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November 26, 2007


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I'm tipping 4 people at subway $20 this year because a) I go their 3 times a week and b) I have never tipped.

I'll have to think about it. We don't have most of those people because we live in an apartment complex...and I've never met the people who clean it and such, I'm always out when they're doing that.

A note on tipping health care providers. You can't give them more than $20 worth of perishable items or knicknacks and must give them to the entire department. So, for example, cookies are acceptable. Flowers are acceptable. Nice watches are not, nor is jewelry. A little stuffed bear for a special nurse might be ok. At least these are the rules at the hospital where I've started working.

I thought mail carriers couldn't accept presents. Or is it they can only accept money??? I will have to talk to my roommates about tipping our mail carrier.

Anyway, I try to tip my regular hairdresser well each time I see her, but I try to tip a little bit more during the holidays. I moved 2 hours away, so I only see her for certain services when I can fit it in, and I figure my business is also helping her.

As a church worker, I think it's awesome that you give your church workers a gift/tip. You don't have to, but it is really nice and shows that you appreciate them. (Plus, most of us can use some extra moola or items...everything helps!!)

I don't really have anyone else that I will tip extra at Christmas.

I usually do a little something for the guys that work for me. Like a $20 gift card to somewhere like starbucks or target usually does the trick. I work it IT so it is definetly worth $20 each to keep them happy!

Why tips??? Is that because they earn a salary that's close to the minimum wage?

I'm sure most of us don't receive tips from our clients/bosses.

Tips are stupid.

$270? Why such an odd number?

"$270? Why such an odd number?"
My guess is because this is close to a weekly salary for a live-in nanny, assuming they mean live-in when they say full time. I know a family who has a live-in and this is close to what they pay as far as I know.

I give $25 to a hairdresser assuming I go for hair color at around the time. On the other hand I give less to a mailman, since I live in a condo complex and we have a common mail boxes area with multiple mailboxes. Additionally, I think mailmen work for government and surely get more than minimum wage.

aa, this is about what my cousin who lives in Germany said when she visited the US. She would only want to give tips to reward particularly good service. Apparently in Germany people in service professions earn more than in the US. Her argument was that her mother works in a factory from morning to evening, in summer without air conditioning, and she also earns little, yet nobody gives her mother tips. My argument to her was that in service professions they earn less in the US, and they don't get health and other benefits and that tips are considered part of compensation. Don't know if it applies to mailmen, though. For example, does a mail man earn less than a factory worker or a dental assistant or a secretary?

This is from the USPS website:

Can US Postal Service employees receive gifts from customers?

Gifts to Postal Service Employees
While many Postal Service™ customers have traditionally thanked their mail carrier with gifts of cash during the holiday season, this practice puts our employees at risk of violating federal law. The Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch ("Standards"), specifies that Postal Service employees may not accept gifts from outside sources (including Postal Service customers) or gifts given to them because of their official positions. Postal Service employees are also prohibited from soliciting gifts from outside sources.

There are a number of exceptions and exclusions to the general gifts rule. Postal Service employees may accept the following items:

* Snacks and beverages that are not offered as part of a meal.
* Items with little intrinsic value (i.e., greeting cards, plaques, pens, coffee mugs, etc.).
* Perishable items (i.e., flowers, chocolates, cookies, etc.); if the items are clearly worth more than $20, employees should share them with others in the Postal Service workplace.
* Items with a market (retail) value of $20 or less.
* Gifts motivated solely because of a personal relationship.
* Gifts for which the employee has paid market (retail) value.
* Gifts paid for by the Postal Service.
* Postal Service employees may not accept cash - in any amount or form (bills, checks, money orders) - from an outside source.

For further information, please contact the U.S. Postal Service® Law Department’s Ethics Helpline at 202-268-6346, or send an email message to [email protected]

$270 sounds about right for a nanny. We pay ours $255 for three days a week. $270 would be about a weeks pay and sounds reasonable for a holiday bonus. However, we take off two weeks around the holidays, so we pay her for a week and a-half.

Don't forget to tip your friendly pharmacist with some homemade baked good this year ;-)

I haven't tipped the mail carrier b/c I was also under the impression that they couldn't accept tips :(

I don't tip anyone anything.

If I had a nanny (or other domestic staff), I would probably give them a Christmas bonus equal to let's say 1 weeks pay. I might even give it on Boxing Day, just to be traditional. I wouldn't call it a tip though.

If I was at a church where I knew the minister well, I would probably give a gift, and contribute more to the Christmas collection, but I certainly wouldn't describe it as a tip.

Whew, daycare seems very reasonably priced for some of you. The last I heard, full time nanny's around me make around 30k a year plus they can negotiate the kind of extra's you would get at a 9-5.

Pharmacist make over $100,000 a year and you want to tip them??

Great post, can hardly wait to start baking and slip a little cash to those who make my life better and easier.

Sandycheeks, 30K is probably for an American nanny. $270 a week is I think a good price for a foreign live-in, though my knowledge is a bit outdated. Notice that a live-in nanny gets room and board which in itself has a value. A nanny making 30K has to pay rent and buy food whereas a live-in gets to save/send back home virtually everything.

Our nanny doesn't live with us and we share her with another family. If we had her full time by ourselves, she would easily make over $30k from us.

I'm glad to hear that postal workers can't accept tips. As government workers, I know that they make good money and have excellent benefits.
I'm guessing that the nannies being discussed don't have any health or retirement benefits included, which makes $30k not as great as you would think.

I have to say I agree with the scrooges - I don't tip at Christmas.

Mail carrier: Nope - and my father is a postal worker. They get paid very well.
Hairdresser: I tip well everytime I go in, why should I at Christmas?
Cleaning person: Don't have one
Occasional babysitter: Pet Sitter - I did for Christmas because she didn't charge more for pet sitting on the holiday.
Full-time nanny: Don't have one
Gardener/yard worker: Don't have one
Newspaper carrier: Don't get the newspaper
Garbage collector: Why? These guys get paid well (as they should).

Tipping has gotten out of control.

I'm a full time nanny, as is my best friend. We've each been working for our prospective families for over 4 years. The kids she watches are absolute terrors. Mine are the most lovely girls I've ever been around but my job also includes a lot of sort of personal assistant sort of tasks. We both consistently get around a thousand dollars for Christmas and/or gifts. While tips or bonuses are just that, something extra, keep in mind if we don't feel appreciated, we'll quit. I know I'm excellent at what I do and have plenty of refeferences. I could get a job doing less for much higher pay but knowing someone appreciates me enough to give me a bonus and a gift combined with my love for the children I take care of keeps me around.

Why only $15 for a newspaper carrier? I give mine $30 because (around here) they use their own cars and deliver seven days a week in all kinds of weather. I was a newspaper girl a long time ago and the only money we made was from tips collected monthly with subscription payments. Our customers knew us and were therefore less likely to stiff us, though some never did tip.

Fallen --

You asked "Why only $15 for a newspaper carrier?"


1. That's a decent amount based on what the cost of the paper/service is.

2. (More importantly) Our carrier's service stinks. He delivers the paper late on Sundays (often after we've already left for church -- he's supposed to deliver it at 8 am per the paper's guidelines and we leave at 9 am) and sometimes forgets to give us a paper at all! Bad service does not deserve a tip...and yet we'll give him the $15 simply because his service is worth something.

I always give the mail carrier a $25 Walmart Gift card. It's not cash & they can buy something themselves. I give it because they bring my mail everyday, I appreciate their service & I want to let them know.

I also give the newspaper deliverer a $25 Walmart card. Again I appreciate getting my newspaper everyday.

My yard guy does a great job taking care of my yard every week so he gets a $50 visa card.

I think its a matter of showing appreciation during the holidays.

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