Monday, December 13, 2010


It's time to peel off crisp bills and give them to those whom we believe have gone beyond their duty to make our living where we live more pleasant during the year. We also tip these people because they tend to make less than the tippers - not so these days with many tippers out of work and doormen know that. They know everything. They know that you're spending more time at home and you've traded in your smart wardrobe for jeans and sweaters. They know that you're receiving fewer packages and your dry cleaning pick-ups and deliveries are down. These are difficult times indeed and you don't have to apologize for them if you're not tipping this year. In many cases economics have nothing to do with it, tenants who tip all year round don't find it necessary to tip when the holidays roll around.

We notice that the day after Thanksgiving, doormen become more like doormen. In some buildings where they're not expected to open the door all the time, they can't get there fast enough. They ask if they can carry your packages for you. Instead of a pleasant nod, they open their mouthes and greet you by name. These actions are followed by a card or a sheet listing all the names of the staff. It's usually a simple card wishing you peace and joy and of course wishing for a tip. Yvette's building doesn't bother with a card, they slip a list under each tenant's door. Only one doorman sends personal thank you notes, the others sign a thank you sheet.

The building card or sheet can be helpful. It helps you see the spelling of names so that you can address their card by name and make it more personal and genuine. And it also gives you an idea of how much money you'll need on your next visit to the bank. If you've had a difficult year, this could be the last card you'll want to open.

You may be tempted to make some cookies to give in lieu of money or give a bottle of wine. We have mixed feelings about that. Yvette thinks cookies are fine if that's the best you can do. But if you calculate the ingredients and the time it takes to make cookies, you probably could afford to put ten bucks in an envelope. Which would you prefer? A cookie? A bottle of wine? Or money?

Here's our tip - if you can do it, do it, if you can't, don't. And if you don't want to, you don't have to.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tipping points.

BUT I want you to delve into a completely different issue: people who talk on their cellphones during elevator rides. PLEASE go on record condemning this obnoxious practice -- it must stop before someone (like me) -- "goes elevator" -- if you catch my drift... It is so irresponsible and selfish for people to impose their loud personal conversations on those with whom they share a cramped public space.