“Whoa!” my nine-year-old son Rowan gasped, leaning forward to get a closer look at the meter. “We’ve already spent five dollars, and we haven’t even started driving yet!”
I leaned across my two kids in the backseat and whispered to my husband what our friend had told us the night before. “Remember, we don’t need to tip more than ten percent,” I said into Brad’s ear. “That’s the going rate.” Brad nodded as the taxi lurched into Madison Avenue traffic.
In the nine hours we were in New York City that day, my family of four spent over four hundred dollars, which included Metro North train fare, admission to the Museum of Natural History, lunch in the museum’s cafeteria, coffee and snacks at Starbucks’, admission to the eighty-sixth floor of the Empire State Building and one cab fare.
But here’s what came to light when I looked more specifically at what we spent that day:
I was willing to hand over 100 dollars for a thirty-second elevator ride and six minutes on the observation deck of the Empire State Building. However I was not willing to offer our cab driver a twenty percent tip, which is what my husband and I ordinarily tip waiters, hairdressers, pizza delivery guys and other people in the service industry.
…I’m writing over at The High Calling about what is sometimes a touchy subject: money…and how much to pay the people who work for us. Will you join me over there? I learned an awful lot about myself writing this piece.