Friday, December 08, 2006

Tip A Canoe and Me Too

Those who've been reading this blog from the beginning may remember one of my first posts in which I admitted to being more than a little confounded by the act of tipping. In that post, I focused specifically on the Jr. Stylist (or whatever they're called) whose unenviable job it was to wash my hair, right before Rene, the trash mouth stylist supreme, cut it. Now, every idiot knows your supposed to tip the person who cuts your hair 15% - 20%, just as you would your server at a restaurant. It was the Jr. Stylist that had me worried, and after speaking with Rene, I decided that a $1 or $2 tip for said hair washer would be appropriate. Problem solved, right? Hmph. Not really.

Do me a favor and look at the calendar, would you? Notice anything? That's right! Care to sing along?:

"Just hear those sleigh bells jing-a-ling, ring-ting-ting-a-ling, toooooo..."

Christmas time is upon us, dammit, and once again I'm at a loss to figure out who gets tips - this time of the expensive holiday variety. Understand that I'm normally not of the "give and you shall receive" mentality. There are ulterior motives at work here - namely saving my own ass. I've always been of the impression that those who deserve holiday tips are the same people who have the ability to make your life miserable.

Case in point: the mailman. Growing up, my mother always made sure to 'leave a little something' out for Mark Tice, our neighborhood letter carrier. Mark was a nice guy, and he was great at what he did. He also stopped working our route a full ten years before my mother stopped writing holiday gift checks in his name, but no matter. The checks (oddly - I wonder who got the money) still got cashed, and the mail still got delivered on time. Now, a postman is not someone you want to piss off. I know he's legally bound to deliver the mail on time and to the correct address through rain, snow, gloom of night and all that crap, but who's to say that he/she couldn't "accidentally" deliver a piece to a house across town, or perhaps "lose" a letter at the bottom of the mailbag delaying it a day. See? Best play it safe and give them a gift of holiday cheer.

(Disclaimer: Unlike me, my mother, the most giving person I know, had the best interests of the mailman at heart. She truly wanted to thank him for his good work and give him a holiday gift. Just thought I should point that out. Also, as you'll see in a moment, postal employees are not allowed to accept cash or gifts in excess of $20 (although this rule hasn't seemed to stop those in my neighborhood from doing so.) No wonder they bring machine guns to work.)

Ditto your hair stylist. What could be worse than have a bad hair day EVERY DAY? Just as good haircut can make you, a bad one can break you. Why risk a bowl cut because you stiffed your stylist on the holiday tip? Plus, they're cool people most of time, and end up playing psychologist as much as they cut hair. Granted, I don't tell Rene my deepest, darkest secrets (thank Christ), but she's got a lot of character, has a great accent, and makes me laugh.

And, as it turns out, I'm in dire need of a haircut (it's easy to tell when this is the case. I have an annoying as hell cowlick right behind my left ear, kind of like a sideways version of Alfalfa's... or not) and having made my appointment for next week, it has occurred to me that I should come bearing monetary gifts. But how much?!?!? That's where I'm stumped. I looked to the two articles I had linked to in the previously mentioned post for help, but unfortunately they were short on information of any sort (proving, once again, that I should probably proofread these damn things before I post them.)

Ah... but did I not mention in yesterday's post that I'm gettin' all financial on yo' ass? I most certainly did! Enter - the online site of Kiplinger's Personal Finance. Not only do they provide an in-depth article on What You Need to Know About Holiday Tipping, but they also provide a Tipping Tip Sheet! Answers aplenty! I have linked to them here as recompense for my previous poor linkage.

Enjoy, and please remember, if you want your holiday season to be one full of cheer, be sure to tip, and drink lots of beer.

Sorry, my pathetic excuse at a holiday rhyme. Seriously, don't forget the people who help you out over the course of the year. They're deserving, and scary when they're bilked out of cash - specifically bloggers like me. What? Don't you know what 'tip' stands for? To Insure Posts.

Later, hepcats.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

your mom IS the most generous and thoughtful person on the planet. i expected those birthday presents to stop at 10... 13? Nope, they kept coming... ok maybe 18... 21... 30? Nope, still coming, got cool shirts for 32 last week!

1:51 PM  

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