The table’s been wiped clean. The glasses refilled one last time. You’re sitting back in satisfaction. Just then, from the corner of your eye, you see the waiter bring out a slim, leather-bound folder. You sit up in attention. Because you know he’s brought out the bill. But it’s not paying the bill that’s making you anxious. It’s what follows.
The tip. Or rather, the decision to tip.
Under the watchful gaze of the waiter, you try doing quick calculations with the bill. You grapple with the math, but also with years of social conditioning that’s taught you to both ration your money and be generous with it.