Survey: We Tip The People That Clean Our Houses, But Not The Ones Who Collect Our Garbage

For a lot of people in various facets of the service industry, this time of year means that some customers will brighten up your holidays with a gift or a tip to show their appreciation. But new numbers from our surveying siblings at Consumer Reports break down which particular people get the most end-of-year love.

By far the most-tipped group on the Consumer Reports survey are the folks that clean your house. Nearly half the respondents say they tipped with cash, check or gift card, while an additional 12% provided some sort of gift, meaning that only 39% of respondents gave nothing.

Cleaning persons also had the highest median value of the gift or tip given at $50.

A not-very-close second place was the Teachers group, where only 48% of respondents said they gave some sort of gift. This is a significant drop from last year, when 60% of people gifted their educators.

On the hairy side of things, hairdressers edged out barbers, with 44% of respondents giving tips or gifts to the former and 38% to the latter. Hairdressers also received more money, with a median value of $15 compared to $10 for barbers.

Bringing up the rear in this year’s survey are mail carriers and sanitation workers. Only 21% of people gave some sort of tip or gift to the person that brings them the credit card applications and catalogs they never asked for. Meanwhile, only 12% showed their gratitude for the men and women who haul away our refuse every week.

Overall, 54% of respondents said they didn’t tip at least one of the 10 groups listed in the survey, and 38% said they didn’t tip any of the listed services.

Read the whole report at ConsumerReports.org.

Comments

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  1. Wonderweasel says:

    I will tip mine when they learn to put the trashcan back at the curb, not thrown into my front yard or driveway on its side with some trash still in it.

    and trash guys around here make 50 grand, so I dont feel bad for them.

    • BurtReynolds says:

      As I’ve also said in other versions of this story. If they are making a living wage, I don’t think tipping is necessary. Clearly I pay enough for the service to allow them to make a decent living. That is enough. So unless they go way above and beyond (they don’t), no tips for the garbage guy, UPS/FedEx driver, mail carrier, or teacher if I had kids.

      Other people on the list, I feel I pay a fair price to for their services…like when I get my hair cut. I also tip each time. They get plenty from me throughout the year. We pay about $120 a day when we go away for a dog walker, and we don’t always get the same person from the company. Who am I supposed to tip?

      Maybe if I had some kid delivering the paper, I would throw him some extra, but I don’t get the Washington Post anymore (editorial supporting the 47 state bank settlement/white wash ensured that) and it was never delivered by some neighborhood kid.

    • synimatik says:

      I second that. My guys throw my cans all over my driveway so I have to get out of the car to move them to get in or out of the driveway. They also refuse to actually pick things up. I had a bundle of cardboard that tipped over in the wind. All the guy had to do was lift one end of the container, and all the cardboard would have slide back in. But he left it. I was told “It’s not their job to pick stuff up”. No shit? I thought that was their only job.

      So F them. They aren’t getting anything from me.

    • ellemdee says:

      Mine actually throw the cans in the street half the time. If it’s windy, they end up rolling down the street and I usually don’t get them back. I’ve lost 2 cans this way. Often, I get home from work late in the evening and they’re still rolling around in the street while people drive around them. How hard would it be to just set or even drop them back on the grass between the street and the sidewalk?

  2. tinmanx says:

    Public employees are not allowed to accept tips, at least in NYC. Post office employees too, but they do anyway, and some even actively “ask” for it.

  3. mauispiderweb says:

    We always left a gift in our mailbox for our carrier, every year, and she’d always leave a holiday thank you card for us. The sanitation guys got a case a beer, every year.

    • TheMansfieldMauler says:

      Beer gets things done. Have a large item they wouldn’t normally pick up? Put a 12-pack on it and it will disappear.

      • zerogspacecow says:

        Um… in my neighborhood the beer would be taken immediately by the first “picker” to come by, not the trash guys.

  4. FreeMarketFan says:

    My barber gets a haircut because that person always cuts my hair, and I’d like to keep them content.

    You can return food back to a kitchen that’s not up to par, but hair takes time to grow back.

  5. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    I’m not sure how I could tip my garbage lady (yes, she’s a tiny short lady with a blond pony tail – I saw her once).

    They arrive at like 5 AM, or earlier, and the bill is auto-deducted from my checking account. I can’t just tape some money to the garbage can, as someone would probably steal it when they drove by. So – maybe I could send a gift card to the main office? Then wonder how or if they would give it to her?

    Same with the mail carrier or paper carrier – I rarely see either one. And again, i could leave things for them in the appropriate boxes, but they’re both along the road and can be prone to theft.

    • RandomHookup says:

      You mean your paper carrier doesn’t leave you envelopes addressed to him/her inside your paper? I’ve gotten about 5 in the last 2 months, including 2 within the last week addressed to different people. I also get the holiday card included, thanking me for being a good customer…with a self-addressed envelope stapled to it.

    • suepw says:

      Set your alarm, watch out the window, run outside, gift worker, run back inside, go back to bed.

    • tsumeone says:

      For the mail carrier I just leave an envelope with “Mail carrier” written on it in my mailbox with no stamp or address.

      As far as the trash people, I just tape a card with money in it to the bin. I do live in the country – if you live in the city, you might want to wait till just before they arrive to do this to ensure it’s not stolen.

      I’m stumped on the paper carrier. I never see them.

  6. Cat says:

    No tip for any of them for Christmas, if they make more than minimum wage.

  7. rawley69 says:

    I’m not running out of the house at 6 in the morning to tip the garbage man that doesn’t even have to get out of his truck…he has THE CLAW to lift the garbage into the top of the truck.

    • impatientgirl says:

      That’s what I’m saying. Our city pays like $40k a year and they drive the trucks. That’s it. They don’t even do the big items only what fits in the cans. You have to drop off anything else.

      • Clyde Barrow says:

        Why is this in the news again? Why is the media perpetuating this myth that tipping is now an entitlement? It’s not and never has been.

  8. Max Headroom says:

    Not tipping, ever. I work just like they do and don’t get tips. Want tips? Then get a job where it’s standard to get tips (delivery driver, taxi, waitstaff). Why is this even a story? Who cares?

  9. Dallas_shopper says:

    I must be an asshole then…of the listed service providers that I use, I don’t tip any of them.

  10. Quirk Sugarplum says:

    Of course we tip our house cleaners best. They have access to our kitchen knives and they know all the really good hiding spots in our homes.

    • Dr. Ned - This underwear is Sofa King Comfortable! says:

      Well they only know the best hiding spots in my house because that is where I chain them up when the police search the premises.

    • Coffee says:

      Yeah…shortly before Christmas, my house cleaner finds all the fetish pornography I have stashed around the house, puts it on my bed, and e-mails me a photo of it with the subject line “Happy Holiday$ Pervert.”

      I tip her well.

      • tinyninja says:

        One of the most interesting books I’ve ever read was by a woman who ran her own little housekeeping service. I can’t remember what the title was though.

        Drats. Now it’s going to bug me since it’s worth a re-read.

  11. magnetic says:

    If they didn’t come at the crack of dawn, I might interact with them on occasion. But I’m an apartment-dweller, so I barely think about the logistics of trash removal where I live.

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      I dated a girl once a long, long time ago and her roomie told me that this girl used to invite the garbage man in for a “tip” every once in a while. Needless to say we didn’t date very long after that.

  12. Misha says:

    I don’t have a housecleaner or a gardener or a hairdresser or a manicurist. On the rare occasions I actually get a hair trim, I tip at about 50%. I’m not a man, so I don’t have a barber.

    I have a day job and am not home when the garbage trucks come. It’s not like the mailman where you can just tuck it in the box.

    I don’t receive a newspaper. I don’t have a pet. I don’t have any children, so there are no teachers in my life.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I go to the spa every month, so that person will get a tip, but I don’t have a hair dresser , mailman (there are several), sanitation worker (apartment building), gardener, cleaning person, teacher, or pet-care provider (the vet gets enough money from me).

  13. Corinthos says:

    I tip my cleaning person pretty well pretty much what I pay them a week as a gift in cash for christmas. They are in my house when I’m not home so I’d rather stay in their good graces and I’m sure they have found something obscene that I have left out by accident before.

    I don’t give anyone else who provides a service any gift. My mailman is constantly a different person and i dislike our garbage men because they wake me up at 6:30 am.

  14. TsuKata says:

    I would be willing to tip my garbage pick-up person(s), but I have no idea how to do so. I rarely see them. A tip on the garbage can is likely to be mistaken for trash, since our systems are set up such that they don’t get out of the truck. Is there some standard way of doing it that I’m missing?

    • tsukiotoshi says:

      Yeah this is the issue I have. I don’t even begin to know how I would tip the city garbage dudes around here. I liked the case of beer idea listed in a comment above but yeah that would definitely get purloined before the garbage truck turned up.

  15. rlmiller007 says:

    Sanitation workers- Overpaid -Underworked

    • Vermont2US says:

      Underworked? The ones around here bust their ass running to/fro emptying garbage cans and jumping on/off the trucks. And most of the time the cans are crammed so full, they aren’t exactly ‘light’.

    • captadam says:

      Yeah, okay. Try doing that job at 5 in the morning when it’s 20 degrees out.

  16. vdestro says:

    The garbage collectors are township employees and make more money than me, get benefits that leave mine in the dust, free healthcare for life, a very generous pension, get paid for all unused sick and vacation time, etc, etc. I think they will be just fine without my $20 a year.

  17. Bob Lu says:

    I will tip non in the list, unless they are exceptionally nice.

    My rule of thumb is: tipping for (generally good) services is needed only when you are charged primarily for just the goods.

    For example I tip restaurant waiters since while I am being served, the bill is only for the food. However if a 18% gratitude is charge, I don’t double tip.

  18. Quixiotic... Yea it's a typo (╯°□°)╯彡┻━┻ says:

    Knowing my luck they’d take the gift I left for them and throw it in the back of the truck!

  19. chizu says:

    Wait, are you supposed to tip your mail person, trash collectors, etc.? I have NEVER done it before and no one had ever mentioned the need to do it. I mean, if I don’t do it, what’s going to happen? This is a genuine question, what is the reason for tipping them? What are some of my potential consequences if I choose not to do it?

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen/met my mail person, trash collectors, and grounds maintenance crew before. I’m usually at work, and I pay a lot for both my HOA fees and property tax, it just never occurs to me that they should be tipped during the holidays.

    • atomix says:

      As with most areas of tipping, there are no ill consequences for choosing to NOT tip. Aside from just good old generosity or philanthropy, you could consider it an investment in “paying it forward”. By practicing generosity in your life, you are likely to benefit from the good that you have done to others.

      …Just off the top of my head, maybe the trash guy remembers your tip, and chases down your garbage can after he notices the wind took it. Or maybe he corrects some miscategorized recyclables instead of leaving them on the curb with a note. Maybe he saves you from your burning house some day. I don’t know.

      • Nobody can say "Teehee" with a straight face says:

        Absolutely false. The tipping culture has generated an “expected retaliation’ atmosphere. Many anecdotes abound with postal workers / sanitation workers simply not expending effort for people who didn’t tip them. Other service professions that have more routine tips, too. It’s “expected” for them to spit in your food in retaliation.

        Essentially, tips have degraded service by being required to pay additional money for what was once expected as normal.

        • atomix says:

          Are you saying that the statement “By practicing generosity in your life, you are likely to benefit from the good that you have done to others” is false, or that the garbage man might save you from a burning house?

          If the latter, you have no sense of humor. The former, just an absolutely cheery disposition that will benefit society all around – thanks.

    • Powerlurker says:

      Tipping the trash guy can make problems go away that he would otherwise be quite justified in ignoring (overfilled trashcan, an extra can after that weekend you have a party, stuff he’s otherwise not supposed to pick up, etc.)

  20. framitz says:

    The guy that drives the garbage truck is my neighbor. He earns well over 100K a year, he is also a friend that would never insult by offering a tip.

    • BD2008 says:

      There is no possible way that a sanitation worker that drives a truck makes over 100K per year. Did he tell you this? If so, he was not being honest.

      • jake.valentine says:

        It could be true if he were in California where public employee salaries would shock the vast majority of Americans.

        • BD2008 says:

          I am an IT Professional in Southern California (Irvine) for a Fortune 100 company and don’t even make over 100K. I can guarantee that there is no sanitation worker who drives a truck making over 100K in the United States.

  21. atomix says:

    For me it’s a logistical problem. In my neighborhood, which has a pretty high rate of petty crime, I don’t have a place to put a tip for them. I’ve thought about it many times, but can’t justify staying home from work to give them a tip.

  22. aloria says:

    How the heck am I supposed to tip my garbage guys, even if I wanted to? They’re outside banging cans and yelling at each other hours before I normally get out of bed. Am I expected to stand on the sidewalk with envelopes of money at 6 AM?

    • Remarkable Melba Kramer says:

      Step 1: Tape Envolope full of cash to inside of garbage can lid.
      Step 2: Rent flashing arrow sign that says “CASH TAPED TO INSIDE OF LID IS FOR YOU”
      Step 3: Enjoy piece of mind

  23. krom says:

    You have people that clean your house?

    If you can afford having other people clean your house, you almost certainly have enough left over to tip them well.

    Meanwhile everyone gets garbage collected.

    Extravagant luxury for the wealthy versus municipal service? Big diff.

    If housecleaning were a municipal service (hmm), they probably wouldn’t get tipped either.

    But seriously… wtf?

    • Sizlack says:

      If housecleaning were a municipal service my children would have nothing to do…please think of the children.

    • George4478 says:

      >>Extravagant luxury for the wealthy

      *snort*

      “Extra $150 in disposable income each money!!!!! You’re the 1%, you wealthy bastard!!!! Gimme back my mortgage!!!”

      Yeah, right….

  24. atomix says:

    As with most areas of tipping, there are no ill consequences for choosing to NOT tip. Aside from just good old generosity or philanthropy, you could consider it an investment in “paying it forward”. By practicing generosity in your life, you are likely to benefit from the good that you have done to others.

    …Just off the top of my head, maybe the trash guy remembers your tip, and chases down your garbage can after he notices the wind took it. Or maybe he corrects some miscategorized recyclables instead of leaving them on the curb with a note. Maybe he saves you from your burning house some day. I don’t know.

    • atomix says:

      Sorry – consumerist.com freaked out and I ended up posting twice. The page failed to load, and It said something about a temp file being moved in a long unix-style path. This was supposed to be a reply to another comment.

  25. snowtires says:

    I tip hairdressers/barbers and thats it (from that list). If you’re getting paid a salary, it’s your employers’ job to pay you, not mine.

  26. Crymansqua says:

    Each garbage truck in my city has three people working in it. One to drive and two to toss trash in (they have the claw but barely use it). I’ll tip them when they stop reducing my one lane road with no driveways (aka lots of on street parking) into a no lane road with trash cans strewn about.

  27. captadam says:

    On mail carriers … I don’t have the same carrier every day. Sometimes the routes change. And, I’m never home when the mail comes. How do I tip appropriately?

    On garbage collectors … again, should I tape the note to the trash can? I’m not around when they pick up the trash.

    On the barber … he owns his own shop and sets his prices where they need to be. What’s the point of tipping? Am I supposed to tell him that he doesn’t charge enough?

    • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

      Well, you don’t tip the business owner, that’s mentioned in every other article on tipping but was somehow left out of this one. But I have the same issue with the mail carrier and sanitation workers, they both come when I’m not home. In addition, we use a PO box for almost everything except packages, which I have delivered to work, so I don’t feel particularly obligated to tip my mail carrier.

  28. Nic715 says:

    Our trash collectors also happen to be regulars at the bar where my boyfriend works…he usually buys them an extra beer or two when they come in..which is a few times a week…so I don’t feel so bad about not giving them a holiday tip or gift….our mail man refuses to check our box if he doesn’t have mail for us…even when the flag’s up so he’s SOL. My rent was late the first 2 months we lived in our apartment because of this. I tend to avoid making hair appointments during the holiday season to avoid the extra tip….because I’m cheap, I’ll admit it…but I started going to a new hair dresser this year and she also happens to be a nightly regular at the bar and I’ll buy her a round or 2 of shots every weekend when I’m there so I think it works out. I’m pretty sure her tip money goes right to the bar anyhow considering how often she’s there! ;)

  29. MDSasquatch says:

    I tip my mail lady well and I do so for two reasons: 1. my wife used to deliver mail and the job sucks. 2. If something doesn’t fit in the box, they can decide to leave a yellow card so I can go to the post office and pick it up or they can get out of their mail jeep and bring it to the door. It’s the little things.

    I also tip my bus driver; I commute 3 hours a day and cannot imagine doing so without sitting on the bus. If $50 makes this guy happy, I’m all for it. Sitting in DC traffic for a living has got to be horrible, but these guys and gals do it every day.

  30. Cat says:

    People I tip:

    My chauffeur.
    My Pilot.
    Captain of my yacht
    Gardener
    Pool Boy. Mrs. Cat insists I tip him, but I don’t recall having a pool. Hmmm.
    French maids. All 6 of them.
    My personal Chef.
    And most importantly, my monocle maker.

    But this year, not one shilling for my haberdasher. Not after the debacle with my top hats!

  31. El_Fez says:

    Woo! A post about tipping! This should be GOOD!

    *pulls up chair, grabs popcorn*

    Okay – have at it!

  32. CrankyOwl says:

    In Germany, it’s traditional for the garbage guys to ring your doorbell & wish you a merry Christmas. They don’t come by at 6 a.m. either, but at more convenient times when people are home. We used to give ours booze, which they seemed to appreciate.
    It’s also traditional there for traffic cops to get presents at Christmas. People stack the gifts around those little pedestal-thingies the officers stand on.

    • whogots is "not computer knowledgeable" says:

      This would be fine by me — I want to tip my garbage men but I’m not sure how to do so such that the tip wouldn’t be either stolen or mistaken for garbage.

  33. Buckus says:

    I don’t get tips for doing my job well….

  34. RogerX says:

    I don’t know about all areas, but around here, collectors are part of a public employees union and make 35-50k a year. Compared with hotel maids, who usually make minimum wage… 8 always tip them.

  35. RogerX says:

    I don’t know about all areas, but around here, collectors are part of a public employees union and make 35-50k a year. Compared with hotel maids, who usually make minimum wage… 8 always tip them.

  36. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    Garbage carriers get benefits (possibly a pension) and a steady salary while cleaning ladies are on their own so pardon me if I feel no pity for sanitation workers.

  37. Rachacha says:

    I assume that they mean a Vet when they say “Pet Care Provider” If so, do you tip your Cardiologist, Proctologist, OB/GYN…I doubt it, why would you tip your vet?

    Cleaning person and Gardener I get, as you hire them to perdorm a personal service for you at your home. I often equate a cleaner or gardener as an employee, so you are giving them a “Bonus” near the holidays.

    Sanitation worker/Mail carrier, I had never thought of a tip as they are not providing “door to door” service, everything is at the curb.

    Nerspaper carrier – I’ll think about it when I don’t have to go crawling around in the gutter for my paper.

    Teachers, especially for Elementary school, a small gift. They are an important part of your child’s life every day, and there are several teachers hat have had a huge impact on the type of person my child is, and a small gift is appropriate.

    Hairdresser/Barber/Manicurist – I tip these individuals after every service they provide to me, so I have to tip them again?

    • Misha says:

      I wonder if what was meant there was something more like – pet sitter, dog-walker, etc.

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      No, I imagine they mean someone like a groomer, dog walker, or pet sitter. A lot of people in bigger cities (where this kind of tipping is more popular) have dog walkers.

    • chiieddy says:

      Pet Care Provider = Pet Sitter/Dog Walker.

  38. jjq says:

    During the holidays, our furniture store delivers alot of gifts such as curio cabinets and recliners.
    Yes, they are paid to deliver. If you have extra tasks, they deserve compensation. Some folks will ask the men to rearrange thier whole room to accomodate the new item, and give nothing. Others tip generously, by cash. Odd requests have been to vacuum the carpet before placing the item [yep, they asked my guys to vacuum], to take their shoes off [carrying a heavy armiore], to shovel the snow off the steps, and even delivering [regifting] their old recliner to a relative in another town. The strangest tip they’ve recieved? A banana!

  39. jjq says:

    During the holidays, our furniture store delivers alot of gifts such as curio cabinets and recliners.
    Yes, they are paid to deliver. If you have extra tasks, they deserve compensation. Some folks will ask the men to rearrange thier whole room to accomodate the new item, and give nothing. Others tip generously, by cash. Odd requests have been to vacuum the carpet before placing the item [yep, they asked my guys to vacuum], to take their shoes off [carrying a heavy armiore], to shovel the snow off the steps, and even delivering [regifting] their old recliner to a relative in another town. The strangest tip they’ve recieved? A banana!

    • Cat says:

      I used to deliver for a large store that shall remain nameless, but it rhymes with “ears”. You would not believe the things we were asked to do, and the things salespeople promised we would do.

      We rarely got tips, I was paid $5 per stop – even if we delivered a whole house of appliances (including hook-ups, and carry-out of the old stuff) room of furniture, and a lawn tractor. If we only got just ONE dollar from each of our 20-30 daily stops, it would be better than nothing.

      And yes, I would have taken the banana.

  40. jjq says:

    During the holidays, our furniture store delivers alot of gifts such as curio cabinets and recliners.
    Yes, they are paid to deliver. If you have extra tasks, they deserve compensation. Some folks will ask the men to rearrange thier whole room to accomodate the new item, and give nothing. Others tip generously, by cash. Odd requests have been to vacuum the carpet before placing the item [yep, they asked my guys to vacuum], to take their shoes off [carrying a heavy armiore], to shovel the snow off the steps, and even delivering [regifting] their old recliner to a relative in another town. The strangest tip they’ve recieved? A banana!

  41. JosephFinn says:

    Sorry, but if you’re not making a tipping wage or minimum wage you’re not getting a tip. Unless it involves cutting my hair, which is frankly kind of disgusting (not my hair, but touching other people all day) in which case $5 on a $15 cut seems perfectly reasonable.

  42. kataisa says:

    Why in the world would anybody tip a sanitation worker, a mail carrier, or a teacher? You’re already paying these people via your taxes and they’re hardly underpaid- they are state and government jobs with benefits that are likely far better than your own.

    As for tipping the others it makes sense since those are elective services.

    • Misha says:

      I love (hate) the talking point that government employees are never underpaid. What some full-time state employees make is NOT a living wage. Especially not after you take out their portion of the premiums for their supposedly great benefits.

    • Powerlurker says:

      I’ve never lived anywhere where sanitation workers are paid through taxes, but you tip the garbageman so he’ll pick up problems that he would otherwise be justified in leaving on your driveway.

  43. chiieddy says:

    I don’t get why we should tip sanitation workers at all? They make great money and they’re contracted to our town.

  44. momtimestwo says:

    I give $25 to our school bus driver (I’d give more but I don’t know how much they are allowed to get without getting in trouble) and $25 to Jim the Mailman.

  45. Ilovegnomes says:

    If people are going to tip full salaried employees, I wonder why car mechanics didn’t make this list.

  46. haggis for the soul says:

    It makes sense to me that you’d think to tip the people who get the farthest into your personal space; keeping those with access to your personal belongings and hair happy. I never ever see the garbage people, so out of sight means out of mind most of the time.

  47. eldergias says:

    Tipping conventions are getting out of hand. I can understand tipping people in a position to provide better or worse service when face to face (waiter, barber, mechanic), but just tipping anyone who does any job for you whatsoever? This is ridiculous. Should I tip my accountant because he does work for me? Should I tip my doctor when he gets my blood work back? Should I tip my landlord for owning my apartment? I never got any tips when I worked an office job and crunched numbers for faceless accounts. Should I have gotten tips merely because I did my job?

    I can understand the thought of tipping people who make at or near minimum wage to help them out. But there are two problems with that. 1) Why is it your responsibility to make sure that person is paid a fair wage? If you think they should be making more money, take it up with the person who employs them and make your feelings known. 2) If you think that a person who makes too little should be paid more and it is your responsibility to do so, why are you limiting your generosity to just the people who are doing you some sort of service? If you aren’t, then kudos to you.

    Tips and gifts aren’t built into the expected wages of sanitation workers so sanitation workers are paid with the thought of them not receiving tips, they are built into the expected wages of wait-staff so wait-staff are paid less. So aside from sanitation workers merely doing their job, why would you tip a person that (for a vast majority of people) you have never met and never will meet? The only other idea that comes to mind is tipping them as a bribe to make sure they do a good job for you, but if that is your logic then you should be tipping anyone who ever does any work for you so they will be motivated to do good work for you in the future.

    I am of the mind that no one “deserves” tips. People need to “earn” their tip for doing a good job, above and beyond their expected responsibilities.

  48. BennieHannah says:

    I think you should tip (or provide a gift for) the service people in your lives who go above and beyond, as a reward and a sign of appreciation. For me that means people I actually interact with on a routine basis, not the mail carrier (except the one that came into our office everyday and was funny and free with the snarky-gossip), not sanitation workers or newspaper carriers.

    One that I’d put on the list is your mechanic. A good mechanic is worth his/her weight in gold, and it’s a nice gesture to stop by during the holidays and drop off a gift card or baked goods. You can also support local businesses and business owners you like by purchasing gift certificates to use as gifts rather than giving them anything directly.

  49. majic2516 says:

    Our rabbi always gets to keep the tips

  50. Plasmafox says:

    I’ve never even seen my mail carrier. How would I leave them a tip?

  51. LHH says:

    I don’t tip my mail man because there seems to be a different one every month.

    I don’t tip my Garbage Man because around here they make a very descent living and they also seem so change every couple of months.

    I give a Christmas gift to each of my children’s teachers. My kids go to very good schools with very good teachers and I appreciate that.

    Can’t afford a cleaning person so…

    Gardner… See above…

    I don’t tip the paper boy because it ain’t a boy and I have never see them. Also they can’t seem to get the damn paper past the sidewalk.

    I do tip the hell out of food servers if they can just keep up on the basics like keeping my drink glass full. That is really all I expect of them. Usually minimum of 20%.

  52. Midnight Harley says:

    I work at a fast food joint and people tip me directly. It’s always appreciated. It helps that I have worked there for several years and have a ton of regular customers whose orders I almost never forget lol.

  53. Commissar Yarrrrrrr says:

    Id tip them if it wasn’t just one guy driving a truck with an arm that reaches out and grabs the can, dumps it, drops the can wherever, and moves on to the next house.

    Seriously the dude doesn’t even leave his seat.

  54. momtimestwo says:

    I guess I should explain why i tip the mailman. We’ve had the same mailman for almost 10 years and he is really nice and brings my package’s to my house instead of making me drive to the post office, and that is worth my $25 gift a year. And because I’m lazy. Ok? :)

  55. Marike says:

    I baked cookies for my son’s preschool teachers this year, got my mail carrier a box of fudge, and if I could catch the UPS man who delivers all of my Amazon boxes, I’d get him a box of candy, too. But I’ve never thought about getting a gift for our garbage guys. Like other people, I’m used to my garbage being picked up before the buttcrack of dawn, however, since I’ve lived in this particular area of town, they tend to come anytime between 8am and noon. The two men who come rolling down my road in the mornings have been fairly friendly. If my 3yo son (who loves watching dump trucks) and I are out front when they come by, they’ll wave, ask him how he’s doing, then honk the horn and wave as they leave – always with a big smile as if they love doing their jobs. I think we’ll wait for them on Thursday with some goodies.

  56. HogwartsProfessor says:

    I don’t ever see my garbage people. Nor my mail carrier, and it’s never the same person two weeks in a row.

    I do tip the lady that cuts my hair. It costs $15 and I give her $5. If I have a coupon, I still give her $5. I always ask for the same lady too because I like the way she cuts it. And she’s nice.

  57. yevarechecha says:

    I live in an apartment. I take the trash out to the trash house in back of my building and it somehow disappears. I wouldn’t know how to go about tipping the garbage guys.

    The mattress delivery guys got over-tipped because they carried a full size mattress and box springs up four flights of stairs in the dark because our building had a power failure the day they came and the elevators didn’t work. I felt terrible about it.

  58. tooluser says:

    “No tips, ever” is completely fair to all.

    Stop tips now.

  59. jake.valentine says:

    If you work for the government you should not be expecting a tip. Your tip is the taxpayer funded salary, health benefits, and retirement. Its bad enough the state/local public employees are driving us over the bankruptcy cliff here in California, but to also expect a tip is beyond insulting.

  60. ECA says:

    I’d like to know WHERE they did this..

    This isnt reality in how IT IS, but consider the Old way
    6 guys on a truck collecting Garbage… can hit 60-100 homes in an hour, and you are being charged around $50 per month for each home..$3000-$5000 per hour to share.

    NOW,
    1 person drives a truck, that automatically, picks up all the trash..At over 100 per hour..
    Still $40-50 per house..
    $5000 per hour for 1 persons work…

    The person(s) that clean your home, come 1 time per week, at most… $50-200 per time…

  61. arcticJKL says:

    Gardner who carefully grows my roses I would tip, the landscaper, who cuts the grass, I do not.

    Of course its not really a tip its a Christmas gift. Or in the case of the garbage man, a bribe.

  62. sj_user1 says:

    Don’t tip anyone. But first tell your state representatives to pass legislation that guarantees a livable wage.

  63. damageddude says:

    My garbage guys have destroyed my garbage cans, left garbage I put out on the curb for another day, left garbage in the street and the cans and, most recently, didn’t bother picking up recyclables in my development on our recycle pickup day, instead taking it with the regular trash which probably helped jack up the town’s tipping fees for that day. They don’t deserve a tip (and they will be gone in 2 weeks anyway as a new company will be taking over in 2012).

    Mailman — I’m not even sure who it is as our mailman for the last 10 years was replaced with someone new. New person delivers earlier.

    Teachers get a gift from the entire class (we give $$ to class moms and they buy the gift).

    Newspaper carrier — unless I mail a card to their house (and yes she gives a card to customers with her address) I don’t see her or pay her personally.

    Barber – I shave my head myself. I think I will get me a nice bottle of wine.

  64. maxhobbs says:

    I used to tip at the holidays, then I took an arrow to the knee.

  65. Wesley says:

    My garbage people don’t even get out of the truck. They drive and operate the little claw that picks up the can and dumps it in the back. While I’m certain it takes some skill to do it efficiently, I certainly never have any sort of interaction with them. My manicurist (actually pedicurist) sits at my feet and hand scrubs the callouses off my stanky heels and paints little snowflakes or flowers on my toe nails to make them look lovely. Anyone who is willing to do that deserves a HUGE tip.

    And why does no one tip retail employees? I carry dining tables up the stairs, give design tips and help load sofas into people’s cars in the freezing cold. Nobody ever throws any cash at me.

  66. jewpiterjones says:

    Garbage men in my city make 80-120k per year (seriously). They should be tipping me.

  67. kittylauper says:

    Please tip baristas for the holidays, they usually don’t get any kind of Christmas bonus from their boss. They usually can’t even afford to take time off for the holidays.

  68. Sad Sam says:

    I would never tip the trash guy. In my city there was a big investigation and I think criminal charges where residents were “tipping” the trash guys to take trash, i.e. construction debris, or other items they are not allowed to take or picking up more than is permitted (i.e. you have to pay the City if you put out more bulk or yard waste than allowed).

    These tips were considered bribes and a lot of people got fired and in trouble.

    I tip people who give me personal services, i.e. my hairdresser who has been cutting my hair for 10+ years who will let me swing by her house, we live on the same street, and trim my bangs. I tip my dog walker, who happens to also be my neighbor’s child. That is it.