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Public Pulse July 12th, 2007

To Tip Or Not to Tip

Interesting read. Good info.

Did you ever find out if skycaps pool their tips? Also re: the two bucks surcharge the airline cos charge - how do they know how many bags you'll have? W/o knowing the caps get some of that, I still have to give them (and anyone pawing my bags) a buck a bag. NYC hotels really thrive on this, making sure that several handlers just happen to encounter your goods. That's NYC for ya.

Where I never skimp is leaving money for the housekeepers. First, they're usually women and underpaid. Second, I can ask for extras - coffee, decaf, soaps, etc. and take home more of that stuff than I can imagine. I leave two bucks each day, usually on the bathroom counter.

And I never ever tip an AutoClub guy who does a service call. Never even considered it. Oops.

Where I am cheap is I don't tip my postal worker at Christmas. I figure s/he makes more than I do with their bennie laden civil servant job. I only tip my newspaper delivery people whom I see every morning when I'm out in the wee hours. Those people don't have unions, often have their sleeping kids in the cars, and need the dough.

I feel the tipping article is something people will want to save for future reference and I appreciate how broad ranging it is.

/s/Dawna Kaufmann
Los Angeles, Ca.

More To Tip or Not to Tip

When I flew to Paris, alone, into the old internation terminal at Charles DeGalle airport, I was met by a wheelchair. This guy pushed me through the mess of redoing the terminal. My daughter's back was out and she could not meet me. In fact he was pushing two wheelchairs. Take one old lady ahead, come back and get me, then push the other old lady and back for me. After we cleared passport control, I told him to leave me and get the witchy old lady's luggage and her out of there and come back after me. She had $1.00 out to tip him. Her quote to me was "they love American money." When I took $40 out of my wallet, she took out another $1.00 bill.

This guy collected my luggage and got me the money exchange service and then to a friend who drove a cab. The other cabbies were angry because I did not take the first one in line. The cabbie he got took me to my daughter's and carried my luggage up a flight of stairs to her then apartment. Cabbies there do not carry luggage in at all. Bags too big to take in elevator. I tipped him $40 too. At that point in time our daughter lived in Nueilly, which is where a lot of embassies are. It is a gorgeous area. Her apartment had a concierge, two huge bedrooms with ornate fireplaces, a fireplace in dining room and living room. I think she probably got it more cheaply as she was a one person occupier. Nueilly is close to the Arc de Triomphe.

I felt both tips were appropriate. Without them I would not have made it and I figured they gave me an enjoyable month with our daughter.

My daughter agrees with you however. Tips are usually built into rates in Europe. Unless you have exceptional service you do not tip a waiter/waitress. We tip but my husband does not tend to tip near as much as I do.

/s/Karen Sue Houghton
Des Moines, Iowa

More To Tip or Not to Tip

I will be on vacation for several weeks beginning Sat. July 7th. Enjoyed your last story on "tipping" as it will relate to my trip and is very timely. Also enjoy all your volumes of information you have published over the years.

Many, many thanks, Lyle!

/s/Ginny Falk Olson
Omaha, Nebraska

Mr. Lyle Davis
Editor
The Paper

Re: Illegals go Home!

The Paper's editorial of June 28, 2007, indicates an extreme bias on the part of the writer. I base my conclusion on the following statements:

•Secure our borders by fence or troops . . .
•Crack down on employers that knowingly hire
•Remove all benefits such . . . food stamps, . . . welfare and free medical care

There are an estimated 12 million illegals in this country. Of that it is estimated that Hispanics account for 6-8 million illegals leaving 4-6 million illegals that have not crossed the Mexican border and many of whom do not get food stamps, welfare, or free medical care.

Many of these illegals came in via approved work visas or leisure visas and then overstayed their visas. Consequently employers are knowingly retaining them and not hiring them. Nowhere in the offered solutions does it address these illegals. And they are as illegal as those who crossed the border without a visa or work permit.

Furthermore, I think the writer has not identified the problem as it relates specifically to Hispanics. He identifies the problem as "The US has too many illegals." In fact the problem is a lot more complex than that. The problem as I see it is three-fold:

1. Mexico and select Central and South American countires cannot or will not provide support for all of its citizens. AFP in an article on the new richest man in the world had this statement "Fifty-three percent of Mexico's population of 104 million live in poverty, which is defined as living on less than two dollars a day, World Bank data show".

Personally, if I had a choice in watching my family starve or walking across a border and finding work, I would walk across the border and become in the eyes of that writer, a criminal when all I want is a chance to feed my family.

2. Companies in this country are willing to hire foreign workers for less than they are willing to pay domestic workers. This is true especially in industries that are dirty or difficult like farming, slaugher houses, and the like. But it is also true of such companies as Microsoft who brings in hundreds if not thousands of contract workers because they can pay less and offer less benefits.

3. We do not monitor visas!

This country wants to build a billion dollar fence. I have two suggestions for a better use of this money:
•Invest it in cottage industries in those areas where poverty is the greatest. It does not have to be a hand-out, it can be in the form of a loan. A recent Nobel Peace Prize winner did exactly that. For the uninformed, cottage industries are those that are created in the home and could be as little as a sewing machine or other equipment to make each family self-sufficient.
•Some of the money could also be invested in desalination facilities that will provide potable water to those same areas to allow those citizens to grow their own vegetables, fruits, etc.

We cannot solve a majority of our illegal problems without resolving the poverty that lies below our southern borders.

Three footnotes to my commentary:
•The terrorists who took down the World Trade Center and attempted to take down the Pentagon came to the US on visas and I believe many of them overstayed their visas or failed to comply with the terms of their visas. Building a fence would not protect us from those terrorists.
•I believe that many of the Mexicans that come across the border would prefer to stay and live with their families if they could provide for them.
•There was a Neal Obermeyer cartoon in the San Diego Reader a couple of weeks ago. There is an elephant preaching to the masses and says "Gentlemen, Gentlemen! We regret the chaos that has come from our decision to hire an illegal Australian immigrant as the Chief Operations Officer of the state party. Please forgive us - we didn't realize you had a problem with the white ones.”

/s/John Nigro
Escondido

Letters to the Editor should be emailed (preferably) to:
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They may also be faxed (if you insist) to:
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The Paper
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Letters to the Editor are always welcome. Please limit them to 250 words or less. We always reserve the right to edit for content and/or for length.

 

 

 

 


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