Le Clown Needs Your Help, The Hook Would Like Your Attention, And The Ironic Mom Wants Your Cash!

The blogger/demigod known far and wide as Le Clown is many things.

He is….

  • The Chosen One in the eyes of the overlords who command the WordPress platform.
  • A man (until I can prove otherwise), father, husband, and activist.
  • Wildly talented and possessed of an old soul.
  • Someone I both admire, and as much as I hate to admit it, resent for his success.
  • A blogger in transition. 

A Clown On Fire  has passed the one year mark and its creator wishes to mark the occasion by positioning his site for even more success with a head-to-toe virtual overhaul.

And he wants your help.

Before he clicks “publish April 30th, friends, he wants you to tell him:

  • Your suggestions: more of / less of;
  • Topics you’d like to see covered;
  • Revamps of existing features—Carnies’ Corner for example;
  • General feedback.
  • How to get blood out of those ridiculously huge shoes clowns wear.

So help a clown out will you? Le Clown is a trailblazer, a blogger who bravely shares the highs and lows of his past, but not in an attempt to get famous. I’m getting sick and tired of writers/bloggers who exploit/manufacture traumas for commercial gain; it’s all the rage these days. Are there any writers in the marketplace today who have had happy, productive, normal childhoods?

Le Clown wants you to laugh and cry with him and heal along the way, not make him rich. Although, that having been said, I’m sure he isn’t opposed to becoming filthy rich – seltzer is damn expensive these days.

So click HERE and help influence the production of blog posts by Le Clown. You’ll feel better about yourself if you do….

And now, back to the show!

I’m sure many of you have the same questions after reading my work. Questions like:

  • How on Earth has The Hook remained employed at the same establishment all these years?
  • Does the Hook ever have a good day?
  • Just how much are people supposed to tip their bellman anyway?

Let’s see..

  • I’ve been very fortunate in my career. I have an award – issued company-wide – for going “above and beyond”  and, ironically,  in all the time that I’ve spent writing about my job, no one has ever complained about the service they’ve received from me.
  • I have plenty of good days – those would be the days that I’m not on the schedule! Seriously though, my stories are focused on the small percentage of mentally damaged guests that cross my path, so most of the time my days are pretty much stress free.
  • As for the last question, the answer lies below.. Sort of.

Lat year Business Insider posted a handy guide with instructions on whether to tip (and how much to leave) in a variety of categories.

I know most people will scan these and say “Fat chance!”, but just remember, these are guidelines. Human beings aren’t very adept at following guidelines – take “Thou Shalt Not Kill” or “Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery”, for example – so all I would like to see is an honest effort from the Modern Traveler to follow the spirit of these rules, okay?

And for those who don’t have the time to follow the link, here is a condensed version, focused on The Hook’s natural habitat.

F & B (That’s Food and Beverage, if you’re not in the “biz”!)

According to the list, one is not expected to tip those who serve them coffee or takeout. That having been said, I know plenty of people who will leave the cashiers at Tim Hortons a few coins. In some ways, that’s like tipping your dealer, but to each his own. Bartenders should get $1 a drink; I’ve known plenty of bartenders who get much more than a dollar from some of our guests (i.e. cougars)  on a regular basis, but that’s another story entirely…

Waitstaff should get 15 per cent for adequate service, 20 per cent for excellent service, and 10 per cent (or less) for poor service. And delivery people should receive 10 per cent, says common etiquette, something that, unfortunately, is in short supply these days.

When Staying With The Hook…

According to Business Insider, “you should include money for tips in your next travel budget, because there is a host of people you should be leaving gratuities for when you stay at a hotel.”

I love the folks at Business Insider.

Bellmen and women should get one to two dollars a bag (five dollar minimum), the concierge should get anywhere between five to 20 dollars, and parking valets should receive two to five dollars. Even as I type this, I realize the hopelessness of trying to turn this particular tide, but hopefully a few people will read this and be slightly enlightened.

If you order room service, you are expected to leave five dollars minimum. And the girls and guys in housekeeping should get two to five dollars per night or a lump sum at checkout. Some of them should receive extra funds for therapy – you wouldn’t believe what they see.

Ultimately, travelers will tip according to their individual moral code. There are however, certain patterns that apply to specific individuals, such as…

GAMBLERS: They’ll usually tip big when they arrive – before they hit the casino – and HUGE if they hit the jackpot! If they lose, however, they’ll become both miserable AND cheap, which is a deadly combo…

MUSICIANS AND BACK-UP SINGERS: My hotel is within spitting distance of a major music venue and so I’ve dealt with my fair share of famous musicians’ bands and support personnel. They’ll usually slip you five dollars for their bags – which are always weathered and tattered – but if you have to haul their amps, axes and other musical tools, you’ll be looking at a decent payday.

GUESTS FOR WHOM “DISCRETION” IS KEY: Not every couple who checks into a hotel is an actual couple, if you catch my drift. Some couplings must remain confined to the shadows, for the harsh light of truth would overcome them and bring their artificial realities to an abrupt and messy end. .

I’ve seen to the needs of several of these couples in the past and the gentleman will always make sure you remember them. They’re not paying for the bell service, they’re paying for your silence. And I’m happy to shut up – for the right price.

And that’s about it for now, folks. Have a happy, fun-filled weekend. As always, I’ll be serving the traveling public, so say a prayer for your buddy, The Hook, all right?


I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: May 9 is fast approaching – like a horde of Beliebers on Red Bull – so put a few pennies away for Leanne Shirtliffe’s first literary offering…


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 Hotel Life and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

50 Responses to Le Clown Needs Your Help, The Hook Would Like Your Attention, And The Ironic Mom Wants Your Cash!

  1. I was disappointed to see “Research Specialist” was NOT listed as a job that should be tipped.

    So here was an awkward moment – I was at a nice resort with ONE bag (seriously, it was overnight stay only) and I was going to take my own bag to the room b/c I didn’t have any money for a tip except a $5 bill meant for something else until I got cash from my husband (he had it and hadn’t dispersed it) – so I got completely LOST and when I asked the guy said “I’ll just take you” and before I could say anything he whisked up my bag and took me to my room… I gave him my $5 – but what would I have done if I’d had only a dollar OR nothing?

    • The Hook says:

      Just smile a genuine smile and say “Thank you!”
      You could always get his name and tip him later. (He may not have believed you were sincere, but that would have changed when you showed up with a tip!)
      By the way, I’ve rarely met a wife who doesn’t have cash on her. Husbands aren’t usually in control – at least not in my house!

      • I totally would go back with a tip!

        I never have cash – Scott always does. No one is in control in our house – except possibly the cat who was thrilled with all the food she got before we departed. She ate for 20 min straight and I was worried she would be out of food before we even checked in to the resort.

    • Occasionally, when I’ve found myself sans cash for some reason and unable to tip, I make a point to track them down and tip them later. Just the look of surprise on their face is worth price of admission.

  2. Le Clown says:

    The Hook,
    Thank you, dear old friend… Cause that’s what we are now, right? I appreciate this. I’m working on the last details, and will be listening to readers’ comments.

    And I wanted to know. I need to know: is there a room 237 where you are? That is the one we will reserve.
    Le Clown

    • The Hook says:

      Le Clown,
      Of course we’re friends!
      Sadly, there is no room 237, but rest assured, i would go to great lengths to ensure you receive the best room in the house, as they say…
      Your dear old friend, The Hook.

  3. I always tip everyone 10 percent and nothing if I’m not happy with their service. I’m pretty sure that’s the common rule around here, then again the saying ‘going dutch’ isn’t there for nothing 🙂

  4. MissFourEyes says:

    Okay, I’m taking notes on this 🙂

  5. Robert, thanks for the tip guidance. I don’t stay in hotels very much, so always feel out of sorts when I’m there and never know what to tip!!

  6. Katie says:

    I’ve never tipped a bellperson… because I’ve never used a bellperson’s service.

  7. Ink Pastries says:

    The hotels I can afford don’t have bellpersons, and from the look of the rooms, they don’t have maids either.

  8. iRuniBreathe says:

    Now I know how much / when to tip. I get how people could pay you for your silence when discretion is necessary. That’s a special service all of its own that I have thankfully never had to pay for.

  9. Blink says:

    after a long time visiting your page.
    once again got to read another nice piece from your side 🙂

  10. giselzitrone says:

    Wünsche dir lieber Freund ein glückliches weekend, und alles liebe Gruß Giliinde

  11. Having worked as a waitress through college, I double those percentages whenever possible and stay home if I can’t pay 15% all around. During college, coffee shop tips were my salary. I wasn’t old enough to work where alcohol was served, so I’d get tables of 20 individuals all wanting separate checks for one cup of coffee, buttered toast or dry, half a bagel or whole, toasted or raw…each different from the other. I prided myself on knowing who had requested what, and ran back and forth bringing more jam, extra cream, who wants another cup for hours. I was paid, or tipped, almost the same as what I earn writing my quirky fictions–nada.
    Many people are overpaid for the work they do and the world is perfectly happy with that. But the idea of tipping someone? It goes against certain people’s principles. In restaurants, some customers, sometimes, seem to be dining out primarily for the perverse pleasure of humiliating a young woman who hasn’t made nice, nice, nice (!!) with the cook.
    Oh, and Hook, people with nice, normal childhoods may write smart little essays and irresistible blogs. But I once saw a New Yorker cartoon where the zookeeper’s on the phone, saying, “These monkey’s are so depressed, they’re all writing novels.”
    For certain kinds of novels, those that are created out of whole cloth, no set format, no historical ending just waiting there, you might lose half your life, pacing the carpet. Or finishing draft 88. Well adjusted, level-headed people find something more lucrative and less maddening to do. At the same time, I have often have more fun writing my serial fictions than doing anything else. It’s the final ms. that’s nonstop anguish.

    • The Hook says:

      Thank you, Kathleen,for elevating my little blog. You are an amazing writer and woman, my friend. Upon further reflection, I’ve come to the conclusion that you’re right about writers and their need to channel anguish for inspiration.
      Thanks again, my lovely friend!

  12. mairedubhtx says:

    I hope that people read the guidelines from the Business Insider and tip at least the minimum $5 for the bellman’s services and the car valet’s services. I always tip 20% in a restaurant, 10% if the service is poor, but I usually say something, too. I never stiff people. They have to eat, too. When I travel, I make sure I travel with a wad of $5 bills for tips in hotels. Dollar bills (I live in the US where the coins are bust) are an insult. Besides, I usually have a large suitcase and to schlepp that sucker you deserve at least $5.

  13. Michael says:

    Sadly, I have never stayed in a hotel that had bellmen, but if I ever do, I will be prepared. I was wondering, because you’ve written so often and so hilariously about people tipping poorly, what a good tip for a bellman would be, but now I know! 🙂

  14. Both He-Who and I are over tippers. We were both like that when we met. Even as a teenager I use to use a credit card size chart I kept in my wallet to make sure I left the best possible tip. We always make sure no matter what we have something for the waitress, bartender, bellman, housekeepers, the guy who hails us a cab, etc. We are also those people that will go back if someone else has paid the bill and undertipped. I had one Uncle who was furious with me when he caught me putting more money on the table. Our problem is the inability to not tip when the service is really, really bad. In the end I always fold and leave something.

  15. Rohan 7 Things says:

    Okay, here’s a question though. Say if someone doesn’t tip, and maybe get’s known as a non-tipper, do bell staff take any retaliatory action? I’m sure you retain your dignity in the face of cheapness, but do less ethical bell staff actively seek vengeance? And in what particular ways would the go about it? Maybe this could be the subject of a post, if it’s too long to answer in a comment.

    Oh and I can’t wait to see Le Clown’s new look!

    Keep well mate 🙂


    • The Hook says:

      There are many bellmen out there who commit unspeakable acts upon certain guests, namely, to their toothbrushes.
      I am not that sort of bellman.
      You are right though, Rohan, I could devote an entire post to various retaliatory acts I have been aware of over the years. We’ll see.
      And I can’t wait to see Le Clown’s new look! It should rock!

  16. Jo Bryant says:

    so when do we hear about the barmen and cougers ?

  17. On a recent stay at a rather nice hotel ( whilst walking past an open door) I had the misfortune to glance into the room. There, sitting in his jocks (whilst the housecleaning girl was making his bed) was a rather portly (I’m being nice) older gentlemen who could have filled quite a busty bra. His rather over-sized legs were open as wide as possible displaying what..!?! Oh dear; I’m so glad it was ‘just a glance’; there’s no telling what I may have seen with a longer view…
    This rather long tale was brought to mind by your comment regarding the ‘housecleaning girls and guys’… What they must see…! I hate to think, my dear Hook… 😉

  18. Only someone who basically enjoys people and a job offering the opportunity to watch the constant parade could be a bellman.
    Great tips on tips. (tips or no: there’s isn’t enough money to make up for what housekeeping has to deal with – especially in a popular vacation area.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s