To the person who is afraid of "grossly and unnecessarily" overtipping your shoeshiner, please read this:
*I am a full-time, Monday through Friday, professional shoeshiner.
*I am an independent contractor.
*Shoe shining does not offer healthcare.
*Shoe shining does not come with any benefits.
*I receive neither vacation nor sick pay.
*In fact, I get nothing but my commision on the shine and your tip, generous or otherwise.
*Believe me, I'm not getting rich one shoe shine at a time.
*Believe me, I'll never get rich, no matter how much you grossly overtip me.
*Almost every product I use to shine your shoes is a carcinogen. You're welcome.
*I clean dirt, mud, gum, sh#t, and whatever other hideousness you come in with off of your shoes.
*I don't ever complain to you about that last one. In fact, you often never know I did it.
*Shining shoes is backbreaking, grueling work.
*I have pain in every muscle and joint in my body after a busy day shining shoes.
*I continually study the art and craft of shoe shining.
*I have made it my business to know how to care for and beautify your shoes/leather goods.
*I have made it my business to know how NOT to ruin your expensive shoes.
*I have made it my business to know how to care for the hand painted finishes on your shoes.
*I have made it my business to make you look good.
*I converse with you if you want to. I ask you about yourself, and I care about the answer.
*I shut up and let you relax and read the paper when I can tell that you need a retreat.
*I make you laugh, maybe for the first and only time in your day.
*I remember your name when you return. I ask you about your family.
*I know far more about your shoes than you do. I freely educate you about your shoes and how best to care for them. You are the recipient of my vast knowledge.
*You completely f*#ck your shoes up, scuff them, gouge them, let them get over dry, soak them with rain, etc. etc. - and I fix it all, not with magic, but with SKILL and KNOWLEDGE.
*You pay to have your shoes shined, not because you don't want to do it yourself, but because in a million years you could never make your shoes look the way I can.
*Furthermore, I am private school educated. I have a genius IQ (no lie). When I converse with you, you are often surprised to find that I am actually (gasp) a human being.
*I have found a passion in the art of shoe shining.
*I have a clientele that trust me with their $5,000 bespoke John Lobbs, their Berlutis, and Bontonis, and Edward Greens, and ad infinitum.
*I have a repeat clientele that routinely tip me $5, $10, $15, $20 ABOVE the price of the shoe shine. Now THAT is style.
*Every customer who leaves my shop cannot believe how good their shoes look.
*When you stiff me for a tip, because you are offended that you actually have to pay me to perform this menial task for you, I take it with a gracious smile.
*Most shoe shiners, especially the ones in New York, are immigrant laborers who shine shoes for the slave wage of $2.50 or $3.00
a shine because they have no rights and no other options. Often, the shops they are working in are completely taking advantage of them, against the law. These shops will take a percentage of the meager $2.50 that they break their back for, so your tips make a HUGE difference in their lives.
TIPPING SAYS MORE ABOUT THE TIPPER THAN ABOUT THE JOB OR THE RECIPIENT. IN FACT, TIPPING IS ALWAYS, ENTIRELY, ABOUT THE PERSON GIVING THE TIP. WHO DO YOU WANT TO LET THE WORLD KNOW YOU ARE WITH YOUR GRATUITIES? BELIEVE ME, I DON'T TAKE IT PERSONALLY WHEN YOU ARE A CHEAP ASSHOLE.
Having said all of that, I encourage you to please go ahead and "grossly" and "unnecesarily" overtip your shoe shiner.http://www.shineology.blogspot.com