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Russell Crowe: Joe Job

At the age of 22, Russell Crowe moved from his native New Zealand to Sydney, Australia, where he worked, very briefly, as a waiter. One day, a customer (an American woman who Russell found extremely annoying) ordered a cup of decaffeinated coffee. She was soon dismayed to see her waiter appear with a rather unexpected beverage. "This," she peevishly pointed out, "is just a cup of boiling water." Crowe's reply (for which he was immediately fired)? "Lady, when we decaffeinate something in Australia, we don't f--- around."

[Stories abound about "Aussie hospitality." One visitor to a Queensland hotel complained that the floor of his room was soaking wet, and was told, "The bed's dry, isn't it?" And travel writer Bill Bryson once related "the story of an English friend who was flying to Australia when the stewardess tonged him a hot towel, which proved upon application to be cold. So he told her -- not in complaint, but simply because he thought she might want to warm them up some more. The stewardess turned to him and, smiling sweetly, with only the tiniest trace of sarcasm, said, 'Well, why don't you sit on it a bit? That should warm it up.'"]

[In an analysis of 23 major studies of tipping around the world, Cornell University psychologist Michael Lynn found: Servers who squatted beside a table got a dollar more per tip than those who stood. Attractive women got a 20 per cent larger tip from men. Hunks did not get larger tips from women. Writing "thank you" on the back of a cheque increased tips by 13 per cent. Drawing a smiley face boosted tips for waitresses, but reduced tips for waiters.]

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