Friday, March 30, 2012

Goal #2: Tips

I think I was in college when some friends and I went to eat at this little dive in Provo. It wasn't really a "sit down and be waited on" place, but one of the employees brought us our meal. I decided to leave a dollar on the table for a tip. After we walked out the door one of my friends said, "Look!" and we looked back through the window of the restaurant and saw the guy dancing on the table with his dollar bill like he just won the lottery. It totally made his day.

This month I finally got blinds for the large windows in my house. I finally have privacy. I had the salesman from this company come give me a quote before Christmas. I told him I wanted to shop around before I made a decision. And yes, it took me this long to realize he had the best price. He came by a few weeks ago and said it would only take 45 minutes to install but it took him about two hours. After he put up the third set of blinds I said, "Yay! We're done" but then he looked at me and said, "no I still have the two for the windows on either side of the door." I was confused because I didn't remember asking him to order blinds for those windows. He looked at me half frightened/half confused. "You sure you don't want them up?" I had him hold them up against the window and I didn't like them at all. That was just too many horizontal lines on one wall. I know he measured a lot of windows to give me prices for them just in case, but there's no way I would have asked him to order blinds for those windows. He said, "It won't change the price if you don't want them." I had him show me the bid sheet. It was a bunch of nonsense to me but he said they were $45 each. I thought to myself, "Wait, I could have saved $90 here?" I was a little bugged and he was a little embarrassed. He admitted he was really tired that day. Turns out he forgot to order a valence for one of the windows so he'd have to come back. He said it would arrive in about a week. It took two weeks.

He finally came to install the valence on Thursday. He thanked me for my patience and asked if I changed my mind and wanted him to install the skinny blinds for the door windows and I said no thanks, I didn't like the way they looked. I wasn't sure if you were supposed to tip these guys (but I got the impression after last time that he was waiting for one even though he'd have to return to finish the job). I kind of didn't want to tip him because I kind of felt he cost me $90 in blinds I wasn't going to use. But the proof of the matter was, he did a great job on the install and he didn't make any extra money off me. His bid was the best one (even with those extra blinds that weren't included on the quotes from the other two companies) and he honored the discount he offered before Christmas. So I gave him a generous tip. He tried to give it back to me implying that I didn't have to do that but at the same time his face was all lit up. Did I make his day? I don't know. At least I gave him something he didn't expect and it made me feel good.


SRA said...

Really good of you. Well done.

Ilene said...

I still remember the guy dancing around with the dollar bill raised victoriously above his head.

I also remember wishing I had been as nice as you but I was too frugal to even spare a dollar.

Sometimes I want to take down some of the blinds in my house and install roman shades instead. However, I don't have the heart to do so because I know how much money the former owners spent on these stinking blinds and I just can't bring myself to do it. Guess I'm still pretty frugal.

I like your table and chairs.

Laura Lee said...

Sometimes I wish I had it in me to spend that much money on roman shades instead of blinds. That's what took me so long to finally do it. But the frugal me won that battle.

dre said...

I've been battling with the TIP idea at my laser hair removal place I picked up from Groupon. I've been to other places and they don't require a tip so it really annoyed me I had to tip. Then on top of that the service was really bad. Then I did the calculations of how much that person was making in tips and it really bothered me. So I stopped tipping and I ended up dancing on the table because I was happy to keep my money!