Tipping generously has always been essential in a broken system that underpays gig workers on the shaky premise that optional tipping is sustainable and sufficient, but during a pandemic it’s especially life-saving, and many customers are stepping up. An 18-year-old restaurant worker in Texas got a $1,300 tip ($300 to him and $1,000 to the rest of the staff) with a “good luck” note. Luck isn’t needed so much as action, but short of action we’ll take luck—like the luck visited upon a Florida server who got a $500 tip; an Arkansas server who scored a customer’s entire $1,200 stimulus check as a tip; and Tampa bakery workers who got a $1,000 tip.
A Recharge callout: Any supremely large tips (subjectively defined) will get a shout-out on this blog. Email your receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org and indicate whether you want your name and city/town included. The whims and guesswork of the American tipping system are unjust enough before and during a pandemic, but acts of solidarity and generosity are coming through.