Chinese Food Ethics, Mexican Food Ethics

Chinese Food

In a dilemma reminiscent of my ice cream sundae problem last year, I faced the question of how to ethically respond to yet another food service botch. We ordered a modest dinner from the local Chinese carry-out establishment, and after we got the order home, discovered that it was missing an appetizer. It was raining hard, and when I called the restaurant, they agreed, after putting me through the third degree, that they had screwed up. They said they would deliver it. I was prepared to drive over and pick it up, but at least this allowed us to begin eating the rest of the dinner before it got cold. It took about a half an hour, but my precious pan-fried pork dumplings finally arrived, along with profuse apologizes from the deliverer.

The ethics issue: Should I tip him or not?

On the con side is the strong point that it should not end up costing me more to get what I ordered because of the restaurant’s mistake that caused me inconvenience and turned an appetizer into dessert. On the “go ahead and tip him, you cheapskate” side is the fact that he did go out into the rain to bring me my order. Con: So what? That was the direct result of the restaurant’s ineptitude, and I paid for the food. He wasn’t doing me a favor: he was obligated to bring me the omitted item. Pro: He probably wasn’t the one who made the mistake. He’s just the poor schlub who had to go out in the rain to fix it. Con: So what? He’s the restaurant’s agent, not a Good Samaritan. He should be paying me for my inconvenience, not the other way around.

I tipped him five bucks. I didn’t think he should bear the whole burden of the restaurant’s mistake, and it was raining. He still provided a service. It annoyed me that I had to do it, but it was the right thing to do.


Mexican Food

Mark Dice is one of the new breed of unethical journalists who specialize in telling fake stories or asking loaded questions to get ignorant and hyper-partisan  Americans, typically Democrats, to embarrass themselves on video with ridiculous statement. Normally I wouldn’t reference one of his products; among other things, it is impossible to know whether the idiotic comments his videos show are representative, or just the bottom of the barrel. In the video above, however, Dice’s false story about Speaker John Boehner saying that he didn’t like Mexican food prompts too many citizens of San Diego to agree that the statement is racist and intolerable, too many being defined here as “more than zero.”

I know, I know: Dice cheats, as he usually does: he asks leading questions, characterizing Boehner’s fictional rejection of enchiladas as racist and asking if such sentiments should be tolerated in an elected official. Nonetheless, the responses are consistent with the concept aggressively promoted by unscrupulous Obama Administration supporters in his party and the media: opposition to anything connected in any way to a minority group constitutes bigotry.  Are you critical of an inept President who happens to be black? You’re racist. Do you feel that those who intentionally breach U.S. immigration laws shouldn’t benefit, profit, or be able to enhance their children’s prospects as a result? You’re “anti-immigrant,” and a bigot. Do you believe that extending unemployment benefits indefinitely is irresponsible and re-establishes permanent Welfare? Racist! Regard having children out-of-wedlock as irresponsible? Racist. Believe that Americans shouldn’t have to pay for women’s abortions and contraception? Misogynist. Do you not understand why the institution of marriage should be suddenly redefined after thousands of years? You’re a homophobe.

This has been a relentless strategy to suppress debate and demonize political opponents by progressives and minorities for a very long time, intensifying greatly in the last six years. I think the reflex attitudes displayed by Dice’s victims vividly illustrate the damage this has done to American respect for opposing views,  the irrational opinions that result, and their likely chilling effect on the expression of reasoned negative views on a whole range of subjects that should be debated openly without fear of being tarred for bigotry.

Dice’s video doesn’t prove anything, of course. But I think the phenomenon it shows is real and frightening, and it undermines democracy.

By the way, I like Mexican food.


Pointer: Drudge

Source: Info Wars

38 thoughts on “Chinese Food Ethics, Mexican Food Ethics

  1. Yikes! Not liking Mexican food is racist? I happen to like it a lot especially when it’s prepared well. Probably too much. On the other hand, the filipina that works for me doesn’t like it much. So I suppose that makes her a racist. Nobody with any brains buys into this fascist propaganda.

  2. For your first conundrum:

    This is why the obligatory tip is stupid to begin with. It creates too many dilemmas where dilemmas shouldn’t exist. Even more so with tipping food delivery personnel. Before people flip out with lynch mob mentality, of course we tip food delivery personnel. But on principle, the cultural pressure created by obligatory tipping is ridiculous and creates these dilemmas.

    Even crappy waiters/waitresses end up getting a tip because of the cultural pressure.

    In your fouled up order scenario, you are trapped in the fog… you’d assume that the leadership of the restaurant would display some leadership and appropriately compensate the employee shafted for the mistake of another. But you don’t know, so you are trapped by the obligatory tip.

    • For oxymoron points, when you paraphrase it as “obligatory gratuity” it literally translates to “something that you have to do that you don’t have to do.” As usual, culture did not think this concept through at all.

    • I don’t think the tip question is really that difficult, and I think you are taking the obligatory tipping a bit too far here.

      There are two sets of people who are responsible for your food, the kitchen staff and the wait staff. If the wait staff does their job then you tip them, period. If they don’t do your job then you deduct from the tip. I have a standard 18% tipping rate, if I get good service that goes up, if I get bad service that goes down.

      Alternatively, if the kitchen staff messes up your order than you speak to a manager and complain. They should knock something off the bill or through something in for free. If they don’t do something to help correct their mistake then I consider not patronizing the business. But if the kitchen messes up and the manager does nothing to fix the problem, you should not take it out on the wait staff. Your not tipping the wait staff because your food was cooked well, your tipping them because they provided good food service.

        • There is no fog here, that is the point I am making, it’s pretty cut and dry. The cause of the problem is not the custom of tipping, it’s the lack of responsibility on the part of the owner of this establishment.

          Ask yourself this question, had the owners knocked $5 off the bill and thrown in two free deserts, would you even consider not tipping the delivery person? Why would you consider not tipping him when the owner did not take responsible corrective action? It’s unfair to punish the delivery person when he has no culpability for the problem and can take no corrective action. Note, this logic only changes if you know for certain the delivery person is the owner, but it’s much easier to separate the two and deal with each distinctly.

          • The point you are making is that, on the *assumption* that the owner or manager (representative of the owner), did not show leadership and mitigate or compensate the deliveryman for having to handle the dirty work of fixing an error. This *assumption* is an *assumption* BECAUSE of the Fog I described, which put’s the buyer in the odd position.

            This is not cut and dry and is more nuanced than “you owe the one providing the service a tip”.

            1) It isn’t the purchaser’s duty to compensate a worker when the bosses of the worker foul up. It is the duty of the bosses. Your standard would obligate the purchaser for a countless number of tips if errors began piling up that poor deliverymen have to make multiple trips to rectify.

            2) If the owner/manager attempted the PR gimmick of knocking of $5 or offering free desserts, that might give one pause to consider a tip for the additional service, however it does not obligate one to do so, since the additional service was never sought to begin with.

            3) It is unfair to punish the delivery person. However, you have an odd notion of what actually is punishment and also who is in charge of handling reward/punishment in a boss/employee relationship.

              • Now that you’ve revealed your true colors as a jackass, kindly re-read my original comment, where I distinctly addressed the expectation that someone would flip out and therefore mentioned that we are ample tippers. I see my precautionary note was for naught, and I see we can’t have a discussion about principles.

                Those who call others cheapskates for disagreeing with some instances of obligatory tipping is a smaller version of the same people who call others racists for disgareeing with some aspects of affirmative action or sexists for disagreeing with the idea that woman are grossly discriminated against.

                I knew at least one would be flushed out when discussing tipping.

                • I think I might have more luck spitting at the rain then arguing with you, but here goes…

                  I think you really have to twist yourself to see some fog, or ramble about some iterative loop of failed orders and multiple delivery trips. I’ll make it simple for you, tipping is a payment for services provided based solely on the quality of the service within the control of the wait staff/delivery person. I get the point that the whole cost of your meal was higher than it would have been had the mistake not been made. I understand that the, ‘service was never sought to begin with’; however, it was provided and he deserves to be paid for his service. Take the problem of needing extra service up with the actual person responsible, because to solve this problem by stiffing the delivery person, who did his job, makes as much sense as beating the dog when your wife pisses you off. To hold him accountable for a mistake he is neither culpable for, nor able to correct is passive aggressive.

                  • 1) The martyr routine often does follow when one is demonstrated against strenuously but is flabbergasted at being called out on a debate cheat. Revelation: people in this world, not only, disagree with you, they can explain why.

                    2) Fog is what it implies. Not knowing. I don’t see how any reading of the scenario doesn’t place the purchaser in a position of not knowing if the lowly delivery person has been justly compensated by their leadership for handling the ugly portion of the leadership’s error. You are simply wrong on this count.

                    And the not knowing whether or not the deliveryman has been justly compensated for handling the error of their superiors is what places the purchaser in the dilemma.

                    3) Again, you are refusing nuanced analysis of the situation. This isn’t tipping for a service provided. Fixing an error isn’t a service… it’s Fixing an Error. The service would be if the error never occurred. That the deliveryman bears the brunt of the leadership’s error doesn’t make it a service either. Your standard continues to obligate a customer to pay more for the error of a service provider, that is simply not the way a market works. But because it looks like a regular delivery service, the customer is placed in the awkward position of societally pressured gratuity.

                    When we delivery the wrong plants to a jobsite in the Landscape Industry, we don’t get to expect additional payment for the time and inconvenience of rectifying the error. We rectify the error, if it causes our workers unexpected hardship or additional labor, WE compensate them, not the customer.

                    This shows yet more flaws in the inconsistency of a “tipping economy” of the food service industry, as XF alludes to here, despite there being a huge swath of other industries that provide personalized service.

                    4) You’re final sentence again misplaces leadership responsibility with the customer. When it should be the leadership’s issue.

                    • Your questioning the cultural norm of tipping, and somehow I become the martyr? I think you have that backwards…

                    • “I think I might have more luck spitting at the rain then arguing with you, but here goes…” -Brianus, martyred circa anno domini 2014

                    • ‘When we delivery the wrong plants to a jobsite in the Landscape Industry, we don’t get to expect additional payment for the time and inconvenience of rectifying the error. We rectify the error, if it causes our workers unexpected hardship or additional labor, WE compensate them, not the customer.’

                      This is Mr. Pink’s argument in a nutshell, the shoe, unfortunately, fits…

                    • I didn’t think you’d stop being a jack ass. Way to run from merited discussion.

                      You’ve ranked yourself amongst those who scream racism when one side disagrees with affirmative action and amongst those who scream sexism when one side disagrees with the disparate income theory. At least to your credit it isn’t on a serious topic.

                    • Actually, to be clear, that is explicitly NOT the argument used by Mr. Pink.

                      As we are discussing the rectification of an error, not the rendering of services requested.

                    • Of course any comparison to a movie “bad guy” is always suspect, as story tellers can cast ANY argument with the “bad guy” to make the argument seem bad and also can craft the dialogue to keep the argument from fleshing out the deeper considerations as well as protecting the counter-argument via all manner of subtle fallacy.

        • It’s not a straw man, it’s part of the logic behind judging/tipping the wait staff only based on what their responsibilities are as oppose to tipping them based on things outside their control.

      • Except that the failure to include an order in a carry out is neither kitchen or wait staff, and the rules for a dine-in restaurant don’t help very much. Plus I’m pretty sure the delivery guy is a part-owner.

        • The point remains and is fairly straightforward to apply. The tip to the delivery man is based on the service he provided, not based on the necessity of his service. The correction to the mistaken order should be to compensate you in a clear manner, not to leave it up to you to determine if the delivery person is an owner and thus stiffing him on the tip corrects the problem, or if stiffing him on the tip hurts him but does nothing to deter the owner/manager.

          It’s basic positive reinforcement, the reward/punishment needs to be directly tied to an action in a clear way. Harming the delivery man because someone else made a mistake does not incentive better service from either the delivery man or the person who made the original mistake, and to the extent that tipping is useful for both the owner and the customer it’s due to incentives.

          If it were me, I would tip the delivery man, and if I did not get that money back off my bill, plus an apology for the mistake at a minimum, I would not order from them again.

      • Personally, I don’t like calculating esoteric percentages in my head. I like to be able to add up what I will pay just from looking at the menu. I want people to be paid by their employers, with whom they have an explicit contract, and not rely on me, with whom they have only an implicit contract based, as texagg04 pointed out, on peer pressure.

        In short, the business transaction between employer and employee has unofficially roped in the customer, who originally only had to worry about paying the business based on listed prices. It makes me uncomfortable, and I think it’s bad customer service.

  3. I think “journalists” like Dice are providing a valuable service, if not a direct one. The use of leading questions and loaded language invalidates the conclusions he reaches, obviously; anyone using this video as proof that Democrats actually think not liking Mexican food is racist obviously doesn’t think too clearly themselves. But using it and others like it as an example of how dangerous loaded questions, weighted samples, and biased thinking actually are – that’s a fair point. Especially when I look at the hideous state of the reporting industry, which gleefully plants their thumbs on the scale at every opportunity. As current events go, they’re worth little more than a chuckle – as for teaching critical thinking, they’re golden.

  4. If you ever watch Jimmy Kimmel, he has a feature called “Lie Witness News.” It appears far too many people will lie regarding unimportant items (e.g., claiming to buy Powerball tickets in California – where they don’t have Powerball; agreeing with an interviewer about watching a TV event that didn’t happen, etc.), in order to make it on TV. It’s not a weakness affiliated with belonging to a specific political party; it’s a weakness for wanting a few seconds of fame. It’s also not clear, based on the editing, how many people were interviewed to get the desired nonsensical responses.
    However, even with the caveats in this column, to suggest this type of behavior is the natural result/response to supporters of the current administration and the media is a bit limited. Certainly, and sadly, these behaviors cross party lines, and were not created by the Obama administration. I remember where not being for the Iraq war meant you didn’t support our troops.

    • 1. Jimmy Kimmel is Satan, and I really don’t care what a guy who thinks it’s funny to goad parents into lying to their kids about giving away their Christmas presents or giving them a dog biscuit for their birthday and post videos of them crying thinks about lying—obviously, he thinks it’s just fine, and profitable. To hell with him.
      2. “It’s also not clear, based on the editing, how many people were interviewed to get the desired nonsensical responses.” Wow, thank you for telling me what I already wrote.
      3. What behaviors cross party lines? Give me one example where a conservative or Republican has attributed negative political opinions on a topic to racism, bigotry, or homophobia.I’ll wait. Condolezza Rice was just sent packing by speech-censors at Rutgers. Did the Daily Caller or Rush Limbaugh or Fox News say this was racist? On the other side, Ed Schultz says that opposing the minimum wage is “racist.” Black sportswriters have said that criticizing Barry Bonds for using steroids is racist. Hank Aaron, Morgan Freeman, Harry Belafonte, numerous elected Democrats, Oprah, the entire MSNBC on-air crew, Nancy Pelosi, and so many others continue to use racism to impugn anyone who is clear-eyed enough to recognize a weak, dishonest and overwhelmed President as he blunders through his term. The examples I cited were accurate. You don’t think the organized Democratic defense tactic of: “Believe (like. approve, support) this or you are a bigot, and be prepared to be shunned” has no effect on public “logic” like what is on that video? You’re spinning. Stop it. I’m sick of it. It supports an unethical tactic.

      Both parties engage in many despicable and dishonest tactics—the equivalent GOP/conservative one is the “un-American” slur and “not supporting the troops.” But “the other side does just as bad things too” is a truth obscurity rationalization. THIS is a Democratic specialty and an organizes distraction, and it is real and damaging.

  5. Condolezza Rice was just sent packing by speech-censors at Rutgers. Did the Daily Caller or Rush Limbaugh or Fox News say this was racist?

    They also rescinded a request for a black pro-football player to come give the commencement speech, because they wanted to go in a more non-political direction…

    So they got a white former governor of New Jersey to do it.

    Can we call them racists now?

  6. I would tip the delivery guy, esp. since it was raining.
    And while it is very irritating when something is missing from your order, mistakes like this happen when a lot of people are trying to get a lot of orders out at a busy time.

    We do not have a good Chinese place here and we suffer considerably as a result.
    The only Chinese food we get is what I cook and of course that simply pales in comparison.

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