The motel restaurant worker who wrote complaining that civil servants and military personnel are "tightwad tippers" generated lots of business for the Postal Service and for the Monday Morning Quarterback column.
Many federal workers who travel for Uncle Sam sent in their "tips" (not all of them suitable for a family newspaper) for the restaurateur. Here are some of the printable ones: "I think the person who complained about non-tipping U.S. travelers is confusing salaries with travel expenses. The most a civil servant can get for daily travel expenses -- lodging, food, cleaning, daily travel and tips -- is $75 per day. A typical D.C. place that has a bellhop, for instance, starts at $65 per night, up to $100. That means the employee traveling to D.C. (and other cities) spends his own money to cover essentials to do his job.
"Private contractors (whose salaries are paid by the taxpayer) are completely reimbursed for travel, including $130 per night lodging, $25 lunches and $50 dinners. Now that is fraud, waste and abuse. And unfair!" M.P.
"Please explain to the man who complained about low tips or no tips from federal workers that we are really saving his tax money, since the funds spent on travel to this fair city and to his motel are tax monies that barely provide meals and rooms at today's prices. While some are tight, most are not. While there is no specific government regulation prohibiting tipping, try to get back anything spent over the prescribed limit for local travel." M.C.K., Silver Spring
"I routinely leave money for the chambermaid and tip bellhops appropriately when I travel for the government. That money, however, comes out of my own pocket. It would be interesting to ask the restaurant-motel worker who complained about federal 'tightwads' if he, or she, reports all of those tips as income. People who live in glass motels shouldn't throw stones." W.S.
"Concerning the presentation from the man identified as 'irked' by federal-military tipping practices: I appreciate his chagrin, but note should be taken that federal official travelers are on per diem or actual subsistence payments that are hardly enough to cover a decent room and three squares a day in Washington.
"When the government raises travel allowances to a reasonable level I suppose its workers will rediscover tipping. Tell 'irked' to direct his ire at the Congress." K.W.P., Washington
A number of readers also commented on the departure of Donald J. Devine from the Office of Personnel Management. None mourned his departure. Here are some of their comments:
"Loretta Cornelius, the acting director of OPM, is being crucified by her fellow conservatives. Her crime: She refused to perjure herself before a Senate committee when asked if she knew about Devine's questionable delegation-of-authority to run the agency after his term expired. She is being called 'disloyal' because she refused to lie!
"The comments of one of Devine's former aides, who I understand has now gone into the newspaper business, that Cornelius was 'Miss Kissy Face' is very telling. It sounds like there is more than a little sexism involved in this case." P.J., Herndon
"Those that live by the sword sometimes get stabbed by it. Devine and his cronies treated career OPM officials like mushrooms: in the dark and deep in you-know-what! If they had encouraged input from career civil servants they wouldn't have made the mistakes that led them into unemployment." R.W., Bethesda