Jan 4, 2008


Giving tips: to whom, how much, when, how, etc. was a big issue for me. I had an idea what was customary back in Romania, but when I got to US I realized that's a completely different culture likely with different tipping rules. The envelopes in the hotel rooms and movies sort of give you an idea. I looked at my husband's habits figuring this will help me. I read Internet advice... things didn't match. I was confused and panicked whenever I was in a situation where tips were likely expected.

I think I got it now: there are no rules - each person does whatever they feel like: some tip more and everybody, others don't tip at all. You can get excellent service without tipping and people don't necessarily remember you even when tipping. So I am just listening to my heart and do what feels right at the moment.

I decided that during Christmas with the daycare center teachers. They are really nice to the kid, and while he has a teacher in a small group, she's there only 3 hours a day, and he is there 8 hours a day, so obviously there are lots of people taking care of him... so who would I give money and how much? Last minute, I decided: I'll get a bunch of nice chocolate gifts, enough for everyone. I got a small baby gift for one of the teachers that was pregnant. I put them all in a bag and wrote a nice note about thanking them for being his second family.

It went well... they are nice to the kid no matter what... and what they think or say behind my back... I don't care anymore. Nice words mean more to me than money and I think I made some people's life better when I said nice and heartfelt stuff.

Yesterday I got gas. It was really cold out here. And I thought about the poor guy that was in the frost all day filling up gas tanks, and I gave him two bucks. It felt the right thing to do.

Now I can relax about my tipping habits and find something else to worry about. So long!

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