When the Parameters of Your Generosity are Contingent on My Concession of a Contribution, I Think We Have a Problem

So I’m out with a couple of guys for some breakfast.  I got four dollars and it’s a cash only place, so I just order some coffee.  I love breakfast, and one of the guys offers to pay for mine, but I kindly refuse and just enjoy my coffee.

The bill comes and the third member of our party takes the check and discretely (but obviously) takes it from the table.

As we prepare to depart, he says he’ll pay the bill and we need to leave the tip.

Hold on a minute. 

Now on the surface, this all seems generous enough, but I got a couple issues here:

First, I didn’t ask anybody to pay for my coffee so why are you telling me to leave the tip?  Now I’m a good tipper.  I usually go at least 20%, so I’m not opposed, but I’m slightly offended by being told I need to leave the tip.  Twenty-percent of my buck-fifty is like thirty cents.   Under normal circumstances, I would just leave a dollar and go on my merry way.

Then it gets a little weird –

My non-paying co-worker has a $20 bill and no change, so he looks to me to carry the tip.  I chuckle a bit and pull out the other $3 I had in my pocket for a total of $4 for the tip.   

I started out with $4, couldn’t really afford a full breakfast, but my coffee ends up costing me all of my money!

It cost my non-paying co-worker nothing for breakfast.  Good for him!  He kindly offered me money to have breakfast, I declined and he was rewarded for his generous offer. 

Which leads me to Mr. “I’ll-Pick-Up-The-Check, You-Just-Leave-The-Tip.” 

Do you ‘got it’ or not!?  Because if you ‘got it’ that includes the 20% or so for the tip.   Now more than likely, I’m going to ‘offer’ the tip, but when the parameters of your generosity are contingent on my concession of a contribution, I think we have a problem. 

Is some of this personality driven?  Most definitely!  Some generosity is just more sincere than others. 

Here’s my rule of picking up the tab – If you Got It, Then Get It!  All of It! 

Don’t try to strike a deal, get concessions, or do drinks only.   No one asked you to pay, so don’t include me in the scheme to make you look good.  I will offer the tip or whatever, but don’t ask.  Once you ask (or tell), you’ve broken the ‘Generosity Code’ and now it just looks like you’re trying to be more generous than me.

It’s OK to be more generous than me, just don’t slap me while you’re doing it.

Bon appetit!

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One thought on “When the Parameters of Your Generosity are Contingent on My Concession of a Contribution, I Think We Have a Problem

  1. Robyn P. says:

    LOL…this was a joy to read.

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