Tuesday, June 19, 2012


O.K. all you tightwads, listen up! (or read up! as the case may be).

I’ll start with a tale of a master tightwad. Eons ago – it seems like eons - I was engaged and about to be married in a few months.  My fiancé had few relatives: just his mother, grandmother, and sister who lived nearby, and an aunt and uncle who lived in Arizona. They wouldn’t be able to get to our wedding, so we decided that my fiancé, his mother and I would take a drive out there to see them during our summer vacation.
All the way west from New York and all the way back, he had us stay in the seediest places. And all the way west and all the way back he refused to leave any tips. “I work for my living and never get tipped, why should I tip them for doing their job,” or words to that effect. No amount of reasoning would change his opinion, so all the way west and all the way back his mother and I left tips. This happened back in the late 60’s, and ever since then I have been assiduous in leaving proper tips. (By the way, when we got back from the trip, his mother, who hadn’t lived with him for several years, said to me “If you marry him you’re crazy,” and those are her exact words. And I didn’t, and I’m so glad!)

I know there are many out there who would never neglect to tip their barber or beautician because they might get a buzz cut or a purple dye job next time out. There is a great deal of face- or name-recognition with tipped employees who are seen regularly, and thus many patrons are generous with their tips. But too many, and I do know a few of them here, think nothing of short changing wait staff or others they think they’ll never see again.  (I hope they do see and remember you again and spit in your soup!) 

Then there are others who don’t tip properly or don’t tip at all under circumstances new to them.  Many have never been in an establishment where there are washroom attendants, many have never been to a massage therapist, many have never even had a pizza delivered. So for them and any other of you who don’t know how or how much to tip, or don’t tip at all, here’s a master tool: TIPPING – How to Respond to Hospitality.  The tip on the tip guide came to me from Nicole Stennes at HospitalityManagementSchools.org. She thought – absolutely correctly! – that I would be interested in it for my blog.

Bookmark the guide, read through the various categories to familiarize yourself with the art of tipping – proper, sufficient tipping. If you’re lucky enough to have a portable device to get you to the internet while you are dining out, you can consult the guide’s Tip Calculator. Remember to consult the guide when you come to a new situation where you are unsure of what to do.  The clever chart covers everything from waiters to tattoo artists. (And if you think you are going to be using the services of a tattoo artist, I want to know how you ever stumbled onto my blog for seniors.)

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