When seated on a barstool in the hotel lounge, one could not help observing the five ladies who sat across the room in a booth around a table.  They were all obviously professional women who were there to enjoy an evening out after work.  It was also obvious that they were earning a good living; each of them wore really classy shoes and carried designer handbags.  The barmaid nodded in their direction and whispered, “Westers.”  She let her customers know those ladies were wearing the best shoes and carried bags from Nine West, a world-renowned dealer of women’s shoes and accessories.

 The barmaid would look at them occasionally with a smile, when fixing a refill for the women at the table.  She offered them a peek at the menu, but they were there just to drink and chat.  However, at her own initiative the barmaid brought them a large bowl of spicy pretzels that they quickly devoured while chatting.  The barmaid would otherwise appear to concentrate solely on her work, although others noted that she’d occasionally look at the ladies as they talked and drank.  When they got up to leave, they left a messy table and chairs.

 The barmaid went over to clear off the table – the busboy had long left for his evening classes at the community college.  She pocketed the miniscule tip the ladies left on the table and quickly removed the glasses and wiped the table.  Then she returned to the bar and relaxed smiling.  Someone asked her what she was so happy about; it had been obvious that the ladies hadn’t left a large tip.  The barmaid replied that she was amused to see ladies show off their money wearing items she got on line with Groupon coupons.  She named the handbags and shoes the ladies wore, saying she’d bought the same items from Nine West using Groupon coupons that offered discounts of up to 80% off the list price of the shoes.  She laughed as she thought how much those women spent acting so haughty.  And they had no idea that the barmaid they thought so little of owned the same clothes and shoes they wore so proudly; she’d bought them on her earnings from tips.  A Groupon didn’t just help folks save money; it also leveled the playing field between snobs and regular folks, she observed as she closed for the night.