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Tips on Tipping

As mentioned in my last post, many people come to my site to find information about holiday tipping for doormen in NYC. I have no concrete information on this, but the New York Times had an article addressing the issue this weekend. One of the points made in the article was that nobody likes to talk about how much they tip people. So -- here's my info, out on the internet for everyone to see. NY1 also did an article about tipping a few weeks ago, and New York magazine addressed it in a not-so-helpful Q & A.

Let me preface all this by saying that I work for a non-profit, so my salary is by no means exorbitant. To deal with holiday tipping season, I opened an ING Direct Orange account, and have been siphoning money into it for a few months now. Every year we get a holiday card from the staff of my building. There are well over 30 people that work in my building. They are very helpful and really stepped up to the plate during the blackout. That said, my buidling hasn't adopted any sort of pooling practice, so it is up to each tenant to figure out who each of the people on the card is, when they are working, and then track them down to give them their tip. This stresses me out to no end -- there are so many people, and I am much better at faces than names. I'm never sure that I've gotten around to everyone that I've encountered during the year, and there are always a few people that I'm trying to track down, even after Christmas proper. Ugh. So today I went to the bank and took out a fat wad of cash in 5, 10 and 20 dollar bills. Tonight, I will put $15 or $20 into a bunch of envelopes, and try to figure it all out and distribute them all over the next few days. The super gets $40 or $50. Am I cheap? No idea. Can I afford to give more? Not really. If I gave every staff member in my building $20, I would be out $680. I can't do that and still give gifts to my family and friends. Granted, it's part of the price I pay for living in a doorman building. Well -- maybe I'll start now with my campaign for a tipping pool next year. Wish me luck!

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