Mandatory Tipping

Friday, January 16, 2004
On the subject of tipping. Why is it compulsory to tip? When did this happen? Whenever I go to a restaurant, no matter how bad the service is, I always tip the 15-20% standard. Why? I'm getting to the point where I'm thinking I'm going to refuse to do this but then I get badgered into thinking otherwise (like in Reservoir Dogs).

People always say one of two things. That its part of the waiter's wage and they need to make a living or that you are paying for the service in a restaurant. I'm sorry. I have to completely disagree with both these arguments.

A waiter is paid a wage. Now I understand that restaurants may pay their waiters less than they would otherwise but that should still not make tipping mandatory. Could you imagine if I went to my boss and said, "I wrote an excellent piece of code for that module. I think you should give me a 15% bonus this week"? My boss would laugh me right out of the building. If a waiter needs the money that badly then they should work harder to earn that tip. I have absolutely no problem leaving a big tip if I think the service is exceptional. (I've left tips in excess of 50% before) Somehow we have become a society where we think we are owed certain things. That's BS. Life doesn't owe anyone anything.

And the argument about paying for the service. Are you kidding me? That's why you go to a restaurant!! The price of the service is built into your meal. You don't tip your dentist do you? He provides a service for you does he not? Most people don't tip their mechanic but how is this much different than a waiter?

My point is not to say that you should never tip. Quite the contrary. I probably tip more than almost anyone I know. I just think its ridiculous that we have become a society where we think you HAVE to tip.

My Lasik Experience

Wednesday, January 07, 2004
As a public service I am re-posting this which is from my original blog. Toward the end of my other blog this became one of the more popular searches to my site. I enjoy sharing my experience with others so that they can decide for themselves if Lasik is right for them. If you have any comments feel free to post a comment and I will be happy to share some more.

I was going to wait to discuss my Lasik procedure until things settled down somewhat but my roommate Sandy suggested that I blog about it on a daily basis so I have some record of my experience. So here goes.

I got my eyes done by Dr. Kerry Assil of the Assil Sinskey Eye Institute in Santa Monica. I traveled all the way to Santa Monica because I had heard that Dr. Assil was one of the best in Los Angeles and figured I had only one set of eyes so I might as well get it done by the best. He also came highly recommended by an ex-coworker of mine and he was a VSP doctor so I got a significant discount on my procedure.

Dr Assil used the latest WaveScan technology with a VisxS4 laser. This particular technology is especially suited for someone like me because I have very large pupils.

The entire process was VERY quick. The speed at which everything happened made it both easier and more uncomfortable. I got to the office and signed in. They immediately gave me some meds and told me to wait a few minutes. They called me back to get one last reading of my prescription. I thought that after they got my prescription it would be a few minutes because I was pretty sure there were some more people ahead of me. As it turned out Dr. Assil came in at the end of my measurement and I was escorted into the operating room.

Dr. Assil checked out my eyes again and made a few markings on my eye. Then I was placed in the chair and the whole thing began. From the moment I sat in the chair until I got up and could see again was about 15 minutes or so. The actual part of the procedure where they cut open the cornea and apply the laser to my eye probably only lasted about 4 minutes each eye. They cut open the eye (which only took about 20 seconds or so) and removed the flap. They did another quick scan of the eye and than applied the laser with the actual laser being used maybe 30 seconds or so. After they used the laser I could spell something funny which may or may not have been the fried smell of my own eyeball. Kind of disgusting when you think about it huh? As I got up from my seat and looked around things were somewhat cloudy. It was described to me that it would look like I had vaseline on my eyes and that is exactly what it looked like.

They did one last look at my eyes, put these stupid plastic cups over me (which I had to wear all day and the tape hurt like hell this morning removing it. Removing the tape was the most painful part of the whole thing) and I was sent home. I was told not to do any reading or computer work (which if you know me drove me nuts) but I could watch TV. I was annoyed at only being able to watch TV so I went to bed early, 9:30 or so (I was specifically told not to nap yesterday because it dries out your eyes but everyone else I know is told to sleep immediately after), and just got up early and came to work.

So what do I think now? Like I said the rapidness of the procedure made it both good and bad. Good because I didn't have any time to be nervous, it just happened so quickly. Bad because it all seemed kind of rushed and the last thing I wanted was something to be rushed during the operation.

I can't say that the procedure was life-altering. Right now it looks and feels like I have a very dirty and dry pair of contacts on. My vision isn't super clear and my eyes are somewhat irritated. From my understanding this is all very normal in the first few weeks and I will probably discuss it more with the doctor today during my post-op check up. I hope that my vision sharpens up significantly. I'm hoping that I get vision at least as good as it was when I had contacts otherwise I'm not so sure it was all worth it. I like not being tied down to my contacts or glasses, it was nice to be able to see my clock at night and not have to fumble around for my glasses this morning, but I wouldn't necessarily want that at the expense of the clarity of my vision.

I will write about it a few more times over the next few weeks to let you know if things get any better or any worse. I will reserve final judgment until a few weeks from now when my vision should be more or less stable.

UPDATE: For the full story you should see these followups

All Lasik Post