Panera is one of my favorite places to eat, mostly because I don't ever feel sick after eating there. They used to play classical music too, which made me feel mature and sophisticated, as opposed to all those other places with TVs everywhere and pop music blaring. In any case, I even used to like talking to the people who worked at my favorite Panera, which is a big step for me. I don't even like talking to people I know. Everything was going so well for a while. I felt like Panera was really helping me develop my social interaction skills.
That all changed when someone at Panera decided it would be a good idea to add a question to every credit card transaction. "Would you like to add a tip?"
Don't we usually add tips after service has been rendered? How can you ask me to leave a tip before I know how good the service will be? What if I leave a tip and I get terrible service? What if I don't leave a tip and I get exceptional service?
Isn't this actually more like extortion?
Hmm, just a second...Siri, what does extortion mean?
Yep, it's just like that. It is just like a shakedown. Do you want good service or bad service? Do you want us to get your order right, or screw it all up? Oh, we'll take good care of you, for a price.
I panic and just hit NO if I ever actually have to order at the counter, because hitting YES leads to a math question, and I'm terrible at math. Thankfully my favorite Panera also has kiosks where I can order without ever having to talk to anyone, so I can avoid the whole awkward exchange. This has set my social interaction development way back. Why, Panera, why?
Here's a tip for you, Panera. Rather than asking us to tip before we get our food, why don't you just raise the prices and pay your employees a bit more? Why don't you tip your employees? Or just keep asking that awkward question so everyone feels uncomfortable at the end of every transaction.