touchy about tipping

I know I’m probably going to push a few buttons with this post, but I’ve just got to know … does anyone else think that holiday tipping is just a little bit excessive???

I ask because over the weekend, we’ve gotten solicitations from two people already that honestly would’ve never really came to mind – our garbage collector and the newspaper delivery person. The garbage collector probably rubbed me the wrong way the most, as I went out to collect our empty garbage can Saturday afternoon to also find in our driveway a little card in a plastic bag filled with rocks to hold it down, with the card saying happy holidays and thoughtfully listing our specific driver’s home address. Now that I think about it, I guess I have seen the newspaper one before, as today I picked up my Sunday paper in several pieces spread across the driveway because the bag had broken and amidst the papers was a similar card and return address.

Now I should note that I thought I was pretty good at tipping where I was supposed to – wait staff at restaurants, bartenders, valets, whoever cuts my hair at Supercuts, and even the bus driver at the airport – because I’ve always known these to be service industries where tipping is accustomed. Mind you, this makes sense to me because these people either A) make a lower than normal wage and tipping makes up the difference, such as in the food industry; or B) do something that they don’t have to do, like the bus driver at the airport welcoming us home and lifting our bags onto the shuttle bus for us. What I don’t get is the rest of the folks who also seem to expect tips, even though they already make a normal wage. People who work behind the counter at delis or convenience stores who then put out “tip jars” are a good example of this…

I don’t know, I guess I’ve always just considered how much I pay for garbage collection to cover all the bases, or likewise with the newspaper and the “delivery charge” that they automatically tack onto my bill as it is. I do reporting at my regular job and I certainly don’t get tipped for every single chart or spreadsheet that I e-mail out! Maybe I’m looking at this the wrong way … that it should be considered more of a Christmas bonus than just a tip, but it still just sits funny with me. According to the charts at the bottom of this article, we’d be looking at almost $100 just on the low end of holiday tipping if we opted to follow this trend. Does it make me a Scrouge to think that that sounds just a little crazy?

1 Comment

  1. In the case of the various delivery drivers, they don’t actually see a cent of it. Not usually, anyway. And most newspapers are too cheap to pay their delivery people for mileage if they drive, so I’d expect that sort of thing.

    Personally, we don’t really have that much for “service people”… the mailman maybe… but even then, I don’t tip them because, as you said, it’s, y’know, their job.

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