Several months ago another blogger was talking about tipping the owner of a service facility, in this case a hair salon. I have read in other blogs that tipping the owner of an establishment is not necessary, and I am now wondering if it is a regional thing. Around here (northern California), I have never heard of such a practice and have always budgeted a tip for any and all services where tipping is customary.
I admit to having tip anxiety. While I am totally over posts on tipping, I read them to ensure I am doing okay and not stiffing workers in a tip-oriented industry. In my first go-round with college I was a waitress, my one and only tip-oriented employment adventure. I learned a lot about customer service and expressing appreciation for good service. Since then, M and I are pretty customary in our 20% tipping practices, even when we were a much leaner earning household (we tended to just eat a cheaper restaurants).
When we travel I struggle with tips for hotel housekeepers, bell service, valets, etc. Back when I had to travel for work, it seemed customary and appropriate so it became a habit I adopted and continue when M and I travel. On the rare occasions M and I stay at a swankier hotel, I may or may not adjust the amount. We avoid valet parking and bell service whenever possible; we are still capable of parking our own car and schlepping our own stuff to and fro.
Delivery services are another thing I wonder about. We have delivery take-out food periodically (much less so now that we are resolving to eat less processed food), and while I pay for the order online with my credit card, I always tip the driver in cash. I don’t know why, exactly, but it seems more appropriate. The only exception is on holidays. One Christmas eve we had pizza and wings delivered and I did include a 20% tip on the bill, but I also handed the driver a $20 bill for himself. It’s always the same couple of guys delivering, and it was Christmas eve.
As if I do not have enough to worry about and feel anxiety over in life.
Then there is the art of a thank you note. I just receive a very nice letter and bonus check for a job I did late last year. It was completely unexpected and so kind of my now former client. I did send an email to let them know I’d gotten it and to thank them for their generosity, but I also turned around and wrote a short note of thanks to the 2 primary contacts I worked mostly closely with and whom I have kept in touch with. Because I know the idea of that check had to have started with them. For the record, I came in under budget on this project and could have billed them the full amount and did not – too ethical I guess.
Anyway, I was just pondering if this is overkill? Am I too grateful? Am I sinking to sycophant levels as a small business person? If I had never before written a thank you note I might be concerned, but from my first job onward I have always written thank you notes after job interviews, after receiving a good raise, a bonus, or just because people were kind to me when I was facing personal challenges. Clients, vendors, bosses, etc. My hair stylist when she did a fantastic job of cutting my hair into a new style.
I still write thank you notes for holiday gifts I receive from clients. Sometimes it makes for a lot of writing, and if the client has been a client for awhile, I have to think up something new and interesting to say every holiday.
Yes, I’m weird and I know it.
Maybe I truly am a dinosaur from another time, and handwritten notes are of a bygone era. Email and text and Facebook messages are customary and appropriate now. I have no idea. This is just my particular practice and I idly wonder from time to time if it is perceived as a quaint and archaic practice. And of course I ponder whether or not I care.
But oh well.
I guess I really don’t care if it is perceived as a quaint and archaic practice and myself an ancient, extinct dinosaur. This is my version of politeness and good manners.
Because it is now the middle of the night and I still cannot fall asleep in my caffeinated haze (but I have gotten the pretty much all the work I wanted to complete this weekend done already), I am pulling together the strands of thoughts that have been flittering in and out of my mind the last few weeks. Maybe I am rapidly approaching ancient, extinct, dinosaur practices and unable to handle my coffee. But again, oh well. There are worse things, and I might have made a fierce t-rex.