Archive for December 21st, 2023

Service of Year-End Gratuities

Thursday, December 21st, 2023

Tenants in our apartment house place December tips in the slot on the roof of this house

I’ve only lived in a gargantuan building the last four years of my life and I still can’t get over my holiday tip challenge. This year there were 28 envelopes to fill for porters, handymen, door staff, manager and temps. I keep a chart of what I’ve given to every staffer each year. While expensive, the system is impersonal but efficient. We place the envelopes in a container in the lobby. If only half the 510 tenants give something, staff should do quite well.

Co-ops and condos often ask for $X.00 from each tenant and the money is divvied up by management. I’d come out way ahead if that were the case here.

One friend gives $0.00 to porters in his co-op because they “don’t do anything” for him. I guess he forgets who removes garbage from refuse rooms, vacuums the hallways, shines the marble lobby floor and polices the outside of the building, watering trees and flowers as well.

Another friend reminded me of all those who stiff the staff while urging me to bring it down a notch for some of the gifts to staff I never see. “You are one person,” she added. And during the year I tip anyone who so much as turns a screw to fix something in my apartment. [They are so quick to unclog a sink or fix a bathroom fan that sounds like a jet revving up on a flightline I suspect the word is out to expect $ from my apartment.]

My hair stylist told me that some ridiculous weekly or monthly customers go elsewhere in December so as to avoid giving a holiday gift and tip! They shouldn’t feel obligated, she said. If they have the substitute stylist color or cut their hair, this only-in-December person could ruin a year’s work not to speak of causing a dip of income in month 12.

Some staffers in office or home may be nasty or appear to be unconscious yet you never know if you’ll need them so stiffing them at Christmas may not be a great idea.

How do you handle the tipping situation?

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