Where did tipping go wrong?

…we appear to have come a long way down a road paved with good intentions. What the hell went wrong?

Yeah, that’s pretty much my thoughts on tipping in general. It went from a reward for good service, to an expected supplement to an employee’s compensation. Heck, everyone expects to be tipped nowadays.

We went to Yogurtini the other day and there was a tip jar on the counter next to the register. What’s the problem, you ask?

Well if you’ve never been to Yogurtini, here’s how it works:

  • YOU take a container from the rack at the start of the line
  • YOU fill the container with as many yogurt flavors as your heart desires
  • YOU scoop all the fat-filled toppings you want on top of your yogurt
  • YOU carry the cup to the register and place it on a scale (they charge by weight)
  • THEY push a button and tell you how much you owe them

Yogurtini is a self-serve yogurt shop. The kid at the register pushes a button. Beyond that, they keep the toppings filled, the machines running, and occasionally use a stinky wet rag to wipe-down the tables. So, what part of this process warrants a tip from the customer?

This excellent article by C.A. Pinkham titled The Gratuitous Injustice of American Tipping Culture sums it all up quite nicely.

I don’t mind tipping for great service, but when the expectation for a tip is there from the moment I walk in the door of a business, I’m immediately placed in a position of looking for a reason NOT to tip well. Of course, this situation exists mostly because employers don’t pay a livable wage in many industries, but still…

Attention Spammers: You really gotta do better than this!

So I get a ton of email between the six email addresses I use. Most of it is crap. A ton of crap, actually. We’re talking compost pile. But when I’m sitting there enjoying a glass of wine or other frosty adult beverage, I sometimes like to amuse myself by actually reading my email. The other night, I came across the lovely frigging piece of work you see below.

AboutMe spam

Ms. Collier ain’t the brightest bulb in the marquee, because…

Now there are a few things to note. AboutMe.com is a real site, and I do have an account there, with a page set up. You can see my actual AboutMe page below. Two things to note. First, the giant photo of me and MY FRIGGING WIFE! Second, my frigging bio text on the left which clearly states that I’m a frigging FATHER AND HUSBAND.

AboutMe spam

I know it’s difficult, but a little detective work may have offered clues to my marital status.

I realize that Ms. Collier might actually be a real person, though one whos light is not burning brightly, so I’m trying to be somewhat nice here. What part of my page was confusing, or in some way didn’t shed light on my marital status? Please, do tell.

More than likely Jean is the name of a spam bot. Which I so cleverly deduced by looking at Jean’s page – which has no information whatsoever. And also the fact that no real person could be so dumb as to look at my page and not know I was not single.

Assuming that my awesome sleuthing skills are correct, I’m left to wonder where the pride in one’s work has gone these days. I mean if you’re going to spam me – at least do me the courtesy of not insulting my intelligence by sending this palaver without a picture of yourself naked with a donkey, or some other similarly amusing imagery.

What happens if you die in space – Or: How to look good forever

dead in space

It’s a recurring horror in sci-fi: the hull is pierced, a human is trapped without equipment in an airlock about to open, a door needs to be opened in order to expel something undesirable. With no air and almost zero pressure, the human body isn’t going to last long without some form of protection.

But what does happen, exactly? This article gives you clue of how messed up space is. I guess if you want to look good forever, allow yourself to get sucked out of the Space Shuttle’s airlock.

247 Years Of American Flags

American Flags
How do you represent an ever-growing number of states in America? In 1861, for instance, when America consisted of 34 states, there were four variations of the flag. With every new batch of states added, the stars had to be rearranged. The U.S. flag has undergone a lot of changes over the years, as this infographic at FastCompany illustrates.

Happy Birthday, America!

I met this French guy today and asked him if he spoke German. He said no. I said "You're welcome!"

— Matt Guyer via Twitter

Happy birthday, America!

Wrinkly hands… but the raft awaits!

Kian swimming

Summer weekends mean swimming at Grandma & Grandpa’s house. Kian has been getting a little more brave this summer because he can touch the bottom a good four feet out in the shallow end. Still, jumping off the diving board onto a raft takes a moment of pondering before he finally leaps off.