Saturday, December 17, 2011

A season for giving

Giving many many tips, that is.

Grown ups in the UK often tip their milkman, the dustbin men and the postman. I think a tenner used to be the norm, but as I never felt sufficiently grown up to do it, I don't know for sure.

Now we live in a building with actual staff, I suppose it's time to grow up. Tips all round, for the hard working team of Rabbit Hutch Towers.

I thought we could just give our favourites some money, and skip the rest. TLOML says that's not fair. So we sought the advice of our favourite New Yorker, on the logistics and etiquette of festive white glove tipping. She told us to expect a 'Happy Holidays' card from the building, with everyone's names it in, so we didn't miss anyone.

For a couple of weeks now we've been eagerly awaiting this note. They send it very late at Rabbit Hutch Towers - it just arrived on Thursday. There are fourteen people on the list.

I wondered aloud if we have to tip everyone, even that guy with George Michael beard who the other staff clearly don't like, and this 'Jewell' who I've never seen before in my life. I suggested to TLOML that we go down the list of fourteen people and each put a mark next to the names of the ones we recognise. Anyone without a mark gets no tip.

Again, he says this is unfair. I grudgingly accept he is right. Also, the unseen staff probably work harder than anyone. TLOML claims 'Jewell' is that really friendly lady he sees all the time in the elevator.

Okay, fine, we'll tip that mysterious woman who spends all day going up and down in the lifts. And the George Michael beard guy, maybe he's unpopular because he has to hold people to task, and he does a really great job.

So, we will tip them all. 'Tis the season, and all that. According to the interweb, a tip of $20 to $100 per person is acceptable. You do the math... Suffice to say we're sticking towards the lower end of that spectrum.

Finally, the etiquette of giving. Is it okay to just stick the money in an envelope with their name on it? I say not, which is why I started my Friday writing 14 identical Christmas cards. Is it safe to just leave cash, or is a cheque smarter? After all, if Jewell is disgruntled hardly anyone tipped her, what's to stop her lifting a few of those envelopes full of crisp Benjamins (or in our case, Andrew Jacksons)? This is is why TLOML will start his weekend writing 14 almost identical cheques.

Happy Holidays! And I hope you get all the tips you deserve, even if all you do is ride in a lift all day.

1 comment:

  1. 14 X $20 ??? What's happened to your Yorkshire upbringing dear child????