Monthly Archives: November 2009

Thanks, Captain Tips

>Back home, I don’t even think about tipping. I seem to remember having to tip everyone who provided anything remotely resembling a service around 15%, regardless of how shitty the service was. This was a system I condoned but never supported. I understand that a lot of great folks in service industries aren’t paid all that well and they rely on tips to shore up their wages.  However, if you suck at your job, you should be fired… not rewarded an additional 15% on the bill for being a dick.

In Korea, you didn’t tip. Ever. On anything. Or at least, you weren’t expected to. Some places were “Westernising” and tipping was a bit more heard of. On the other hand, some Koreans seemed absolutely horrified that you were trying to leave them extra cash and would chase you down, tackle you and try to put the money back into your pocket.

That was a slight exaggeration. But only slight. I had a cabbie leave his car once and follow me down the street in Itaewon to give me my 500 won change. 500 won is about 50 cents. Or 30p. And he made sure I got it.

This is the part that kills me: so often the service in Korea was phenomenal. They deserved a tip. And, in my most humble opinion… they deserved it more precisely because tipping isn’t automatic there. They provided great service and you felt compelled, not obligated, to do something extra and nice for them because they had done a great job for you.

Now I live in London, where the service is similar to Canader in most cases. Tipping here is somewhere in between the two extremes – some places have the service charge added directly to the bill, other places it isn’t even thought about. However, I am sure that no person in London would chase you down and try to give you the cash you left on the table.

Because of this ambiguity, I’m not always sure when I should tip. So I’ve invented some rules in my head – if they have table service, I tip. If I have to go up to the bar and get a pint, I don’t. I tip the hairdresser and the lady who does my waxing (I have a vested interest in keeping that woman happy… she’s got power beyond all others to hurt me in my most sensitive areas if she ain’t happy).  I don’t really think about tipping cabbies because I don’t ever take them (I sure the hell can’t afford a cab in London).  Overall, my system works. Of course there are exceptions (read: hot bartenders) but for the most part, that’s the way I roll.

Today I went for lunch at Pizza Express. I’ve been craving the Express for sometime (yummy pizzas, my lovely North American friends not in the know) and I thought it would be groovy to actually take my allocated hour lunch (rarely does that happen).  The service was very good and the food was deeelish.

The bill came and I noticed that the service charge was not added. I put down a £20 note and waited for my change – I wasn’t leaving the full amount of the change but I was going to tip £2 (the service was good).  When she returned with my change and the bill…. I notice she had underlined where it said that the service charge was not added.  She also underlined thanks.  Didn’t write thanks. Found it on the bill and underlined it.

It really put me off, to be honest. I still tipped her… but I don’t feel good about it anymore. If she had left me a mint (I wanted a mint) and wrote “Thanks!” and her name on the bill… fine. It was the way that she had underlined “service not included”. She might as well have turned the damned thing over and wrote TIP ME.

Bah. I’m probably over-thinking the entire thing. I’m sure she makes nought an hour, poor thing, and the service was good. Still, there are more subtle ways of trying to squeeze a tip out of a cheap Canadian miser.


>I’m trying to figure out if an effort to translate the entire Bible (both Testaments!) into LOL speak makes me love my fellow humans more or hate them with my whole heart.

Probably hate.

However, I wanted to see what my favourite passage in the Bible (I may be a sinner but that Jebus guy had some wicked cool ideas, yo) would read like in LOL speak.  Conclusion: I don’t think it’s all that easier (or harder) to read than the old English versions of the Bible… but it is infinitely funnier. And I think Jebus would dig that. Srsly.

teh catitudes

Wen he seez lotz kittehz, he climbz tree. His BFz climbz tree too.
He sez hai and he teaches teh kittehs, he sez:
Cheezburgrz 4 teh n00b kittehs, theys can has teh Ceiling.
Cheezburgrz 4 teh sad kittehs, theys can has petting.
Cheezburgrz 4 teh m33k kittehs, theys can has teh urfs.
Cheezburgrz 4 teh kittehs who sez “I can has gud, plz?”, theys can has it.
Cheezburgrz 4 teh kittehs dat no pwns, Ceiling Cat no pwnz0rz thems.
Cheezburgrz 4 teh kittehs wiff purr in hartz, theys can sees Ceiling Cat.
Cheezburgrz 4 teh kittehs dat sez shhhhh!, Ceiling Cat is liek “u mai kittehs.”
Cheezburgrz 4 teh kittehs dat gets pwned by otehrs fur haz gud, theys can has teh Ceiling too.
Cheezburgrz if otehrs be liek “DO NOT WANT” 2 u, an liez abt u, coz of meh.
B teh happys n party, coz u can has cookiez n cakez in Ceiling. Iz liek wen theys been liek “DO NOT WANT” to all teh holee kittehs b4.

>Why I Twitter


>Grinchy McScroogerson

>Oh good! A seasonal rant and it isn’t even bloody December yet. Awesome.

Secret Santa blows a bag of dicks at the bus stop. Fact.

Somehow I get roped into this crap every year and I don’t know how to abstain without looking like the total asshole I am.  I don’t even like having to buy presents for people I like, let alone some random wiener I’m forced to work with.


I didn’t say I don’t like buying presents for people I like. In fact, I lurve buying presents for people I like. I thoroughly enjoy it… but like so many things in life, I enjoy it on my own terms. Buying birthday/Christmas/Valentine’s/etc/etc gifts is NOT as much fun as just randomly buying and giving someone a gift simply because you came across something rad that you really, really wanted them to have. I just don’t think that Hallmark, Jesus or anyone else should tell me that I’m obligated to give someone a gift on a specific day. Eff that, man. Eff that.


I have enjoyed Secret Santa exactly once. ONCE.  It was in Korea and I gave Amelia a puffy toilet seat with a Christmas tree on it. It was filled with love. But I only enjoyed it because:  a. Amelia and I saw that toilet seat in the Lotte Mart in November and I hoped with my whole heart then that I would draw someone cool for Secret Santa that would understand why I bought them a toilet seat, b. I got to give Amelia a puffy toilet seat with a Christmas tree on it and c. Amelia is made of awesome and I like buying her presents.

Most years I end up drawing someone I don’t really know and am forced to buy the most generic £10 gift I can just to receive the most generic £10 gift someone else could find and give to me anonymously. I would have rather have just taken that £10 and gone for lunch. Seriously.

And don’t pretend like it’s fun. Because it isn’t. It isn’t fun to shop for someone you don’t know. It’s an obligation. And it isn’t fun to pretend to be excited about a gift you don’t want from someone who doesn’t understand that £10 would buy a lot of pirate ninja stickers.

Another December where I’m feeling all grumpy pants. I wish that someone could turn that £10 wienerlicious gift into a plane ticket to my moms house for Christmas. Now THAT would be awesome.

PS: If you have an idea for what to get a work mate for Christmas for £10 (it doesn’t matter that you don’t know them, I don’t really know them either) then leave it in the comments. Thanks.

PPS: My workmates aren’t actually wieners. I’m just full of anger.

>Significant Nightmares

>I’m not going to go into details because I can’t imagine that what I dreamed early Sunday morning would be frightening to anyone except me.

I’m only mentioning it because it was disturbing enough that I felt nervous about going to bed last night and woke up this morning still thinking about the dream from Sunday.

It’s been a long time since my own brain has turned on me like that.


This is the sickest I’ve been in so long I don’t even know what to do with myself.

I’m on week three of having flu symptoms. I may not be a doctor, but I’m going to hazard a guess here and say I have the flu.  But I haven’t been oinking so I’m going to further assume that it’s not the dreaded Swine.

I’m rather pleased how amazing the flu has been to adapt. The first week just felt like a horrid cold and I dragged myself through it. I wasn’t that bad. Come the following Monday though, it hit my tummy and I felt like I was five years old again. I haven’t had a tummy ache in years and years and this one made me wish my mommy was here. It was a weird one too… if you could have a sore throat in your tummy that’s how it felt. It was really painful but at least there were no… um… “bi-products” from the stomach ache. No “output”. Which was fine by me.

By Tuesday my tummy felt better so I went back to work. I was achy and slow to respond to direct questions but alright otherwise. Wednesday was more of the same with a good sore throat on top of it. I woke up Thursday morning unable to get out of bed. I stayed there until Saturday afternoon. I walked to the store to buy some juice and soup (sick people food). But the time I got home I was dizzy and went back to bed until Sunday night.

I’m back at work this week, but every morning I both rue and lament my decision to have been at work the day before. I’m resting lots and taking vitamins, but the flu is still winning. Further adaptations this week include gummy eyes and today a bleeding nose. Awesome.

I’ve got so much work to do that I’m going to keep coming in for the rest of the week. I’m being very careful not to get my germs on my coworkers… I know that ultimately I’m not doing the company any favours if I just infect everyone else. Very fortunately, my work doesn’t include any meetings and unfortunately, not much contact with my fellow human beings other than electronically.

I promise I won’t do another blog post about my symptoms; I just wanted to share with the world how miserable I’ve been feeling and what a trooper I am. Both your sympathy for my illness and admiration for my steadfastness and work ethic is appreciated.

Here’s to having good health next week.

PS: Just for you Amelia, by “output” I don’t just mean I didn’t vomit… I wasn’t sick out my bum either.