Prudent Advice

Life Lessons for My Daughter

Category Archives: Travel

#259 Try to speak the local language.

I have found that people appreciate even the clumsiest attempts at speaking their native language; it shows respect. Aside from ordinary greetings and pleasantries, these phrases are quite convenient to know: If traveling for work, “Can I get a receipt, please?” If traveling with smokers, “May we have an ashtray?” And, of course, “I’m sorry, I don’t speak French/Turkish/Russian/Japanese.”

#226 Leave a decent tip.

People who work for tips earn their livelihoods at your mercy. A tip is not a tool to coerce the server or hairstylist to indulge your whims; it’s simply the currency of service jobs. An adequate job requires a standard tip, and outstanding service is rewarded with a bigger one. Don’t think of a tip as a supplemental cost; it is as integral to your purchase as the tax you pay. This is something you will really embrace once you have the opportunity to slave away in a tip-earning position. Doing that job will teach you a genuine respect for service workers, and to tip generously.