A similar thing occurred at a different shop that sells both groceries and prepared food. I was offered the tip screen, although my purchase was groceries only. I paid a tip there, too. I thought it felt rude not to tip when clearly being asked to do so, and I want to tip when it is correct. The employee is personally right there, showing the tip screen to the customer.
Which is a wonderfully effective practice. It worked on you.
But as manipulative as this was, one does not, Miss Manners assures you, have to fear being rude to a machine.
She is further of the opinion that tipping should be abolished altogether in favor of better wages. But as the practice still exists, it is necessary to supplement underpaid workers, and reasonable to expect that it generally be utilized for service and delivery only.
To further complicate things, however, she makes an exception for precarious times like this, when workers are risking their health and well-being for ours.
In that case, Miss Manners is inclined to be generous. But she still does not like being bullied into that generosity by a machine.
Dear Miss Manners: Our son and daughter-in-law, who are expecting their first child, live in Europe, whereas the rest of our extended family lives in the United States. Relatives have started sending gifts to us to forward to them abroad. There are no explanations with the packages, just the assumption that we will ship their gifts overseas.
Is this our responsibility? If not, how do we handle what I suspect is going to be an ongoing situation? Case in point, we just received an annual family calendar with their names on it.
As the latter is a recurring present, you might inform the giver now that they have the wrong address and avoid subsequent misdeliveries. As for the rest, Miss Manners strongly encourages you to tell your son and daughter-in-law to send out baby announcements with their European address clearly marked.
For those items in your possession, you can also make this the new parents’ problem. They can: A) figure out how to have them sent or B) leave enough room in their luggage to bring them back when they visit.
Or -- and this may be the most likely solution -- you may get their agreement to keep them at your house, as they probably already have everything they need for the baby back home. Then your grandchild will have lovely things at your house when they come visit. If your local friends notice that the presents are still with you, you may always say that solutions A and B are still in process.
2021, by Judith Martin