Monday, March 21, 2005

To Tip or Not to Tip?

That is the question.

I have a phobia. I have this disturbing fear of not knowing things. Of being unprepared for any situation. Not of the situation itself, just being unprepared for it. For example, I have no problem whatsoever speaking in front of a large crowd, say at a conference. However, that's only as long as I'm prepared for it and I'm 100% certain I know what I'm talking about. I've managed to defeat this fear I have by constantly being prepared.

There are many instances where things happen in everyday life that you can not possibly prepare for. Things where you just don't know what to do. For me, tipping is one of those things.

First off, let's set aside the two main groups of people; those that tip and those that do not tip. For the sake of those post, we're going to only talk about those that do tip.

I am a tipper. I am a firm believer that the tip I give you is directly proportional to the quality of service you're providing me. Some will tell you that they give a percentage tip across the board all the time. However you tip, that's your preogative. My question is who do you tip?

Let's start with the food service industry. I tip all waiters/waitresses when I go out to eat. The better service, the better tip. I use 15% as my base and add or subtract from there. But where else is it appropriate to tip?

Should you tip your barber or hairstylist? I tip a few bucks when I get my hair cut. Do you? What about the guy that helps you carry that heavy purchase to your vehicle, load it, and tie it down? Do you tip them?

What about the bellman in your hotel lobby that hails cabs for you? All he does is raise is hand. It that worth a tip? HOW DO I KNOW IF I'M SUPPOSED TO TIP THESE PEOPLE?!

Honestly, I would feel bad if I didn't tip someone who's job only paid them less than minimum wage because of tips. It's not my fault, I didn't know! Can you see my predicament? What about the maid who cleans your hotel room? Do you leave them a tip? I didn't used to, but I do now. And you'd be amazed how much cleaner my room gets. Mints on the pillow and new refills of EVERYTHING!

And cab drivers. Do you tip them? The list is infinite! But in my life I deal with the people below. I'd appreciate it if you could maybe copy and paste this list into the comment box and after each let me know if you tip them or not. Maybe describe your tipping methodology hmm?

The list:

Waiters / Waitresses
Cab Drivers
Bellmen / Bellhops
Maids / Housekeeping
Barbers / Hairstylists
Pizza delivery dudes/ dudettes
Flower deliverers
Furniture delivers (heavy items)
Valets (drop off or pick up?)
Newspaper carrier
Full Service Gas Station Attendants

Feel free to add anything to the list that you may feel I should tip. And thanks for your input in advance!