Autograph Hound's Blah Blah Blog

Sunday, June 12, 2011

#SDCC letter of the day T for Tipping

Tipping what a tacky topic.
I can remember the first time I left a tip. A friend and I had lunch at the counter and we were splitting the check.  We were about 12 years old and felt very adult to be paying for our own meal and even more adult to be tipping. We spent a few minutes calculating the amount and making sure we gave the appropriate amount for the tip.  We counted out the coins and left the exact amount with the tip.
Afterward, my friend’s dad picked us up and asked if we remembered to tip.  We impressed him.  It was a feeling I haven’t forgotten.
Tipping has it rules and etiquette. There is something of an art to it.
Some people are good at it and some are bad.  The people I think are bad tippers are usually just naive.
I was a valet for over a year.  I worked for a company that would valet for private events.  For the most part, the gigs were parties at someone’s home. If you were throwing a party and hired 5 guys to show up and park cars, you were spending a lot of money.  We drove a lot of very expensive and some exotic cars.
I got the Heisman (slang – meaning not tipped aka stiffed. The pose of the trophy is a player with a stiff arm) many times. So tipping is something I know a lot of people don’t know how to do.  I have been over tipped and under tipped. At the end of the day you hope it evens out.
I found this site and it’s fairly comprehensive. With the service’s I’m going to bring up, I agree with the amounts.
Most of us are flying into SD. How did you get to the airport?  Did the shuttle take you?  Did you tip the driver? That’s 15% of the cost to get to the airport.
Did you get a friend to drive you?  Did you buy them gas and offer a meal?
Did you use offsite parking and took a shuttle?  That should be $1 or $2 a bag.  So if you have 3 bags, that’s a $3 to $6 dollar tip. Now in my opinion, if the guy that doesn’t get up to help with the bags he doesn’t get that tip. If he is just driving and using the level to open and close the door, he’s getting paid too much to start with.
Now you are at the airport. Did you use curbside check-in?  You need to tip those guys too. They get $2/bag. Again, 3 bags is a $6 tip.  If for some reason they tell you your ticket needs for you to go inside or they tell you they can’t load what you packed, don’t argue with them. Your luggage will end up in Siberia and your ComicCon is ruined before you’ve even got there.
You’ve landed and have your bags. Getting a taxi to the hotel?  Again there is a tip.  I don’t like taxis for various reasons and I have found that every SD taxi driver has a sign on their car stating they have a bad back and cannot load/unload your luggage. So they are getting just a tip for driving you – 15%. If you find the one with a good back – add the $1 to $2 tip per bag.
Taking the hotel shuttle (good for you), well now you are just tipping $1 or $2 per bag.
At the hotel don’t forget to tip the bell hop that is picking up your bags and taking them up to your room. Yes, that’s the $1 to $2 range.   
You’re in your room and flopped on the bed.  You can relax.  The shoes are off and the TV’s on. You are now actively flipping through the channels or your smart phone is on and you are checking your mail.
Did you rent a car?  You’ll be parking at the hotel. Whenever the valet retrieves your car, you need to tip him. $2 to $5 is the standard. The norm is to tip every time they hand you the keys. If you have the bright red Lambo, then you are tipping as you drop off to ensure they don’t pull a Ferris Bueller on you.
All this tipping has created an appetite and you need to eat, that’s the 15% to 20% range. The days of 10% to 15% are over. And going back to the Booth Babe post, the waitresses have heard it all before too. So tipping extra to flirt is wasting money.
You go back to the hotel and sleep.
Good morning.  Know what you are supposed to do now?  That’s right, tip.  The maid is to get a tip each morning because you messed up her clean room.  I usually do $5 a day. (I’m pretty neat; the wife is the messy one.) If you are sharing a room with 3 or more others, I would tip at least $10. If you have tons of beer bottles or trash from pizza or all those leaflets you’ve collected and decided not to keep, think about a $20.
Place the maid’s tip on the pillow in plain sight. Again, this is each day.
One thing I do before I start my trip is hit the bank and get a bunch of $5 bills. I want to ensure I have the right amount for the tips.
I’ll also set aside some money and leave it in the hotel for tips.  This way I don’t spend it.
So remember about tipping. It adds up fast and it’s part of your budget and your money management .


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