I am told that you handle all things social on behalf of Her Royal Majesty, Queen Elizabeth. Let me assure you that I have lived my entire life professing the utmost admiration for the royal family. I suppose one might say I am the Queen’s biggest fan, although I know she has many fans and around the world! I admire the Queen so and the entire operation, if you will, that surrounds her day-to-day life.
Everything Her Royal Highness does, her every gesture, seems…so clear. So right. It is therefore with deep humility that I thought I might go to THE source and ask you for your opinion about something that has been vexing me for several years now. The subject is tipping and where and when and how much I am supposed to tip ALL OF THESE PEOPLE who are suddenly soliciting a gratuity from me.
In my younger days, a gratuity was confined to a meal in a restaurant (and usually a very pricey restaurant, at that), or maybe at a pub or lounge where I might have lingered a bit longer than usual. Today, however, it seems that there is a cup or box or coffee can or some other such vessel displayed in front of every cash register. Even the flower shop, much to my barely concealed horror, recently put out a tip box. On it was affixed a hastily scrawled sign which read, “Our flower shop brightens your day. Won’t you brighten ours?”
I mean, the temerity! I always believed tips (and I don’t like that word, it seems lazy) were associated with some unspoken, agreed upon scrutiny of a service provided. Inside the walls of the transaction, there was an expectation of a type of evaluation. The customer would consider the level of attention given, the level of care shown, a smile, (is that shirt clean and pressed?) to calibrate the gratuity accordingly. Now a tip is expected for the performance of the most basic service itself. Recently, I came upon young girls scooping ice cream in Brighton who were obviously underpaid for their labour. The owner of the parlour expected people like me to supplement the wages of these confectionery coolies.
Dear Mr. Geidt, what is the world coming to when everyone has their hands in our pockets, practically turning us upside down and shaking the last ha’penny from our coats? I see these “tip jars” as nothing more than a furtherance of the socialist conditionings of the Labour Party.
Come, Brexit, come! And with its sweeping tide may it wash away both Corbyn and, I suggest, the tip jar: yet another symbol of the dole as a way of life.
I do hope I have not taken up too much of your valuable time. And in closing, may I say, God Save the Queen and the Monarchy. One of the few things left that I treasure of Our England
Since 1980, Alec Baldwin has appeared in numerous films and television series as well as productions on stage, including Joe Orton’s Loot (1986) and Entertaining Mr Sloane (2006). He has received a Tony nomination (A Streetcar Named Desire, 1992) an Oscar nomination (The Cooler, 2004) and has won two Emmy awards, three Golden Globes and seven consecutive Screen Actors Guild Awards as Best Actor in a Comedy Series for his role on NBC-TV’s 30 Rock. His films include The Hunt for Red October, Glengarry Glen Ross, Malice, The Edge, It’s Complicated, Blue Jasmine, Still Alice, and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation among many others.
Baldwin is Co-Chairman of the Board of the Hamptons International Film Festival. He is also the radio announcer for the New York Philharmonic. He has authored two books: A Promise to Ourselves and his memoir Nevertheless. He serves on numerous boards related to the arts, the environment and progressive politics. In 2016, he began hosting the classic television game show Match Game; a portion of the proceeds are donated to charity.