Thursday, September 04, 2008

Letting out my inner Costanza

After reading J-Mo's post about one of the great sociological questions of our time, I decided to go to Sonic for lunch today.

So I'm sitting there and of course I have no idea how much to tip or even if I should tip at all. Because the place is like a gigantic roundabout anyway. Who knows what to do. You pretty much just hope to get out of there without running into anything.

Anyway, my order comes to $5.39. I briefly consider giving her $6 and telling her to keep the change, but that never seems like enough to me. I feel like the carhop is standing there thinking, "Gee thanks. This will pay for my little brother's operation to fix his lazy eye."

Next, I consider giving her a $10 bill. Then as she's giving me the change I can make it a point to return one of the dollars to her. This seems like a pretty good idea, except who wants to break a ten. Those big bills just disappear once you break them.

So then I dig around in the coin repository that is the console of my car and find thirty-nine cents. I don't have a five, so I decide that I'll give her six one dollar bills and thirty-nine cents in change. That way, she'll be getting a full dollar tip. That should help her brother out.

Well, she comes, I pay, she leaves. Story of my life. But she doesn't count my ones. She just takes the money and walks away. So then I'm thinking that she's thinking I gave her exact change and has no idea I even tipped her. I mean, she said thank you. But it was just a regular thank you, not an oh-thank-you-so-much-kind-sir-for-my-tip-is-there-anything-else-I-can-do-for-you-today thank you. So basically, I got NO CREDIT for my tip.

Oh sure, when she gets back inside and starts going thru her money, she'll find a nice little Washingtonian surprise. But what good does that do me? Isn't the whole point of tipping at Sonic so I don't get dirty looks or feel guilty?

Oh, it's not?

Oh... Well, nevermind then. Forget I said anything.

"If you wanna go and take a ride with me, we three wheelin' in the fo' with the gold D's. Oh why do I live this way? Hey! Must be the money..."


  1. ~laughing~ I'm so glad that someone else goes through this! I always end up tipping something. Even to the snooty carhops that pop their gum, roll their eyes and seem to silently scream "I hate my job and I hate YOU!" But, like you, I (sadly) want some recognition for my tip. If that makes us awful people - so be it. :)

  2. ok, so I've never even thought to tip the Sonic person. Am I bad person!?!?!

  3. I usually round up to the next dollar and give the change as their tip. For example, with your total-5.39, I would have just given her 6.00. However, if I just go by and get water with extra ice, which I do very often. I usually just give the exact amount; because really how hard is it to get a water.

    Did you know that Sonic's headquarters is in OKC? It's true!

  4. I have only been to Sonics once and I didnt tip... Perhaps if it were raining or snowing or the person on rollerskates was in a cast or something, I just might have! lol

    I dont tip when I take out either... I figure if I have to drive to get there I dont need to tip for service.

    We are sooooo tip crazy in this country! I think we should just pay our employees more and charge appropriately... (orrrrrrrrr perhaps make the portions smaller to help with the obesity problem... save money...)

    Ok enough, I am stepping away from the soapbox!

    Have a great weekend Bone!

  5. Way to get Nelly stuck in my head at 8:20 in the morning, lol. I <3 that song.

    And admit it... you just wanted recognition 'cuz she was cute. You wanted the cute carhop to remember you so that next time she'd make sure to fight the others to get out to take your order.

  6. If I had a DVR in North Myrtle I would have absolutely no idea what you were talking about

    However....this post was hysterical and I always feel a bit down when they don't look at the tip jar at Starbucks or something like it

    The best humor is always real life

    Oh I looked at Nephew Bone's picture a few times. He's going to be a heartbreker

  7. Oh,you know how I make a lifestyle of overtipping--it's not all for karma

  8. Nothing worse than tipping when you don't even know if you should tip than not even getting credit for the tip!!! I so remember that one...he should have given quarters and tossed them against the glass of the jar. LOL!
    And for you, well there was nothing to be done there...the $10 might have worked, but like you said breaking a $10 is like just saying goodbye to it! (oh that reminds me, I need to reload my wallet!!!)

  9. Funny you mention this. I was just reading Glenn Beck's book Wednesday night and it has a chapter with his thoughts on tipping. Basically, you should not tip anything. They took a job knowing they are going to only make $2.15 an hour. If they want more money, they will go to school and get a better job, or get into sales. Besides, why tip when you may not even be getting "prompt" service... or service that is truly extrordinary? I mean, all she did was bring food to your car. It's not as if she did anything else for you.

    Anyways, Glenn's book is quite funny and has a lot of your style humor. I think I know what I'm getting you for Christmas this year!

  10. I wouldn't have had any idea what to do, so I'm glad I'm here reading this... I avoid burger places like the plague, but if I ever end up in some part of the world where there are Sonics, I'll be so happy to know just what to do! :)

  11. I don't tip at Sonic.

    I tip if I am sitting at a table and my bill comes in a little black book. Otherwise, no tip for you.

    Costanza, Soup Nazi...

  12. Avery - The carhops at our Sonic always seem like nice, hard-working girls. Though there was one who used to ask you if she could keep the change. Which really got on my nerves the first time or two. But then I realized this totally solved my problem. I didn't have to feel guilty for only letting her keep the loose change and I didn't have to tip a whole dollar.

    Cami - I never thought about it either, until I dated a girl who worked there years ago. And I can't possibly be a bad person, so neither are you :)

    OK Chick - What?! You're right there at headquarters! You could just drive up there one day and ask them what we're supposed to do.

    Kate - Good to see you around! I wonder how it ever got started that they'd pay people less and let them make the rest of their salary on tips.

    Have a good weekend yourself.

    Someone - Nah, I'm sad to say I think my days of having the carhops fight over me may be all in the past. *sniff*

    Pia - Yeah, I figured if people didn't have Sonic where they lived, they'd at least seen the hilarious Sonic commercials.

    It's not? Ah, so you do it to ward off the guilt and dirty looks as well, huh?

    Renee - Yes, that's the one. George probably would have buzzed back in and said, "Excuse me, but I think I gave the carhop one dollar too many." :)

    Of course, one day when all cars have ATM machines, many of these problems will be alleviated.

    Java - Actually, I *think* the carhops at Sonic make at least minimum wage, plus whatever tips they get, which is part of why this is such a conundrum.

    Uisce - Glad to be of help. It's quite possible this entry will eventually be posted on all Sonic menus.

    Charlotta - You have to have a little black book to earn a tip from Charlotta. No problem.


    Would you belive the fungicide is for the dog? ;)

  14. I tip at Sonic, but I usually feel like I shouldn't have. People get my money by guilt association. Sad. I'm such a sucka.

  15. coming from a food service background i over tip everywhere.. all you have to do to eliminate the quandary is say,, how much do you guys make an hour here.. believe me,, they will not be insulted,, more than likely they will be happy to tell you that it is far below the minimum wage,, on average of $3.00 an hour,, thus making tipping,, in accordance with the guidelines set up by our society,, and not the service worker, applicable to tip an approximated 20%,, and in the even that that amount is embarrassingly low,, i always tip on the high end... in your case no less than a dollar would have been appropriate,, preferably a dollar and whatever coinage you had coming to you...

  16. I'm sad to say I think my days of having the carhops fight over me may be all in the past.

    While I find that hard to believe, should it in fact be the case, all you have to do is wait a few months and take either the 'phew or Godson with you. Then, when the carhop tells you how cute your son is (and she will), you say "Thanks, but he's my 'phew/godson." She'll be super impressed that not only are you a 30-something bachelor out with a ridiculously cute baby (which, by some inexplicable-extension, makes you cuter [especially in the nephew's case as you share a gene pool]), but that you were willing to give up free time to give the baby's parents a break. It's a win-win situation for you.

  17. I usually just order a drink but I've gotten into the habit of not tipping at Sonic anymore. I don't like it when they walk away without counting the money like they just expect that any change I should be receiving back from them will just be their tip. One time I had given a $5 bill to pay for just one drink. The girl just took it and walked away. I had to call her back and ask for my change. A $4 dollar tip for a $1 drink seemed a little high to me.

  18. I tipped like that at a Diner once. The Waitress took my cash then brought my change, but she shortchanged me. I paid for a $6.xx meal by putting out $11.xx and instead of getting a $5 bill and change, I got back four $1 bills, so I left the change. I sure as hell wasn't tipping $2.xx on a $6 breakfast. As it is, $1 and change on a $6 breakfast is practically a 25% tip, anyway.

    I also never went back to that Diner again, but it was one near where I used to get my car serviced, so it was never a regular eating spot.

    And it never ceases to amaze me when you pay that extra dollar & change to make it easier for people, and it confuses the hell out of them. They take your cash and start making change, then they think you've overpaid them. So they try to give you your dollar back, plus four more.

    Or they get totally messed up and have no clue at all how to count out your change.

    "Boss! I rang him up as paying $10, but he gave me $12.17! What do I do?"

    "Give him his $2.17 back, then make his change."

    So they keep your $10 bill but push back your $2.17, and you watch in amazement as they count out $3.33 and try to hand that to you, as well.

  19. i've never heard of sonic, but I ALWAYS feel like George with these types of tip situations. Maybe you could have HAnded her the five singles and the cents THEN said... OH and here is a little something for u.
    Good post Bone!

  20. Pay her in pennies next time and then warm your shirt in her oven.

    Worked for me last time.

    Yes, I posted. I know I know. It's a sign. But, whadyagonna do?