Does this particular job deserve a Christmas tip?
A conundrum came up on our show Tuesday made even more complicated by a difference of opinion.
First of all, I wanted to tip my sanitation guy for Christmas. In the past I always worried if they'd really get the tip. Taping it to the top of the can where anyone walking buy can see the envelope could result in some jerk swiping it. So I used to tape it to the underside of the lid.
However now I live in a place where the truck that comes around has the automatic arm operated by the driver. He never gets out of the truck. That arm reaches out, grabs the uniformly designed cans and upends them into a hopper then returns the can empty. So my challenge was how do you get the driver to see that there's anything taped on the underside of the lid? Clearly you can't. So it had to be the riskier choice of taping it to the top. But would he even see it on a dark morning?
At this point in the conversation Bill Doyle let it be known he thought I was being foolish to tip at all considering the automatic arm style truck means the sanitation guy isn't working nearly as hard and shouldn't be tipped. My point was he's still doing his job, he shows up on time every day in the early morning hours before we're even awake and gets the job done. Bill's point was that's what the guy is supposed to do. To me, I don't care, it still isn't a glamorous job and it's a difficult shift waking up probably by at least 4 o'clock in the morning. I say he deserves something.
So does he? When it's the kind of garbage truck that has an automatic arm doing the heavy lifting for them, do those drivers still deserve a tip? I say yes and Bill says no. Take our poll below.
Now back to my conundrum. A guy called in with a genius idea. He used to do this very job for a living, operating those trucks with those arms. He said what his customers learned to do was to turn the can around backwards only that one day a year when they were leaving a tip envelope taped there. Then the driver would have to get out of his rig and turn the can around to allow the arm to lift it, but more importantly it would let them know to look for an envelope. Genius! Of course then another caller had to add doubt when she said she had tried that very thing one year and the truck simply refused to pick up her garbage that day and left it all including the tip sit there.
Well I had faith and tried what the guy said. Worked like a charm! Normally the garbage is picked up a bit earlier than it was Wednesday and we happened to be up a bit earlier than usual. We heard a quick horn beep, looked outside to see the driver pulling away. He was thanking us for the tip! Now, were we suckers for giving it?
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