Who Should I Tip During The Holidays And How Much?

I’ve left strict word upstairs that the cat-sitter must be tipped well. So far, it’s worked. The fancy food comes out, the litter box is kept extra clean, and I even get to sleep in the master bedroom. But not everyone is so generous with their cash.

The results of a survey conducted by our older and wiser siblings at Consumer Reports may not be good for anyone counting on holiday tips to keep them going through the end of the year: the majority of respondents were non-tippers, with mail carriers and garbage collectors at the bottom of the list. The most-tipped? Cleaning people, who got cash, gift cards or gifts from the majority of their clients.

According to the survey, the average tip was $35, in line with the results of recent years. If you’re going to tip, Consumer Reports suggests sticking with cash, instead of gift cards or food, and give self-employed, lower-wage earners the equivalent of what they’d earn in one session, or a week’s wages. Mail carriers can’t take cash, but can take gift cards worth $20 or less.

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Holiday Tipping Survey Results [Consumer Reports]

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  1. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    I’m not saying I wouldn’t be willing to tip a little more just to be nice. The woman at my spa is really nice, and does a great job every time. But I’m just finding it hard to understand the rationale behind the larger tip at the end of the year. Can someone explain? Is it just because its the holidays and we’re talking about the “spirit of giving”?

    • tbax929 says:

      I have the same question. I tip my hairdresser regularly (every week when I go to her). I try to tip my mail carrier at Christmas with a bottle of liquor, and that’s pretty much it. What I don’t understand is tipping more at Christmas. It makes no sense to me.

      To add to that, I’ve never heard of tipping a teacher; that’s a new one for me. I have no kids, so maybe I’m just ignorant, but that seems strange to me.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        When I was a kid, I made my teacher a card and my mom bought a box of chocolate or something for me to give, but that was it. There was never cash or anything.

        • falnfenix says:

          we did consumable gifts when i was a kid, too, but we didn’t have a whole lot of cash to spread around. it was cheaper to do large batches of cookies and give a handful to each of my teachers.

      • chocolate1234 says:

        I’m finishing my teaching degree, and from talking to current teachers, I’ve found that none of them feel comfortable with cash. Most would prefer that if a parent does insist on getting them something, that it’s something they can use in the classroom (a new book, supplies, etc.) since they spend so much of their own money trying to buy the basic necessities.

        • pawnblue says:

          Hahaha, that’s so funny. My wife was a teacher for years at a very highly rated school, and the teachers loved all the extra gifts. They were all comfortable with cash/gift cards. They loved it and really knew how much the parents appreciated their work.

          Cash is the perfect gift for teachers, as you will already be spending hundreds of your own money to buy things for the kids.

          I’ll never forget when the school district passed a rule against the kids taking books home because they weren’t bringing them back. The teachers then started buying books for the students, especially the lower income ones.

        • Me - now with more humidity says:

          We always give Staples gift card if they’re always in need of supplies. But we prefer to give Starbucks or Panera, maybe Body Shop.

      • Azzizzi says:

        Giving gifts to teachers is out of control at my son’s school. Last year, the room mom sent an e-mail asking for donations, then sent a second round of e-mails to the entire list and pointed out who hadn’t given yet.

        After all the money was collected, she bought the gift for the teacher and made a banner with pictures of all the kids that gave to this group gift and gave small gifts to the kids that gave money. She left the other kids off the banner and didn’t give them a gift.

        I thought the whole process was wrong and told her so in an e-mail (I’ve never met the woman). It started a whole crap storm that went on for a few weeks.

      • Arcaeris says:

        My friend is a middle school teacher, and this weekend she told me that her students (and their parents) have been giving all kinds of stuff this year. She had received MULTIPLE $50 giftcards as well as all kinds of other stuff.

        I don’t think I (or my parents) gave a teacher anything the whole time I was in school.

    • NatalieErin says:

      Other than teachers, Christmas tips are almost universally given to service workers. Perhaps in some earlier era giving a “servant” a gift was improper (too personal) but cash was acceptable. It could have been a sort of Christmas bonus.

  2. Alvis says:

    This some BULL right here.

    At least hardly anyone tips their mail carrier, but I fail to see how they’re more or less deserving than a cleaning person. (protip: don’t tip)

    • Alvis says:

      And shouldn’t it be “WHOM Should I Tip During The Holidays And How Much?”

      • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

        I think someone tipped your English teacher while you were growing up. :)

      • RandomHookup says:

        Give him a break. Education for cats is seriously lacking in this country.

    • evnmorlo says:

      Hard to tip someone whose compensation including benefits likely exceeds yours.

      • Scuba Steve says:

        Some have good benefits, there’s a ton out there, with their own vehicles, on a waiting list for full time status because of budget reasons, who have very few benefits. Not saying they deserve a tip, but they don’t all get paid $30 an hour with tons of vacation and full dental and medical.

    • Me - now with more humidity says:

      We always put out cookies or something for our mailman, who is a nice, nice guy. And he always writes a thank-you note.

  3. Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

    Tip for the mailman? Trashman? Wow. These folks make more than me, with awesome benefits.

    • Intheknow says:

      I agree totally. These people make a lot more than I do – and they have great benefits. I have none. In fact. I work 30 hours a week, on top of my 40-hour job, just to pay for health insurance for myself and my children. If you make enough money to be one of hundreds (?) who tip the same garbage man, go for it. Myself? I work in a law office all day helping people obtain Social Security benefits. I’d sure like to see a “tip.” for Christmas!

    • Powerlurker says:

      Tipping the trashman is a good idea as it helps out-of-spec trash loads disappear with much less hassle.

    • jasonq says:

      In a lot of areas trashmen are privately employed and aren’t really paid especially well.

    • poco says:

      How do I tip the newspaper guy? He shows up at 5AM, while I’m sleeping, and doesn’t get out of his car.

  4. Muddie says:

    We tipped our cleaning person one week’s wages, but that’s about it. We tip the dog groomer every time we go (about $25 each time), and I never see the trash people.

  5. Evil_Otto would rather pay taxes than make someone else rich says:

    WHAARGARBL DON’T TIP DON’T EVER TIP WHY SHOULD I TIP THEY’RE GETTING PAID THEY MAKE MORE THAN ME WHAARGARBL

    There, now nobody needs to say it again.

  6. humphrmi says:

    A few adjustments:

    Child’s Teacher: The children hand-made presents themselves with supplies purchased at the craft store.

    Garbage collector: Makes more than I do, can afford to tip me.

    Mail Carrier: Usually the tip is based on what they “deliver” to you throughout the year, so I was going to give ours 20% of our advertisements. But something tells me he’d rather get nothing.

    The others, we don’t use except the hairdresser, who got a very nice (real) gift from us.

  7. Rose says:

    My postman? Seriously? NO.

    To Employers: Your dislike of paying a living wage is between those you and your employees, and has nothing to do with me. I assume that the cost I am asked to pay for goods and services is enough money. If it’s not, please raise the price and pay your employees.

    To Employees: A employee should negotiate wages prior to beginning the job. If an employee is being underpaid, he should quit. There is no reason why third parties should be expected to make up the shortfall. If you can explain why a dispute between party A and party B should involve money being extorted from party C, please do so.

    All of the other arguments about labor laws being adjusted to compensate for this custom are beside the point; those changes (if they are indeed legitimate) were made as a reaction to this custom, so they do not justify it.

    • sonneillon says:

      While what you say is true. If you don’t tip your waiter and you go their again they might do something funky to your food. And since I don’t want pee or spit in my iced tea I tip the person handling my food. I also tip my barber because she does a good job and only charges me 12 dollars, and the bar tender gets a buck a drink because if you tip them they are significantly faster and your drinks are far more booze filled when you do.

      • Mythandros says:

        So.. just in case you get run over… you don’t ever leave the house, right?

        If an employee has the stupidity to contaminate your food in any unsanitary manner.. in a lot of places, that is a CRIMINAL offense and the employee can be arrested for it, which usually results in them getting fired also. This is usually incentive enough to stop someone from doing something THAT stupid.. and if someone STILL does it anyways.. then they deserve what they get, right?

      • poco says:

        This. I tip well, especially at restaurants and bars, and get substantially better service on return visits because of it.

    • ames says:

      Negotiating wages is possible in SOME jobs, but show me the person who works the counter at any retail store, or slings coffee, or is waitstaff who actually has the power to negotiate.

      • dragonfire81 says:

        Well when you get hired for the job they tell you the wage you’ll be getting. If you don’t like it, you can walk away and try to find a different job with a higher wage.

  8. bfrosty says:

    Hahaha, I tip people for excellent service… I don’t tip people to get excellent service. That’s just crazy talk. As far as the mailman/lawn service provider… I am your CUSTOMER, not your CHRISTMAS BONUS… if I like you, I’ll get you something, otherwise, lets just do business…

  9. lance55 says:

    Something to note:

    This past weekend, a local bartender finally informed me that they haven’t been able to process my tips (from probably 20 different tabs since May) due to the fact that I typically leave the ‘tip’ line blank, while just adding the gratuity into the overall total. I never realized that this may be an inconvenience to the server, and it may even conflict the business’ policies to include the tip into the overall total. I was surprised by this, but having never worked at a restaurant / bar, I guess I was oblivious. Perhaps many more businesses are this way?

  10. Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

    $200 in tips.. after taxes, it takes a half a week to make that money. We’ve become crazy for tips at Christmas, no?

    • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

      I takes me less time to make that money, thanks to all these tips I’m getting. :D

  11. Straspey says:

    We had a thread very similar to this one here not too long ago.

    The fact that somebody might possibly earn more money, receive better employee benefits, or have cooler job than you is absolutely irrelevant.

    The reason we tip people at this time – *especially* those with whom we have a relationship where they provide us with good service on a regular basis all year round – is to express our gratitude and recognition for their service.

    My mailman will always go out of his way to make sure my mail and packages are properly handled and delivered.

    Our trash collectors not only replace the lids neatly on the cans, they also move them off the curb and onto the outer edge of the driveway.

    My UPS guy and I are on a friendly, first-name basis and he never mis-handles my packages or leaves them abandoned on the front stoop.

    The mechanic who fixes our car – which is old enough that we no longer have collision insurance – keeps it running and has helped us save a bunch of money over the past five years.

    And finally – the woman who has been cutting my hair for the past…er…well, it’s been a long time…was invited to our wedding.

    Most of these people get a lousy $20 bill – but you know what ? – They will appreciate the fact that we thought enough of them to make the gesture, and they’ll remember it throughout the next year.

    • Southern says:

      GMTA, Straspey, and you said it much better than I. Thank you. :-)

    • El_Fez says:

      I assume then you tip the person at McDonalds if they provide good service?

      • ldub says:

        As someone who worked at McDonald’s I can tell you, you can’t accept tips. But speaking for myself if they were permitted to accept them, I certainly would tip at McDonald’s.

      • Straspey says:

        I tip the guys behind the counter at my local pizza parlor, where I stop for a slice (or more) at least three times a week and – as a regular customer – receive speedy, friendly and courteous service…not to mention the occasional free soda refill or 1/2 dozen garlic knots with my take-out order.

        If you re-read my original comment, you’ll notice that I mentioned people who pride me with their services on a regular, year-round basis.

    • ldub says:

      Yep – could not agree more. I tip generously ongoing, but I always tip a bit more at the holidays in part to make up for the people who don’t tip at all. My mom waitressed to pay for our music and dance lessons when we were growing up and I remember how tough a job that was.

      My daughter’s daycare teachers and our housecleaners don’t get paid what they deserve given the difficult jobs they have, and I’m pleased to be able to “fix” that a little bit with our Christmas gifts to them. It’s also one of the ways I “pay forward” my good fortunes in life.

      The people that don’t “get” this whole tipping-more-at-the-holidays? I actually feel sorry for them, since their emotional IQ is pretty low.

    • Intheknow says:

      THIS IS THEIR JOB! They’re supposed to do the job right, including delivering your packages and mail in good condition and on time, picking up your trash, etc. They make a pretty darn good wage to do so. Think about it. It’s pretty ridiculous for say a couple hundred people to each give the same mailman $20 for “good service.” So, while many of us are struggling with bills ourselves and thinking about our immediate families, the mailman or garbage guy is supposed to go home with several thousand in tips? Holy smoke!

      • Powerlurker says:

        Tipping the garbageman is a good way to help insure that he’ll do things for you when necessary that aren’t technically part of his job (like the time they picked up a couple garbage cans of unbagged wooden boards from a bench my dad tore out of the basement that they would have been well within their rights to leave on our curb).

        • blanddragon says:

          I was going to post WTF tip these guys…then I remembered that I bribe the garbage guys. They take the can when it’s OVER FULL, yes they do, and nary a complaint. So I guess when I get some additional advantage not offered in my ‘service’ I will pay for that.

          The mailman can go punt. He misses the mail box too much

    • Mythandros says:

      They are performing their duties as required of their employment. I fail to see how arranging your trash cans on the curb (Which is what they should be doing in the FIRST place) is worthy of a tip, big or small?

      You are essentially paying someone for fulfilling their business obligations… twice?

      That just doesn’t seem right to me.

  12. Southern says:

    A tip is for to let that employee know that they were thinking of you, and appreciate the job they DO for you during the year.

    You don’t appreciate the work that your postman does for you, day in, day out? In the rain, in the snow, or in (just about) any kind of weather? Same goes for your garbage collectors?

    You don’t appreciate your child’s teacher, and what they do towards teaching your children? It’s just their “Job”, you say?

    I’m guessing that not many people here get bonuses during the holidays? My company almost always gives me one, usually in the 4 figures. They don’t HAVE to, they’re showing their appreciation for the work I do during the year, which includes going above and beyond what they “expect” of me.

    Showing people that you appreciate them, even if it’s nothing more than a $10 gift card and a “Thank You” goes a long way.

    • El_Fez says:

      Christmas bonus? What fantasy land job do you have? Shit, my office – when I had a job, mind you – was lucky to throw a party during a break, let alone a bonus.

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      My bonus was a crappy felt bag filled with $#it from the Dollar Tree. A few parents were kind enough to give me gift cards. Most just sent a plate of communal baked goods that I really didn’t want to eat because who knows if they picked their nose or even washed their hands before making them???

      I tip generously for services year-round to service people. The only person I ever tipped during the holidays is my housekeeper, when I had one. If they gave me a service discount as a gift for being a valued customer, I would definitely make up the discount in tip just because they thought of me. But, I’m not just going to hand out money to people I see a couple of times a year who I already tip way above standard.

    • Rose says:

      A tip is for to let that employee know that they were thinking of you, and appreciate the job they DO for you during the year.

      That requires cash? Gee, I thought I could let someone know that I appreciate them with a nice note. I didn’t know that it required cash.

      You don’t appreciate the work that your postman does for you, day in, day out? In the rain, in the snow, or in (just about) any kind of weather? Same goes for your garbage collectors? You don’t appreciate your child’s teacher, and what they do towards teaching your children? It’s just their “Job”, you say?

      Yes, it is their job, one that I’m already paying them for. Why, exactly, am I supposed to pay them more cash outside of their contract?

      I’m guessing that not many people here get bonuses during the holidays? My company almost always gives me one, usually in the 4 figures. They don’t HAVE to, they’re showing their appreciation for the work I do during the year, which includes going above and beyond what they “expect” of me.

      I used to get bonuses from my job. Some of them were incentives to be a good worker, and some of them were prizes from working harder/better than other employees. All of those things were incorporated in the cost of my employment.

      Of course, we’re not talking about work-related bonuses. We’re talking about service-related holiday tips, which is an equine of an entirely different hue.

      Showing people that you appreciate them, even if it’s nothing more than a $10 gift card and a “Thank You” goes a long way.

      Why is the cash required? I mean, many of these people make quite a bit more than me, and haven’t even tipped me. Of course, it would be silly for them to do so because they already contributed to the pay that I agreed to when I took my job.

      Are service-providers so greedy that the ‘Thanks.’ isn’t enough, or what?

      • Bsamm09 says:

        If you don’t want to tip then don’t. I’m an accountant and our clients “tip” us all the time. Mostly just baked goods. We’re not greedy at all but we provide a valuable service that most people cannot do.

        We usually acquire clients when something has gone wrong and we have to fix it. We bill them for every hour we work for them and they are infinitely grateful. We don’t provide any extra service for them just because they tip. They just appreciate a good job and are nice people.

      • jasonq says:

        That requires cash? Gee, I thought I could let someone know that I appreciate them with a nice note. I didn’t know that it required cash.

        Yeah, of course you can, and those good wishes are doubtless appreciated. But good wishes don’t pay the light bill or buy groceries.

        You might not like the state of affairs that’s evolved, and I generally agree with your criticism of tipping in general. But it’s the way things are, and it’s unlikely to change any time soon, if ever. Complaining about it just quixotic, IMO.

  13. TheGreySpectre says:

    I tip, but the tips I give are the same during the holidays as they are during any other time of the year, I don’t see why they would be any different this time of year.

    • TheGreySpectre says:

      I was also under the impression teachers were government employees and hence subject to all the rules about what they can actually receive in terms of gifts.

      • RandomHookup says:

        It’s a lot like the Mafia. “Nice GPA your daughter has there. It’d be a shame if something were to happen to it.”

      • humphrmi says:

        We’ve always had the kids make handmade gifts with supplies from the craft store for their teachers. It gives the kids a great evening activity for one or two nights, and the teachers really appreciate the thought and work that go into it. And I don’t think they’d run afoul of any gift laws.

  14. Skid Malfoy says:

    I tip most of these people but I don’t like it. I know it makes them happy and that they count on it and so it makes me feel better about doing something my stingy ass would rather not be doing. That said, I’m all for it, I just wish I didn’t resent it. But hey, these are my issues, not the mailmans so…

    • ldub says:

      In all seriousness: that’s an incredibly mature attitude and I wish more people were as rational as you and not so indulgent of their own neuroses. As someone who relied on tips to keep me going through high school and college – Thanks.

      • Rose says:

        As someone who had to live on tips, as I once did, you should be more open to the idea of a tip-less society, where other people aren’t expected to make up for the crap pay that you get.

        • Skid Malfoy says:

          “As someone who had to live on tips, as I once did, you should be more open to the idea of a tip-less society” this is in no form an argument. It’s just an excuse for selfish behavior. You really should keep it to yourself.

          as someone who had to live on minimum wage without tips, I think tips are much better. On lousy days I still made 3.35 and hour. On good days, the same. So, no, I don’t like it. Tips help people get through the holidays, the weekends, rough times, and help them pay for college, etc. I’m for it.

    • summeroflove says:

      I feel the same as you. Would I rather not be tip during the holidays? Sure. I tend to resent it as well, especially since my job situation is extremely shaky. But it does make me feel good and I do appreciate the job that these people do for me during the year. If I tip or not tip, it is not going to contribute to whether or not we abolish the tipping system in our society. So, at the end of the day, it’s a personal decision.

  15. Venus Blue says:

    I should have tipped my daughters teacher last year, it seems. Her school sends home a book for her to read every night. Last year, at the end of the year, she had advanced to reading books at level 22 (I dunno what they use to rate the books). This year, it took the teacher over a month after school started to start sending books home to start with, and when she did, she sent home level 18. So after a few days of marking the chart ‘Too Easy’ I wrote a nice note about possibly getting more challenging books, as my daughter was breezing through these in 5 minutes, and not getting the 20 recomended minutes of reading.

    Her teacher told her to tell me I should feel lucky they’re getting books at all. Okay. Sure. I do. But they *have* harder books, so why not just send some?

    Her teacher last year was awesome, and was truly concerned with her progress. Her teacher this year insists I visit her ‘blog’ if I want to know what is happening in the classroom. I have a severe dislike for this. Anyway, we get books at the public library now, as I do care about her advancement. I also print homework pages off the internet, since her teacher doesn’t seem to believe in homework.

    • exit322 says:

      Depending on the school district, you might be able to air your grievances (but wait till Thursday) to the principal and get the child moved to a better teacher. Depends on the school and the principal, of course.

  16. OgerpJr says:

    Can someone explain why garbage collectors or mail carrier’s are (still) included on this list? My understanding is that tip is for a service. Typically, these are service jobs that may not entitle the workers to a competitive base pay or benefits, hence the tips (for example, bartenders, waiters/waitresses and the rest of professions you mentioned).

    I live in New York City where garbage is handled by the NYC Department of Sanitation. It’s no secret that NYC/DoS offers some of the most competitive public service salaries. Many of my neighbors, DoS employees, average $60K (before overtime), have the luxury of owning $500K homes, sports car, and will be fortunate enough to collect a pension by the time they’re 40.

    • Southern says:

      As mentioned elsewhere in this thread, a tip doesn’t necessarily have to be about subsidizing someone’s pay, but just as a token of your appreciation for the service that they provide to you during the year. Sure, it may be their “job”, but that doesn’t mean that you cannot appreciate what they’re doing for you, day in and day out, all year.

      For someone like a hairdresser, who you (usually) tip every visit, I could see not tipping them “extra” during the holidays, but for people that you typically DON’T tip during the year, a little $10 gift (or gift card) and a “Thank you” can go a long way.

    • Wombatish says:

      Garbage collection isn’t like that everywhere.

      In the various cities my family lives in it’s everything from the lucrative gov job you describe, to a good high quality private company, to a shitty private company, to an absolutely horrible ‘co-op’ that is neglected by both the city and the private company that are supposed to share responsibility in it.

      It really just depends. But tipping isn’t (supposed) to be making up their pay, or even related to their pay (though it’s always nice to share your good fortune with those less fortunate, if you are able and choose to).

      It’s about recognizing service. I said this in the other tipping thread, but when my Grandmother’s garbagemen volunteered to get her cans from the side of her house in bad weather? That’s good service, no matter what they’re paid, and they get a (reasonable) tip + some of her homemade fudge and chocolates, as well as big thank yous from both her and my dad.

      • Powerlurker says:

        I, for one, have never lived somewhere where garbage disposal was taken care of by the government. Even during the brief period of time that my family lived in an HOA administered subdivision, we were responsible for contracting our own waste disposal.

    • ldub says:

      “Can someone explain why garbage collectors or mail carrier’s are (still) included on this list?”

      Sure! Are you ready? Here we go….

      Because not everyone lives where you do, so things are sometimes different and therefore require different decisions than the ones you make. Any questions?

    • crashman2600 says:

      Where I live we pay for garbage service and its a family run business. Last year we didn’t tip and things like boxes arent picked up (unless they are in bags, insurance regulations you know) and I was charged $4 for throwing out a keyboard tray that wasn’t in a bag. This year I am tipping and I will see if these problems go away. I have a feeling they will.

  17. Mr Grey says:

    My wife and I usually give a non teacher type item to my son’s preschool, an daycare providers.
    Its not a whole lot – maybe 10 dollars a gift.

    My wife is a special education teacher in a rather affluent school, and she rarely if ever gets a gift.

  18. matt314159 says:

    I tipped our mail carrier only because I’m a bookseller and I have 20+ packages a week going out. I try to drop them at the office whenever possible, but there are many days a week where I leave three or four books in the mailbox for her to haul off. But my “tip” wasn’t a cash tip, it was a cookie tin with some chocolate chip cookies, and a card with a hand-written thank-you note inside.

    Here’s a few guidelines for tipping the mailman I found online:
    ———–There are a number of exceptions and exclusions to the general gifts rule. Postal Service employees may accept the following items:

    -Snacks and beverages that are not offered as part of a meal.
    -Items with little intrinsic value (i.e., greeting cards, plaques, pens, coffee mugs, etc.).
    -Perishable items (i.e., flowers, chocolates, cookies, etc.); if the items are clearly worth more than $20, employees should share them with others in the Postal Service workplace.
    -Items with a market (retail) value of $20 or less.
    -Gifts motivated solely because of a personal relationship.
    -Gifts for which the employee has paid market (retail) value.
    -Gifts paid for by the Postal Service.
    -Postal Service employees may not accept cash – in any amount or form (bills, checks, money orders) – from an outside source. (but they usually will anyway)
    ————-

  19. El_Fez says:

    While I agree that teachers should be paid more (a LOT more – flip the NBA sallary and the average teacher salary and call it good) why in the hell should I tip the garbage man for doing his freakin’ job? He makes better money than I do (or did when I was employed), and all he does is sit in a truck and push a button to make the claw come out and grab the garbage!

    Mailman? Hell – I never even SEE the mailman!

    In short, I dont care if this sounds like I’m the grinch, but F’ em. No tips no anyone!

  20. mcgyver210 says:

    Tipping is out of control & no longer a gesture for extra extraordinary service it is now a requirement for some reason.

    I pay for all the services mentioned during the year & last time I looked in my wallet it didn’t include tips from my clients so no tip for other service businesses just doing their job they are already paid well for.

    Mail Carrier = Mine is always on cell phone & never wants to get out of the vehicle so tries to stuff everything in box even if it damages my box. Not to mention they aren’t supposed to accept tips.

    Trash Collector drives a truck with a claw that grabs can throws it where ever it lands & never goes out of his way for any extra service.

    Hair Dresser is paid & tipped at time of service & has never made any effort to try our services.

    List goes on & on I do tip for extraordinary service though since that is worthy of a tip IMO.

    • HollzStars says:

      Thank you! I completely agree, and i don’t understand why people expect tips for mediocre service. I went to dinner with the guy I was dating a few weeks ago, not only was our food cold and the staff obnoxious, but the waitress kept making eyes at the guy, I assume because she thought he was going to pay. She shot daggers out her eyes when I didn’t tip her. But why would I? She did nothing for me or him, and indeed, pointedly ignored us several times. I just don’t get it.

  21. Southern says:

    I should also point out that there is probably a huge descrepancy in people who gift their mailmen, garbage collectors, etc. during the holidays, and that descrepancy probably falls a LOT on people that live in big cities (and or large neighborhoods) and those that live in “rural” America.

    For people that live in big cities, in apartments, or in houses with “group” type mailboxes, shared garbage bins, etc., I can see where people would have a hard time getting those folks a gift during the holidays.

    In rural America though (especially smaller type towns), it’s a different story. in BFE, where my parents live, they know their mailman by name; same with their garbagemen. Along with pretty much everyone that lives in a few square miles, because they all see each other routinely at the local grocery/convience store/gas station on a fairly regular basis.

    In large cities (or neighborhoods) though, I would imagine people don’t even know the person that lives directly across the STREET from them, let alone 5-10 houses down the road (unless they all have children that play together)..

    Still, because of the way (and where) I was raised, I went out of my way to meet my mail carrier, occassionally bringing him a cold drink during the heat of the summer, or a large cup of hot chocolate in the winter, and it’s always appreciated. My packages don’t wind up shoved into my mailbox or thrown in the front yard somewhere, there’s usually a note on the front door and a package waiting for me by the back door.

    Kindness is (usually) reciprocated.

    • RawWS6 says:

      This is my problem too – I wouldn’t mind tipping the UPS or FedEx guy (I buy a lot of stuff online), but I don’t even know if it’s the same person every time. They drop my stuff off when i’m not home. If I am home for some strange reason, they are usually back at their truck by the time I get to the door – enough for a quick wave as they drive off. Should I leave two envelopes, one for FedEx and one for UPS and hope they take the one for them and nobody else wanders up and takes it (i.e. somebody putting flyers for pizza or lawn care on my door)? I have a few packages still to be delivered tomorrow and the next day and they are coming from both fedex and ups.

      My mail goes in a large community box at the end of the road.

      I don’t think I’ve ever seen the garbage truck, but I know it comes because my trash will be gone.

      I don’t have most of the other people listed – i give whichever lady who cuts my hair a couple extra bucks if i go during the holidays, but we’re not exactly close friends.

    • ames says:

      There’s that. And there’s also the fact that no one is home when the mail carrier comes, or the garbage is picked up. I literally never see these people. If I were to go out of my way to bring out hot drinks and whatever, I’d have to stay home from work. :D Man, that would be awesome. *wistful* (I’m not being sarcastic – my dream is to be some lovely woman’s housewife. Never gonna happen.)

  22. Buckus says:

    I tip no one. You get paid to do a job. Except for restaurants, where they consider the tip as pay.

  23. mcgyver210 says:

    Ok while everyone is feeling so generous how about the:

    Tree trimmer
    School Crossing Guard
    Convenience Store Clerk
    Bank teller
    Grocer Cashiers
    Electric, Water, Gas etc Meter Readers ( Wouldn’t get your bill without them )
    Librarian
    LEOs
    Fireman
    Codes Dept
    Pest control Tech
    Carpet Cleaner
    HOA Board of Directors
    Dog Poo Remover
    Salt Truck Drivers
    Your Chiropractor
    Dentist
    Doctor
    Insurance Agent
    Tax Collector
    Pizza Deliver

    Anyone else see how dumb this can get? What makes anyone deserve a tip more than other service professionals

    • stevied says:

      Beyond wait staff, and I can’t understand why restuarnts don’t pay their staff an appropriate wage and charge us patrons appropriately for the product, there is NOBODY that should be receiving a tip….. except….. your mistress/hooker/massage

    • Southern says:

      School Crossing Guard – Not a bad idea.. Many school crossing guards don’t get paid, they do it on a “Volunteer” basis. My Aunt is actually a school crossing guard, and she doesn’t even have children in school anymore – she just does it for “something to do”. A small gift & “thank you” would probably be appreciated by these people.

      Grocer Cashiers – Not the cashiers, but many “bag boys” (you know, the ones that take the groceries out to your car and actually put them in the trunk for you) WORK for tips – they don’t get paid by the store. I always tip these folks a buck or two, depending on how many bags of groceries I have.

      Pizza Deliver – You don’t tip your pizza delivery guy (or gal)? Sheesh, remind me not to eat any pizza delivered to your place.

      • mcgyver210 says:

        LOL I thought we was talking mainly about about an extra Xmas tip.

        Now as for Pizza I don’t order delivery or haven’t in many years.

        I give no one a tip for just doing their job but I do tip for extraordinary service some professions. As for Waitresses I start them out at 15% of total before tax & this goes up & down based on service received. No I don’t tip them as part of their pay since that isn’t the true definition of a tip. I work hard for my money & anyone that gets it will earn hit accept for the KGB aka Government.

        Oh & where we shop for groceries tipping is not aloud (they even wear badges saying no tips) for bag boys since they pay a decent wage.

        I just think if we tipped everyone just because they provide a service on top of the pay they already receive allot of us would be broke & trying to be DIY types.

        • jesirose says:

          I do most of my grocery shopping at one store, and their baggers always take the bags to the car and load them up. I’ve tried to tip, they will not accept. It really does make me more inclined to shop there. I know we’re getting a great service AND I like how they treat their employees.

          The food is also great for the price.

  24. foodierd says:

    If you are visiting a ski resort this holiday season, don’t forget to tip your ski or snowboard instructor. They rely on those tips but it isn’t usually advertised. BTW I am the wife of an instructor at Breckenridge…so especially tip there :)

  25. Sulheka says:

    Our mail carrier seems to change every few weeks, I WISH I could build a relationship with any of them. Maybe we’re on a training route?

    For my daughter’s teacher, we make a $20 charitable donation on his or her behalf ever year, and send the details over in a card. I figure the last thing they want is another box of Toffifee or a tacky crystal ornament. Those seem to be popular at her school.

  26. arcticJKL says:

    Now I understand. You tip people who make below minimum wage and you don’t tip people who get paid well!

    Here I thought that you tipped to reward service and to establish a relationship with those who provide service.

  27. stevied says:

    Oh you got to be kidding.

    There is a person on the list that deserves/requires a tip.

  28. Sparkstalker says:

    You forgot us IT guys…we spend the year crawling around your dirty PC and carpet, fixing a problem that never should have happened if you were careful, all the while trying to diplomatically answer questions about why your home PC is riddled with malware and pop-ups for penis enlargement… :)

  29. Draw2much says:

    I didn’t even know you COULD tip some of these people. o_0

    I’ve never even heard of tipping the garbage guys. Or the mail carrier. Of the two, I’d be more likely to tip the mail carrier, since I’ve talked to him and he’s always been nice. The garbage guys don’t ever leave their truck, so I have no idea who they are.

    And don’t you always tip your Hairdresser and Barber?

    We don’t use any of those other services.

  30. ReaperRob says:

    In my area the county is in charge of garbage pick-up, they use convict labor. I don’t think I’m supposed to tip them.

  31. Mythandros says:

    Here is my 2 cents on tipping.

    It is not mandatory in any way, shape or form. A gratuity is a reward. A reward for executing the function(s) of your job with above average efficiency and a pleasing customer attitude.

    A tip is NOT by any means standard in my view. There is no entitlement for ANYONE to get a tip from me.

    If you do an EXCELLENT job, go above and beyond your tasks/duties and do it with a smile on your face while making MY experience enjoyable, you get a tip. How much you impress me dictates how big of a tip.

    If you do your job normally, don’t smile.. or don’t impress me enough.. why should I tip you?
    Your employer is there to pay your wages, not me. I’m already paying your wages by patronizing the business you work for, why should I have to give EVEN MORE?

    So.. as far as I’m concerned.. there’s no list. Tipping is done on a case-by-case basis.
    I honestly find it ridiculous and ludicrous that someone in the service industry like garbagemen, servers in restaurants, mailmen, etc even EXPECT a tip. This smacks of people who are overly self-entitled, to me.

    What’s even MORE ludicrous? A list that expects you to follow it’s guidelines to tip people, whether they deserve it or not.

    I find it mind-boggling that people would even take this kind of self-entitlement seriously.
    Tipping is a hot-button topic for me, obviously.

    • mcgyver210 says:

      Well Said & so true!!

      Too many professions including Restaurant staff feel a tip is a requirement because they took a job that doesn’t have fair pay & don’t even bother trying to impress the customer with extraordinary service.

      So since we are supposedly just trying to recognize people I wonder how they would appreciate a Xmas card which if you are lucky they might have given you one. I’m betting that isn’t an acceptable alternative though.

  32. Hoot says:

    It’s funny how, after reading every one of these comments, it’s the people who would never consider tipping that are complaining about mail being bent into mailboxes, garbage cans being flung everywhere, etc, and it is the people who appreciate their service providers in the form of a tip who rave about great service and friendly people.

    Correlation?

  33. tiz says:

    as an owner of a housekeeping business i have to say that tips are most definitely appreciated, but absolutely not expected AT ALL! i don’t want anybody going the extra mile like that, especially when they have children to provide for, etc. it’s enough to me that they’re supporting me and my business throughout the year. of course tips are a little easier to accept when you know that they have the extra money to kick around, but most people don’t have that $ cushion.

    of course i won’t absolutely REFUSE a tip, but it is by no means necessary, and all these “TIPPING” articles need to stop!

    besides, Christmas is already one of the MOST stressful times of the year, often for all the wrong reasons. such as PRESSURE TO GIVE STUFF YOU CAN’T AFFORD (ie tip everybody who does anything) throughout the holidays!! and no, not everybody has the time to just “make something.”

    i tip at restaurants (if they weren’t rude or didn’t fuck anything up)
    i tip when i’m getting takeout
    i tip my hairdresser
    i tip my tattoo artist/piercer
    and i tip the lady who waxes my vadge, and that’s about it. usually $5/visit

    i tip only the people who i have close interactions with on a personal level, and who actually provide a service to ME, not to the community as a whole.

    i’m sick of hearing all these TIPPING guidelines! tip if you feel they deserve it. where are we going to draw the line?

  34. pika2000 says:

    Here’s the thing I don’t get about tips. Tipping a waiter/waitress makes sense. You pay for the food, and tip to pay for the service the waiter/waitress provided you. However, tipping something like for a haircut? You already pay for the haircut service itself, no?

    Also, why I don’t see people tipping doctors, nurses, pharmacists, etc, you know, people that are probably saving your life? Wouldn’t that be the best “service” you ever get?

  35. ShinGetterPoPo says:

    Whatever happened to giving someone a thank you note?
    Yes mailman, garbageman, paperboy, etc. I do appreciate your work over the course of the year.
    I also appreciate my family, friends, co-workers, etc that I have to buy presents for.
    Here is a nice card. Merry Christmas.

  36. kittylauper says:

    Baristas!!!!! Please tip us a little extra. We are usually students or recent graduates making minimum wage and have to travel (which means taking time off, which means no income) to see our families for the holidays. A little extra is nice, if you’re a regular.

  37. manofsticks says:

    In my college, a bunch of us put some money in for a christmas bonus for our hallways cleaning lady, who’s really nice. Out of the 20 or so kids in our hall, a little more than half donated, and we got $80, plus whatever our RA put in before he gave it to her.

  38. AD8BC says:

    Does anybody here have the same trashman, or mailman, all year? Not me.

  39. sj_user1 says:

    The only people who need tips are wait staff that are not legally required to be paid a decent wage. Any other tipping is discretionary for outstanding service.