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May your New Year be very prosperous…so you can tip me better next time.

January 3rd, 2011 · 63 comments

Shawn in Pennsylvania found this oh-so-subtly guilt-trippy thank you note tucked inside his Sunday paper. (“Apparently our paper delivery person is hoping for bigger and better tips in 2011,” he says.)

Happy New Year I would like to say to all that gave or didn't give a thoughtful gift. Thank You doing [sic] these economic times, believe me last year was a very tough year for me, you all made the end of my year lot better [sic]. Once again thank you all and may your New Year be very prosperous and blessed.  Your carrier, [redacted]

related: If you don’t tip you’re racist

FILED UNDER: guilt trip · holiday spirit · newspaper · Pennsylvania · spelling and grammar police · tipping

63 responses so far ↓

  • #1   heat

    Nice typo.

    Jan 3, 2011 at 12:29 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   TippingCows

      I don’t even want to get into dissecting this. There are quite a few mistakes in it. I felt like I was reading a bit of engrish.

      Jan 3, 2011 at 3:46 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #1.2   Canthz_B bang

      “See this note, kids? This is why you stay in school and aspire to become more than a newspaper delivery person. Now go finish your homework.”

      Jan 3, 2011 at 5:03 pm   rating: 25  small thumbs up

    • #1.3   Sour_Sadie bang

      Only in Pennsylvania…

      Jan 10, 2011 at 7:04 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #2   KST

    They’ve got their tenses all wrong. It should be “to all that gave or don’t gave.” Sheesh.

    Jan 3, 2011 at 12:32 pm   rating: 38  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   Nate

      “to all that gave or didn’t give”

      Jan 3, 2011 at 3:22 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #2.2   jadefirefly

      Aaaaaand that one went right over Nate’s head.

      Or maybe it don’t went. However these things work.

      Jan 3, 2011 at 10:34 pm   rating: 19  small thumbs up

  • #3   Gnatalby

    That doesn’t seem passive aggressive to me. That seems nice.

    Jan 3, 2011 at 12:37 pm   rating: 17  small thumbs up

    • #3.1   wrymuse

      Not to mention it seems that English is not this person’s first language, so it’s offensive and demeaning to make fun of them.

      Jan 3, 2011 at 1:04 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #3.2   Mike

      The entire literacy level of the Internet disagrees with you, wrymuse. While there is a possibility that this person did not speak English as a first language, there’s an equal possibility that they speak or write it about as well as the average person (i.e.—horribly). But why consider that when we can feign outrage and gain a feeling of moral superiority?

      Jan 3, 2011 at 1:56 pm   rating: 38  small thumbs up

    • #3.3   SP

      I’m with you on that one, Mike.

      Jan 4, 2011 at 12:31 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #4   eddy

    Ow. That hurt to read. I’m not quite sure why words were where they were.

    Jan 3, 2011 at 12:38 pm   rating: 11  small thumbs up

  • #5   Woman on the Verge bang

    Frankly, I don’t give a thoughtful gift what he thinks.

    Jan 3, 2011 at 12:41 pm   rating: 31  small thumbs up

  • #6   lulz


    Centering the paragraph hurts the eyes more than it should. Whatever happened to just tabbing the beginning of a paragraph over a space or two and then writing as normal?

    Letter carriers begging for tips in a passive-aggressive way will receive nothing from me. If they ask me why I didn’t tip them. I will tell them it was because I did it for the lulz.

    Jan 3, 2011 at 12:43 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   What?


      This was not from a “letter carrier” but from a newspaper carrier. Letter carriers are forbidden by law to “beg” for tips. Sounds like you have issues with your postal carrier or you can’t read.

      Jan 3, 2011 at 1:25 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #6.2   Cris

      What it wrong with centering? At least is an attempt to spice up a boring letter layout. I’m thankful he is not using Comic Sans or Papirus!

      Jan 3, 2011 at 6:16 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #6.3   Canthz_B bang

      Let me guess, Cris…you wrote the note, didn’t you? :-P

      Jan 3, 2011 at 6:28 pm   rating: 11  small thumbs up

    • #6.4   Mel K

      Now now, do we really need to rank our checklist of offending items?

      Clip art use would be first on my list, but centering would come on a close second.

      Jan 3, 2011 at 8:18 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #7   zenvelo

    sorry, I don’t “do” economic times. And if the paper is anything like this note, there are no articles in it.

    Jan 3, 2011 at 12:45 pm   rating: 13  small thumbs up

    • #7.1   Epicurean

      “Do” you “tip”?

      Be careful, this guy’s gonna start pillaging your coupons and filling in the sudoku.

      Jan 3, 2011 at 4:06 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

  • #8   Bad Allen Moose

    If you don’t tip, the terrorists win…

    Jan 3, 2011 at 12:58 pm   rating: 16  small thumbs up

    • #8.1   Scott

      I think it was a terrorist that wrote this!

      Jan 3, 2011 at 5:19 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #8.2   Heidi

      If you tip, the terrorists win, and will never pay their employees the wage their employees are due!

      Jan 3, 2011 at 7:38 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #9   Kathy

    Those economic times weren’t so hard if he could afford color ink.

    Jan 3, 2011 at 12:59 pm   rating: 12  small thumbs up

    • #9.1   Dixie

      Color ink, color paper, AND enough were printed to be given to everyone on this person’s paper route. That is definitely passive aggressive. “Nice” (not to mention appropriate) would have been only giving thank you notes to those who gave a tip, and simply not mentioning it to those who didn’t.

      Jan 3, 2011 at 1:10 pm   rating: 10  small thumbs up

    • #9.2   April

      I agree that a thank you note is nice to give to the people who DID tip you. You don’t need to say anything to the ones who don’t tip you.

      I never tip letter carriers or paper carriers (we don’t get the paper anyway), garbagemen, etc. I would and it is not like I don’t want to, but I just never end up thinking about it or I would not be able to catch them or whatever. Our garbagemen do a super good job and I really would like to do something for them but I am never going to be able to run out there fast enough to catch them nor do I have time to sit around and watch for them. I could leave something out there but I am afraid they would not notice it. :(

      My mail carrier kinda sucks so I don’t feel too bad about not tipping her.

      Jan 3, 2011 at 3:46 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #9.3   Gnatalby

      I don’t know, it strikes me as a form letter he or she printed off and slipped in every paper. I’m not going to blame someone who doesn’t make a ton of money for not taking time out of his or her job to only enfold a note in those from people who tipped. It’s not like the note says “Thanks to those who gave and fuck you everyone else.”

      Jan 3, 2011 at 3:52 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #9.4   RP

      Gnatalby, in that case it would have been better to use a more generic form letter that simply thanks them for being good customers. In fact, just deleting the first sentence would make it perfect.

      As long as you’re addressing everyone anyway there’s no need to separate them into people who tipped and people who didn’t.

      If they really wanted to thank *only* the tippers then a note addressed and given just to them is the right way to go about it. Sending a thank you note to a group of people that only applies to a subset of that group is like announcing a party to everyone but only inviting a few people.

      Jan 3, 2011 at 5:10 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #9.5   Canthz_B bang

      “Garbagemen” lost their rights to getting tips when they unionized and became “sanitation engineers”.

      You have to give them credit though. Having their contract to pick up garbage expire in August was a stroke of genius!
      Who wants them to go on strike and leave heaps of hot rot around town in the dog days of summer?
      Talk about a passive aggressive move? That’s about the best!!

      Jan 3, 2011 at 5:59 pm   rating: 9  small thumbs up

  • #10   Divvitar

    Please cancel my subscription doing these tough economic times. I have had a rough year. Thank You!

    Jan 3, 2011 at 1:07 pm   rating: 25  small thumbs up

  • #11   Woman on the Verge bang

    I’ll do your thoughtful gift.

    Jan 3, 2011 at 1:08 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #12   Speakage bang

    I agree with eddy! Ow!!

    Jan 3, 2011 at 1:08 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #13   The Grammarphile

    “Doing” these economic times? I thought the economic times already did us…up the butt, sans lube.

    I wonder what this carrier would think if someone tipped him not with money, but with a lovely little book written by Strunk & White. ;)

    Jan 3, 2011 at 1:10 pm   rating: 9  small thumbs up

  • #14   aquapt

    Basically, the entire P-A aspect of this note hinges on the three words “or didn’t give.” Without that little jab at the non-givers, this would be just a pleasant thank-you note. The literacy level is slightly below par, but hey, if he were qualified to write for the paper, he probably wouldn’t be delivering it. (Though I will say that I’ve seen writing in newspapers that isn’t a whole lot better than this.)

    What makes it funny is that it feels like he was trying his hardest to write the purely-nice thank you note, but just couldn’t choke back those three little words of reproach.

    Jan 3, 2011 at 1:24 pm   rating: 22  small thumbs up

    • #14.1   Canthz_B bang

      True. We expect newspaper editors to catch those mistakes, so we can believe their writers are intelligent.
      I remember watching New York City broadcast TV news during the 9-11 attacks. CBS, because ABC and NBC were broadcast from the antenna on top of one of the Twin Towers and were knocked out at the time, and CBS broadcast from atop the Empire State Building. An anchorwoman kept repeating, “This is just so incredulous!“…that’s when I knew the teleprompter was out, and she had been left to her own devices.
      Also when I wondered who she gave the blowjob to to get her on-air position.

      Face it, these folks aren’t Edward R. Morrow or Walter Cronkite. Just pretty boys and girls reading what scrolls across a screen for them, giggling on cue, without a clue. Reading a teleprompter to tell us the President uses a teleprompter, implying that’s somehow a bad thing, never grasping the irony nor the hypocrisy of what they’re saying and doing.

      Jan 3, 2011 at 6:14 pm   rating: 19  small thumbs up

  • #15   Tim

    I was a paperboy as a Kid (Late 80′s). Back then we made 10 cents per paper delivered so 60 cents per week (no Sunday paper). With my 50 customers that came to a whopping $30 a week. Most folks tipped something at Christmas. I can still remember the cheap bastards that didn’t (and it wasn’t usually the old folks on a fixed income either). I always took care of my customers well. Nobody’s making a killing delivering your paper.

    Jan 3, 2011 at 2:09 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #15.1   ozy

      For an unskilled laborer in the 80s, able to work at a far younger age than most jobs, $5/hour was a killing. You want to make more? Get an education or experience and get a better job — don’t beg for handouts.

      Jan 3, 2011 at 3:21 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #15.2   RP

      None of that excuses this note.

      Jan 3, 2011 at 4:13 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #15.3   berge bang

      What exactly does “taking care of your customers well” mean?

      My problem with tipping the paper delivery person is that tipping usually implies doing something beyond regular service. Either you get your paper or you don’t – that’s the service that you pay for. I’m not going to tip someone because my paper doesn’t land on my roof or because it lands 2 inches closer to the door.

      Jan 3, 2011 at 4:37 pm   rating: 13  small thumbs up

    • #15.4   anglophile bang

      Kids don’t deliver the paper any more, at least not in my area. It’s delivered by an adult with a car, and the route is apparently huge. I doubt anyone makes a killing nowadays either.

      I’m not entirely onboard with tipping the delivery guy. The paper wants me to subscribe, since that ensures I will buy the paper every day, which I might not do if I just picked it up in a store or a box. They offer delivery service in order to entice me to subscribe. They hire a delivery person whose job it is to deliver the paper to subscribers. It’s not like I called them and asked them for an extra service, like the Chinese restaurant.

      Jan 3, 2011 at 4:56 pm   rating: 10  small thumbs up

    • #15.5   Canthz_B bang

      No one makes a killing delivering newspapers, but I don’t think it’s an occupation one should feel one can make a killing performing. It’s about equal on the job scale to gas station attendant, except you don’t have to know how to check someone’s oil.

      The real money is in prostitution. That’s where taking good care of your customers REALLY pays off…if you know what to do with their dipsticks! ;-)

      Jan 3, 2011 at 5:38 pm   rating: 11  small thumbs up

    • #15.6   Heidi

      They might not know they need to tip/it might not have ever occurred to them.

      Jan 3, 2011 at 7:42 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #15.7   Canthz_B bang

      Well, there was that chewing gum commercial a while back…but it still makes me Wrigley in my seat to think of it. :lol:

      Jan 3, 2011 at 7:56 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #16   knittykat

    I’m supposed to be getting the New York Times, not the Economic Times!

    Deliver the right paper and you might get a tip!

    P.S. Stop doing my Economic Times. Makes it hard to read.

    Jan 3, 2011 at 2:42 pm   rating: 11  small thumbs up

  • #17   shwo! bang

    Your carrier,
    Typhoid Mary

    Jan 3, 2011 at 3:11 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #17.1   Canthz_B bang

      You beat me to the punch! :-)

      Jan 3, 2011 at 5:54 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #17.2   Liz

      No, the carrier’s name is Typo Mary.

      Jan 3, 2011 at 10:15 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #17.3   Canthz_B bang

      Compromise and make it Typoid Mary.

      Jan 3, 2011 at 10:53 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

  • #18   Chiclet

    I’m still trying to figure out what he was trying to say. Because I’m pretty sure this isn’t it…

    Jan 3, 2011 at 3:16 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #19   ozy

    Why would you tip the paperboy for… doing their job? Tips are for going above and beyond, and for excellent service. I tip in restaurants if my glass is always full, the service is cheerful, dishes delivered and cleared promptly, and the bill delivered in a timely manner.

    Nothing of the sort applies to paper delivery. Were I to buy the paper, delivery to my front door in a dry, readable condition is part of the cost I pay. Does it matter to me when the paper comes? Not at all, unless it is late — at which point the service I paid for was not rendered, and I call the paper and let them know.

    This seems silly.

    Jan 3, 2011 at 3:16 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #20   Odious

    Why, you’re welcome. I enjoy doing these economic times.

    Bur seriously; does a paper boy even HAVE economic times?

    Jan 3, 2011 at 7:08 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #20.1   Canthz_B bang

      No, he has The Wall Street Journal. :lol:

      Jan 3, 2011 at 7:17 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #21   Who? Me?

    Why You Bad Thank You Note Write?

    No Tip? I Have For Son Newspaper Owner.

    You Ok? Fuck You Guy! Okay!

    Send Note Paper Inside My Again? NO!!!

    Bad Note Write You.

    Jan 3, 2011 at 11:05 pm   rating: 11  small thumbs up

    • #21.1   Who? Me?

      I would like to say to all that voted or don’t voted for Katie’s wedding scales note.

      Thank You doing these economic times, believe me last year was a very tough year for me, you all made the end of my year a lot better.

      Bad Note Write? Easy.

      Mommy Dearest Have? Hard Very.

      Jan 3, 2011 at 11:13 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #22   Nahhh bang

    Dear Carrier,

    As is our tradition, we originally planned to give you a $20 gift this Christmas. However, as is also our tradition, we deducted 10¢ for each time we had to reach under a bush to retrieve our paper, and 25¢ for each time we had to crawl under our car (or someone else’s) to retrieve it.

    We sincerely hope you enjoy the enclosed stick of gum, and that the coming year brings you better aim.

    The Subscribers

    Jan 4, 2011 at 3:22 am   rating: 8  small thumbs up

  • #23   Elmo

    I make sure to tip the carrier because I know what a really crappy job it is. The newspaper considers them to be independent contractors so they get no benefits, no help with gas money, and if you try to call the newspaper and ask them a question, they call it a complaint and charge the carrier a dollar for the “service” of taking the message. And now that the afternoon paper is history, the carrier has to be doing it all in the wee small hours of the morning. These aren’t junior high kids anymore, they’re people who have to take a really crappy job.

    Jan 4, 2011 at 7:51 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #23.1   H for Toy

      I have to agree with you, Elmo. My husband was a paper carrier for a little while after he was laid off. Because he was an independent contractor, he had to buy the newspapers, the bags, the rubberbands and the payment envelopes. He paid the newspaper up front and only got the money back if the customer decided to pay their bill, which often, they didn’t. Then, customer service dragged their feet with cancelling non-paying customers. He had several customers who owed $60-$100! And just not delivering to a non-payer was not an option, because if that house was still on the list, the carrier got charged for a “missed” paper. Suffice it to say, when he finally gave it up, he owed the newspaper money.

      Jan 4, 2011 at 2:24 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #24   Na

    How do they know it’s not genuine?

    Jan 4, 2011 at 8:18 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #25   Bcal92

    Tip your carrier. Miserable job (at least in Boston). About 17 cents per day per paper, and all cost on the carrier (even plastic bags and elastics). I did it for 6 months while my wife was home with the kids – working 2 to 6 AM (and longer on Sundays).

    Jan 5, 2011 at 6:02 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #26   Sour_Sadie bang

    Well, this is the first grammar head’splosion I’ve experienced here. The ones over at another site, STFUP, are really something else.

    Jan 10, 2011 at 7:06 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #27   DeafBrit

    I do a paperround at the moment to help contribute to my uni savings. I started it because people on my street complained they never got papers, so I figured I’d do it. I deliver on new years and christmas as well as on time every evening and I have never received a single tip even during winter in a foot of snow and pitch dark. this guy should stop with the notes and just be glad he got any at all :)

    Feb 24, 2011 at 9:20 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up


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