There seems to be much written about whom to tip and how much they should be tipped. There is even a website with recommendations for tipping everyone from the teacher to the gardener to the letter carrier. Oops, scratch the letter carrier if you live in England. You may be committing the crime of bribery if you tip the letter carrier there too much, according to an article in Forbes. There does not seem to be written about how to ask for a tip. If you live in New York City, please disregard this post because asking for a tip in Gotham is now a fine art well-known by those seeking tips.
So how NOT to ask for a tip. First, do not be too direct. Case in point, I subscribe to two newspapers, my local newspaper and a national newspaper. I begin my day by gathering those newspapers from my driveway at 6:00 a.m. and settling in with a cup of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. An hour later I am well-informed and caffeinated. I appreciate the fact that those newspaper delivery persons got up at 4:00 a.m. and made their deliveries. I delivered newspapers when I was a kid so I know what it’s like. It is certainly worthy of a tip. These days, things are different from when I was a kid, and did personal collections from my customers. Nowadays, a customer subscribes online and never sees who actually delivers the newspaper. To encourage a tip the delivery person puts a note of some kind with the newspaper. I received two such notes this week with my newspapers. The national newspaper delivery person enclosed a Christmas card signed by him. His return address was on an envelope. A day later there was a note enclosed with my local newspaper that read, “Mail Christmas tips to … ” There was not even an envelope. You can take it from there.
Second, another way not to get a tip is simply to just not deliver good service. There are many reasons people give tips at this time of year. Some do it out of feeling that it’s a duty, while others do it cheerfully because of good service. By delivering bad service the potential “tipee” is making it easy for the person who would give the tip to withhold the gratuity.
Tipping is a way to show appreciation. It is not a requirement. It should be a good thing to do do, not something done grudgingly or unwillingly. For the recipient, a tip should be something that is not expected, but is appreciated when received.