Tapping My Inner Scrooge

USPSpeanutstampI love Christmas. It’s my favorite holiday, and possibly even my favorite time of year. And if you’ve read anything I’ve written over the past year, you know it’s not because I’m celebrating the alleged birthday of a dude named Jesus.

For me, Christmas is all about family and friends, spending quality time with the people who matter most, and giving. And I love to give. I’ve always been generous, and excessively so. Few things in life can compare to making someone you care about happy. And that’s what Christmas is all about, at least for me.

Now I don’t mind tipping the staff in my building. I never ask much of them throughout the year. I carry my own bags and repair my own stuff. But it’s good to know they are there if I ever need them. And most of them are pretty decent guys…hardworking, too. I can’t really afford it this year, but I’ll dig deep to give what I can to all 18 of them.

But I got a note in my mailbox the other day from my mailman. Or mailperson, as I’ve never actually met my mail carrier. It was a clear invitation for a tip, a holiday gratuity. And that kind of irks me.

The staff in my building handle all the deliveries, so the mailperson simply rolls in a cart of mail – all of which has been sorted and bundled by someone else back at the post office – and then stuffs those bundles of mail into numbered slots in the wall of our building’s mailroom. That’s it.

And we’re talking the US Postal Service here. I rarely get mail through them, and what I do get is mostly junk. I only check my mailbox about once a week. It’s like a spam folder, in that I have to occasionally check it just in case something valuable ends up there.

So there’ll be no holiday tip for my postal person. They have an easy enough job, and one that is – at least for me – rather useless. After all, I’m old enough to remember when the mail really mattered…back when it was the only way to send things…the only way to communicate long-distance beyond a telephone conversation. It was a real job back then, and those folks worked hard. In fact, long before religious freaks went on rampages, it was postal workers who periodically shot up their workplaces. There was even a name for it: Going Postal.

I hate to be a Scrooge, especially so close to the holidays, but that’s my rant. Not everyone deserves a tip. And those who do will receive as much as I can afford.

With that out of the way, Happy Holidays! Unless you’re my mailman, in which case the tip is in the mail…another old expression from back when that profession mattered.