How business travelers should tip so they get what they want

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by sobore, Jun 7, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
    Original Member

    sobore Gold Member

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    The best lesson I ever learned about tipping came decades ago, long before I became a business traveler. And it's all about using a tip as a way to get what you want, not about showing gratitude for a job well done or the social pressure of throwing a little cash the way of under-paid service workers.

    I don't know why my friend James and I decided to go to a sold-out baseball game that particular evening, but we arrived at the stadium and I instinctively made a bee-line for the easy-to-spot scalpers. Not my friend James. He went to the will-call window, slid a $100 bill under the cage and said, "I need two on the third-base side."

    "Sold out," said the grim-looking fellow in the booth as he turned away and fluffed some papers.
    James was as resolute as I was perplexed. A hundred bucks bought a lot of scalper tickets in those days and this seemed like a bizarre and fruitless effort.
    "Hey, pal," I recall James saying as he pushed the $100 bill further into the cage. "I need two."

    The man in the booth eyed us suspiciously and made the hundred disappear. Then he produced two prime tickets, slide them to James' hand and said loudly: "Sorry, sir, sold out."
    But I'm a slow learner. Years later, now a supposedly savvy business traveler, I found myself deep in the recesses of the Vatican being escorted by a private guide from one sanctum sanctorum to another: the rooms where the jewels and ceremonial chalices were kept; the relic cabinet with bits of the "true cross" and bones of the saints; an area where a dozen or so nuns buzzed around a 600-year-old tapestry; the Pope's private elevator. I got to wave from the Pope's balcony overlooking St. Peter's Square. I was even taken into the Sistine Chapel via a side door and given 15 minutes alone to wander about.

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