A nice young man just delivered a twenty-pound bag of dog food to my fifth-floor walkup apartment. (That’s one of the nifty things about New York: Everything we want is here at our fingertips, but we don’t have to ruin our manicures to get it ourselves if we don’t want to!) Of course this was at my household’s request, and not merely a whim on the part of the deliveryman or his employer, so I gave him a tip.
How much did you give? you’re wondering. What does propriety dictate?
I gave him the pleasure of hearing me recite select passages from the book I was reading when he arrived, because I figured he could use a literary boost in his day too. I knew he was too busy making deliveries to pause and read, so I did what I could to enrich him.
And really, the educational enlightenment is worth a lot more in the long run than the $5.00 he would get if I were an illiterate, uncaring, thoughtless recipient of delivery dog food.
You see, he delivered one kind of goods, and I delivered another. It’s all a very fundamental balance, and it is important not to just tip it in your own favor!