Bathroom Tipping in Germany

Old Sep 1st, 2013, 05:21 AM
  #21  
 
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When I saw the title, I thought people were going around tipping over portapotties and this was a warning not to be in one if that sort of mischief was going on in the area. On second thought, I wouldn't call it "mischief" rather "felony".
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Old Sep 1st, 2013, 08:44 AM
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I find it odd to learn what customs others think we have here.

svandav:
If it was not a "fee toilet" (which it usually isn't in department stores), you gave a 40c tip which was totally okay.
If you tip, how much you tip is your business.
Only very small copper coins would be considered more an insult than a tip.

No one forced the department store to have toilets available.
They do that so you stay inside and don't run away if an "emergency situation" arises.
You also don't tip for free water in stores, do you. Some poor man has to carry these heavy gallon containers all the way in the stores...

The whole concept that you need to throw coins or bills at people who are in, what some people think, low-ranking jobs is totally nuts - and always biased towards "visible" workers, which makes it even more nuts.. the cleaning personnel which cleans the employees toilets or the floors each night has to deal with the same icky leftovers of human existance - and I have hardly ever seen anyone who tipped an euro in a department store for the nightly cleaning shift.


It's pretty simple:
When you see a sign that is stating an amount, it is a set fee to use the toilets. In some cases it can be a "suggested amount". But if you can't translate it, you can't do anything wrong if you pay.
In restaurants etc. this does not apply. Patrons do NOT pay. Period.
If you see a sign, it is targeted at non-patrons.
What you CAN do, is leave a tip. But that is voluntary, and not a general custom.
Actually, it is quite uncommon for restaurants to have a "toilet lady" so this question will not arise anyway.
In some cases, for example in huge beergardens, you may find a pretty huge WC "house" which is usually attended.
People do tip here (some a lot, some little), some tip every other trip to the bathrooms, some don't tip at all.
All three variations are the "local customs".
There is no norm.
Anything is a personal preference blown-up to a "local custom" which does not exist.
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Old Sep 1st, 2013, 04:47 PM
  #23  
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WOW, I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD GET SO MANY REPLYS. SOME MADE ME LAUGH AND SOME MADE A LOT OF SENSE. THANK YOU EVERYONE.
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Old Sep 1st, 2013, 05:09 PM
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This thread reminded me of the quaint phrase, "I need to spend a penny." Decades ago, using a public toilet in England required putting one of those large English pennies in the slot on the stall door and turning the dial to unlock it.
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Old Sep 1st, 2013, 05:53 PM
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30 to 50 cents. It's not a tip, it's a charge.

"The whole concept that you need to throw coins or bills at people who are in, what some people think, low-ranking jobs is totally nuts - and always biased towards "visible" workers, which makes it even more nuts."

Thank you Cowboy, you said that perfectly.

It rankles me too. These folks have a job, it may just be a stepping stone to something else but they are paid.
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Old Sep 1st, 2013, 06:27 PM
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There are five of us and these charges could really add up. In Canada we just go by the side of the highway. Is that acceptable in Germany?
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Old Sep 1st, 2013, 08:58 PM
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No more so than elsewhere.

You could equally say, tipping in restaurants for the five of us could really add up. Can't we just stiff the poor waiter and walk out without leaving a tip?
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Old Sep 1st, 2013, 09:29 PM
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Thanks so much, Ingo, for your advice and comments -- I forgot to thank you on my earlier post!

And thank you, Cowboy, for your wonderfully detailed explanation and good comments!!

s
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Old Sep 1st, 2013, 09:29 PM
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Cold..

Yes, no worries, fire away.. that would indeed be a local custom also here. On rural highways, no one drives for kms and kms but just pulls into any turnout, forest road, and hits the bushes.
It would be considered good manners not to face the highway doing "it", though

The only place where you would get a ticket for roadside relief would be on the Autobahn - for stopping, but not for the relief you seek

The standard phrase in German if you want to say you need a trip to the bathroom but don't want to say the "T" word would be: "I gotta go behind the bushes".
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Old Sep 3rd, 2013, 10:01 PM
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Then why tip the server, the bartender, the taxi driver, the porter, or the hairdresser?
Why do those jobs deserve tips and the other ones not? I'd rather tip the toilet frau or the housekeeper than the bartender, porter, or taxi driver.

I put change in the plates if the place is spotless, the person sitting there is friendly, and if it doesn't smell. If it doesn't meet those criteria, then no tip.

Most of the autobahn toilets and train station toilets have increased prices to between .70 and 1 €. Usually pretty clean though.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2013, 10:15 PM
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<i>Yes, no worries, fire away.. that would indeed be a local custom also here. On rural highways, no one drives for kms and kms but just pulls into any turnout, forest road, and hits the bushes.
It would be considered good manners not to face the highway doing "it", though</i>

I was going home yesterday and I saw that the Polizei were pulled over and speaking with a group of people. One of the men in the group said something to one of the officers and they both walked over to the bushes where the man proceeded to relieve himself. You'd never see that in the U.S. Well, maybe out in the rural parts, but still. That amused me greatly.
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Old Sep 4th, 2013, 04:44 AM
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>There are five of us and these charges could really add up. In Canada we just go by the side of the highway. Is that acceptable in Germany?

Only if dog tax has been paid for you.
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Old Sep 4th, 2013, 04:52 AM
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Spend thousands of dollars to get to Germany but can't spend a few Euro for a toilet.
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Old Sep 4th, 2013, 05:01 AM
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I suppose we could avoid drinking anything.
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Old Sep 4th, 2013, 06:41 PM
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50 cents.
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