Monday, September 8, 2008


Saying thank you is more than good manners. It is good spirituality.
-Alfred Painter

This is an announcement of sorts. For the past several years, I have persisted in a routine. Here it is:

Wait staff: “Do you guys have any questions about the menu?” (Kids look at me and smirk)
Me: “No. I think we are ready to order.”
Wait staff: “What can I get you guys?” (Smirk.)
We order.
Me: “Can I have some iced tea, please?”
Wait staff: “No problem.” (Kids stifle grins and look at each other.) “Any of the rest of you guys want anything to drink?” (One kid pounds his thigh.)

After a couple more visits from the waiter or waitress, the check arrives.
Kids: “Dad, I counted six ‘no problems’ and five ‘you guys.’”
Me: “I think you’re right.”

You see, I have joked for years that my tip calculation would be adversely affected every time a wait person substituted a “you’re welcome" with a “no problem," and a personal greeting with a “you guys.” To be honest, the offense has never truly affected a tip, but it has been an unrelenting threat, one which the kids have perpetuated and enjoyed.

Nevertheless, as of today, I am retiring the threat. You think that is a good idea? You do? Well, no problem.

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