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by Abigail Van Buren

Wife Reluctant to Let Go of Dead Husband's Family

DEAR ABBY: I am a 21-year-old working part time at a grocery store as a checker and a bagger. I make $7 per hour. Part of my job involves helping customers carry groceries out to their vehicles. I have never expected any compensation for this service, and I have always politely refused any tips that are offered.

Unfortunately, some of these tipping customers can be very insistent about giving me money. One woman even asked me if I felt that I was "too good" to accept a gift from her!

I really don't feel that I should be tipped like a waiter, but I also don't want to get into a verbal scuffle. What would be the best way to turn down a tip in cases like these? -- TONY IN TOPEKA

DEAR TONY: When someone offers to tip you, it's usually because they feel you have "gone the extra mile" to be of assistance. There are two ways to handle a customer who persists in offering one after you have refused it. The first is to accept the money graciously, in the spirit it was offered. The second is to tell the person that it is "against company policy."