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To tip, or not to tip? that is the question...

(65 Posts)
Goose Wed 12-Dec-12 09:00:49

Oops, I did it againhmm

I went to the hairdresser yesterday as she desperately wanted to know if I've been on holiday recently (no, I'm kidding!). I needed to have an inch off the bottom. After 15mins sitting, snipping, sipping and chatting I was escorted to the checking-in desk where I was charged £17 (at my hasty calculations nearly £70 an hour) which in my befuddled head seems a lotta money - yes, I know if I look around I could find 'special super cut prices' but I've been going there a long time and trust the cutter - but why, oh why do I then feel the deep obligation of handing out a £3 tip and immediately resenting it? This is a qualified hairdresser who's on a pretty decent wage...and me? a fully qualified nan on a pension-pittance..(I won't even start on my chickening out stories when it comes to taxi driversblush.
I'd like to think it's not just me being a purse clutching skinflint. Does anyone else out there in Nanaland have the same feelings?

Ana Wed 12-Dec-12 13:20:25

I would never add a tip to the bill. It almost certainly wouldn't go where I wished it to!

Barrow Wed 12-Dec-12 14:50:41

I don't tip the bin men although I think my DH used to. I usually give my postman a bottle of wine as he is always cheerful and friendly and keeps an eye out for people living on their own. We don't have a paper boy/girl - wish we did and I would tip them as I don't think they get paid very much

numberplease Wed 12-Dec-12 17:27:03

We must be mean old skinflints then, as the only times we tip is when we go out for a meal! Hubby`s way of looking at it is, nobady ever tipped him for doing his job. And taxis are so dear, I can`t afford a tip on top, unless it`s the small amount of change due.

london Wed 12-Dec-12 17:39:30

I dont tip hairdresser unless its the full works ,but i do feel guilty .a more or less run out the shop .

Marelli Wed 12-Dec-12 18:10:30

I don't tip the hairdresser as it's her own shop, but do tip the postie (both of them -Gibby and Jocky - a fiver each because they always look after us so well! The bin men (4 to the lorry) get 4 cans of lager and the man who collects the village football tote money, which raises funds for the team, also gets a fiver. I'm rarely in a taxi, but I always tip at least 10%. If we go for a meal, we leave a tip of 10%. smile

crimson Wed 12-Dec-12 18:10:37

I tip our postie as she lives a long way away but insists on doing our village cause she likes it so much. Always a smile on her face an a wave. How things should be [but often aren't sad].

Goose Wed 12-Dec-12 18:11:32

london - that's my problem too - the whole guilt trip if I don't tip, even when I can ill afford to. Folks that work in my local supermarket are on a minimum wage and don't get given tips - well, lots of people are on minimum wage (sometimes below) and don't get tips for the service they provide, so I'm pondering why the tipping thing is spread over such thin ground?confused

Wheniwasyourage Wed 12-Dec-12 18:40:48

I'm very impressed by your daughter and her sign, whenim64. What a good idea for making customers feel that they know exactly where they are. I go to the hairdresser every 2 months or so as she makes a better job of cutting my fringe than I do. It takes about 10 minutes maximum (including quite a lot of time talking about how her children, whom I know, are getting on) and she has always charged me £1. I never tip, but I do ask regularly if she wouldn't like to increase her charge. In fact we rarely tip; never in restaurants - why should you, when you don't tip the people who actually make the food and what you are paying for is to have it bought, cooked and brought to the table and for someone to wash up. The restaurant should set their prices to cover all that. (In some countries it is customary to leave the change, even just a small amount, and we do that when abroad, but it would probably be regarded as an insult here.) Neither do we tip in hotels, nor the bin men or the postie, although we do give eggs to the best posties from time to time.

Having said that, we do seem to tip in taxis, though I don't know why. In our (small) town, where the waitresses in cafés are likely to be young local girls, I will leave a tip, but not a strict 10%. We also tip the paper boy and so far it's been £5. This year we have a really good one, whom we will tip with pleasure; the last one was a dozy individual who made life quite exciting when you never knew which paper, if any, you were actually going to get. We had him for 2 years and tipped him only once.

crimson Wed 12-Dec-12 18:52:26

Goose; I know exactly what you mean. I do sometimes tip people that I know are far better off than me but, having done so for years I don't know how to stop. I doubt if they'd mind if I stopped but I can't do it. If and when I retire next year I'll have to rethink a lot of things in my life and that's one of them.

Ella46 Wed 12-Dec-12 22:35:25

I always tip my hairdresser 10% because she is the best one I've ever had, and she always concentrates totally on me, and not on what's going on in the salon!

I used to tip the bin men when they humped the stuff, but then I got to know
one and he made a fortune, hundreds of pounds each Xmas!

petallus Thu 13-Dec-12 07:21:27

Bin men deserve a tip. It's a horrid smelly job which carries a social stigma with it. I hope mine make a lot this Christmas.

flowerfriend Thu 13-Dec-12 09:35:56

When I owned and cooked in my bar restaurant all tips were pooled and five percent of the food takings were added to this then shared out pro rata.

In France people leave only a modest tip. Probably five percent at the most.

I am happy that I am not the only GNetter who finds the whole hairdresser tipping thing a mine-field. If you go to the same one all thetime then you can suss out what is the norm. So many of us, I suspect, chop and change hairdressers.

Greatnan Thu 13-Dec-12 09:57:01

I don't have anybody coming to my flat, not even the firemen with their calendar, as most of the other flats are just seasonal lettings. I have just taken a box of biscuits to the Mairie and the Post Office, because the women there are very helpful.
In France, most restaurants say 'service inclus' but it is customary to round it up, or leave the odd bits of change.
I have my hair cut, but not washed or blow dried, about twice a year (I wash it myself and it is naturally curly so it does not need styling. My French hairdresser charged me €14 this week, but I gave her €20 because she does such a good job and it is Christmas!
When my daughter was a waitress in Chester, she served one table of businessmen and the bill was close to £200. They gave her a £1 tip, which she pointedly put back on the table. Perhaps they couldn't put the tip on expenses.
I do agree that the tipping system helps employers to pay low wages. In some Ladies in large stations or hotels, the woman manning the place gets no wages at all and relies completely on tips. I believe the job of doorman at the Dorchester is bought when somebody is retiring because it is so lucrative. I hope Europe never follows the example of New York, where I am told waiters can get quite threatening if you don't give them a big enough tip!

Jodi Thu 13-Dec-12 09:57:14

Chop and change hairdressers?????

Perish the thought. It took me ages to find a replacement for 'Wendy' when I moved. Now 'Adrian' is one of the top three most important men in my life.

Mishap Thu 13-Dec-12 16:09:08

I've never tipped a hairdresser in my life. And I certainly don't tip my current one as she is a friend who wanders up the lane with her scissors and charges me £6!

york46 Thu 13-Dec-12 16:59:39

I do wish the whole business of who to tip and when to tip and when not to tip could be sorted out once and for all. It would save great embarrassment all round. I do tip my hairdresser, but only because I'd feel uncomfortable if I didn't - coward that I am!!!

Sook Thu 13-Dec-12 23:07:43

Only for excellent service.

ginny Thu 13-Dec-12 23:14:41

Only tip if someone has done something over and above the' call of duty'.

grannyJillyT Fri 14-Dec-12 11:33:24

I only tip the apprentice. If the hairdresser is the owner of the salon then I do not feel obliged, if it is a someone who just works there then I would tip her/him but £1 maximum - these are difficult times for all of us so I feel I should cut my cloth accordingly.

sdfgewiuohsdf Fri 14-Dec-12 13:23:19

Message deleted by Gransnetfor breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Jodi Fri 14-Dec-12 13:38:45


Conni Fri 14-Dec-12 16:06:32

I hate tipping. I think it's putting myself in a superior position. But I do it because I feel it's expected and I don't want to be mean. I usually tip the hairdresser and the shampooer 10% each, so am I over generous? Restaurants get 10%, but I know people who deduct the price of the wine and then give 10%. New Zealand was great as they don't do it there. I wish we could abolish the whole business and pay a reasonable price instead.

Goose Fri 14-Dec-12 16:52:56

Conni I'm with you on your thoughts. It does, to me feel 'superior' to tip! Hairdressing tipping seems to be a real minefield, because the wages paid to the staff vary so drastically - unlike taxi drivers, waiters etc, and I'd rather pay overall more for a service, whatever it be, than go through the embarrassment of not knowing if, or what to tip.
This whole chat has got me round to pondering where the whole tipping thing originated and why only for certain areas? why aren't all low paid workers tipped for what they do? (where will it end!). Today I couldn't find a packet of Hob-Nob lookie-likey biscuits in the local supermarket and asked an assistant for help, I was led to the shelf (by the washing-powders, of course!?) by a chatty, friendly young assistant, that I know for sure is on a very low wage (I'd say they were under 18yrs) but it would not enter my head to tip why is tipping rife in some areas of work and not others? hmm. Anyone know about the 'history' of tipping?

jO5 Fri 14-Dec-12 19:23:54

randomstringofletters grin

jO5 Fri 14-Dec-12 19:25:25

You'd better not sign out. You will never be able to find your way back in.

(I didn't see your original post there. Hope it was not too rude smile)

Well, sort of hope.