He will gladly add 20% to his bill at a restaurant (even for mediocre service), let his cabbie keep the change of a ten-dollar bill for a seven-dollar ride, and throws his change in the tip jar at Startucks when getting a chai latte.
Now I don’t want to be a Scrooge and I hate to complain, but come December I seem to be tipping everyone and their brother.
Just who am I tipping? I’m glad you asked…
First there is the Cleaning Lady: The usual tip (or so I was told years ago) is an extra week’s salary on her last cleaning day before Christmas. It is not, apparently, appropriate to give one’s cleaning lady a gift of say, towels or fancy olive oil. Cold hard cash is what is expected and it’s what I fork over. Though it is the one day of the year when their work seems to be lacking. You know you will be re-cleaning the toilet in the guest bathroom before your guests pop by Christmas Eve. “Ah well”, you say as you dig in your pocket, “it’s Christmas”.
Condo concierge: This is the cheerful guy that sits behind the desk in the lobby of the condo. Tipping him costs me either a very good bottle of scotch or champagne every year. Keeping the concierge happy at Christmas means that guests to your condo will be sent up quickly and you will know right when the package from Amazon arrives. A happy concierge will also unlock the security door when he sees you arrive with six shopping bags (and getting to your keys is difficult). Your humble blogger forgot to tip the concierge once and paid for it the entire year with the cold shoulder whenever I arrived with armfuls of groceries.
Condo security: Not to be confused with the concierge, security needs to be tipped as well. We have about four full-time guys on staff at our condo (I think I can name one of them) plus a bunch of part-time weekend guys. We are asked to contribute to a Christmas fund that is distributed in some way that, I suppose, is fair. The suggested donation is 100 dollars. If you don’t want to find your belongings gone when you get home from Palm Springs in February, tip security.
The Paperboy: Though have you noticed delivering newpapers really isn’t done by ‘boys’ anymore? It is now some guy in his 40s who I never see or hear from until a week before Christmas when I get a Christmas card inside my newspaper telling me his name, how great it was to delivery papers to me all year and that tips can be left at the concierge.
Personal Trainer: The 100 dollars an hour you’re shelling out for this torture isn’t enough during the holiday season. Biff, Steve or Rocko will be expecting a tip after your last workout before Christmas. Anything less than a hundred dollars and you will be paying with an extra two hundred crunches at the gym on December 27.
Getting your hair cut for Christmas? Then many of you know you will be tipping nearly everyone in the salon. You will have to tip your hairdresser, plus the shampoo girl, the girl behind the counter… and it’s double since it’s Christmas.
Did I forget anybody? If I did I’m sure I’ll pay for it come January.
Jeffrey, The Gay Groom