More on the art of the gratuity

DFL gubernatorial contender Margaret Anderson Kelliher is making hay, understandably, out of Republican candidate Tom Emmer’s remarks this week about tips and the minimum wage. She told Cathy Wurzer this morning that Emmer’s proposal to cut the minimum wage for people who earn tips was akin to “stealing” their tip money.

What’s lower than stealing somebody’s tip money?

A couple of years ago, a young woman — OK, the No. 1 daughter of the No. 5 substitute for Mr. News Cut — was working as a barista at a well-known local mall. Yes, that mall. One day she called the No. 5 substitute to complain that none of her customers was putting money in the tip jar.

“Is there anything in the jar?” asked the No. 5 substitute.

“No, Dad,” she said. “It’s empty.”

Ah — a rare moment when the older generation actually has useful advice for the younger generation! Eagerly, the No. 5 substitute told the No. 1 daughter about the well-known stratagem of putting a few bucks in the jar as seed money. When they saw the bills in there, customers would get the idea. The No. 1 daughter said “Thanks, Dad,” and hung up.

A little while later she called back.

“I did what you said,” she said. “I put three dollars in the jar.”

“Did it work?”

“No. Somebody took ’em.”

  • andy

    That story is certainly not an example of “you have to spend money to make money” huh?

  • Momkat

    Here’s another low: kittens at a local humane society shelter are now in locked pens after someone walked out with two kittens under his/her coat. Even worse, a family walked a dog after leaving car keys with the staff. Then the family came back the next day and walked off with the dog, leaving a set of decoy car keys. Nice lesson for the kids.