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Holiday Tipping

A recent thread has come across our condo’s listserv regarding holiday tipping. This is usually a touchy topic this time of year, as many people may be worried whether they tip on par with others, and tipping is certainly a personal choice.

Who do you tip during the holidays and how much do you give? Your doorman/concierge? Property manager of your building? Cleaning people? Hair stylist? Please share for those who are unsure who to tip and how much, especially given the anonymity of writing it here versus on your condo’s listserv!

Editor’s note: Please refrain from referring to any building employee by name

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Comments

  1. 2

    Anonymous says

    In my building, we're asking that everyone contribute about $50-75 to a larger fund that will go to all the building staff. They earned it.

    However, sometimes, I don't understand why I have to tip on a $70 haircut or a $5 cab ride or for takeout. But I do. Darn social conditioning!

  2. 3

    Anonymous says

    $50 x 200+ units >= 10 grand. IMO our building's staff hasn't earned a tip pool approaching anywhere near that stratosphere.

  3. 4

    Anonymous says

    Although our building occasionally does tip pools, we have published the list of staff and are leaving it to the individuals to give tips or gift cards. In this way, the bigger tippers do not have to subsidize the small ones and one volunteer does not have to do all the work of pooling the contributions and distributing. I give according to tenure and number of shifts. More money if the staff person has been around longer and has more shifts.

  4. 5

    Anonymous says

    Re: the 10K estimate. I think it is likely that no more than half of the units in any building (if that) will actually tip. So I would be surprised if the tip pool for a 200 unit building was even 3K, but maybe I would be surprised. That split between ~10 staff is not unreasonable in my opinion.

  5. 7

    Anonymous says

    When I was 23 and lived in a hi-rise apartment it didn't even enter my thought process to tip building staff. Back then there were no building email listservs or blogs to make me aware that this might be expected. Still, at that age I wouldn't have tipped anyway.

    I spent my late 20's in detached housing and townhomes and had no one to tip. Now I'm once again in a staffed hi-rise environment – this time as an owner. I'm a little more mature and invested in the building. I tipped in that $50-75 range last year. This year I'm contributing less and targeting it solely to the cleaning staff as the front desk staff doesn't seem to be earning their salary much less deserve a bonus.

  6. 8

    Anonymous says

    I think the building holiday tipping fund is a useful convention. I'm certainly not going to give all of our staff $20+ dollar tips.

    I've never even met or had work done on my unit by our building engineer. That is a perfect example of someone I'm not going to directly tip $20 as I'm not made of money. So my option becomes do I give him nothing or do contribute to a general fund so he gets a share? The fund is the best option for me to contribute in a small way to those staff i have minimal interaction with. I can still thank the staff I do know well on an individual basis.

  7. 9

    Anonymous says

    I will be contributing $20 to my buildings tip pool and then individually tipping a couple individuals whom I interact with frequently. If we did not have a tip pool, I would not tip the staff I do not know well personally. So, the tip pool is a good idea.

  8. 10

    Anonymous says

    Being the person who has managed the building tip pool a couple times– it is no small task. I would, frankly, never do it again. Since I also know what people give, the small givers get greatly subsidized by the large givers and get credit where very little is due. I think individual giving is the way to go.

  9. 11

    pqresident says

    Anon 9:12 – thanks for your post. I always wondered what the spread of donations received was like.

  10. 12

    KimFromTheK says

    Not sure whether 9:04am Anon is a resident in my building, but we're also contributing to the building's tip pool (for which the suggested amount was $20-25). We will also be following suit with giving a couple of individuals who have gone above and beyond a little extra cash to thank them for their work.

  11. 13

    Anonymous says

    Is anyone giving gifts other than cash to their building staff? I would like to give gifts to my front desk staff but feel awkward giving them some fixed, known dollar amount. Thoughts?

  12. 14

    Anonymous says

    Safeway has gift cards. These folks appreciate cash or gift cards in whatever amounts. I am not sure that they really want white elephants.