It’s the holiday season. It’s a time when warm and fuzzy phrases abound. “Good will to men. Merry Christmas. Happy Chanukah. Peace on Earth.” The list goes on. One phrase I heard incessantly from my mother as I was growing up was, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Even old hard-hearted Ebenezer Scrooge lightened up and made Tiny Tim’s day. Never mind that he probably evicted the family after the holidays passed. The less fortunate have needs for things some of us take for granted, especially at this time of year.
Speaking of the less fortunate, let’s remember our staff and servers at Camelback Golf Club. We’re incredibly fortunate to have a great group of people working hard to keep us happy. For many of us, life is tough. A few of us actually still have to “work”, albeit usually more for ego gratification than for further financial gain. Our lives are filled with tragedies like bogeys, frost delays, and lost balls, but we endure.
On the other side of the metaphorical world, there are people who would be delighted if a bogey was their biggest worry. These people actually have to produce income in order to put food on the table for their families. Some of us remember those days fondly, but don’t yearn to return to them. For us, it’s easy to forget that those working to keep our pleasure rides moving forever forward are doing so not for the pure joy of seeing us. They’re doing it for the money … the money they need to buy groceries, to pay the bills, to stay warm and to save for the future – a future that will hopefully be at least half as comfortable as ours.
Let’s take care of our servers. They work for almost no pay. They depend upon our generosity to get over the top. In the case of our golf group, they serve a couple dozen people. They keep track of our individual bills. They clean up after us. They do their best to make us happy. And somehow through some miracle channel I have never understood, they smile throughout the process. I damn sure couldn’t do it.
Sometimes they go far out of their way to help. For example, after one particularly dismal performance on the golf course, one golfer took a scorecard and tore it into little pieces. The detritus was left on the table for Sam to clean up. Upon my arrival following our next round of golf, there sat the rotten scorecard skillfully reconstructed and taped back together. Sam thought we might need it. How much better service can you get?
We go out and knock a five dollar golf ball into the lake and think nothing of it. Yet to leave a little expression of our gratitude for our wait staff sometimes seems like a major financial conundrum. Do I tip 15% or 20% on a five dollar tab? OMG! Who’s got change for a quarter?
Here’s another point. Members get certain libations for free. Iced tea, coffee, bottled water, etc. If your tab totals zero dollars, have some sense. 20% of zero is still zero. Yet your server has pleasantly greeted you, shuttled your free drinks to the table, served munchies at no charge, brought you a refill and cleaned up your mess after your departure. And done it for free! Yea, go ahead, double the tip; leave 40%, big spender.
Show these people you appreciate them. Get the death grip off your wallet and say thank you in a way that can truly help. They work because they need to work, not because it’s such a joy to see our sour faces. They work to feed their families. Let’s put a smile on their faces for a change.