This one is about tipping and cheating at the horse races.
You can do no better to raise spirits than by tipping somebody who deserves it but seldom gets it. There can be no more qualified candidate for a little something extra than somebody who works a fast-food drive-up window. They have to listen to the mumblings of drunks, druggies, the illiterate, those confused, and the many who can’t quite see the menu board, plus the complainers. I always try to tip a buck to the drive-up window person, saying, “This is for you,” and getting in return, “Why?” Or a stunned thanks, or a surprised stare. There’s this perk to tipping somebody who works hard. It makes you the tipper feel better as well.
Tipping tellers at the horse race track is mostly superstition, the rest, showing off.
Three questions come to mind.
One, if two tellers are involved, to whom do you offer a tip, the ticket seller, the cashier, or both?
Two, what’s the right amount to tip?
Three, when do you tip?
This isn’t Chef Ramsay’s. Nobody brings you anything besides luck. The more I win, the more I tip. Don’t forget that you don’t win what you collect. Bet $50, win $100, the unwritten tip rule stipulates a gratuity of nothing. A two-buck tip on a $100 win is two bucks more than the teller had before you did all the work. A twenty-dollar bill on a $500 collection is extremely generous. The amount of a tip can also depend on the degree of difficulty of a win. Photo victories are worth a couple of bucks extra into the anti-voodoo tip pool, as they feel like pure luck. Ten-length runoffs, here’s a dollar. I try to tip all the tellers I use during a good run. Tip on the way out, otherwise the tellers could wind up with more from you in tips than you have in your pocket.
There’s a teller I used for small bets on long shots at the simulcast joint.
True, a piece about superstition is due, as I have a teller for late exotics, a betting machine for wins, etc.
Gamblers tip money.
Barterers, people without money, some people with stuff, tip stuff.
My long shot teller was a pleasant enough young woman who, over the course of a lucky race meet, would get hundreds of dollars in tips from me. We never spoke of racing, or of life outside the building. Part-time tellers, some could have been working their way through school, who knows or cares, as personal information could break a plus-money positive superstition mood. And so it was with considerable regret that I noticed a headline in the local newspaper last week where it was reported that a teller at the local simulcast joint had been fired as a result of having come up short by some $6,000. “Coming up short” in this instance being a nice way of saying my long shot young woman had punched out six or so grand worth of tickets without paying, or without hitting many winners.
And so whereas I had assumed that some of my tips to her had gone for something like milk for a young child’s growling tummy, perhaps my gratuities had instead gone toward a $500 wager on a 4-5 favorite in a cheap claiming race at Delta.
One would hope that an industry would patrol itself, that a teller sitting in close proximity to somebody punching up $6,000 in tickets might notice.
In the absence of such a revelation, I will now tip at this race site foodstuffs, a $10 meatloaf, rich and juicy, pre-cooked at a local deli, and self-contained in a handy tin, a $4 packet of grilled vegetables, hit the Double, brownies all around.
Originally Posted on ESPN