Why I Gave the Parking Dude a 50% Tip

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Here’s the thing about New York City…

If you have a car that you park on the street, we’ve got these wacky alternate side the street parking regulations that require you to move your car a few times a week so the street sweepers can come through.

Miss the cutoff time by minutes and you end up with a ticket or a big, fat, 1-foot-square neon yellow window sticker that labels your car a scarlet no-parking violator. And, if you don’t remove it right away, the sunlight bakes it onto the window, making it really tough to get off.

Which is why I’ve had two on my car for the better part of a year (FYI – I blame social media for both, lol!).

Now, imagine my surprise when, after leaving my car in the lot in midtown for a meeting, I returned 3 hours later to find my car…sans stickers. The attendant had scraped both windows clean in my absence.

I didn’t ask him to. He didn’t know me. I didn’t expect or pay him to.

He just did it.

Talk about service. That one act accomplished a few critical things. One, it ensured that I’ll return to that same lot for my next meeting in the area. And, though he didn’t ask for it, it landed him a $10 tip. Because in doing me an “unrequested and unexpected” solid, he took care of something I’d been loathing and putting off for months and simultaneously primed my reciprocity pump.

How could I not reciprocate in some way?

Whether it was kind hearted generosity or a premeditated act designed to get me to open my wallet, we both walked away a little happier in the end. And, that’s okay with me.

So, my question is…do YOU surprise your customers by going way beyond what they’ve asked you to do…and expect you to do?

What can YOU do do make someone’s day in an unexpected way that might build good will and, potentially, improve revenue for your own venture?

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6 responses

6 responses to “Why I Gave the Parking Dude a 50% Tip”

  1. You are indeed a brave soul to have TWO cars in the city.

    Yes, I have given a big tip when warranted.

    Got a flat in a really bad side of town and gave an nice guy $25.00 to change it although I have AAA. Was out of there in ten minutes. Figured my life was worth somthing – like not waiting for them to show up. He was thrilled.

    Thing are getting very NY in Chicago. They have sold the parking meters. Costs a fortune to park and they have not installed cc ability yet. Quarters are a scarce commodity. You need so many of them.

    A scooter?

    Well, maybe not for you with your record. How’s your foot?
    .-= Corinne Edwards´s last blog ..MIRACLE IN A SMALL TOWN =-.

  2. John Pruitt says:

    Practicing the art of doing on to others not for recognition nor reward but rather just because it makes you feel good is something I’m glad my parents passed on to me. The parking guy sounds like a gem. You also are one for taking the time to recognize him and also to blog on it.

    Now please, go move your car, I think you’re blocking me. 😉

  3. Gerald says:

    Jonathan- spot on bro! How much greater would this world be if everyone went the extra mile? Ney, just did what they are supposed to? After a near-midnight landing @ DFW, I went out to my car to find it dead. Going back inside, I asked one of the clerks roaming the empty baggage claim area to call maintenance or her boss to which she replied she didn’t know the numbers.

    I am pretty easy going guy, but that pert’ near set me off to a colorful metaphor-laden tirade, but I held my tongue.

    I will now do nearly anything to avoid flying out of DFW, preferring instead Love Field and Southwest Airlines. I like the way they do business.
    .-= Gerald´s last blog ..GM is still swinging at the pinata =-.

  4. Don Bowler says:

    It’s the little things that can make a big difference. God bless my parents for instilling in me a strong sense of respect and consideration for others. It comes natural to me. It seems like we’ve gone through a period where everyone was focused on “me-me-me.” I personally believe that the me generation mind-set is changing. When someone goes the “extra mile” it definitely stands out. Next time give the attendant one of your books. Sounds like he’s already on his way to becoming a career renegade.

  5. @CoachDeb says:

    oooooh the ol’ wacky alternate side the street parking!
    ewww! it’s the 1 downside of living in The City
    I feel your pain
    AND understand Exactly why the dude got 50% tip
    Niiiiiiice on both your parts!
    .-= @CoachDeb´s last blog ..Demystifying Killer Keywords: the Replay, Process & Tools =-.

  6. Paul Sabaj says:

    You bring up a great point of going the extra mile. I find it works on both ends in that I can build a new customer and the other end it is always great to see those who get it about great service and reward them. I am sooo tired of the tip because I’m here just doing enough to keep my job. Bravo on another great post and the great comments from others.