the Sweet Smell of Burning Fur (plonq) wrote,
the Sweet Smell of Burning Fur

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Tipping (not cows)

I like to think that I am a good tipper. Not generous, per se, but somebody who has managed to hone their gratuity skills to that magical balance that falls in the golden zone where it is just large enough to not be insulting, but just small enough to not look like I'm trying to impress somebody. At one time I used to reserve tips for service that exceeded expectations, but as service quality has slipped over the years, I have lowered my expectations. Do you have a pulse, and did you bathe within a reasonable time frame before work? That's worth a tip. Actually, the pulse is optional.

I can't always get a proper read for it though. I am never sure how much to tip the staff at at a hotel. I have stayed (not often) at places where the rooms go for $400 a night, and I don't know if I could bring myself to drop $60 on the desk for the cleaners. I think the de-lousers at that place where I stayed in Nashville some years back probably deserved a tip that size much more, even though it would have tripled the cost of the room.

I have been leaving $5 with a thank-you note in my room every morning since I started staying at this hotel. Most simply take the money without comment, but a few leave thank you notes of their own. One of the room cleaners left an interesting note though. He wrote his name, thanked me for my generosity, and expressed his desire that God should shower his bountiful blessings upon me and my descendants. He seemed genuine, but I could never shake the feeling that his gushing note was masking veiled sarcasm. "Oh, gee, five bucks. Thanks. I'll try not to spend it all at once."

I almost hope that he wasn't serious, because the thought that a $5 gratuity is such a rare treat is a bit depressing. It would not be the first time I had encountered hotel staff who had apparently never seen a gratuity in their lives.

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