Chambermaid tipping

Old Dec 11th, 2013, 07:20 AM
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Folks, a little perspective here. This is the internet. Talk's cheap. You can be anything you want to be.
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Old Dec 11th, 2013, 07:26 AM
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"I am friends with several famous NYC doctors, and they are constantly being showered with gifts (very expensive), year round."

Hmmm, I think that it's fairly unethical, to accept extravagant gifts from your patients. Sometimes I wish DH would accept the things he could receive, but he won't take anything worth more than a few dollars from a patient.
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Old Dec 11th, 2013, 07:29 AM
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Not the custom among my Spanish friends.. we do tip when we ask for extra pillows or our luggage is brought up or something special is done for us but otherwise we do not tip.
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Old Dec 11th, 2013, 07:34 AM
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NYC I've tried saying NO to bellhops, they never go away. I agree if they would go away and I could hire them they offer a sensible service, but the people refuse to go away, in the last 2 years I've virtually had to buy my luggage back from two scoundrels.

Makes me sick. The whole prices are not prices thing in the US makes me feel stolen from and hurts in the stomach. Despite that, I fight through my cultural barriers and do what I can. US people should do the same in Europe.

The issue of German minimum wage is far more complicated than just saying there is none. There are wages like minimum wages and rules to get around them.
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Old Dec 11th, 2013, 07:36 AM
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Gifts for doctors, oh my gosh, well how embarrassing. As a professional if one of my clients gave me an expensive gift I would be ashamed. A small gift may be acceptable but an expensive one. Yuck.
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Old Dec 11th, 2013, 07:45 AM
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bilboburgler - I was just trying to put up a few comparisons - what would be the likely wage of a German waiter? Cleaning staff in a German hotel?

Something I couldn't find on the 'net is whether the cleaning staff in American hotels count as tipped or non-tipped staff, because if they are paid as tipped staff, clearly I should be tipping them. (However much I dislike the stupid US system of expecting the customer to pay the staff's wages.)
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Old Dec 11th, 2013, 07:48 AM
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In Italy, as I said, people generally don't tip, except for a very few circumstances. In fact, in the part of Italy where I live, where there aren't many tourists, I've more than once seen waiters run after people to return money they assumed was accidentally left on the table.

And when I say that in small Italian hotels, the person cleaning the room is often a family member, I do know what I'm talking about. I have conversations with the hotel staff. Often there are only two people running the hotel, and sometimes even just one person. That person may be on the desk in the evening and cleaning the rooms in the morning. If the person who checked me in, gave me the key, and offered to upgrade my room gratis on Wednesday is cleaning my room on Thursday, I assume she's not a "chambermaid", a term reeking with servitude.

Many Italians, including my husband, are ideologically opposed to tipping, because they consider that it puts the giver and receiver in a master/servant relationship. I'm more flexible than he is, but he is so bothered by the custom that when we visit the US, he asks me to calculate the tip and pay the bill (with his credit card, of course).

As I said, in cities like Rome, Florence, and Venice waiters are beginning to expect tips, but they generally don't expect them from Italians, except perhaps in the stratospheric restaurants frequented by food snobs from New York. The Italians who dine in those restaurants are usually full of the spirit of <i>noblesse oblige</i>.
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Old Dec 11th, 2013, 07:49 AM
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<i><font color=#555555>"As a professional if one of my clients gave me an expensive gift I would be ashamed."</font></i>

LOL

<i><font color=#555555>"I think that it's fairly unethical, to accept extravagant gifts from your patients."</font></i>

And I think it's wrong to put a comma where one does not belong. But if you're not a wine connoisseur, how do you know the bottle of wine you just unwrapped sells for $1200 until you Google it?
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Old Dec 11th, 2013, 08:17 AM
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It's pretty simple.

If a person is paid $2.13/hour in the expectation that they will be tipped, obviously you should tip them. (Which is why I asked whether the cleaning staff in American hotels are paid as tipped or non-tipped employees.)

If a person is paid $12.96/hour in the expectation that they will <i>not</i> be tipped, why would you tip them?

Is it out of habit (I've been guilty of that on occasion)?

Is it because you haven't bothered to find out the local custom?

Or is it because it makes you feel good to give money to someone? And if so, given that the American class system is based on wealth (and race), <i>what does that say about you</i>?
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Old Dec 11th, 2013, 08:26 AM
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Because NYfoodsnobwhatever

"IMO, a gift of gratuity is a very small way to say thank"

We don't place a monetary value on sincerity, we just say thank you.
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Old Dec 11th, 2013, 08:33 AM
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"Many Italians, including my husband, are ideologically opposed to tipping, because they consider that it puts the giver and receiver in a master/servant relationship. I'm more flexible than he is, but he is so bothered by the custom that when we visit the US, he asks me to calculate the tip and pay the bill (with his credit card, of course"

Thank you, you are married to a man of greatness and understanding.

The spread of tipping through Europe seems to be another tacky American cultural contagion, bit like McDonalds and Miley Cyrus.
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Old Dec 11th, 2013, 08:34 AM
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I love tipping threads, when do we get to the " we won WW2 bit".
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Old Dec 11th, 2013, 09:01 AM
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'Standing behind a counter at a fast food restaurant is not personal service. Reasonable people with a decent IQ know this.'

So I don't tip a barman either? Standing behind a bar pouring a drink is not much different from standing behind a counter and serving a burger.

Please tell me if I have got that right, with my inferior IQ I really can't tell the difference.
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Old Dec 11th, 2013, 09:05 AM
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Lol, Dickie. Been there, done that.

"IMO, a gift of gratuity is a very small way to say thank you..."

Yeah. Thank you for doing your job, that you're already paid to do. Oh, and by the way, you're not meant to continue being a "chambermaid" for the rest of your life, having to depend on the capriciousness of strangers.

I'm starting to resent our culture of tipping with the prevalence of tip jars showing up everywhere, including self-serve places.
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Old Dec 11th, 2013, 09:45 AM
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Trophywife007, I agree completely with you.
The last time we were in Paris a waiter rudely set down the bill and informed us "tip not included".
This also happened to us in a Rome with a trainee waiter. The older waiter supervising apologized to us.
My thinking is that many Americans are over-tipping and it's becoming expected in some places.

People can leave housekeeping a tip if they choose. Not everyone does that in the U.S.
Personally, I think it helps to not leave the room a big mess and to be courteous.
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Old Dec 11th, 2013, 09:46 AM
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<i><font color=#555555>"So I don't tip a barman either? Standing behind a bar pouring a drink is not much different from standing behind a counter and serving a burger."</font></i>

Actually, there is a big difference, especially if your bartender is a well-known, respected mixologist. If your drink is custom made to your specifications, or it's a specialty creation of the mixologist, someone has to make it. And if you order more than one, then those have to be made, too. And if you're served tasty little treats (for free) without asking, then…

McDonald's counter folk take your order and handle the money. A robot can do that job and probably will one day.

Bartenders often benefit from the tipping custom afforded waiters. Given what some of these "artful" drinks are costing these days, I'd say there's a pretty good (and fair) argument against any need for tipping. I can't remember the last time I sat at a bar, and I certainly don't remember ever feeling a need to be overly generous to a bartender.

<i><font color=#555555>"We don't place a monetary value on sincerity, we just say thank you."</font></i>

I think many folks would be surprised by the number of people who don't even say thank you. I did not read anywhere on this thread that a monetary value should be placed on sincerity. If you read that into my words, then you were mistaken.

<i><font color=#555555>"Many Italians…are…opposed to tipping"</font></i>

Perhaps many are. My circle of Italian friends leave something for the waiter. They don't overtip, and neither do I, if that's the cultural norm.

<i><font color=#555555>"except perhaps in the stratospheric restaurants frequented by food snobs from New York"</font></i>

The stratospheric restaurants these days often state a hefty cover charge per person on the menu. High-end restaurants in Europe specifically catering to international foodies have changed the way they deal with collecting extra funds for service. Everything changed with the Euro, including the cost of serving you an expensive dinner.

Some food snobs only go to such places. I'm not one of those, and nor do I judge great food by how much you pay for it.
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Old Dec 11th, 2013, 10:06 AM
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So you tip for personal service, that is why the maid gets a tip. How about the people in the laundry, who wash your dirty sheets? That's pretty personal. Or the dry cleaner? Do you tip him?

The maid in a hotel in Brussels, who gets paid a fair wage, has health insurance and good schools for free for her kids - you would tip her, and tell us we're mean not to.

But the McDonalds employee in your own town, who is not paid enough to live on, and is told by his bosses to get a second job in order to survive - I would have to be stupid to tip him?

I'm sorry but that makes no sense. Pay people a decent wage, and for a service beyond what is required, give them an extra tip. If I just want a beer, I don't tip. If I want a complicated drink some free nuts and a nice chat with the barman, I do tip.
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Old Dec 11th, 2013, 10:27 AM
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When we travel in Italy, we often go to the same restaurant repeatedly, because we don't travel to sample restaurants. Even though we don't tip, we're always graciously welcomed as repeat clients on repeat visits.

By the way, in many smaller restaurants in Italy, the servers are family members, and please don't ask me how I know that.
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Old Dec 11th, 2013, 10:38 AM
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Tulips, are you talking to me?

<i><font color=#555555>"How about the people in the laundry, who wash your dirty sheets?"</font></i>

Numerous hotel managers tell me that housekeeper tips are pooled and distributed to the entire housekeeping staff, much like many restaurants do with their extended staff. (This may be Union rule, but I'm not sure.)

<i><font color=#555555>"Or the dry cleaner? Do you tip him?"</font></i>

Are you kidding? Madame Paulette has more money than Warren Buffett. I should tip her?

<i><font color=#555555>"The maid in a hotel in Brussels, who gets paid a fair wage, has health insurance and good schools for free for her kids - you would tip her, and tell us we're mean not to."</font></i>

If you're the maid in Brussels who is describing her wage as "fair," then I will listen to you. Otherwise, forget it.

I never once used the word "mean" on this thread. You can take that word up with janisj. She used it.

As for McDonald's employees… I won't stop you from the trying to tip them. I can't remember the last time I ate at McDonald's. As I've already said, when you consider how profitable the company is, it is a shame they are so stingy with their workers. Selfish greed is a problem in our corporate culture, but it is not a problem that is exclusive to America.
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Old Dec 11th, 2013, 11:12 AM
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Don't think the problem lies with McDonalds.

It lies with the restaurants charging $100 for a main but not paying their staff a basic salary. That is selfish greed.
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