One of my goals during last week’s excursion with my grandson was to return from California – for the first time ever – without a parking ticket.
I almost made it home.
My transgression was that I drove through an empty space in the parking lot at Seal Beach so that I could be poised “nose out” in the space beyond. In Texas, Pennie and I call this “going for the poise.”
Yeah, that’s illegal in California.
As I was sitting in the rental car reading my ticket, a man knocked on my window and shouted, “Turn your car around! Turn your car around! If you don’t, they’ll give you a $64 ticket!” And then he held up his ticket to prove it. I smiled and showed him mine, thinking we’d have a laugh together. But no, this was a man on a mission. He was off like a rocket to warn the next person.
I watched him for the next few minutes. Every time a car pulled though a space to go for the poise, he would run up to that car, tap on the window, and warn the driver of his or her impending doom. God bless that guy. He may still be there, even now.
The idea that something regarded as common sense in one state is illegal in another reminds me that we Americans are a haphazard people. We name our months after Roman gods. We count our years from the birth of Jesus. We print ‘In God We Trust’ on all our money. But when someone publicly mentions God, we think that person to be a naively superstitious rube.
Every time I mention him, I get a look that makes me feel the listener wants to pat me on my head like I’m four years old.
I think the current, politically correct name for God is “the universe,” as in, “the universe is telling me to take this job,” or, “the universe is telling me to quit eating red meat.”
One young man in California mentioned God to me just before we drove to the airport, and it turned out to be one of the brightest moments of a delightful trip. We had checked out of our hotel and presented the claim check for our car to the valet stand attendant who handed it to a slender young man who took off running toward the parking garage.
Throughout my life, I’ve harbored the secret belief that you can brighten the day of waiters, waitresses, hotel maids, and parking valets by giving them unexpectedly generous tips. The only evidence I’ve had that my secret belief might be correct are the bright faces and happy smiles of waiters and waitresses when they see Pennie and me walk through their door.
Yes, I am encouraging you to continue being generous to the people who bring you food, clean your room, and park your car.
Anyway, when the slender young valet arrived with our car, he handed me the keys and I handed him a twenty. He looked down at it, then back up at me. Then down at it again, then back up to me. “God bless you sir! I’ve never gotten one of these! They told me there was a guy here that was tippin’ twenties, and I said, ‘Please, God, let me bring that guy’s car to him!’ And here you are! Thank you, sir. Thank you.”
No one has ever said anything like that to me before, but I like to believe that I’ve brightened the days of thousands of strangers by letting them know they are recognized and appreciated.
Many years ago, an old gentleman named Percy Ross was a client of mine. He’s gone now, and I miss him dearly. His newspaper column, “Thanks a Million,” appeared in more than 800 newspapers across America and I helped him syndicate his daily radio show across more than 400 radio stations.
One day after lunch, Percy left our waitress a startling amount of money, then winked at me and said, “He who gives while he lives, knows where it goes.”
He entrusted that bit of wisdom to me 34 years ago.
And now I’m entrusting it to you.
Roy H. Williams
According to TripAdvisor 31% of us leave no tip at all for the hotel maids who strip and remake our beds, clean our bathrooms, get rid of our trash and vacuum our rooms. And those of us who do tip leave only $1 to $5 per day. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the typical hotel maid makes just $21,800 a year. So twenty, forty, or sixty dollars is a lot more money to her than it is to you. Am I right?– Indy Beagle
200,000 female entrepreneurs in Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia see Genecia Alluora as a business rock star. Having now built the #1 network of female entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia, Genecia wants to spread her message of empowerment and financial independence to the women of North America. Her superpower is teaching online marketing and digital branding as a universal language in a step-by-step system of success. Listen in as she talks with roving reporter Rotbart from the Republic of Singapore. (Rotbart tells me that men can learn a lot from Genecia, too.)