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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.