4 the rest of us

          This is my first Festivus season working as a service provider and, therefore, the first time I've had to choose whether to request gratuities or not.

           My rationale for choosing to be blatant (by giving each customer a signed, home-made, holiday card bearing my name and business address) was that although many people provide a small regular electronic tip when they pay their e-bill, a significant portion of newspaper readers are older, don't use the internet, pay with a check, and prefer tangible gifts over money.

          The results have been positive.  Dozens of gifts...cookies, cash, checks, and gift cards on porches, taped inside tubes, and in the mail.

          This is about one gift.  Not the most expensive (by more than half) and not the most elaborate (hard to beat a huge spot-lit crinkle wrapped can of ginger snaps for that)...an unsigned gift card without a return address; only marked from "a customer".

          An altruistic Santa Festivus Friend.

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