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Why do some jobs get tips but not others? 
Sep 19, 2023
Season 5 | Episode 3

Why do some jobs get tips but not others? 

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It's just the tip of the iceberg.

In our previous episode, Bridget promised Ryan she’d take him to Happy Land Theme Park and Resort. And Bridget keeps her promises! It’s the perfect place to answer Henry’s question. He wants to know why some jobs get tips and others don’t. That’s the extra amount people pay to someone who helps them, on top of their bill. This proves to be a tricky one to answer, as Ryan and Bridget soon find out. They enlist the help of Happy Land Founder, Mort Bisby. Inside Mort’s hidden lair, they’ll learn some tips on well … tipping.  

Tips for grownups listening to “Million Bazillion” with kids

Money Talks

Keep the conversation going after you listen. Try some of these Money Talks prompts with your kid(s) at home:

  1. What do you think about tipping some jobs? Would you like to work a job that gets tips or no? Why or why not?
  2. Has there ever been a time when you weren’t sure about a money custom? What did you do next?
  3. Try out our Kid-suggested trick for figuring out a 20% tip from the second half of this episode. Is there another math trick you’ve found helpful when using money in the real world?
  4. Bonus Not So Random Question: What job do you think should be paid the most money?

Tip Jar

  • For kids who want to learn more about why tipping can feel so complicated lately, check out this episode of How To LA from LAist Studios: Feel like Tipping Has Gotten Out of Hand? Here’s Why. Talk about whether you’ve seen something similar in your area.
  • In this episode, Bridget and Ryan learned about the period after the Civil War known as the Reconstruction Era. Take a moment to read about its history and to learn about how it affected Black Americans for decades to come. 
  • We’ve talked about unfairness when it comes to how much people get paid before. Listen back to our episode on the reasons why some people get paid more than others.

Gimme Five

Do your young listeners have a tip for Million Bazillion about what question we should answer next? Send them to us using this online form.

This episode is sponsored by Greenlight. (For a limited time, get $10 when you sign up for a Greenlight account at greenlight.com/MILLION).


 THE TIPPING POINT 

 

Cold Open:

 

(SFX: PACKING ITEMS IN SUITCASE)

(ADD MUX: LIGHT FUN MUSIC)

 

RYAN: Hey, Bridget. Are you almost all packed for our vacation to Happy Land Theme Park and Resort?

 

BRIDGET: You better believe it, Ryan. I got my sunglasses, I got my sandals, I got my socks for under my sandals. Did you pack sunscreen?

 

RYAN: Yep, SPF 30! All packed!

 

BRIDGET: SPF 30? That’s not nearly strong enough!

 

RYAN: The label says it blocks 97 percent of all UVB rays.

 

BRIDGET: (SCOFFS) Oh, you need something stronger.

 

(SFX: DIGGING AROUND MEDICINE CABINET)

 

RYAN: I guess I could pack SPF 50. That blocks 98 percent.

 

BRIDGET: Still not enough!

 

(SFX: DIGGING AROUND MEDICINE CABINET)

 

RYAN: Ok, here. Here’s a bottle of SPF 100.

 

BRIDGET: Not enough!

 

BRIDGET: As a fair skinned redhead, I only use SPF 10,000. The sunscreen in this bottle blocks 200 percent of harmful UVB rays.

 

(Grunt)

 

(SFX: BIG PLASTIC JUG HITTING THE COUNTER)

 

RYAN: That’s a big bottle.

 

BRIDGET: Wanna try some?

 

RYAN: Uh, sure?

 

(SFX: BOTTLE SQUEEZED, SOFT THUD ONTO THE FLOOR)

 

RYAN: Wow, when you squeeze the bottle a whole sweater comes out?

 

BRIDGET: Yep. Put it on, can’t be too careful.

 

[BEAT]

 

RYAN: Now I’m just sweating. This will stop a sunburn?

 

BRIDGET: Yeah, I’m pretty sure the heat locks out the UV rays or something like that. Lemme give this bottle one more squeeze…

 

(SFX: THUNK, THUNK, THUNK-  MORE ITEMS FALL OUT)

 

BRIDGET: And your sunglasses, wide-brimmed hat, full coverage face mask, and SPF leggings. Oh, don’t forget the foot protectors.

 

RYAN: (MUFFLED) How do I look?

 

BRIDGET: You look great! Okay, let’s go to Happy Land!

 

–Theme Music–

 

RYAN: Welcome back to Million Bazillion. I’m Ryan.

 

BRIDGET: I’m Bridget. And We Help Dollars Make More Sense. I promised Ryan we’d go to Happyland, so here we are!

 

(SFX: ROLLERCOASTER)

(SFX: CROWD)

(SFX: KIDS LAUGHING)

 

RYAN: Wow, It’s a paradise of food, fun, and fami-lay! Over a hundred roller coasters, two water parks, a slide that goes ALL the way around the park, characters who sign autographs and take pictures with you- even if you’re an adult in your 40s. And churros! Literal burroughs of churros!

 

(SFX DONKEY HE HAW)

 

RYAN: Not that kind of burro! Ah, whatever!

 

BRIDGET: Wow, big crowd here today. Lot of lines. And man, sixteen dollars for a churro?! Not cheap!  Well, here’s today’s question!

 

HENRY:  My name is Henry from Minnesota and I want to know why some jobs get tips and others don’t.

 

BRIDGET: This is a great question, thank you, Henry, for sending it in! So the “tip” we’re talking about today is the money we give workers who help us. It’s an extra amount, on top of our bill.

 

RYAN: Also sometimes goes by the very cool name, “Gratuity.”

 

BRIDGET: Tips are optional, but our listeners should know, as you start making more and more of the money decisions in your life, you’re going to find…tips are expected. But knowing when exactly, yeah, that’s the hard part.

 

RYAN: Yeah, you’ll find out that when you should tip and even how much kinda depends on the moment and situation and where you are. It’s tough!

 

BRIDGET: You know, Ryan, the secret reason I agreed to come to Happyland is because…

 

(MUSIC SUBTLY “MAGICAL” SCORING)

 

BRIDGET: I heard the founder of Happyland has a hidden lair somewhere inside the park and if you can find it, he’ll answer a single question for you! So Plan A, we figure out the answer on our own. Plan B, we find the Happyland founder’s hidden lair and HE answers the question.

 

RYAN: Bridget, that’s an old Happyland myth. It isn’t real. Let’s just check into our hotel. I heard that all the hotel employees wear big, frilly  princess costumes!

 

BRIDGET: Ok, when we come back…why we tip some jobs and not others is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to tips. So we’re going to dive in, right after this.

 

–Asking Random Kids NOT SO Random Questions–

ANNOUNCER: And now it’s time for Asking Random Kids NOT SO Random Questions. Today’s question is: What job do you think should be paid the most money?

 

RANDOM KIDS: “People that work on an ambulance because they save people’s lives on the way to the hospital.” “Lumberjacks because they have to climb all of those high trees.” “Probably construction.” “As a kid washing cars, and as a grown up doing like emails like daddy does.” “Going to space.” “A doctor.” “Working in a hospital.” “And fire fighters because they save people’s lives.”

 

ANNOUNCER: That was Sebastian and Mia in Minnesota, Joshua in California, Emma in Illinois, Ada in Georgia, and Ellis, Ariana and Roman in New York. This has been Asking Random Kids Not-So-Random Questions.

Part 1:

 

(SFX: QUIET HUBBUB, LOBBY MUSIC) 

 

BRIDGET: Welcome back to Million Bazillion. Today, Ryan and I are answering the question: Why do some jobs get tips and others don’t? And we’re doing this all on a visit toHappy Land theme park and resort, surrounded by all our favorite characters of public domain fairytales.

 

RYAN: You know and love them all – Hansel and Gretal. Martina the Cockroach. Otto, the talking Matzo Ball…

 

BRIDGET: Just need to finish checking into our hotel rooms first and then we can get to answering that question!

 

[SFX FRONT DESK BELL DING]

 

[AMBI: CROWDED HOTEL LOBBY] 

 

RYAN: I for one, love to tip everybody!

 

BRIDGET:  But have you ever thought about why you tip in the first place?

 

RYAN Um no – I’ve never actually thought about why I tip. I know I love doing it. I always make sure to have tons of cash in small bills on me at all times. I mean who doesn’t love giving out random money!? It’s like being the dang Tooth Fairy! But no, I don’t know exactly why I tip. Bridget, why do I tip?

 

BRIDGET: Ryan, even when a tip is expected, it’s  supposed to be like an extra Thank You, for taking such great care of me, here’s a little extra money just for you!.

 

BELLHOP: (GRUFF) Excuse me ma’am, but, that’s not exactly right. And may I take your bag, sir?

 

RYAN: Let go of my bag!

 

BELLHOP: I’m the bellhop! I schlep all your bags up to your rooms!

 

RYAN: Oh, right, the bellhop. The person working at the hotel who helps with things like, carrying the guests’ luggage. And in this case, while dressed as a beautiful princess?

 

BELLHOP: That’s right, pal. You got a problem with that?

 

RYAN: Not at all.

 

BELLHOP: Let me show you to your rooms. And the lady has it wrong, tips aren’t a “little extra”!

 

BRIDGET: Excuse me? I’m, I’m sorry, I thought –

 

BELLHOP:! This hotel expects that guests will tip me! They consider it part of my pay!

 

BRIDGET: I had no idea the hotel was EXPECTING guests to tip you! And that they consider it part of your pay! So you don’t get like, a paycheck, from the hotel?

 

BELLHOP: Oh, I do get a paycheck, I have my last one right here, see? With the tiny number? [SFX PAPER RUSTLING].

 

BRIDGET: $2.13 an hour! That can’t be right, that’s less than the minimum wage. Minimum wage is the minimum or least amount your boss is allowed to pay you every hour. And $2.13 is way less than that.

 

BELLHOP: It sure is less! The minimum wage is $7.12 an hour, or higher in some states. But for jobs that are expected to get tips, bosses are allowed to pay WAY LESS than the minimum wage! And mine does! Because they expect me to get tips to make up some of that difference!

 

RYAN: Man, $2.13 an hour, that’s less than the standard rate the Tooth Fairy brings for a tooth. I hear that’s up to $5 in some cities!

 

BRIDGET: I know, I wish I was still losing teeth. (TO BELLMAN) Well, thanks for sharing all this with us! I know paychecks are usually things people keep private. Ryan and I really had no idea!

 

BELLHOP: You’re welcome! Here are your rooms by the way, Bridget, you’ve got a room overlooking the park–

 

(MUSIC: QUICK BIT OF MAGICAL ADVENTURE MUSIC)

 

BRIDGET: Wow, I can see the candy race course from here! I can’t wait to ride- and eat– that race course myself. Hope I don’t skid out in the creamy caramel! !

 

BELLHOP: And Ryan, your room is just down the hall, with a view of the… parking lot.

 

(CUT MUSIC.

SFX: MUFFLED PARKING LOT NOISE- HONKING, A CAR ALARM, ETC.)

 

RYAN:  Oh cool. Parking lot’s cool too.

 

BELLHOP: Have a Happy time at Happy land!

 

BRIDGET AND RYAN: Bye! Thank you!

 

BELLHOP: (CLEARS THROAT)

 

RYAN: (BEAT) Oh yeah, of course, here’s your tip. Thanks for taking such great care of us!

 

BELLHOP: Thank you, sir. And uh, here’s one last tip from me before you go. Legend has it that there’s someone in this very park who…if you can find him…will answer all your questions.

 

BRIDGET: You mean the legend is true!!

 

BELLHOP: I can say no more! Bye!   [Door closes]

 

[BEAT OF SILENCE]

 

RYAN: Come on Bridget, let’s head to the park and ride those rides!

 

[MUX: MUSIC STING]

 

[SFX: THEME PARK NOISES]

 

BRIDGET: So we knew that workers sometimes expect tips, but now we know that some workers are counting on those tips to make a living. But we haven’t quite answered Henry’s question, because he wants to know WHY we tip some jobs and not others.

 

RYAN: Oooo, the line for the Happyland Hall of American History looks pretty short and I know you’ll love it. There are robots of famous people delivering a simplified, kid-friendly  history of America, it’s great!

 

BRIDGET: Well, I guess we have time for ONE ride.

 

RHONDA: Hey there! I’m Rhonda, your friendly Happyland Park Player! Welcome to the Hall of History!  I’ll be helping you into  the cart. It’s shaped like a bald eagle so some people find it a little tricky! But please keep your arms and legs inside the wings at all times!

 

RYAN: Here you go Rhonda, a few dollars to thank you for your service today!

 

RHONDA: That’s very kind of you, but I cannot accept tips! Park policy!

 

RYAN: Oh, sorry! I had no idea! See, we’re actually podcasters doing an episode all about tipping and why we tip–

 

RHONDA: Oh…you want to learn about the history of tipping?  The Hall of History doesn’t really cover that….

 

BRIDGET: Oh,we didn’t think the ride would actually cover tipping–

 

RHONDA:–Why don’t you just…come this way.

 

RYAN:  Wha?    // BRIDGET: Whoa!

 

[SFX RHONDA PULLS THEM INTO A BACKDOOR]

 

RYAN: Whoa! Are we BEHIND the ride!? This is so cool! I always wondered what the back of George Washington’s wig looked like.

 

RHONDA: If you want to learn about tipping, the ride isn’t going to cut it. Lucky for you, I actually needed a Ph.D. in history to apply for this job! So I can fill in the extra details about tipping you’d never get on the regular ride.

 

[SFX SOUNDS OF THE RIDE (FAMILIES LAUGHING, OOHS AND AHHHS, BUT SLIGHTLY MUFFLED]

 

RYAN: Um, ok…

 

(MUSIC: VAGUELY PATRIOTIC MUSIC)

 

BRIDGET: OO Look! It’s an animatronic Lin Manuel Mirimba as Alexander Hamilton!

 

RHONDA: Yeah….let’s skip forward.

 

(SFX: A DOOR OPENS TO ANOTHER SECTION OF THE RIDE)

 

(MUSIC: PATRIOTIC BUT WITH A TWIST)

 

NARRATOR: And just like that, Abraham Lincoln and his tall, tall hat ended the Civil War. But the nation had to rebuild–

 

BRIDGET: I’m pretty sure Lincoln’s tall tall hat didn’t have much to do with ending the Civil War…

 

RHONDA: So Tipping has been going on for centuries, but in this country, the moment it started becoming really important in this country was right after the Civil War. Do podcasters know what the Civil War is?

 

RYAN: Of course we do. It was a war fought between Northern and Southern states and at the end of it, the country outlawed the enslavement of people.

 

RHONDA: That’s right. But after the Civil War, racism and unfairness toward Black people still existed. Some Black workers weren’t allowed to take certain jobs. Instead, they were pushed into jobs that didn’t pay very much. Including ones that didn’t actually pay them anything at all. BUT they could accept tips from customers. A lot of these jobs were in restaurants or in hotels.

 

BRIDGET: Whoa, that’s bananas that people would be expected to work a job that didn’t pay them. But that must be part of the answer to Henry’s question! Still to this day, we’re used to tipping the people who work in restaurants and cafes, and in hotels!

 

NARRATOR: (IN BACKGROUND) And just like that, the nation was rebuilt and everything was fair again forever…

 

RHONDA: Yeah, uh, the ride’s wrong about that too. Things weren’t all fair again after that. Let’s take this shortcut through here…

 

(SFX: A BACKDOOR OPENS)

(SFX: ‘60s ROCK GUITAR)

 

RYAN: Oh, we’re missing some of the best parts! Like where Abraham Lincoln does the Charleston with Amelia Earhart!

 

BRIDGET: They weren’t even alive at the same time!

 

NARRATOR: It was the 1960s! Hippies grew their hair long and marched through the streets to protest barbers trying to cut their hair…

 

BRIDGET: That’s not really what happ–….

 

RHONDA: Did you two know that when people work jobs where they accept tips, they can be paid at a lower minimum wage than workers who aren’t tipped?

 

RYAN: We actually *did know that, as a matter of fact.

 

RHONDA: Back in the 1960s, U.S. lawmakers passed some laws meant to protect workers. Including laws that jobs had to be paid at least the minimum wage. But those lawmakers chose not to include certain jobs. Jobs that were often done by Black Americans, like restaurant jobs and jobs in hotels. And we still basically follow those laws today.

 

BRIDGET: The more we learn about why our economy works the way it does, the more we find out that sometimes, unfairness and greed in the past is the reason we do things a certain way now. But if we see something that’s not fair, we can call it out!

 

NARRATOR: (IN BACKGROUND) …and that’s the day President Nixon met Austin Powers

and said, “Groovy, baby!”

 

BRIDGET: That did NOT happen.

 

RHONDA: Well, I hope I helped you both! Sorry to cut this story short but I need to get back.

 

BRIDGET: Oh sure, of course, no problem.

 

RYAN: Oh man, we’re skipping past the part where Steve Jobs and Urkel invent the computer!

 

BRIDGET: Urkel’s not even a real person! l- eh, forget it.

 

(SFX: A DOOR OPENS, THE SOUNDS OF THE PARK/RIDE ARE UNMUFFLED AND FULL VOLUME]

 

RHONDA: Thank you for visiting the hall of history! We hope you’ll enjoy your time at Happyland Theme Park and Resort. If you enjoyed this ride, leave us a 5 star review!

 

BRIDGET: Thanks for the private tour Rhonda.

 

RHONDA: Have a great day!

 

RYAN:  I’ll never look at the Hall of History the same again! And I think we’ve answered at least part of Henry’s question.  We tip some jobs and not others because our country has laws that let bosses pay their workers less than the minimum wage. Those workers depend on tips from customers to help them make enough money to live on.

 

BRIDGET: That’s right.

 

RYAN: I’m just still confused. We must be missing something. Because we tip all kinds of people who make more than 2 dollars an hour. And who don’t have bosses who expect them to be paid with tips. Like what about when I get my haircut? I tip my hairdresser, and they don’t even have a boss!

 

BRIDGET: Okay, that’s true.

And I think for those questions, they’re so tricky…(HEMS AND HAWS) Okay, we have no choice. We’ve got to reach the Happyland Founder’s hidden lair and get the FOUNDER of Happyland to answer our question!

 

RYAN: Pffffff, that’s  impossible! No one’s ever found it! Plus, Happyland’s been around for decades, the founder would have be like, over a hundred years old!

 

BRIDGET: Doesn’t mean we don’t try! We’ve got use every tool and smarts we’ve got to find that secret lair! Because if we don’t, we’re going to leave our audience with more questions than answers!

 

RYAN: Ahem, Bridget, might that part involve the purchase of another churro?

 

BRIDGET:  Maybe, I need to check my bank account. After this.

 

–mini seg–

 

-MIDROLL (CREDIT BREAK)-

 

Part 2:

 

(SFX: THEME PARK, DISTANT ROLLER COASTER AMBI)

 

BRIDGET: Ok, welcome back to Million Bazillion. We’re here at Happyland Theme Park and Resort, spending… hundreds of dollars to answer Henry’s question: why do some jobs get tips and others don’t?

 

PARK WORKER: Psss, hey. You got a question you want answered?

 

BRIDGET: Hey, it’s Otto the Talking Matzoball!

 

PARK WORKER: Yeah, well to get the answer you seek, go to the top of the Peppermint Candy Castle.

 

RYAN: The Peppermint Candy Castle? That castle overlooks the entire park and has the windiest staircase in the world. They say no guest has ever made it to the top.

 

BRIDGET: We’ve got to do it, Ryan…. for Henry!!

 

PARK WORKER: Yeah! You gotta do it for Henry! Be careful, though! If you get hurt, the park takes no legal responsibility.

 

RYAN: Oh, ok.

(MUSIC TRANSITION)

 

(SFX: HIGH UP WINDY SOUND)

 

RYAN: (OUT OF BREATH) I think… I think we must be near the top.

 

BRIDGET: (OUT OF BREATH) I can’t climb another flight. It’s too much!

 

RYAN: Wait, Bridget, I think this is it, this is the famous yellow door of destiny!

 

BRIDGET: Let’s knock on it.

 

(SFX: ECHOEY KNOCK, DOOR OPENS)

 

MORT BISBY: Can I help you?

 

RYAN: Wow, it’s founder of Happyland, Mort Bisby!

 

BRIDGET: Hi, um, we’re podcasters trying to learn about tips and we heard we can find the founder of Happyland here at the top of the Peppermint Candy Castle and that you would answer our questions!.

 

MORT: Oh yeah, I know, I’ve been watching you.I created this park a half century ago. Here in my perch, high above in the Peppermint Candy Castle, I see all. And my cameras too. You learn a lot about people up here. You’d never believe how many adults get scared when the lights on the rides go out.

 

RYAN: What about tipping? The tipping thing is the main thing we’re after in this episode. Do you have any water up here?

 

MORT: Hmm, yes. Never been asked about tips before. Tipping is one of those things…everyone has their own idea of how to do it. So that makes understanding how to do it kind of complicated and…confusing.

 

BRIDGET: Oh yeah, we noticed.

 

MORT: With tipping, there’s no rulebook to follow, but there are some rules of thumb.

 

RYAN: You mean “rules of thumbs?”

 

MORT: What did I say?

 

BRIDGET: “Rules of thumb.”

 

MORT: It’s a bunch of rules, but the same thumb. So “rules of thumb.”

 

RYAN: Ok, whatever, go on.

 

BRIDGET: Yeah like, if you could just give us a few tips that we can sorta use in many different situations, that would be really great.

 

MORT: Okay, here goes: If you have been served, a tip is deserved.

 

RYAN: (DUMB LAUGH) That rhymes, I like it!

 

BRIDGET: Oh, so we should just plan on tipping someone who is serving or directly helping us, whether we know they’re working for tips or not.

 

MORT: Exactly! And usually if food is involved, you’ll want to plan on tipping. Here, let’s zoom our cameras into the Happyland Family Funtime Brisket Barbeque Bivouac and Iced Creamery.

 

BRIDGET: I love the Happyland Family Funtime Brisket Barbeque Bivouac and Iced Creamery!

 

RYAN: Yeah, it’s fun for the whole fami-lay. I see customers everywhere, finishing their meals and leaving tips on the table, for their waiter! It’s beautiful!

 

MORT: Second rule. There’s no set amount for a tip, but rule of thumb, the right amount generally depends on the size of your bill. The bigger the bill, the bigger the tip.

 

MOM: How much are we leaving for a tip?

 

GRANDPARENT: Back in my day, we never tipped more than 10%!

 

MOM: No way, I never tip less than 15%! Sometimes even 20! I couldn’t look the waiter in the eye!

 

YOUTH: 30% is the new 20%! Besides, the only options on the iPad are 25, 30, and 35.

 

MORT: But then again, even with that rule of thumb, the amount we tip has gone up over time. You’ve heard of inflation? Well this is tip-flation! The technology we use to pay for things sometimes has pre-set tip amounts that are higher or lower than we want.

 

RYAN: You should put in a 125 percent button. I’d be mashing that button all day, I’m justt that generous.

 

MORT: And third, if you’re going to a new place and you’re not sure how much to tip or if tips are expected, you can always research to find out, or ask someone.

 

RYAN: Interesting. So what about, like, cops? Should I tip a cop when they’re keeping me safe by writing me a traffic ticket?

 

MORT: What? No! That’s not a tip. That would be considered a bribe and it’s illegal! You can be arrested for trying to give money to a cop!

 

RYAN: Ok, mental note, don’t give any more money to cops. But I still love tipping!

 

BRIDGET: Mr. Bisby, thanks for everything. You’ve helped us answer a really important question about tipping! And now, Ryan and I should probably let you get back to all the important work you’re doing.

 

MORT: Yeah, I should probably go back in my cryogenic pod- er, I mean- office. Oh wait, lemme just pull this lever and the stairs will turn into a slide. One, two…

 

RYAN: Wait, I’m not ready yet.

 

(SFX: LEVER PULLED, WHOOSH SOUND)

 

BRIDGET: Ahhh! We’re sliding out of control!

 

RYAN: How many loops are we gonna do?!? The G-force is too much to handle!

 

BRIDGET:  Let’s take a little break and we’ll recap what we learned about tipping when we come back!

 

RYAN/BRIDGET: AHhhhhhhh!

 

-mini-seg-

 

HOW TO TIP: FROM A KID!

 

ANDREW: Hi, I’m Andrew from Phoenix, Arizona. This is “Here’s how!”

Here’s how to figure out a tip. A tip is usually meant to be a percentage of your bill. So here’s an easy way to figure out how much you’re supposed to leave. Look at your bill, then move the decimal point over to the left one space. That number is ten percent. For a twenty percent tip, double that number. So let’s say your bill is 18.35.  Move the decimal over one to the left. Ten percent is a dollar 80. Double that number for twenty percent. A dollar eight plus a dollar eight is two dollars plus a dollar sixty…that’s three sixty! Now you know how!

 

Part 3:

 

(SFX: SLIDE WHOOSH SOUND)

 

RYAN/BRIDGET: Ahhhhhhhh!

 

(SFX: PLUNK SOUND)

 

BRIDGET: Wooo, what a ride!

 

RYAN: Awesome, can we do it again?

 

BRIDGET: No!

 

(SFX: VALET AMBI)

 

BRIDGET: So looks like our time at Happy Land is coming to an end. I had a pretty good time. Rode a few  rides. Looked at security footage of people eating. No sunburn. I’ll take that as a win.  So what did we learn about tipping?

 

RYAN: Well, I think we learned a lot like, tipping is technically for jobs where the boss has special permission not to pay their workers the usual minimum wage. Because while it’s optional, it’s expected that customers will pay the rest so those workers make enough money to live. And that’s why I always love giving tips! It could make someone’s day!

 

BRIDGET: And as you can tell, it can be tricky to figure out who should be tipped and how much. It’s safe to assume you should tip someone if they’re giving you a service or serving you. Like a waiter at a restaurant. You can look for other cues too, like if there’s a tip jar or a line on your receipt for the tip. And sometimes, you just need to do some research to find out what’s expected in a certain place. Rules and ways of doing things are different depending on your country and state. Yep, tipping sure is a complica- Oh my gosh, it’s Hank the Happyland Squirrel! He’s been my favorite character ever since I was little. We need to get our picture with Hank!

 

RYAN: Let’s go!

 

HANK: (DOPEY VOICE) Hey, y’all, it’s me, Hank the Happyland Squirrel!

 

RYAN: Ooo, can we get a picture with you Hank?

 

HANK: Hey y’all, it’s me, Hank the Happyland Squirrel!

 

BRIDGET: Yeah. You already said that. Can we take a picture with you??

 

HANK: (CHUCKLES) You betcha, friend! Smile!

 

[SFX PICTURE SNAP]

 

RYAN: I wasn’t ready!

 

BRIDGET: Oh, I blinked! Can we go again?

 

HANK: If you had a Happy day at Happyland, Tip your pal Hank!

 

BRIDGET: A tip? Can’t we take another picture?

 

HANK: Happy Happy Happy (POWERS DOWN, RESTARTS) Hey y’all, it’s me, Hank the Happyland Squirrel!

 

RYAN: He’s not a real person inside a squirrel costume, Hank is a robot!

 

BRIDGET: And it asked for a tip! I’ve heard about this! Automated systems like this are starting to include a tip option. Ryan, don’t leave a tip, it’s a machine!

 

RYAN: But it says on this little tablet here, I can tip Hank $5, $10, $20! What do I do? What do I do? Ahhh, I can’t resist tipping!

 

(SFX: ELECTRONIC TRANSACTION NOISE)

 

HANK: Thank you for the tip of… one hundred dollars.

 

BRIDGET: One hundred dollars??

 

RYAN: Wait I pressed $10. I meant $10!

 

BRIDGET: But it’s a robot! What’s it gonna buy?

 

RYAN: I don’t know! Like some bolts for lunch!

 

BRIDGET: It’s not gonna buy bolts for lunch! We gotta get that money back. We need someone to help us.

 

RHONDA: You two seem to be having a problem? Can I be of assistance?

 

BRIDGET: Oh Rhonda! Maybe you can help us! Ryan just tipped this robot-

 

RHONDA: (SAME TAKE) You two seem to be having a problem? Can I be of assistance?

 

RYAN: Rhonda, are you a – you couldn’t be a-

 

RHONDA: If you enjoyed the service of… Rhonda-bot today, feel free to leave…Rhonda-bot a tip.

 

RYAN/BRIDGET: Ahhhhhhh!

 

–Theme Music-

 

Credits

RYAN: Thanks for listening to this episode of Million Bazillion! If you have a question you want answered, please send it to us at our website, marketplace dot org slash million.

BRIDGET: While you’re there, sign up for our newsletter. Get an email every time we publish a new episode, along with discussion questions to keep the conversation going at home!

RYAN: Next week we’re going to answer a question about Ponzi Schemes! It’s gonna be great!

BRIDGET: And for this episode, all about tipping, we wanted to thank Ben Zipperer at the Economic Policy Institute and Dr. Meng Zhu at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.

RYAN: Million Bazillion is brought to you by Marketplace, from American Public Media. This episode was written and hosted by (me,) Ryan Perez. Bridget Bodnar is my co-host and the director of podcasts at Marketplace.

BRIDGET: This episode was also voiced by: Kimberly Adams, Sabri Ben Achour, David Brancaccio, Courtney and Joe Bergsieker, David Escobar, Reema Khrais, Jasmine Romero, Ava and Jen Rosenbaum, Nova Safo, and Daniel Shin.

RYAN: Jasmine Romero is our editor. Courtney Bergsieker is our producer. Nilou Shahbandi is our intern. Our sound designers are Chris Julin and Bekah Wineman. Bekah Wineman also mixed this episode.

 

BRIDGET: Our theme music was created by Wonderly. Francesca Levy is the Executive Director of Digital at Marketplace. Neal Scarbrough is the VP and General Manager.

RYAN: Million Bazillion is funded in part by the Sy Syms Foundation, partnering with organizations and people working for a better and more just future since 1985. And special thanks to The Ranzetta Family Charitable Fund and Next Gen Personal Finance for providing the start-up funding for this podcast, and continuing to support Marketplace in our work to make younger audiences smarter about the economy.

BRIDGET: If Million Bazillion is helping your family have important conversations about money, consider making a one-time donation today at marketplace.org/givemillion, and thanks for your support.

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