Paris tipping hotel maids

Old Jul 31st, 2015, 11:21 PM
  #241  
 
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I haven't read all 300 posts, but yes I tip the maid about 2 euros daily when I'm in Paris.
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Old Aug 1st, 2015, 12:46 AM
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Great fun. I see that people have managed to mention British teeth and American embonpoint.
The last time I went to an American restaurant, I mused about the possibility of totting up the potential bill and calculating 25%. I'd then hand it to the waitress saying, "Lulu-Charlene, my server for tonight, I'm giving you your tip at the beginning. In return, you will visit the table only to serve and remove. If we need you, we will smile and beckon. If anything is not OK, we will point it out to you".
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Old Aug 1st, 2015, 12:49 AM
  #243  
 
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Since we're planning a trip to the USA next year, I thought I'd look up information on tipping there.

NewbE says;
(And thanks for making such an effort to do the right thing. As an American, I realize our tipping culture is confusing/strange/offputting to foreign visitors.)

Which is exactly why we do not want this tipping culture here. When in the US, of course we follow local custom and hand out dollar bills according to the advice given by the locals, taking note to tip the barman at the Four Seasons for serving a beer, but not the McDonalds server for putting a burger on a tray. We tip the maid for cleaning our room, but not the dry-cleaner for cleaning our clothes. I'm sure we get it wrong on some occasions, but at least we try.
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Old Aug 1st, 2015, 01:01 AM
  #244  
 
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Lots of American customs (and lots of customs from other countries) have infiltrated Paris, if not all of France. I can only speak for Paris, since this is where we live, but apart from clothing styles, the ubiquitous attempts to duplicate the American-style hamburger, and an enormous increase in the amount of junk food in the supermarkets - oh, and a Starbucks on virtually every corner - I really do not think that the American way of tipping will become the norm, here.

Therefore, life as we know it in Paris should go on as usual - with the above-listed exceptions, of course. Neither the French social structure nor economy will change at all, just because tourists want to throw a little money around (for whatever reason).

All this nonsense that tipping will drive employees to expect (or demand) tips is just nonsense. Employers must still adhere to employment regulations, so won't change the way maids or servers are paid. Things just do not work that way.
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Old Aug 1st, 2015, 03:46 AM
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Justine.

Took me time to add 1 and 1. I lost all my emails due to a crash of my laptop but I'll pm you.

Of course I remember our dinner. La bouteille d'or just in front of Notre Dame, Gregg and you were in great shape !
(I had some noix de veau aux champignons... very good).

Did we tip ? I didn't for sure

Great to find you again - I'm sure we'll find a date.
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Old Aug 1st, 2015, 07:46 AM
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a week and 318 replies on a tipping topic...then we get to the anti American comments on and on and on. Just silly.
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Old Aug 1st, 2015, 08:27 AM
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Well, we don't have to really worry about American mores taking over Paris since Americans represent only a small minority of the visitors to Paris, and their share is shrinking every year with the rise of tourists from China and India. Since the Chinese tip nobody for anything, Americans will just have to tip more and more so that those poor little French waiters don't starve to death, I guess.
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Old Aug 1st, 2015, 03:21 PM
  #248  
 
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Perfect Point Kero... lol..

And Lois.. consider the "anti American" posts only fair for the anti europeon posts.. disrespect definitely went both ways.. but some can give it and sure don't want to take it..
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Old Aug 1st, 2015, 07:22 PM
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as my wise mother says, "if you want to pitch, you have to catch"
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Old Aug 1st, 2015, 07:36 PM
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It's been a while since I visited European forum. So much name-calling, don't remember this going on even before the registration.

Off to other places now.
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Old Aug 1st, 2015, 09:32 PM
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<i>And Lois.. consider the "anti American" posts only fair for the anti europeon posts.. disrespect definitely went both ways.. but some can give it and sure don't want to take it..</i>

Just so we are all on the same page, someone calling you a fool isn't anti-European. Heck, it isn't even anti-Canadian.

<i>Americans will just have to tip more and more so that those poor little French waiters don't starve to death, I guess.</i>

Honestly, this is the sort of nonsense that bothers me. Tipping is a norm. It isn't about ensuring whether someone starves or is even fairly compensated.

For example, I know that the average French household has something like 60% of the disposable income of an average American household. Does that mean I tip the average Frenchman I meet? Of course not.

I know that British employees at my company make something like 20% less at official exchange rates than a comparable US employee despite a higher cost of living. Does that mean I tip random British people? Of course not.

I know that youth unemployment in Spain is roughly 50%. Does that mean I hand out euros to random Spanish twenty year-olds? Of course not.

This whole "Americans tip because they don't have an adequate minimum wage" canard is nonsense. It is a cultural norm, nothing more. I mean, Germany didn't even have a minimum wage until like a year ago and Germans were always tight-fisted travelers. And Spain has a lower minimum wage than the US and yet they don't tip at US levels.

Tip where it is the norm. Don't where it isn't. But pretending that you do or don't because of some careful analysis of the relative economic situation of servers in various countries is stupid. French travelers don't start tipping 50% when they go to Thailand, because they don't actually care how much the person waiting on them makes. French travelers tip if that is the norm (and they know enough to follow it) and they don't tip when it isn't (or where they are too ignorant or too cheap).

FWIW, the average French waiter makes less than €18k per year in salary. I'm glad that our French friends and resident Francophiles think that is living high on the hog. For our American friends, that is around $17k at PPP. That doesn't mean I am going to tip at US rates, but don't tell me the reason I shouldn't is because French waiters are paid well.
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Old Aug 1st, 2015, 09:44 PM
  #252  
 
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The quality of life is not measured in quantity of money in France. Some of you will never understand that.
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Old Aug 1st, 2015, 10:10 PM
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<i>The quality of life is not measured in quantity of money in France. Some of you will never understand that.</i>

Quality of life may not be measured in money in France, but last I checked food, clothing, shelter, transport, etc. still were.

Besides, you were the one that brought up wages. Seems odd since they now don't matter.
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Old Aug 1st, 2015, 11:30 PM
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What many visitors do not understand is that the Parisian standard of living is far less luxurious than what is represented in advertisements for fashion, restaurants and those apartments which have been remodeled to suit Anglophone tourists.

If anyone has stayed in a "budget" apartment that is owned and managed by a bona-fide Parisian, it is easy to see how little emphasis is put on creature comforts such as quality bedding, gourmet kitchens, big-screen TVs, etc. Most people living and working here simply cannot afford "nice things", and are content to do without - credit is extremely hard to get (since the banks won't lend what you can't re-pay) - that's the way they were brought up.

The Parisians we know well go out to eat dinner or go for drinks on their own nickel perhaps once a month - but are happy to come along when someone else picks up the check. Most nights are spent alone or watching TV and eating a take-out pizza with a few friends. Most of them exist on lunch vouchers, eat at the company cantines, and go to exhibits which offer free drinks and snacks. The rest of the time, it's quite normal to have a piece of toast and coffee for breakfast and a can of sardines for dinner and call it a day. This is also one reason why most people are thin. Many people share tiny apartments, either in a romantic situation or not, so rent is not prohibitively expensive. Transportation is subsidized and so are all their other basic needs. People shop the sales, especially online, and buy, sell or trade on sites like e-bay - nobody we know buys anything "new", and people keep and wear the same clothes until they fall apart.

One of our friends is a physical therapist, working in a cabinet with 3 others. Her take home pay is 1200 EU/month. Her husband has been unemployed (but looking for work) for 2 years. They have 3 children, under the age of 10 years old. They own a small house in the SE suburbs and a used car. All of them are healthy and happy, and are always on the go, since many of the activities they enjoy are subsidized for families with kids by the State.

So, 14,400 per year for 5 people, plus the few hundred euros allotted by the State for their children. Certainly not "high on the hog", and though they would like to have more spending money, these people are not suffering. Believe me, neither are the waiters everyone is so worried about - many of whom have two jobs and are paid cash by at least one of their employers.

What everyone is doing is projecting their standards onto a culture they do not understand. Parisians live at basically the same economic level as they did in the 1950's.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2015, 01:20 AM
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Hotel maids make around 1100 €/month* (gross:1500). It's the legal minimum wage (SMIC) in France.
Saying that 1100 € is a "decent wage" sounds to me like "it's good enough for them".
It's clear that none of us, on this travel board, could live with so little.
With my monthly 1750€ (which probably makes me an indigent here) I feel very lucky compared to them.
I admit that I don't tip hotel maids. Considering my income and the kind of hotels I patronize, it would be a little bit ridiculous.
But I don't see why those who can afford it should be discouraged or even mocked.
In my opinion, it's not a matter of wether it's appropriate or inappropriate, if it makes you happy and you can afford it, do tip, the maid will not feel offended.
And F... with the "local custom".

(I'm French by the way)

For what it worths
*http://www.lhotellerie-restauration.fr/
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Old Aug 2nd, 2015, 01:27 AM
  #256  
 
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Past 325 now, it's good to see that we only had one crazy tipping thread this year.

Carry on
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Old Aug 2nd, 2015, 01:38 AM
  #257  
 
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Yuo,
At least it can make a reference thread.
Bookmarking !
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Old Aug 2nd, 2015, 01:41 AM
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<i>One of our friends is a physical therapist, working in a cabinet with 3 others. Her take home pay is 1200 EU/month. Her husband has been unemployed (but looking for work) for 2 years

So, 14,400 per year for 5 people, plus the few hundred euros allotted by the State for their children.</i>

The husband most probably get unemployement benefits, the amount of which depends on his pay at his previous job. So they probably have much more than those 14,400 a year.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2015, 02:13 AM
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That's why 2/3rd of what I cost my boss goes into taxes for the state.
With that money state is supposed to take care of ill and unemployed people as well as to educate, protect them etc.
And that may be one of the reasons why some of us consider it unnecessary to tip.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2015, 05:30 AM
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<i>Believe me, neither are the waiters everyone is so worried about</i>

To be clear, I'm not worried about the waiters. Well, I am in the abstract sense. I've long puzzled at the presence of very low incomes in much of Europe and do think that they have helped contribute to relatively poor economic growth worldwide.

But that is an academic concern. I don't think I need to shower Europeans with charity, regardless of how little or much they may make. I was responding to statements like:

"they tip because they know the server gets slave wages"

"A society that lives off tips is by definition both underdeveloped since it implies that wage scales are insufficient and unfair since some people with low salaries have no access to tips no matter how much they may deserve them."

And of course...

"Americans will just have to tip more and more so that those poor little French waiters don't starve to death, I guess."

I figured that, since some have defined the reason to tip or not in terms of the incomes of those receiving the tip, we might as well be clear about those incomes. I don't think it helps the argument that Americans only tip out of guilt or concern, but those that claim it can feel free to dispute it.

I'd prefer people didn't respond with some version of "Europeans are free of concerns about material possessions and prefer a monastic life", but if people actually believe that, then more power to them. I guess.
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