Sunday, December 11, 2005

You be Tipping

I was listening to the radio the other day, and the hosts were talking about an article in the Red Eye (the local hipster/short-attention-span free tabloid) that discussed tipping, especially the yearly Christmas variety. It was mostly correct sounding, but my eyes nearly bled when I heard the tip suggestion for a personal trainer: an amount equal to one season's service fee. What? Even if you get the cheapest conceivable PT plan, once a month for half an hour a shot, that's got to be $50 a session. So you have to throw down $150 for this person at holiday time? That's ridiculous. (rereading this, I have to assume that they misread, or someone misprinted "season" in place of "session". it seems impossible otherwise. but that's what they said.)

The rest of the advice was pretty much: throw 'em a $20. Garbage man, newspaper person, doorman, UPS driver, etc. Hairdresser/barber gets an amount equal to their usual fee, since that service ranges from the $9 supercut to the hundreds of dollars.

In trying to find the article for mockery purposes, I could only find this.

I'm not sure I agree with some of that stuff. I will, in famous form, mock it piecemeal.

Counter service tip jar: Nada. "If you want to work for tips, get a waiter or waitress job." Fair enough. If you're in there every day and they are nice to you, a little something couldn't hurt. Is 15% of a cup of coffee going to kill you?

Restaurant wait staff : 18 to 20 percent of bill. If service is poor, give at least 15 percent but speak with a manager. I'm down with the 18-20%, but 15% as a bare minimum? Heckey-naw. I do agree that if you're going to go below the standard 15%, it's only fair to speak to someone and tell them why (nicely).

Movers: 10 to 15 percent of total cost or at least $20 to $30 per person. I have no experience with this.

Restaurant with drop-off service: 10 percent if server cleans up after table. What, like Culvers? Where you order at the counter and then wait at the table? Madness! They'll get nothing and like it.

Hotel housekeeper: $2 per person per room for each night. I'd say this depends on a couple of things. First, how much of a slob are you? Second, did you make any unreasonable demands? Finally, if you're in the place only one night (and don't make a mess, I'm thinking the businessman crashing for a night), I'm not sure anything is expected or necessary. Two nights, give them a $5. Three or more nights, then this formula seems appropriate.

Cabdrivers: Add $1 on to service at the very least, but tip 15 percent for prompt, polite service. I'd stab someone in the arm for only tipping a dollar.

Food delivery service: 10 percent of total bill. Here's $1.60, thanks for the pizza? 20% minimum, $2 minimum.

Furniture delivery service: 10 to 20 percent based on level of service, such as installation, required. Again, no clue.

Skycap: $1 per small bag and $3 per large bag. Carry your own bags, Mr. Governor.

Valet service: $2-$3. So you're giving the guy who drove (or walked or biked) your pizza to you $1.60, but the guy who illegally parked and/or joyrided in your car gets $3?? This depends on the charge for the valet service itself, I'd think. I'd imagine you tip more for the free ones than not.

Hair salon : 20 percent for stylist, $2-$5 for shampoo. No tip if the stylist's "name is on the door," according to Ingram, since they are directly benefiting from the shop's profits. What about Sport Clips?

Body spa services: 20 percent of total fee. Are they talking non-theraputic massage here?

Bathroom attendant: $1. Only if you can't avoid making eye contact.

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