Monday, February 14, 2011

Scottsdale, Arizona - The Desert Adventure- Tipping, News, Dog Parks & Wildlife-Yah, it's random

First subject: Tipping
This post will just be a rambling, smattering of random thinking provoked by experiences while in Arizona. The first being on tipping. Now I know tipping wait staff has been cussed and discussed more often than I want to think about but I'm going to bring it up anyway. While we were on vacation we ate out - ALOT- and most experiences were pleasant. We ate from the fast food sector and we dined at some very nice places (Don and Charlies in Scottsdale- YUM!), and we adjusted our expectations accordingly. But one specific instance caused me to ponder, yet again, why we don't just pay for our meal and extra 10-15% up front and let the restaurant pay the staff what they deserve.

A tip, or gratuity, is a small amount of money given voluntarily as a token of appreciation for a service rendered. We tip our servers as a way of thanking them for good service. We might also leave a very low tip, or no tip at all, as a signal that the service was substandard. 

Now that is a very good definition of what tipping is but what if the service is crappy? and what level of service should one expect? I believe many times we tip more out of moral obligation than as a show of appreciation of good service. But the event that brings this up is a particular lunch......let's just called it edRa obinRa......or something like that.... We get there, been to one before, no big surprise expected. We are seated at a very small table for two when there are plenty of bigger tables around and it is the middle of the afternoon. The waitress comes takes our drink order and you want me to bring the basket of steak fries before your meal (those are like baskets of chips at a mexican restaurant, an appetizer of sorts) and we reply yes that would be great. She disappears.....the drinks show up........we are thirsty drink them refills offered, matter of fact she walks by several times and also we never get the fries. Our food comes, is delivered by yet another person. Finally, the waitress appears to see if we need any refill (food is half gone at this point), and then, only THEN does she seem to care about us. Now the restaurant is not busy, and we see she has only one other table, seems a bit hard to feel sorry for her. Now we left the customary 15% but was it because of good service as intended? no, it was moral obligation.

Why have only certain service industries been given license of expectation to be tipped? What about the guy at the auto parts store that fills the order? or the lumber yard? or the florist? I don't have any answers to this conundrum, just simply verbalizing a little frustration.

Next subject: Television in Arizona.
Something that perplexed me while visiting here was why, oh why, do they have soooo many news/variety shows. We had Good Morning Arizona, Good Afternoon Arizona and the news show was basically Good Evening Arizona......same stuff different hosts....and TMZ the entertainment (and I use the word loosely) gossip show. I swear if it was on once during the day, it was 3 times. The only thing I can figure out is that maybe the people that watch all this have alzheimer's and don't remember seeing it the first couple of times and every show is like a brand new episode... sorry, I'm just saying....

Next subject: Dog Parks
While in Scottsdale our condo was very close to a huge dog park, about the size of a baseball field, matter of fact it was in the park next to a couple of diamonds. It was separated into small dog or large dog sections. It was always busy, but on the gosh, I'd say 100 dogs at least, all romping and playing and it was a hoot to watch. At first I thought- my goodness these people really love their dogs, (we would also see many people out walking their dogs) but then I came to a conclusion, they walk their dogs and take them to the park because they have NO YARDS! The yards if any are either small with very little grass or all rocks, not conducive to really let a pet get the exercise it needs. So that answered that.

Next subject: Wildlife
And now just the final observation. There is no wildlife (other than the geese and ducks in the parks and dogs on leashes) in Arizona. BUT, coming home and driving through New Mexico we saw a site that was beautiful. A herd of antelope in the field by the road. Totally made my day. And then in the next mile I saw tumbleweeds.......lots of tumbleweeds......oh well, take the good with the bad.

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