Vail Daily letter: Welcome to Vail |

Vail Daily letter: Welcome to Vail

Paul Williamson
Vail, CO Colorado

To Matt Lipovsky and like- minded Americans: Do not tar me with the same brush you use to criticize the Brits for poor tipping.

I arrived in Vail on March 31 and headed straight to lunch on my favorite Lionshead deck. Some hours later, I picked up the $255.29 bill and paid $306.

Work it out yourself. No, wait; I’ll do it for you: 19.8 percent. The service was neither poor nor exceptional; it was merely the service I expect: beer on time with a smile (thanks, John).

But hold on! Matt wants a standard 18 percent to 20 percent gratuity but doesn’t know what it should be ( as long as it is significant). Well, what is it? When I first visited the U. S. some 25 years ago, it was 15 percent. It moved silently to 17.5 percent when my back was turned, and now it’s 18 percent. Or 20 percent.

The menu at an Eagle’s Nest restau-rant states an automatic 18 percent gratuity will be added for tables of six or more. Huh? Is a group of six more difficult to serve than six individuals? Is quality somehow enhanced by quantity? Give me a break. And you want 18 percent or, perhaps, 20 per-cent. Get a life. So here’s the deal: Set your auto- gratuity at 15 percent, and I’ll decide whether you deserve more. Further, I’ll reduce the gratuity for your poor performance. And if you don’t like it, sue me. Just remember: You don’t get extra for simply doing your job, and don’t blame me that your fine country can’t set adequate wage levels or you can’t negotiate your own; the fault lies in your system, not with me. Granted, there are exceptions, and your experience might reveal an annoying regularity, but it doesn’t rest at my door.

And while we are putting the world to right, you might be the guy who can’t navigate or indicate on Vail’s few roundabouts (sorry, “European turn-ing circle,” as Vail originally described them), but, then again, you probably are not. You might also be the guy who stops in the middle of the trail to wait for his ski party, but, then again, you probably are not. You might also be the guy who weaves in and out on Timberline Catwalk and then abrupt-ly stops to see if Northwoods is suit-able, but, then again, you probably are not.

But you are the guy who has bas-tardized my language and insulted me, and that, frankly, is unforgivable. I speak English; you do not.

But I certainly do know how to tip.

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