Richard Swerdlow shops as much as the next guy but there’s one easy-pay option that has him squirming every time he encounters it.
Our high-tech age has made shopping convenient, providing instant access to anything you'd ever want to buy. Thanks to Alexa, you can order toilet paper at 3 am by just asking for it from your bed. You can buy cake mix, shampoo, even a car, from any place at any time.
But one computer shopping innovation has me actually avoiding shopping. The Guilt Tip.
The guilt tip is the hipster term for suggested tipping amounts displayed on iPad cash registers, ubiquitous in small shops and cafes in the digitally obsessed Bay Area. You swipe the tablet with your credit card and tap the tip prompt - or no tip - while the server watches. And I hate to be a cheapskate, but sometimes I'm just buying one already expensive cup of coffee. Nevertheless, I’m usually embarrassed and add 20 percent to a tablet transaction.
Service workers work hard, and I don't begrudge them tips. And it's not the employees' fault that customers are forced to deal with that pushy computer-generated tip prompt. Maybe it's just as awkward from the other side of the counter.