war out of private hands?
*: “he/him,” not “attack/helicopter” or “deranged/shooter” or whatever.
Does LinkedIn allow “attack/helicopter” as pronouns? I would hope so, as it would make filtering out complete shitheads easier.
Cheryl Rofer has a post at LGM linking to an NYT story about drug company leaders dumping on Kacsmaryk’s mifepristone ruling. They’re pointing out that they’re business will be impacted if judges can decide on a whim that FDA approved drugs aren’t approved. And apparently Kacsmaryk’s been muttering about vaccines. Cheryl concludes,
Could be interesting. If the Circuit doesn’t overrule it could put the Supremes on the hot seat. Of course Kacsmaryk seems to have left them a lot of technicalities they use to punt.
Become a patron
Make a one-time donation
A good news story:
I’d like to think this will warm the hearts of even the most curmudgeonly among us. Terrible people facing consequences for their terrible behavior. It reaffirms my faith in man.
The thing is Macron is a comfortable thinking in terms of grand strategy. But he also has a distinct tendency to let his mouth run ahead of his brain.
Contrast Von der Leyen, who is known for her iron message discipline.
He is also continuing a strand of French policy premises that is out of date: that the EU “core” is France+Germany.
A view shared by some more excitable American media commentators and politician (see Marco Rubio), saying this means the EU and the US/UK are splitting asunder.
The old Paris/Berlin “engine” is less central than it was, and France sometimes seems not to have fully appreciated this. Which is odd, seeing as this outcome was one reason for French ambivalence about EU expansion.
Increasing Poland, Scandinavia and the central/east region are key drivers of EU interests and policies. Poland is shaping up to become the second land military power in Europe, after France.
The N/E group has a greater combined GDP than Russia.
2021 c. $280 billion vs $180 billion
Combined population 81.3 million, which is close to Germany 83.8 million.
The thing is, the nature of EU structures and politics acts as a diplomatic/economic (but not necessarily military) force-multiplier for small/medium states.
Also, France (and others) tends to overlook the importance of Italy in forging EU policy consensus. The Italian state is NOT the same as the emphemera of Italian governments and political parties. A point PM Meloni appears to grasp much more than some of her predecessors; she seems to have no intention of letting the Fratelli go the way of 5Star, Forza, etc.
Another point: the UK is following it’s traditional “influence from the inside” policy re. the US, but make no mistake: it views Ukraine as far more strategically critical than Taiwan. And is equally reluctant to drive China into full-on alliance with Russia at this point.
The last thing we need right now is the TransSiberian lines chock full of Chinese munitions for the Russian army.
Once again it all goes back to the post-war experiences of the UK and France, culminating in the Suez Crisis: that the US would not hesitate to run a steam-roller over what they asserted as vital national interests.
The lessons derived differe, though:
UK: never be parted from the USA.
France: never rely upon the USA.
See e.g. their very different approaches to an “independent” nuclear force.
@Gustopher: This story is a good story. I feel like I should shut my computer off and just leave it on that note for the evening.
That’s been my take as I’ve been reading the comments so far (my last visit before now was at about 50 or 60 comments).
The peak effete liberal part also goes some distance in explaining why “those people” keep being reluctant to embrace liberalism despite the fact that you guyz are *the only ones who care about them*–as long as they’re not delivering Kung Pao chicken, that is. 🙁
@de stijl: Can’t change the system. Can only remediate the damage the system does.
ETA: To some degree, not being able to “change the system” may well have been how tipping started to begin with. You can’t force the tavern keeper to pay serving people a living wage, so customers offer an incentive that the tavern keeper won’t to keep servers serving.
Some contrarian thoughts from someone who is sympathetic with the workers whom we tip:
Not every profession deserves a tip. Or the same size tip. Lately, a lot of businesses here in Colorado have been adding requests for tips for work as simple as, say, ringing up a book in a bookstore. If that service deserves any tip (and I’m not convinced they do), it’s not the same as the delivery person who spent 15 minutes delivering my order, or the mover who spent the whole day moving my furniture and many, many books.
I’m totally in agreement with the sentiments about proportional tipping versus seeing it as an hourly rate.
When someone presents me the pre-programmed tip options at the register, and the bottom of the scale is 20% or 25%, I get a little annoyed. That’s not the reaction you want from someone tipping.
When I get good service, I also like putting my appreciation in writing, on the bill or wherever is appropriate. I want that person to have something to show his or her boss, as well as giving them some good feelings.
I worked delivery during summers in college. I worked for the restaurant (casual Italian), was paid an hourly wage above minimum on the books, and was expected to cover my own costs (this was mitigated by the fact I had a car I inherited from within the family and my parents kept me on their insurance… so really I only had to pay for gas). This was pre 9/11 in NJ so gas was cheap and my driving radius was fairly small. Tips were a bonus since the hourly wage alone was a good deal to mostly drive around and listen to baseball or music. I never expected more for a pricier order unless it was something massive that required multiple trips in and out of the building (I think this happened once with a lunch catering order which was awesome since lunch was usually quiet). On a standard order, $5 was awesome. I did my best to get the food there quickly and took pride in the job, in part because I was representing people I knew and had respect for.
All the mechanisms around food delivery now seem like profit grabs that help no one but the people at the top and make everything worse for everyone except them. C’est la vie, I guess.
I dunno whether this should be in the sucker born every minute department or the didn’t know the time had come department but anyway…
Still in all, ya gotta know when to sell.