Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Zuckerberg doesn't tip in Rome. Good for him!

    It is apparently international news that Facebook multi-billionaire and his new bride ate at two low-end Rome restaurants while on his honeymoon and didn't leave a tip.
    Billionaire cheapskate! Zuckerberg's $0 meal tip in Rome screamed the New York Post headline.
    Zuckerberg apparently made the mistake of eating at a restaurant called Nonna Betta. After he ate there the most private details of his visit, including exactly what he ate and the fact that he didn't tip the waiter, were shared with the press. Oddly enough, nobody thought it important to share the fact that you aren't supposed to tip in Rome.
    Oh, you can. And Zuckerberg's waiter apparently expected a tip because lots of Americans throw their money around. But it doesn't make us popular over there. The waiters are well paid and don't need the tips. On our honeymoon I left a 10 percent tip at a restaurant in Florence and it clearly agitated the Italian couple at the next table, who saw us as Americans throwing our money around. (Jinny doesn't speak Italian, but she speaks French and Spanish and that was enough to figure out what they were saying).
    Mark Zuckerberg acted exactly as he was supposed to act and the staff and owner of Nonna Betta went out of their way to humiliate him. Needless to say I would never want to do business with such folks.
    In fact, the news stories seem to criticize Zuckerberg for not ordering wine with his meal and for eating at fairly cheap restaurants. He even got take-out from a McDonalds, clucked the press.
    Perhaps now that he's married he'll move into a nicer home, but for the past five years or so Zuckerberg has lived in a modest home. He's had a modest lifestyle. I have far more admiration for a billionaire who eats at cheap restaurants and doesn't tip when he isn't supposed to than one who feels the need to eat expensive meals, drink $10,000 bottles of wine and overtip the waiters.
    If we're going to have billionaires, Zuckerberg's the kind we need.

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