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“Become a two quarter person.” –Earl Schoaff


“Become a two quarter person.”  Really 5and2Guy???  Are you really that cheap?  No way, not what I mean.  A “two quarter” person is someone who is a higher thinker.  This is a quote from Earl Schoaff, may he rest in peace.  Mr. Schoaff told a story of a day he went to have his shoes shined.  When the shoe shine was complete, he thought of giving the young man a tip for his work.  In his head he asked, “should I give him one quarter or two?”  He decided to give the shoe shine boy a one quarter tip.

As he went through his day, he was constantly nagged by the fact that he only gave the kid one quarter when a two quarter tip was earned.  Mr. Schoaff explained that a two quarter tip would have been more appropriate and definitely make the shoe shine boy and Mr. Schoaff himself happier with the transaction.  Instead, one quarter was given and Mr. Schoaff was haunted by his cheapness all day long.

Being Cheap Sticks With You

You may be thinking that even fifty cents is a cheap tip, but this was a long time ago, where a twenty-five cent tip would be good and a fifty cent tip would be awesome.  Mr. Schoaff spoke of this event because he thought cheap, carried that aura of cheapness with him for the day, and could not seem to get it off his mind.  I believe he ended up going back, finding the kid, and giving him the other quarter, but one thing that stuck was, “Become a two quarter person.  If two amounts pop into your mind, always go for the higher amount, and become the higher thinking person.”  It comes down to a mindset, how you carry yourself and feel after you have given more than required.

Let Me Explain The Mindset

I get challenged with this every time I receive my check at a restaurant or bar.  Anyone who waits on me starts with a 20% tip and either works their way down or works their way up.  If the waiter/waitress does an excellent job, I typically give the 20% tip and then put a bit more money on the top of that, depending on how big the tab is.  I like to thank people for their excellent service with both a big tip and a thank you for being great.

On the flip side, if the waiter/waitress provides crappy service, I do the math on 20%, round down, which usually ends up in a 15% tip or so.  That is not a bad tip, but not what I typically like to give.  Whenever I get my bill, for some reason, two amounts always pop in my head.  I am not exactly sure why, but the first amount is always 20%, and the second amount is “how much would make this person smile, have them remember me, and be grateful that there are people who will still give more?”  Most of the time, they get the higher amount.

It’s About Being The Higher Thinker

This is really a quote about being a higher thinker, which is not always financial.  There was another time where one of the ladies from our church called me one day saying that she had a problem with her computer and it would no longer turn on.  She was wondering if I could swing by the church and look at it real fast.  That was around 11am, so I made it a priority to get there as soon as I could, which ended up being around noon that day.

After looking into the problem, I discovered the problem was a hardware issue with the power button on the casing of the computer.  The springs for it had broken and it wasn’t making any contact, when pressed, to turn the computer on.  I am not much of a hardware guy, but was able to show her the problem, put together a make shift fix, and got her back working.  She was so thankful.  She offered me money for my time, but I would not accept. 

This happened during a time when my wife had been away for a couple days on a trip with our kids.  She came home the next day and proceeded to tell me about her trip and asked me how my few days being home alone was.  I told her about my few days, but did not say anything about going to help the ladies at the church.

At the time, I am not 100% sure why I didn’t tell her about helping fix the computer problem at the church, but I remember thinking that I did not want to cheapen the good deed I had done of giving my time.  This lady ended up seeing my wife a few days later and told her about how thankful she was that I had come over to solve her problem.  My wife asked me that night why I didn’t tell her.  I told her that it felt really nice to do something for someone and not get anything in return.  That I did not want to cheapen my experience by making sure other people, even my wife, knew what I had done.  Additionally, when I saw the lady at the church a week later, she asked me why I didn’t tell my wife.  I shared with her the same sentiment.  I could see the respect for me, from both women, had grown immensely from this one simple event.  Like I said, I guess I was trying to be the higher thinker. 

Final Thoughts

“Become a two quarter person” and become the higher thinker.   It is about giving more, whether that be time or money.  I always tend to remember a quote from Jim Rohn that said, “of course you want to give to people…giving starts the receiving process.”  I strongly believe that what you put out in this world comes back to you ten-fold.  Thus, I want to give of my money, give of my time, so I can receive the rewards of either that feeling in your soul when you do something good, or that bit of fortune that is received in other ways.  The feeling of doing something great is immediately felt, but I also believe God sends that fortune back to us.  

I experienced some good returned about 9 months ago.  I received a decent size check for work that was well done.  It was a BONUS!!!  I NEVER GET A BONUS, but I got this one.  It was out of the blue, totally unexpected, and left me with the feeling that money was given back to me for all the times I was a “two quarter person.” 

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