Tag Archives: etiquette

A Simple Thank You. It’s All I Ask.

How many times a week do you take advantage of a drive-thru? More specifically, for a coffee or a quick bite?

How often do you tip at a drive-thru?

I’ve always felt odd tipping at a drive-thru. McDonald’s doesn’t expect a tip from me. Neither does Wendy’s. Nor Burger King. But Starbucks has their tip jar in prominent display. And the Sonic Drive-Ins in our area recently posted reminders to tip your drive-thru attendant, just as you would the carhop.

I proudly call myself thrifty. I blame my Scottish heritage. But I waited tables in college and think of myself as a generous tipper. I know, firsthand, how hard the job is.

But the drive-thru? You stand there. Take the order. Possibly walk 3 steps to reach the order that has been prepared for you/me and then hand it to me through a window.

And by the way, that’s your job.

There wasn’t any extra service involved. You didn’t refill my drinks, take away dirty dishes, check to make sure my burger was cooked to order. You simply took my order and handed me my order. Oh. And took my money.

My husband always tips you. He has shamed me into tipping you, too. And so, I do. Reluctantly. But never more reluctantly until now.

Recently, in the past three months or so, I’ve noticed an air of expectance when you are handing me my change. And so, I tip. And then you say, “Have a great day!”

How about “Thank you?”

Thank you is the proper response when someone gives you a gift. And that’s what a tip is. A gift. I don’t have to give it to you. Especially at a drive-thru. But I do. So, I, the generous customer, give you a little extra money for the amazing 38 seconds that I spend with you. You, in turn, should reply, at the very least, “Thank you.”

I’ve been keeping track of how many “thank yous” I receive when I give a tip at a drive-thru for the past two months. Of the eleven visits for coffee or milkshakes for the kids at Sonic or lunch at our local country cafe with a drive-thru, I’ve received one thank you.



Thank you.

It’s not hard. It takes less than one second to say.

Instead of a thank you, I’ve received “Have a great day!,” “Come again!” and a tip of the head and a smile. But nary a thank you.


Common courtesy and graciousness is dying a slow death.

Even in the South.


Filed under Observations, Soapbox

Sharpen Your Pencils, Kids. It’s Time For A Quiz On Concert Etiquette!


Today’s music lesson involves concert etiquette. I have just attended my daughter’s Spring Choral Concert and I was appalled by the behavior of…..

…the parents!



Embarrassed, even.

I arrived about 10 minutes early. I silenced my cell phone. I read through the program. I scouted out my daughter. A group of high school students sat in front of me. They pulled out their cell phones and started sharing text messages and pictures with each other.

I anticipated a problem once the performance began so I found another seat.

I sat behind an audience member who is a principal at another school. His daughter was performing that evening. But not in the first group. So he proceeded to have a conversation with his guest the entire 4 songs. All four.

I moved again.

My last seat was in the back. Just as my daughter’s group started their first song a mother and daughter stood behind me. (I was seated in the last row) They proceeded to discuss who was wearing what, who was sitting with whom,  in not so very hushed tones. During the song. All during the song. I kept turning around, trying to get their attention so that I could ask them to take their conversation outside.

My neck is sore this morning.

The following quiz is suggested by The National Association for Music Education to hand out to concert goers as a polite reminder. I’ve adjusted the quiz so that all of the correct answers are all the same letter. See if you can guess know the correct answers. My extraneous additions (things that I actually witnessed last night) are in italics.

1. You should enter the auditorium: a) quietly b) as loudly as possible c) walking backwards shakin’ your groove thang!

2. It is always a good idea to arrive: a) a little bit early b) just as the performance is beginning c) only in time to catch your child’s performance and then dash out as soon as they finish

3. If you must arrive late, it is best to enter: a) between musical selections b) whenever you arrive c) during your child’s performance, making sure they see you by waving as you walk in

4. During the concert, it is a good idea to: a) sit quietly and listen – what a novel idea! b) discuss the performance c) eat dinner

5. For mobile phone usage during a performance it is best to: a) turn the phone off, or better yet, leave it in the car b) answer your phone quickly and speak quietly c)  leave the room to use the phone (hello, most important doctor, dressed in scrubs, talkin’ to your colleague!)

6. Applause should be given when: a) the performance is completed and the conductor faces the audience b) your child has completed his or her part c) any time something is done well like at a Bon Jovi concert.

7. After the performance is over: a) sit and wait until all the children have cleared the stage b) you should leave your seat and rush up to the stage to find your child c) exclaim loudly how tired you are and bored. I actually witnessed this. From a dad. Pathetic.

8. On the way home it’s a good idea to: a) offer your praise b) critique the performance c) offer your sympathy

How’d you score? I honestly thought all of correct answers to these questions were common sense. Or at least something everyone learns in grammar school.

Apparently, I’m wrong.


Filed under Be-Causes, Lessons Learned, Music