I need more interviews!

I still need some more stories for my new book about tipping. If you work in any of the following professions, please email me at waiterrant@yahoo.com. Thanks!

Babysitters/Nannies

Private Jet Pilot

Escort / Sexworker

Hotel Concierge

Hairstylists (New York area would be great.)

Manicurists, Shampoo Person

UPS – FedEx Guys

Municipal Sanitation Collectors

Sky Caps (Where are you guys?)

New York City Taxi Driver

Car Valet (Need one more!)

Furniture Movers/Delivery People

Food Delivery People


Comments

I need more interviews! — 53 Comments

  1. What about health care workers? My Grandpa is an old dude and he has someone come over to clean and help him shower. It’s paid for by Medicare but he still tips her on holidays.

  2. I don’t know if you’ve covered them, but in the South when I was growing up, bag boys at grocery stores would carry your bags out for you and load them into your car and it was customary to tip them. That practice seems to have gone by the wayside, but there might be some places where it is still done. I live in the Northeast now, and my local grocery store has a unique system. The store itself is over the highway and you have to go up a long escalator to get inside. Instead of making you carry your bags down the stairs, they have a conveyor belt that takes them down to a loading dock. You are handed a ticket/s identifying the bin your bags are in, then you drive into the loading dock and hand over your tickets and they find your groceries and load them for you. I always tip the person loading my bags a couple of dollars, but they always seem surprised to get it, so it must be rare for someone to tip them.

  3. I don’t know if you’ve covered them, but in the South when I was growing up, bag boys at grocery stores would carry your bags out for you and load them into your car and it was customary to tip them. That practice seems to have gone by the wayside, but there might be some places where it is still done. I live in the Northeast now, and my local grocery store has a unique system. The store itself is over the highway and you have to go up a long escalator to get inside. Instead of making you carry your bags down the stairs, they have a conveyor belt that takes them down to a loading dock. You are handed a ticket/s identifying the bin your bags are in, then you drive into the loading dock and hand over your tickets and they find your groceries and load them for you. I always tip the person loading my bags a couple of dollars, but they always seem surprised to get it, so it must be rare for someone to tip them.

  4. Well, I know it’s not really a HUGE job, but I work at a laser tag place where I sort of…cater birthday parties. Serve pizza, cake, drinks and whatnot while talking with the kids. I give them pointers, talk to them about the game and so on. My manager likes to stress an “optional 10% gratuity” for our service, but we rarely get it. If you’d like to know more, maybe a sortof interview through email, I’m more than happy to help.

  5. If you’re still looking for car valet I suggest going to Turning Stone Casino. They would probably be willing to talk to you there.

  6. Courtney — I live in south Florida, and Publix is a major grocery chain. They specifically tell customers not to tip, because they’re being paid at least minimum wage. Other grocery chains may have the same policy.

  7. one of my first jobs was at a winn-dixie in the south. we got paid minimum wage, but also accepted tips for loading groceries. don’t know why that has changed in recent years. so much in the south has changed…and not all for the better.

  8. How about a Christmas tip for the UPS guy? I get frequent UPS deliveries in a remote area where I am on a first-name basis with the driver (who has to brave my steep winding drive, except in the winter when he just leaves things in a bin at the foot of the driveway). He’s a sweetheart–always on the lookout on his rounds for various second-hand stuff I might want to buy. I’m thinking a Uly for Christmas. Maybe a Benny if I’m really flush.

  9. Oh yeah Waiter – I’m a private jet pilot… I’m just sitting here in my Learjet reading your blog and bemoaning the dismal state of my tip-jar!
    ;-)

  10. Here in Oregon it is against the law to pump your own gas. Something about people blowing them selves up, so instead we have to trust trained high schoolers to do it for us. I believe they also get tipped, more so on holidays, but I always tip the kid who washes my windshield while he pumps. I’m sure you could get an interview with one of them.

  11. gimme a break, waiter. UPS/FEDEX guys, private pilots, SANITATION workers? let’s get realistic….not everyone gets tipped. And not everyone needs to be. I’m sure those guys have great stories to tell, but really, it can go into a book that is not about tipping.

  12. I used to baby sit for some batshit crazy lady. $2 an hour, no tips. Kid was a DEFCON level 1 terror. I spent every day listening to how she was going to bruise herself, call childrens services and blame me if I didn’t give her what she wanted. She’d lock me out of the house if I had to go outside for any reason. Lied to her mother and said that I never let her eat. Christ, am I glad those days are over.

  13. riiight – I’m gonna tip the UPS/Fed-Ex guys who leave Dell computers on the wrong doorstep sans signature multiple times in a row. Because we all know what a CRIME against humanity it is to ask the poor dears to schelp those 60 lb boxes back onto the truck. Might ding up the dolly or something…

  14. Never thought to tip the UPS guy; most of the time we don’t even see them. They’d have to go above and beyond dropping the stuff off or even knocking on the door, and I’ve never had one do that.[

    There was the time the UPS guy left a BIG package of _very_ expensive video equipment (well marked as such) on my front porch despite the bright yellow SIGNATURE REQUIRED tag. That was… breathtaking… to come home to.

  15. I’ll join the crowd. F–k the UPS/FedEx/DHL guy/gal/herm. They don’t even bother knocking on my door. I was sitting on the couch in the living room, heard a faint scraping at the door, and lo and behold there was my expensive electronic gadget sitting on the sidewalk outside my door for anyone to steal.

    Also, f–k UPS as a corporate entity. My parents used to have a great delivery man. He knew everyone on the route, was friendly, and would lug heavy packages up to the front door. He got fired because they didn’t think he got through his route fast enough. Now everybody on his route is stuck with packages that have been flung around while the new idiot tries to make the long rural route go faster.

  16. I worked at UPS one Christmas season, and my then-boyfriend was a substitute driver, and he never mentioned even being offered tips. Unless something has changed, the drivers are paid very well, and their benefits are good.

  17. What about the people who take the calls FOR the hairdressers/manicurists and such? Lemme tell ya, we have TONS of stories. Plus, the clients treat us a heck of a lot different than they treat the stylists!

    Love the blog (and the book)!

  18. Might be way off topic? What about Parking Valets @ Cancer Centers?
    A close relative of mine is going through extended radiation treatment. She keeps trying to tip the valet (free parking) where she is receiving her treatment. I know other cancer centers in the area also have valet parking. Her parking valet/attendant is charming and chatty, but understandably refuses to be tipped because he’s a volunteer and because of her circumstances. From his perspective it’s no doubt a question of common decency, but from her perspective, I think she’d feel “healthier” if she could slip him a healthy tip every so often.
    What about people who refused to be tipped? Any place for that in the next book? Just a thought.

  19. Hi — I just wanted to mention that I am a dental hygienist, and I had one patient who always left me a $20 tip. Four times a year. Other patients have left occasional tips: one gave me a gold Sacajewaya dollar. One gave me a whole nutmeg (and told me what it meant.) A few recipes. sometimes they bring cookies to the office, etc.
    that’s it for dentistry. Oh, we get doughnuts and that kind of stuff from other dentists — specialists. Is that a tip?

  20. Not sure if being a cook in a ski chalet counts but we regularly got tips. Makes hearing all the same stories about ill-fitting boots/how well they would ski if the snow was different/how well they would ski if the weather was different almost worthwhile!

    Love the book by the way.

  21. I think the concept of a tip jar at low paying jobs like hot dog vendor is more of a “charity jar” for jobs that may or may not pay enough to make a living on without tips.

  22. Tipping escort workers? Don’t you know these are scams? They deliver nothing while charging big fees. So people are supposed to tip someone who rips them off? “Here’s a little something extra for you, just for ripping me off”.

  23. I’ve been a server for 5 years and cannot believe that people actually speak to me that way. One lady had the nerve to hand me a five and tell me to go get a college education. I am a college student who is currently studying to be a teacher and attempting to pay for my car, cell phone, student loans, and gas. People need to think before we speak.

  24. While I wouldn’t tip our normal UPS guy (who doesn’t know how the doorbell or knocker work), we did give a plate of homemade cookies to our evening UPS guy, after he dropped off packages (ringing the doorbell and waiting for a response) after dark around Christmas.

    And we always tip our letter carrier.

  25. Should one tip the Honey Dipper guy when he’s completed his task? I always feel like I should…

    I used to be a dancer (ages ago), be glad to help. e-mail me.

  26. How about getting a prayer card as a tip. COME ON!! I do not accept the Virgin Mary as a form of payment for me getting you this that and the other all night. Thank you very much I do go to Church every Sunday.

  27. You should interview strolling singers/waiters from restaurants. The waiters and bartenders often want kickbacks for getting a patron to “buy” a song from you but you aren’t usually allowed to ask for a tip from the patron. The busboys who clear your tables also want a kickback for busing so you should give them something too. Also everyone thinks that singing just comes. I have voice teacher -I now live in Paris, France but when I was in NYC I was paying $100 an hour for voice lessons. Waiters and busers from the time I was a singer/waitress near Boston always said that it was because I was so “lucky” to have a marketable skill and that I should be helping them out. Um, if my skill was so marketable then why would I have been singing in a restaurant to pay my bills and living at home. -Now I live in Paris, teaching English and studying music, waiting for my big opera break while living in a one room off of someone else’s apartment at the age of 35. Yeah, we singers have it really made so of course we should be paying BOTH the busers and the other waitstaff else out of our meager tips! I think that singing waiters have a really raw deal and no one even gets it because everyone thinks they are so “lucky”.

  28. Ok, I’m sure this is probably on your list of “WHAT THE HELL DO THEY DESERVE A TIP FOR?” But I worked at Cold Stone Creamery for a good year or so when I was in high school and part of the Cold Stone culture was to sing when we were presented with tips in the tip jar, therefore prompting customers to want to give us tips to hear us embarrass the shit out of ourselves with a song. And it really affected the work atmosphere, as well.

    Just something to consider.

  29. Aubrey,

    Kinda makes you want to pay them where they work, with the card. Write the 15% value on it, and find out where they work. Oh well, at least they are trying. I don’t believe people would use that as an ‘excuse’ not to tip.

  30. Sounds like you don’t travel much. FYI, virtually all Skycaps are middle-age Black guys who may not have computers-or, if they do, don’t use them to read blogs. But here’s an idea: jump in a taxi and run out to LGA or JFK. That’s where the Skycaps are. Take a notepad and a pen. They might have time to talk between flights, or if they’re busy they might give you their emails or phone numbers. They’re worth the effort, because Skycaps probably get stiffed more than any other sector of the service industry. Travelers seem not to understand that they’re self-employed contractors. Also, Skycaps do a fair amount of work on your behalf-not just wrestling the suitcases you’ve stuffed with rocks onto the conveyor, but checking you in, printing your boarding pass, etc. I have never tipped a Skycap less than $5, sometimes more, but I have seen families with 4 or 5 bags and 2 or 3 kids hand over $1 after the Skycap has spent 15 minutes (1/30 of his workday) dealing with their bags and boarding passes. At that rate he’s going to go home with $30. By the way, sitting back and asking readers to email you their stories is a great idea-kinda like subcontracting the first draft of your book. But there’s also this thing called ‘reporting,’ where you actually go find the people you want to talk to and write down what they have to say. So low-tech, I know, but often effective!

  31. I’ve been a bagboy (in the south), and I am currently a waiter at a Steak N’ Shake restaurant.

    What’s with these mother fuckers driving up in a brand new nissan 300z or escalade, ordering the most expensive shit on the menu, and then getting excellent service, and tipping like 2 bucks.

    Also, is it or is it not customary to AT LEAST leave $1 per person…what the hell is wrong with people?

  32. Park Avalon, 1999 in it’s glory days:
    It was a restaurant “buy out” holiday company party of some prominent gumba…there were cigar roller, card reader, live band, midget elfs, call girls in santa bikinis…Mr.Big Shot was giving out $100 bills like candy… the smart bangladeshi bussers walked up to him 3 or 4 times, he couldn’t tell the difference…but he sure made our Christmas!

  33. You might be having trouble finding skycaps because they don’t exist anymore. You aren’t allowed to check baggage at the curb now, you have to take it in yourself.

  34. You’ve asked for ideas for your next book, and I had a look at your list. I’m surprised you haven’t tapped into ski resorts, especially the high end areas–everyone gets/depends upon gratuities, ski instructors especially!
    Hard to believe, I know, but tipping your ski instructor, having lunch provided (spendy!), and other gifts are the norm here (Colorado resort). The stories about instructors getting gifts like cars, computers and vacations really do happen, but just as often is a “standard” attaboy or $20. As an 18 year veteran ski instructor, I’d love to help you with leads/ideas in our sport.
    Just email me if you think this might help!

  35. A book about tipping! With your characteristic wit and saucy attitude, that book will be a great read. Please make lots of noise when it’s out!

    By the way…your book “Waiter Rant” would be a scream as a movie. Ever think of shopping it around as an abstract to studios?

  36. I work in tech support. Not somewhere that you would expect a tip. But about 2 years ago I helped a customer fix his website. The next day I had a vase of pink roses and white lilies on my desk. He got my first name when I answered the phone and looked up my company online and sent the flowers to the office. It has not happened since. But that one day has made the past 2 years of customer service worth it.

  37. I went to Orlando airport and a guy checked me in, carried my baggage, answered questions,etc. Being my first time at an airport, it really helped. I told him right off I did not have cash for a tip and he said it was OK. I will never forget for making my flight stress free. Next time I fly, I will be sure to bring money for a tip.

  38. What about musicians? Not the big acts but the guys and gals who travel in their region out of a busted van or who play at your local bars to entertain you but don’t get paid a lot for a whole lot of work? They don’t get paid to buy their equipment, keep up their van, no insurance, no pay for rehearsals or time spent writing or setting up and breaking down. Just a thought! Its a rough lifestyle! Well worth it in many aspects but the money isn’t necessarily one of them. Those tip jars near the stage sure do help out even if its just to grab some food after the gig.

  39. It bothered me when I visited Boston last summer, that my friend who I was visiting insisted on tipping the people working the register at Dunkin Donuts.
    Honestly..Starbucks I can understand. They have to rattle off the stupidest orders and make them at lightening speed. I don’t have dunkin’ donuts where I am from so maybe I am unaware of what kinda of effort goes into working at that joint. Maybe I’m wrong? Anyway, I felt like the next thing he was going to do, was insist that I tip the people at McDonalds drive through. I’m also a sever. If you fish a doughnut out of a glass window, and push 3 buttons to make me a coffe..oh and put a lid on it..I’m not tipping you. Sorry.

  40. Um, what about BARRISTAS! Come on now, people, with Starbucks corrupting every corner of the Earth, have none of you ever realized that barristas work for tips too? It can be just as taxing of a job as serving and is usually done by high school students trying to save up for college. Instead of sleeping in on the weekends, they get up at 4am and go to work. I’ve been there. It sucks. Drop a dollar in the barrista’s tip jar next time you get your grande double shot sugar-free hazelnut soy latte.

  41. BARRISTAS ROCK!!!! but on a different note, I think today was actually a day full of crazy customers!! As a “corporate” server, I have had some super wackos. I have had the pickiest down to the rudest people threatening to vomit in my face. If that isnt bad enough, I bust my ass for cheap people to tip 3 dollars or even two pennies each person ( yeah it happened at a party of 150 to me). I feel more for any servers from the following Applebees, IHop, Uno Grill, and of course Starbucks. God help us!!

  42. This is for Doofus: An escort asks for a tip so she gets the money she wants for her service not the money the escort agency asks for. The money you pay upfront is for conapanionship and conpanionship only and in some cases for a dance! Most escorts that are not strung out crack hoes are not going to have sex with you for $175! Not going to happen loser and for that matter look up escort in the dictionary , it has nothing at all to do with sex. Then again you are probably a 30 something broke fat loser that lives with mom.

  43. I know this post is rather old, but I could not resist adding my two cents. Oh, what a clever pun….

    I currently work as an escort in a major Canadian city. Perhaps the views here are somewhat different? I occasionally receive a tip, and it is always a pleasant bonus. Some times it is just a nice guy, but more often my compassionate manner earns me this extra tribute. As in many facets of our capitalist society, money is a sincere form of thanks.

    If you find yourself interested in my opinions, please feel free to contact me, either via my blog ( http://entelle.livejournal.com/ ) or via email.

    And it never hurts to say, in case it wasn’t obvious, I do enjoy your writing, your views, and the notion of a joint custody pooch.

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