I go to the same coffee shop every morning. When I hand over my thermos, the barista asks, “Coffee with a little bit of milk?”
I’m a regular and I have my usual. Being known like that helps me start the morning well.
Except for one part of that morning routine that trips me up every single day — the tablet payment method that displays recommended, preset tipping amounts that stare at me almost as awkwardly as the barista behind the counter who’s waiting to see just how generous I really am.
My brain tries to do too many things at once. I wonder if handing a black coffee over the counter merits a tip in the first place. But I don’t want to seem like a jerk, so I try to calculate 20 percent of $3, while evaluating the barista’s level of charisma without actually making eye contact — because he or she is clearly waiting to see how well I tip. But I’m rushing because I don’t want to hold up the line. Finally, I just settle for the middle preset option:…