The Times gives us a profile of Mr. Lin (not that one), a chinese food bicycle deliveryman:
He removed a wad of cash from his pocket and counted the day’s haul from nearly 25 miles of travel for more than two dozen deliveries. His helmet still on, he fingered through the folded $20s and wrinkled singles to count about $50 for the day. That would become less than $40 after the tips were pooled and split, he said.
“So-so,” he said matter-of-factly.
Apparently, I tip pretty well.
When I’m sick, there’s nothing I like more than wonton soup from my favorite Chinese restaurant.
The best Chinese restaurant near me has a computerized order tracking system with Caller ID so when I call and ask for delivery, they ask if I want the “usual”, I say, “yes”, they say, “20 minutes”, and we both hang up. In 20 minutes, my food arrives.
So one week, a long time ago, I was deathly ill (small cold) and I called just to order some wonton soup. After picking up the phone they asked if I wanted the “usual”, I told them that I just wanted a large wonton soup. 20 minutes later, wonton soup showed up.
I did the same thing the following day.
On the third day, when I called and declined the usual and ordered wonton soup, the woman on the phone asked, “Why you only order wonton soup? You sick?”
“Yes,” I responded.
“Feel better. I give you extra fortune cookie.” Then she hung up.
I eventually pulled out of danger and went on with my life (two days later). About a day after that, I got a card in the mail. The front of the card had the name of the Chinese restaurant I order from, and the inside had the following handwriting, “Mr. Joshua, sorry to hear you are feeling ill. Hope hour(sic) soup helped make you feel better. Please visit us when you are well. Your friends at xxxxx xxx (name withheld to protect the restaurant)” It was signed by a few signatures, all in Chinese, so I couldn’t read any of them.
I did appreciate the sentiment.