Friday, February 26, 2010

Live From the Olympics - It's Little Jackie Showers

Hello kids, I'm coming to you live from the Olympics today where I am the proud new owner of a red Roots Canada coat. Yes, Little Jackie is on the bandwagon and hoping to see Canada win the semi-final hockey game tonight. Not so on the bandwagon that I'd line-up to buy the official clothes at the Bay, clothes that were considered ugly when they first came out.

I had a quintessential Canadian moment on the trip over on our beloved B.C. Ferries. We were on the ferry during the quarterfinal hockey game between Canada and Russia. It marks the first time I agreed with B.C. Ferries decision to include TV sets on their boats. We were on a small boat and the TV set was in a relatively small passenger lounge that was packed to standing room only. We stood in the back corner and although we could hardly see the action, we did get to enjoy the atmosphere that is unique to watching a sporting event with a crowd all pulling for the same team.

Every Canadian goal was cause for much celebrating and the crowd even clapped at the end of each period. This was a lot of fun and had me harkening back to watching the 87 Canada Cup final game in the pub at university. I can still feel the energy in the room on the famous Gretzky to Lemieux goal. Should be fun again tonight, unless of course the dredded Slovaks find a way to spoil the party.

So overall I'm having a hoot and think it's a great event, but I do have one annoyance to report from the Olympics. You knew I'd find something. It's the automatic gratuity. Seems that's par for the course over here for the games. No word yet on whether it is a temporary measure. Generally speaking I believe in tipping well (at least 20%) unless there is some reason to be unhappy with the service (and I can't remember that happening much). My problem with an automatic gratuity is a tip is supposed to be voluntary and my choice to acknowledge good service. I'm not sure I'm a big fan of the concept of the tip and would probably be fine if we got rid of it altogether and just raised the prices and wages of the servers instead, but don't charge me an automatic gratuity.

Okay, I've got to go. Need to venture out into the Vancouver rain and soak up more Olympic atmosphere. Oh and speaking of tips, they're giving out free ear buds at the Bell Ice Cube!

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