Dumb Things I Have Done Lately

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Hints From Heloise Is a Lousy Tipper (also, the Tipping.org redesign blows)

I was getting a jump on the Sunday comics this afternoon (they arrive in a hermetically sealed package on Saturday), when I saw this marginally helpful and profoundly disturbing hint in the The Just for Kids section of Hints from Heloise -- it's the one on tipping:

So very, very wrong.

It reads:


My family went out to dinner the other night, and when my dad got the check, he was trying to figure out how much to tip the waitress.

I told him I could tell him and went straight to my cell phone. It has a built-in tip calculator!

He was surprised and happy. When he got home, he checked his phone, and it had one too!
in California"
Yes, apparently the knowledge of how to determine a tip without a calculator has bypassed the family of young Mitchell in California.

What's worse, though, is that the accompanying graphic demonstrates how to use your cell phone to calculate an 1.5% tip on a $52 tab, which comes out to an extravagant 78 cents.

If you're going to leave 1.5%, you might as well just stiff the waiter completely. That way, at least you'll be seen as a cheap asshole, instead of a complete retard.

Obviously, the illustrator either:
  • Misplaced the decimal
  • Is an inveterate cheapskate
Now, tipping etiquette questions -- How much do I give the garbageman at Christmas? What do I give to the valet and when? -- those I empathize with.

But the inability to move a decimal over a spot and double it (20% is usually my base tip -- it's just easier) without a calculator?

Yeah, technology is making us dumber.

Tipping.org's Redesign Blows

Speaking of tipping etiquette, I was just going to link to the main page of tipping.org and be done with it. However, thanks to their Web 2.0-ish redesign, they've done a great job of hiding the useful information -- I finally had to use the site search.

Here's the path to the Tip etiquette info, which is presumably why you're visiting in the first place:
  1. Go to the main page (tipping.org)
  2. Click "Tips" in the top nav bar (goes to tipping.org/tips/)
  3. Click "The Tips" in the left nav bar (goes to tipping.org/tips/tips.html)
  4. Scroll past the sales tout for tipping books and stupid plastic tip cards that takes up the entire above-the-fold screenspace on every damned page and finally click "United States - Domestic Guide (goes to tipping.org/tips/us.html):

The first view of every page in Tipping.org's Web 2.0-style redesign
Hope you like this sales tout, because it's the first view of every damned page (Firefox, XP, 1024x728)

Honestly, I thought the site had been taken over by some cybersquatter and all the tipping content had been replaced with ads.

Here's a bit of free advice:
  • Trim that silly mirror-image off the bottom half of the logo (it could be worse -- at least it's not a shimmering-lake-effect java applet); that'll free up 72 pixels (a good inch) or so of vertical screen space
  • Put some actually tip content on the Tips main page and category page -- the Webster's definition that dominates tipping.org/tips is especially useless.
Anyway, I think the moral of this story is:

Always read the comics first.



  • That is what we would call in Australia a "deadshit move." Or, "those customers are deadshits." It's not just that they screwed up with the calculator, it's also that they should know how to do such a simple calculation in their heads.

    By Blogger E :), At 12/10/2006 3:20 AM  

  • e :) -- you haven't been away that long; have you already forgotten how lazy and dumb we 'Murcans are? -- Joe

    By Blogger joelogon, At 12/11/2006 2:20 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home