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Old 08-23-2010, 02:17 PM
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,738 posts, read 8,938,746 times
Reputation: 3857


Originally Posted by Denton56 View Post
Don't send them a gift basket, just give them cash in a Christmas Card, like we do with mailmen, lawn people, cleaning people, trash collectors. Everyone prefers cash to gift baskets.
Denton, I'm sure you mean well, but I've never ever heard of anyone outside NYC tipping mailmen and garbage men. (And even there, tipping the mailman is illegal, though I'm sure a few do it. I never did.) People here in DC/NOVA do not tip them in cash or gifts. Ever.

For goodness' sake, you're already paying them through your taxes (or through postage, in the case of USPS). It's their job to get your trash or deliver your mail, not an extra service.

I would beg of everyone to please NOT start tipping everybody and their dog just because they have a crappy job. Otherwise we'll end up like those poor folks in NYC who have to shell out hundreds or even thousands every December, lest the service people stop doing the tasks they're already paid to do.

"Tip creep" is already making so many formerly pleasant interactions fraught with awkwardness and uncertainty. When I was growing up (in the 1980s!), you never tipped the barber. He owns his own business; if he needs more income, he'll raise the price. A tip jar at a sandwich shop was unheard of.

For the latter businesses, the genies are out of the bottle, but it's not too late to keep these others in it.
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Old 12-26-2011, 05:18 PM
Location: Beautiful and sanitary DC
1,484 posts, read 2,154,537 times
Reputation: 1378
A thread revived for Boxing Day 2011.

Originally Posted by Carlingtonian View Post
I've lived in Manhattan, and while tipping building staff is the norm up there, it's unheard of down here. Even for front-desk staff (a.k.a. "doormen") in the DC region, there's no tipping.

It's crazy up there; people spend thousands every holiday season on tipping folks who they're already paying via already-high "maintenance" fees that are in themselves thousands of dollars.

I like our way better!
Whew! I nearly gasped when NYC-dwelling friends told me that they give $100+ to each of their building staff (granted, in a much smaller building), since the high "maintenance fees" at my building employ plenty of people. I was puzzled when only half the residents contributed to the pooled holiday fund; I hope that it's not because the other half are giving cash tips instead. After all, in the past few months I've only met probably half the staff and only know a few by name.

The best guess that I've seen as to why EOY tips are expected in NYC is that the financial industry tends to dispense much of its compensation at EOY, and that absurd practice is expected to trickle down to the rest of the city. And to think that these are the people we've entrusted with our financial system!
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