I just got back from FinCon 2017. FinCon is a massive financial content expo/conference with over 1700 attendees this year. In other words, it is where financial bloggers go hang out every year and have fun/share ideas/network.
I’m tired of writing about depressing things like my back pain or burnout or suicide. I mean this is The Happy Philosopher after all. This doesn’t mean I won’t write about those things from time to time, as we need to dive into the darker side of humanity to give contrast to the light. Exploring depression, pain and all forms of suffering will paradoxically move us to a better place, but we should periodically come up for air.
This post has nothing to do with happiness, philosophy, or really much of anything. So feel free to stop reading, go about your day and wait for the next email from me alerting you to a new post. That one will probably be the official FinCon write-up.
I always tip, as in gratuity. I’ve heard of cow tipping where people go and knock over sleeping cows (which are standing up for some reason), but that is not what this post is about. I believe in tipping, unlike the iconic Mr. Pink from Reservoir Dogs. The only time I don’t tip is when I either have no cash on me or I simply forget (or the service is truly terrible). My wife is a much more generous tipper than I, maybe a bit too generous. You can be the judge. I will put our restaurant tipping scales in perspective:
Mrs. Happy Philosopher
Mr. Happy Philosopher
|Above and beyond the call of duty||28% up to our entire net worth||20-25%|
|Spits in our food||18%||Nothing|
|And steals our credit card information||15%||Calls police|
I think you get the idea here…
[Mrs. Happy Philosopher: This is a slight exaggeration]
Well, I found myself at FinCon with only credit cards (all earning cash or points of course), a $20 bill and a $100 bill. Not exactly a perfect blend of assets to tip housekeeping for a few nights, so I went down to the front desk to make change. I patiently wait my turn in line and eventually find myself face to face with a very nice woman at the front desk. Everyone is so darn nice here in Texas. I explain to her my situation. She smiles and she says no problem. I handed her my $20 bill and she walked back to some room where I’m guessing they keep the money.
Several minutes go by and I’m getting a bit curious. Where did she go and why is this taking so long? Is she alright? Was she just getting ready to go on break? Maybe a bathroom emergency? Maybe she went to an actual bank?
Well, I wasn’t in any hurry or anything, so I patiently waited, trying to look the part of blogger/philosopher (in case any of my 3 fans were watching).
So she finally returns, smiles politely and places my change on the counter…
Now there are two loose categories of events that happen in your life.
- Those that are expected (you order food at a restaurant and they bring it to you)
- Those that are unexpected (You rent a car and instead they bring out a horse)
You know what to do in both of these situations.
In the first case you smile, eat your food and probably leave a tip (see tipping guide above).
In the latter case, you will insist that you rented a car, pull out your rental agreement and politely ask for a Chevy Malibu or whatever else they use for rental cars these days. You simply refuse to rent the horse.
But then there are those events that are somewhere in the middle…
Like when you ask for change for a twenty and you are handed two rolls of quarters.
It’s technically what I asked for (change) but sort of weird enough that it’s unexpected.
I was at a loss. I didn’t really know what to say but I did know that the silence and inaction were becoming a bit uncomfortable. Did she really think that I wanted quarters to tip housekeeping? Did I look that cheap? Was this some sort of trick and I was on camera? I wanted to go to the conference and I didn’t want to wait another 10 minutes while something worse happened.
I thanked her, sheepishly picked up my quarters (thank God they were in rolls and not loose!), and walked back to my room. Listing a bit to the right due to the weight, I wondered if this was going to mess up my back further for the rest of the conference. Nah, I could always switch them to the other pocket about half way there. Nobody will notice in the elevator if I’m discreet.
It was only about five minutes later, as I sat on my bed staring at the horribly ugly carpet in my hotel room that I thought of all the clever things I could have said like:
“Yeah, I was really looking for something smaller like nickels.”
“This will make that trip to the strip club later a little awkward.”
“Hey can I get a luggage cart to make transport a little easier.”
“WTF am I supposed to do with all these quarters?!?!”
Oh well, I had a conference to go to and I needed to move on with my life. I sprinkled a handful of quarters near my pillow each morning (which looked like the work of a drunken tooth fairy) and hit the convention floor.
*Insert legit FinCon post here when written 😉
As I boarded the plane home, with a smile on my face and some good memories in my pocket (along with a bunch of left over quarters) I was just thankful I didn’t hand her the $100.
*Housekeeping did a great job and my stay was wonderful. Official FinCon2017 post to follow shortly. I haven’t written anything in a while and wanted to give you something today 🙂
**Note to self…bring small bills to Orlando in 2018