I live in an area surrounded by 50+ retirement communities. My locality has a large number of retirees as well as many young families with children. The retirees like to air their concerns and complaints in a neighborhood newsletter called Next Door. It’s a global outfit, so you might also have Next Door in your area.
Messages on Next Door are monitored, just like with Facebook and other platforms, to ensure that “misinformation” does not creep in. I’ve been briefly banned for breaking Next Door’s vague community rules and regulations, although I have no idea how they pertain to my messages. I am banned a lot. I am not allowed to publish on Substack. I have asked “why,” but I am simply told I broke community rules and regulations without telling me what rules I broke. I accept the bans as an honor and badge of courage.
Many, if not most, retirees appear to be on a fixed income if I am to judge the number of times I read a message on Next Door that includes “I’m a senior citizen,” usually combined with “I’m on a fixed income.”
Even though retirees may be on a fixed income, their favorite pastime is eating out, which has become pretty expensive, be it fast food or a sit-down dinner.
A recent Next Door discussion was about “Tips.” I discovered retirees determine the size of tips they leave based on several factors, including, “How much is it appropriate to leave since “I’m on a fixed income.” The going rate is 25%, but restaurant servers really have to earn it. “Servers are rude” (that’s a demerit). “My server wasn’t paying attention to me (that’s another demerit), “The pork chops didn’t seem cooked enough” (triple demerits), and “the atmosphere was noisy” (That’s probably a function of their hearing aids; nevertheless, that earns a demerit when the bill arrives.) You get the picture.
I like McDonald’s breakfast sandwiches, so I use Door Dash or Uber Eats a couple of times a week to deliver a bacon egg and cheese biscuit and a large coffee. I include a $10 tip each time, and here are a few reasons why I give that amount, which I revealed in the Next Door tips discussion:
I don’t have to get dressed
I don’t have to take the car out of the garage and deal with traffic.
I don’t have to burn gas as I wait in a long take-out line at McDonald’s
I don’t have wear and tear on my car or worry about getting a flat tire.
I don’t have to cook anything.
I don’t have to wash cooking utensils and dishes
There is something to be said for enjoying McDonald’s in your bathrobe.
But wait, there’s more (as they say on TV). A nice young man named Tyler is my usual Sunday morning Door Dash driver. He messages me while at McDonald’s waiting to pick up my order. He arrives in a jiffy, leaving my neatly packaged breakfast at my front door. He even leaves a photo on my phone showing the location of the delivery. Is this amazing, or what? Have I died and gone to heaven? And you think there is no Santa Claus?
Back to reality. Back to the Next Door Tipping discussion. My admission that I give the Door Dash Driver a $10 tip for each order was met chiefly with scorn.
You are overly generous
You are a show-off
My SS income is only $1200 a month. I can’t give money away
You must not be on a fixed income and probably not a senior citizen. We can’t afford that kind of generosity.
And then there’s the blowhard who can’t resist “upping” me.
“You are not generous enough. I never give less than a $20 tip”
I try to do the right thing. The young and not-so-young people who drive for Door Dash and other delivery services aren’t doing it because they like you. They are working because they need or want the income that tips provide. Consider the valuable service they give and tip generously. It is far better to give than to receive.