(Translation for non-Hindi readers: Neither do I ask for extra money, nor do I take it when a customer offers it.)
My regular auto commuter friend, who has a clear tipping policy for five star auto drivers, was left dumbfounded recently. After peering at the meter, she gave a Rs. 15 tip to the driver. He calmly returned the money and uttered the words Madam, na hum extra maangte hain, no hum lete hain.
This, my friends, is the A+ grade for a five star auto rickshaw driver. You cannot ask for more. He agrees to your destination. Goes on meter. Has a perfectly functioning meter. Drives cautiously and follows all traffic rules. He is polite and courteous to a fault. And he refuses to take tips!
For someone in the service profession to decline a tip, what is it but the very definition of a moral compass?
There are two important and related questions that need to be answered in some detail.
- Why do some auto drivers ask for extra money?
- Why do many auto drivers NOT want to go to YOUR destination?
The answers are not as straightforward as you might think. There’s a method to their madness. At least for a segment of auto drivers. Stay tuned. Subsequent posts will shed light on these questions.