Tag Archives: observer bias

The Aesthetics of Gracious Plenty 

The custom of tipping service providers is arguably ancient, regardless of geographic location. Yesterday I was reminded of a cherished regional idiom: Gracious Plenty. Depending on whom you consult, the term in the United States is Southern, culinary, anachronistic (18th Century,) and of course Religious which is somewhat synonymous with Christian -(excuse the Yankees for their decadence we presume?) 

My first client of the day left my tip in an envelope when her session was finished. She wrote my name on the envelope and a personal thank you for what she appreciated about the session. I was humbled. I’ve had some adversity & I’ve struggled with it for quite some time. Arguably it has affected the quality and substance of my work, so to receive praise in addition to a 20% tip was the equivalent of a ray of light in the aftermath of a devestating storm. 

Shortly after resetting my room and a timely break, my co-worker Malia popped in the breakroom and asked if she had left me a tip. I saw no reason to question her question and immediately said “Yes, she left me cash.” Malia asked how much she left and again I saw no reason to think twice and answered honestly “Twenty. Why?” Malia looked puzzled and replied “She didn’t leave me anything.” I showed her my gratuity envelope. It had been sealed, addressed to me with a personal note written on the outside. Without hesitation I asked her “Do you want ten?” And had she said yes, I certainly WOULD have given it to her with no second thought. But Malia said “No. It’s alright. I wonder if I overlooked one in my own room?” And she left to check. 

I immediately said to another co-worker “Ooohh! This is my next blog post!” 

That was three days ago. If Malia found a tip she didn’t say anything. And since I’ve just found out I’m moving I haven’t thought beyond making time to write this post to ask her. 

What is Gracious Plenty? 

The client in question was a very thoughtful and down to earth lady. I work for a smaller spa franchise now and it’s not a hotel. The tip in the envelope addressed to me is within reasonable limits of what the majority of massage therapists and estheticians receive per one hour service on average. A twenty dollar tip has been the industry standard for the entire twenty years I’ve been a massage therapist. I have gotten tips larger than this. I’ve been with my current employer less than two months and already received a larger tip. But what about Gracious Plenty? Whom decides what the ethical response is? 

Gracious Plenty is a concept derived from Axiology. Axiology has a REFLEXIVE COMPONENT. Therefore the question of wether or not to “tip share,”and share the tip, does necessitate an UNSPOKEN UNDERLYING ETHICAL UNITY. However the premise or idea of observer bias can always be derided as a Postmodern”Loop Hole” and not JUST a metaphysical ILLUSION- value judgments CAN BE made with the wrong presumption in mind. 

It can be argued that the chain of casuality began with the client. Her choices presented Malia and I with an ethical quandry. It also allowed Malia and I to exercise our own understanding of what A “Gracious Plenty” means. 

Regardless of our individual choices, Malia and I reached a decision that seems not to have damaged our daily interactions. We still work as a team. We still assist each other and our colleagues in daily tasks and chores. I still put esthetics laundry in the wash and dryer. Malia still makes certain that her clients receive their robe, wrap and slippers before I pick them up for their next service. 

I am certain Malia does a wonderful job for her clients. And I am humbled that the guest in question overlooked her. Presumably her mind was on the last thing she experienced when checking out: the massage she received from me. But Malia ALSO attended to her requests before the client got on my massage table. Neither Malia nor I will ever know the actual impact of the facial Malia provided for this particular guest. What we do know is that the practice and experience of Graciousness is truly an internal one. The presence of Graciousness calls on each to take note: Someone has turned on the stage lighting.  . 

Beauty is power: A smile is it’s sword. – John Ray 

Arizona State seeks PhD. Research Associate for Obesity & Body Image study 

Occasionally LMT’s professional growth and development curves lead them beyond bodywork practice. For those with an academic background, those encountering the limits of continuing education without a master’s degree at the very least, and for prospective massage and bodywork students who intend to pursue research, this notice from Arizona State outlines one Avenue of approach. 

Best of Luck!

Arizona State University/Obesity Solutions—Post-Doctoral Research Associate—deadline March 15, 2017

The Mayo Clinic/ASU Obesity Solutions initiative, based at Arizona State University, seeks to hire a post-doctoral research associate.  The position will help design, lead, and directly manage a citizen-science project, Older and Wiser BITs (Body Image Talks): Citizen Scientists in the Valley of the Sun, to better understand the links between obesity-related stigma and aging. A major focus will be on better understanding ‘body talk’ and aging through collaboration with senior citizen-scientists.  The duties include training and mentoring graduate students, undergraduate students, and citizen-scientists as research collaborators in appropriate social science and linguistic methods; additional duties include managing the overall project approval and data collection process in senior living facilities and communities in and across Maricopa County, data analysis, and collaborating on publishing the findings in peer-reviewed journals. The position may also include outreach activities such as social and traditional media and public meetings, as a goal is to engage and empower citizens in self-advocacy techniques with regard to body stigma and other challenges to maintaining healthy body weights.

The post-doctoral research associate will work closely with Mayo Clinic/ASU Obesity Solutions and its affiliate faculty, staff, and student interns. This position demands a high level of collaboration within a large, complex, fast-moving transdisciplinary team, benefitting from a high level of adaptability. Anticipated start date will be June 2017, but may begin earlier by mutual agreement.  Only one fiscal year of appointment is anticipated at this time. This is a grant funded position. Anticipated ending date, June 30, 2018 depending on the actual start date.

Required Qualifications:

  • Recent PhD in anthropology, sociolinguistics or other relevant social science field
  •  Proven capacity to independently manage a research project from start to finish
  • Experience in the systematic application of social science methods in community-based research
  •  Current driver’s license
  •  Excellent interpersonal and communication skills

 

Desired Qualifications:

  • Proven record of academic publication and/or external grant receipt
  • Proven capacity to work effectively in a highly collaborative, team environment
  • Record of executing citizen science or public outreach activities
  • Experience with IRB processes
  • Experience in media, including social media platforms
  • Experience working with aging/senior populations
  • Experience training diverse undergraduate students
  • Skills in language-related analytic methods
  • Experience using MaxQDA
  • Fluency or near fluency in Spanish

 

Initial receipt of complete applications is March 15, 2017; if not filled review of complete applications will continue every week thereafter until the search is closed. To apply, please send electronically to Deborah.L.Williams@asu.edu  a brief cover letter and curriculum vitae. Background check is required for employment.

 

OBESITY SOLUTIONS brings together the world-renowned doctors of the Mayo Clinic distinguished scientists at Arizona State University, and many other universities, communities, businesses, and government to identify, test, and share innovative ways of addressing obesity. It is moving well beyond traditional modes of doing medicine and science, applying new approaches that are more multi-faceted, trans-disciplinary, innovative, person-centered and agile.

We offer a dynamic, collegial, and challenging work environment due to the pace of innovation, complex array of research and academic programs, and high profile initiatives.  For complete information seehttp://obesitysolutions.asu.edu

Arizona State University is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor and an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will be considered without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. ASU’s full non-discrimination statement (ACD 401) is located on the ASU website at:https://www.asu.edu/aad/manuals/acd/acd401.html   https://www.asu.edu/titleIX/



___________________________
Cindi SturtzSreetharan
Associate Professor 
School of Human Evolution and Social Change
Arizona State University

P.O. Box 872402 | Tempe, Arizona 85287-2402 | SHESC