Emotional Blackmail and Coffee Shops

You are walking the streets of your hometown or visiting Charleston — both locations work — and you see a coffee shop. You dart in — you bloody well dart don’t you, because you need that caffeine fix and you are a quick footed darter — and order a simple coffee with room for cream or a triple latte with a spritz of mint.

They have a nifty checkout system and after they configure your tab they twirl the iPad-ish tablet to face you, smile like Little Orphan Annie on the make, and confront you with the necessity to add a tip for the barista who poured your $5 coffee with the room for cream.

The tablet provides guidance as to the appropriate amount of the extorted desired tip.

You are confronted with choices ranging from 25% to the ubiquitous OTHER, but there is another choice that says NO TIP.

What do you do, dear darting friend?

Do you reject the emotional blackmail of looking that attractive barista in the eye by punching the NO TIP tab — it’s a hard cruel world out there, barista baby — or do you smile and tap the 25% tip tab?

Said another way, “Do you succumb to the emotional blackmail?”

What do you do, Big Red Car?

Ahhh, yes, what do I do?

I, dear reader, am a bi-tipper meaning I can go either way. I always bristle at a bit of emotional blackmail (I am getting tougher, but then I have three granddaughters all of whom know how to punch my buttons, so I am in training), but sometimes I leave the max tip.

Can I figure out why? No.

Sometimes I look the barista in the eye and punch the NO TIP tab gleefully and others I hit the maximum tip button, smiling like a spring flower. I am a confused bi-tipper.

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car.

What would you do? What would Martha Stewart do?