THE HOOK’S DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO TIPPING AND SERVICE.

First off, this post was inspired by my fellow blogger Nicole of  nicoleandgwendolyn.com, who inspired me to revisit my feelings about my profession. Here are some of the results.

THE BASICS…

  • Be nice – to everyone. It’s not always easy, but give it your best shot!
  • There is no quota. I’ve helped guests with two bags and received $20 and I’ve hauled twenty bags for $2. If you want help, take it! Treat yourself.
  • Service Workers are here to help! If you need help – and most people do – just ask for it. That’s what we’re here for.
  • Exercise patience for as long as you can mange. The more popular the destination, the larger the crowd. The larger the crowd, the bigger the frustration level. Just hang in there and don’t take your stress out on your family or the hotel staff.

$5 IS NOT A LOT OF MONEY!

Even Charles Ingalls wouldn’t have considered $5 – the average tip I receive – a small fortune, so why should the Modern traveler? Think about the items most people travel with…

  • Laptops, iPhones, mini DVD players.
  • Cases of beer and boxes of wine. Yes, boxes!
  • Brand name, designer bags and clothing.
  • GPS devices.
  • Designer sunglasses.

All of these items carry price tags far beyond $5, so doesn’t it make sense to spend that much to ensure their safe journey from your car to your room? Do you know how many cheap buggers have dropped their booze on their way through the hotel? If they could go back and enlist the services of a bellman, they would, believe me.

YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY WANT TO HAVE FUN, NOT SPEND THE TRIP IN THE LOBBY!

Do you really think your traveling companions think you’re cool if you force them to spend fifteen to thirty minutes waiting while you walk back and forth with the luggage? Do you really want to know what they’re thinking?

  • Your friends:  “No wonder he never picks up a cheque!”
  • The kids:  “Our Dad suuucks! Look at those kids! Their Dad got a cart thingy – and they’re riding on it!”
  • Your parents:  “I can’t we raised such a cheap bugger!”
  • The wife:  “I can’t believe I married such a cheap idiot! And I was going to give him a quickie while the kids were at the pool!”
  • The girlfriend:  “And I was going to give him anal, too!”

ALWAYS KEEP THING IN PERSPECTIVE!

Consider for a moment the high cost of travel.

  • Plane tickets. And those extra “service charges”.
  • Gas. Let’s not even go there, right?
  • Food along the way.
  • Food when you arrive.
  • souvenirs.
  • Shopping.  These days, factory outlet malls will drain your wallet in seconds!

And I haven’t even discussed the cost of the room, parking and the “X-Factor” costs that no one sees coming! If you can afford to travel at all, then you really have no right to complain about tipping. Gratuities are the least of the Modern Traveler’s expenses. Cheap people should stay home – always!

SERVICE PERSONNEL ARE NOT BOXERS!

No matter how much your life sucks – and I’m sure it does – you are not allowed to treat housekeepers, servers, etc. like Rocky Balboa to compensate for your own shortcomings! Oh sure, you may get away with it on a regular basis, but trust me, sooner or later you’ll run into someone like The Hook and that day will change everything.

Rocky Balboa
Image via Wikipedia

Service workers are drawing lines in the sand and fighting back in record numbers these days and the blame falls squarely on the shoulders of an uncaring public. We’re all in the same boat folks; things are tough all over.

NEVER TRUST THE FRONT DESK!

Yes, they’re trained to facilitate the check-in process quickly and efficiently, but they’re human – and humans make mistakes; it’s our defining characteristic.

  • You require a smoking room?  TELL THEM!
  • Two queen beds are a must?  TELL THEM!
  • Your children have lycanthropic tendencies?  Stay somewhere else! But if you’ve made special arrangements – TELL THEM!

Your hotel has a responsibility to meet – and hopefully exceed – your needs, but you need to tell them every detail that is essential to the successful execution of their duties. And do it before you leave the Front Desk and make your way to the room!

Otherwise, some poor schlub – The Hook – is going to have to remedy the situation by playing go-between with you and the desk, and that gets old – fast.

And finally…

ASK YOURSELF, WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?

Jesus would take a bellman’s help and leave a tip. He may not carry money, but he would have found a way.

For sure.

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
This entry was posted in Holidays, Hotel Employees, Hotel Life, Humor, Life, Postaweek2011, Social Commentary, Travel, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

83 Responses to THE HOOK’S DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO TIPPING AND SERVICE.

  1. susielindau says:

    This is great! I will never be caught without some fivers in my pocket the next time I travel. We are taught to treat everyone like they are Jesus. Now I will treat every bellman like they are The Hook!

  2. Gillian Colbert says:

    I try to tip extra well. I grew up with a dad whose standard tip was $1 regardless of the tab. He definitely would have been the guy doing it himself. It always embarrassed me. I tip very well.

  3. El Guapo says:

    Having worked for tips a long long time ago, I try and overtip. And at restaurants, you have to pour hot soup on my head deliberately to not get over 20%.
    But please don’t. that stuff burns.

  4. OracularSpectacular says:

    I hate tipping. I hate tipping so much.

    I know, you now hate me, but here’s the story – I’m Irish and everyone here from waiters to bellhops get paid the minimum wage E8.65/hour – that’s about 11 dollars.

    So I don’t mind tipping if I’m in a State where a bellhop makes 3/4 dollars/hour but somehow now we’re expected to tip here too.

    What do you think of this?

    Would you tip somewhere you thought the staff were making a minimum of 11 dollars/hour?

    Am I just an asshole?

    • The Hook says:

      $11 is not that much these days! I know you believe otherwise, but if you really examine the cost of living, you’ll see things differently. But I certainly don’t think you’re an asshole! Everyone is allowed their opinion.

  5. littlesundog says:

    Awesome post! Schlub??? I think not!

  6. lexy3587 says:

    great post! I will make sure to give a decent tip (and take advantage of the help offered!) if I end up at a hotel with bellmen. As it is, we are usually more the motel or ‘chez family’ travellers, and the holiday inn doesn’t exactly offer that level of service. Wishing you a holiday full of good-tippers who are entertaining without being obnoxious. And, of course, good-cheer and family time :)

  7. El Guapo says:

    Hey, what is a good tip for 3 – 4 bags in a moderate to upscale hotel?

  8. “Be nice – to everyone” was my favourite part of this post.

    Am I the only one who had to Google “lycanthropic”?

    Have a wonderful Christmas filled with nice people, Hook!

    Wendy

  9. Fox@n says:

    When I used to work at Dunkin Donuts a worker always complimented the Ladys and he would usually get scolded.
    But most of the time that dollar gets dropped into the tip jar.
    Great Post happy holidays.

  10. eva626 says:

    You are always nice to everyone.! Happy holidays!

  11. Love it! I wish I could add this bit of “info” to our confirmation emails we send out when someone books in. Hmmm… wonder if I could sneak in a hyperlink…. :)

  12. spicegirlfla says:

    Awesome!! I will forever have this in my mind every time I’m about to tip or be helped!! Very timely post for the holidays.

  13. mairedubhtx says:

    Your post told the whole story.

  14. Great advice, Hook. I always tip well, but it is good to hear from the Hook’s mouth. Happy holidays!

  15. Fantastic advice! Going to treat myself and others to extra services and give out extra tips this year. Yep, decided. Thanks for the inspiration. :)

  16. giselzitrone says:

    Lieber Gruss wünsche dir frohe Weihnachten Gislinde

  17. jennygoth says:

    consider my tip spilling over into your wallet lol have a great xmas the one and only hook xxjen

  18. mcqty says:

    I love that you captured the whole modern day dynamic – Husband-Wife-Parents, Children-Friends and of course the carry on Luggage – I mean Girlfriend !!! Great post and in great timing for the traveling season !

    Happy Holidays to the one and only HOOK !

  19. Wonderful as ever and I take your point about Jesus……….but I always ask myself

    What Would Scooby Doo??

  20. I worked for years as a waitress – 2 years in a hotel! So we always tip. If we can’t afford it we stay at home. There are so many other ways of saving money – than being an obvious cheapskate : )
    The wife and girlfriend quotes ‘quickie’ and ‘anal’ made me laugh out loud!!!

  21. Woman says:

    Interesting post Mister The Hook! But we’ve discussed this before as well!!!!

  22. I try to tip well ($10?) because teachers are notoriously lousy tippers. If I ever get you, I’ll tip more… Promise!

  23. eyeLaugh says:

    Awesome post!! Great way of tying in leaving a good tip means reward of sex, and also positively correlating it with religion! Bonus points.

  24. Cindy says:

    Fabulous post, Hookie, I’d tip you a 50 if I were there :)

  25. TBM says:

    Another funny post. I want to watch how many cheap buggers drop their booze and then say, “well if you read Hook’s blog you would know better!”

  26. I was going to say, “Or ask, what would Buffy do?” but she’d probably kick someone in the face. So let’s go with Jesus here! ;)

  27. Androgoth says:

    Merry Christmas Hook, Vampire Lover
    and all of your wickedly fine family :)

    Have a very wicked one Hook, and be good…
    If you can I mean? :) ;) lol

    Androgoth

  28. And Jesus would probably give a smile and leave a kind word. (priceless)
    And uh, Fresh Pressed – why isn’t this there?
    Great post, Hook. Thanks

  29. Johz says:

    Ah, Jesus would probably given you a reward in heaven. Indeed, for every person who tips you next to nothing, I can imagine Jesus piles up another was of heaven-dollars on your table. That makes you feel loads better, I can imagine… :P

  30. nicole says:

    oh my goodness, you should NOT have used rocky balboa as your boxer example!

    “you are not allowed to treat housekeepers, servers, etc. like Rocky Balboa to compensate for your own shortcomings!”

    i would treat rocky balboa very well . . . at least in a sexual manner, haha! he is HOT (then and now) . . . and could very well be one of the only two men in existence to end my asexualism. the other man is james caan (then and now). :)

    i inspired you? i am SO humbled . . . yesterday, i told my dad to read your blog (before even reading this article). i said, “you will laugh and laugh and laugh and appreciate this man named hook so much!).

    thanks for making my day. :) x

  31. Jack says:

    If you can afford to travel at all, then you really have no right to complain about tipping.
    And that is where some people fool themselves. The gear you see me carrying isn’t always something that I purchased. Some of it was borrowed or given as a gift.

    The trip I am on is something that I scrimped and saved for years for. It doesn’t mean that I won’t tip but it irritates me that someone would complain about it. It might not seem like a lot to you but it is to me. It adds up over time and it is part of the reason why I don’t eat out or do some things as often as I would like.

    I don’t really care if people consider me to be a good tipper or bad. I do my best to be very nice to everyone I encounter because people deserve that. But beyond that all things are discretionary.

    • The Hook says:

      If you’re being nice – and I beleive you are – then not tipping isn’t really that great a sin at all. Thanks for the visit, Jack.

  32. Blink says:

    this one really got me hooked! :)

  33. BuddhaKat says:

    perfect,post, Hook… I expect you’ll be working a lot during the holidays, so I hope your guests remember how much better their trip is, because of you… and show it!!!! happy holidays… :)

  34. hotelnerd says:

    Don’t forget that tipping your Housekeeper, Concierge and the Valet is just as important as the Bellman. And the 55 cents you had at the bottom of your pocket and you dumped on the dresser and didn’t feel like picking back up before leaving doesn’t count as a tip for housekeeping, it should just count as littering you cheap douchebag. How much did your car cost? Or how much will it cost if the valet dings up your rental? Throw the guy a tip or park your own car. And you know how the Concierge knows about that really awesome restaurant they sent you to? They went and eat there, and only occasionally did they get some sort of “industry deal” to do it, and the hotel likely didn’t pick up the tab. They likely paid for it out of their own pocket, so that they could experience it, recommend it to you, and improve your vacation, throw a few bucks into the cause. If you don’t have cash hit the ATM. If you’re not willing to tip, then stay at a Motel 6 or stay home.
    And I can’t agree more that you need to actually express to the Front Desk what your expectations and needs are. And it’s so much easier to accommodate those requests if you ask while you’re at the desk, before you get into the room. We’re not mind readers. But we are very good listeners.

  35. Pingback: Don’t be a Scrooge This Holiday Season « hotelnerd

  36. Today, I have spent quite much time on giving styling advice to a lady while just being a ‘holiday employee’. She described her house, called her husband, he called back, she asked my help about paper table napkins and I walked around with her, talking about colours that fit or don’t fit, the colours she used at home and so on.
    No tip.

  37. dinkerson says:

    I’m ashamed to say that I tipped a little less than three just the other day. And the guy was absolutely the best. He was even willing, if not happy, to help me again later that evening when I needed to find someone who would deliver dinner to my room, but room service wouldn’t answer the phone.
    At least I’ve read this and learned. If that was you… sorry :^\

  38. Chris J says:

    I honestly thought Hotelnerd was being sarcastic. Yeah, throw your money to anyone within earshot of a hotel, why not! You don’t work hard for your money, but those hotel workers sure do!

    TIPPING IS NOTHING LESS THAN EXTORTION. You get paid by your employer, I get paid by mine. I don’t expect “tips”, neither should you.

    To think that people feel “ashamed” for not throwing their money away is just ridiculous.

    Tipping needs to end. People need to get a REAL work ethic, and not expect to be bribed to simply do their jobs. Something is very wrong with people in this country.

    I am kind, considerate, I carry my own bags, I don’t bother people. If I need help with something and have to ask a hotel employee, I shouldn’t have to worry that they won’t give me the correct or best answer or help just because I didn’t grease their palms. I’m not in construction and you’re not the mafia.

    To expect extra money or to give worse service is just wrong.

    • The Hook says:

      People in the service industry are paid less by their employers on the understanding they’re in a gratuitous position; that’s a cold, hard fact. If people don’t want to tip, fine – but they should be well aware of how the world works. A few dollars will not break anyone. If it does, then what are they doing on vacation in the first place?
      And someone who considers tipping to be the same as extortion is far from kind and considerate.

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