A Good Deed

On Monday afternoon I called our youngest daughter, who is spending some time in Manhattan. A man answers the phone. For a split second a dark cloud takes over my brain. What the...? But in a moment I understand: our little knucklehead had left her phone in a taxi. The driver was very kind and helpful. He explained that our 15 year old had been his last fare of the day and that he had just dropped the car at the garage and was now headed home on the subway. He offered to return the phone the next day and would call when he ended up near Lincoln Center. And it worked: he met Daniela down on the street and returned the phone. It would have been so easy for this guy to just blow it off, but he didn't. He was polite and accommodating. So, three cheers for New York cab drivers! It reminds me of a driver from West Africa we had on a recent trip. Very nice. And this guy, a good man! I trust our daughter gave him a very sincere thank you. And hopefully a good tip.
Speaking of tips, at the time I was trying to call Daniela on Monday, Asun and I had just checked in to a very nice Bed and Breakfast in Oxford, Maryland. Beautiful! Right on the water. An extremely relaxing setting. Anyway, one little detail I couldn't help noticing was the envelope/note suggesting we leave a tip for the cleaning lady. I suppose there are two ways to look at this: one is, if you can afford to stay here you can certainly afford to tip the help. True enough. On the other hand, and I subscribe to this latter mentality: hey Mr. Innkeeper, if you can charge really luxury rates, you should be paying your help a living wage. Or just charge even a little more if the balance sheets are really so tight, but tipping is, in most instances, an undignified custom that we should be working to end. Our "housekeeper"? We were at this inn for one night. Why would you tip someone just for doing their job? In any case, we did have a most enjoyable stay and had fun discovering an area that was completely new to us. Outstanding.

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