Just The Tip Of The Iceberg

Ron Nagasawa
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Wednesday - August 01, 2007
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Is it just me or is figuring out what to tip someone the equivalent of translating the Dead Sea Scrolls? I’m known by my family as a big tipper, but the truth be known, it’s because I can’t get the math right on figuring out 15 percent.

My wife says, tongue-in-cheek, it’s so easy a caveman could do it, to which I say, “It was easy for those guys, they tipped using rocks.” I mostly get pressured on the tipping issue when we’re at an upscale restaurant.

I don’t want to look like a country bumpkin, but between tipping and ordering wine, I seriously need Cliff’s Notes on how to handle it. When the check comes, you kind of want to look cool in taking care of it.

Instead I look like a contestant on Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? I think the pressure of under-tipping bothers me too much as once I left a $3.75 tip on a bill for $73.50 because the bill wasn’t easily divisible by 2 and I didn’t carry a decimal or something.

Of course after I left the restaurant I went home and broke out a calculator. Needless to say I never went back to that restaurant for the embarrassment of seeing that server again. As far as tipping goes, I prefer those tipping containers at the registers.

I don’t have to figure out any percentages - all loose change gets put in there. Of course those are not without problems either. The other night our 18-year-old son drove me to Starbucks to buy coffee. We went through the drive-through and my son placed the order.

When we got up to the pay window, I handed him $13, all in singles. The cashier told him it was $8.04 so I told him to let them keep the change - coin change that is. He handed over the entire wad and told them to keep the change.

As the cashier stuffed my bills in the tip “jar” I chided my son and demanded he ask for some of the tip money back. He refused, saying that if he did, he could never go back there. There’s no question that as far as tipping goes, my son definitely has my genes.



2005 Iolani graduate Kira Tamashiro, who is home from Claremont McKenna College during the summer, is doing volunteer work with the Life Foundation. Its website provides information on its fight against AIDS in Hawaii and the Pacific: www.lifefoundation.org

Volunteer your favorite websites to me at: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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