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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

To tip or not to tip?

I've done my share of traveling. I am NOT, by ANY means, a world traveling globe-trotter, but I have stayed many a night in a hotel room. And I have discovered over the years that not many people know that it is customary to tip your guest room attendant, aka housekeeping, aka chambermaid. And I was kind of disappointed to hear that.

See, when I was growing up in Wildwood, NJ my mom had several jobs, one of which was a chambermaid. If you don't know what that means, I'll 'splain. A chambermaid is the person who comes into your hotel room while you're not there and makes your bed, vacuums your carpet, cleans the bathroom, changes out your wet towels for clean, dry towels, and generally makes your room pretty again (so you can come back in after a long day and trash it again). And they don't make a whole hell of a lot of money.



I just read this article on AOL and it got me thinking about this. It's a campaign by Marriott where they leave envelopes in the room to bring attention to the fact that the chambermaids are cleaning up after you and they deserve a little tip. $1-$5 per night is what they recommend, more if you're rich and staying in a higher end place. I think it's a FANTASTIC campaign because I don't believe these hard working women (and yes the majority of chambermaids are women) earn enough with the amount of work that they do. My mom would come home with stories of cleaning up blood, puke, crap, booze and other horrific stuff I don't even want to get into.

I'd like to know what YOU guys think. Do you tip when you stay in a hotel? Were you aware that it's customary to do so? Do you think they deserve it? Why or why not?

Next time you're in a hotel and you leave that towel on the floor, remember my mom. She'd have to bend over and pick it up. She'd have to clean up after you. Tip these folks. Do it for my mom.


27 comments:

  1. When I was a young man, I was very generous in my "gratuity" for the maids. IYKWIMAITYD

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    1. I'll bet you played your share of 'Just the Tip', Toby.

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  2. I never knew about this until about 8 years ago, and since then I've always made sure to leave something for them!

    ~~Spammy

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  3. Wonderful idea! And there needs to be a campaign to get the scumbag hotel owners to treat their housekeepers better. My cousin worked housekeeping for a recognizable brand hotel for a number of years. She came back with stories along the lines of what your mom had. She also had stories about being assigned more rooms each day than what is allowed, being called horrible names by management, and not being given the right tools for the job. Mop? No way, get down on your hands and knees and use a bucket and rag. It was so bad that I anonymously wrote to company HQ about their treatment. That may or may not have been the best thing for her, but my conscience wouldn't allow me to do nothing. That was a really eye opening experience for me (even from the sidelines) and totally opened my eyes. Now I try very hard to remember to tip well each night because the person who cleans it today may not be the one to clean it tomorrow.

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    1. That's a GREAT point, Larissa! I leave something every day because if you wait until the day you check out, who's to say that the maid taking care of you all week could be off the day you check out, and someone else might be reaping the rewards of all her hard work during your stay? And good for you for sticking up for your cousin. More people should point out things like that to bring about change.

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  4. For the last twenty years, whether it was for work or pleasure, I always left money for housekeeping. Was never reimbursed for tips when I worked, but still left the tip as I thought they always worked hard for very little recognition. Now that I am retired, I still leave a daily tip whenever we stay at a hotel.

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    1. You are awesome, Becky, and you're right, they DO work hard for very little recognition! I will admit, not ALL housekeeping staff do work hard, but I'd be willing to bet they'd be willing to do more for you if they have incentive.

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  5. Is this an American thing? In the UK I'm fairly sure this is not a thing, we have minimum wage instead....
    Now I feel really guilty though :O

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    1. Pink, that is a fantastic question!!! Now I need to find out if it's just an American thing or if it's global. Thanks for the great point!

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    2. It's an American thing-to tip. In European countries, staff are paid wages that are more fair and in some instances, a worker might actually be offended if you tried to tip them in other countries.

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  6. I always tip, but thought the standard was a dollar per night. $5 per night surprises me. Obviously, I need to up the ante next time I'm in a hotel!

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. IMHO $5 is a bit much unless I'm only staying one or two nights. But I always leave at least $2-3/night and more upon checkout.

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  7. The worst hotel stay of my life was the night my kid got sick and threw up all over the bedding. We felt so horrible for the poor maid. After doing our level best to clean everything up (we transferred all the dirty linens to the tub) we left an apology note and all our cash (like $20/$30) to try and make up for it. I still feel bad about it - I can't believe anyone would leave that for the maid to clean up without a big tip.

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    1. I seriously feel you. The night before my best friend's wedding, we stayed in a hotel, and I woke up to a feminine surprise that looked like a scene out of Scarface. I was mortified. I felt so badly and tipped that housekeeping lady like she'd never been tipped before.

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  8. $1 per person per night. So for a family of 4, that's $4 per night.
    Thx for the tip (no pun intended) about leaving something each morning. I never thought of the fact that someone different might be there the last day.

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    1. That's a good rule of thumb, and yes, you never know if the maid you have DURING your stay who has been great all week will be the one to get your big tip at the end of your stay.

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  9. My FIL was always big on tipping EVERYONE. I learned my tipping from him. Although I tip even more now, after my husband took a second job delivering pizzas- I am amazed how many people Do Not Tip. Amazed.

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    1. It really does blow my mind the reasons behind people refusing to tip completely. My Facebook page has a lot of posts from people who will absolutely not tip housekeeping.

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  11. Too many people earn so little for the hard work that they do. Fighting for just wages is important, and until that is put into effect, each person tipping a small amount can help another person to live with more dignity. So, yes we tip. Thanks for addressing this issue. :)

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    1. Thanks for this perspective, Sio. I've had some really hard comments about not tipping because it's up to the employer to pay the decent wage. Sadly, that's just not going to happen in the real world.

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  12. I was unaware of this until I happened to spend a night in a hotel room with you(gee that sounds naughtier than it was). I now make it a habit to leave a few bucks on the desk.

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    1. OH I remember that night. It was hot. So hot. Hot and steamy. And didn't we have crowd in the room that night? Soooooo good. :D

      Glad I passed on a good habit and not that nasty STD I had back then. ;)

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    2. See.....you went and got me sidetracked and I forgot what the topic of discussion was. Lord help us all!. P.s. yes to tips.

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  13. We tip, and not only do we tip well, we tip EVERY DAY, which is also important! I've heard people say they wait until the END of their stay, but it's not always the same person. Everyone deserves a day off, pal. We have left many a mess in our day, the worst was in Vegas, no no it didn't involve any hookers, just accidentally using gel soap in the jacuzzi, it makes a HUGE HEAP of bubbles that just would not go down! There were bubbles all over the room :( It was funny, but also a hot mess. We left her all the cash we had, $29! And we had also tipped each day. We felt so bad.
    Then the lady at the front desk told us that happens all the time, the bubbles just pop by themselves and it's usually not a big deal. But it's ok, we feel sorry for anyone who has to clean up after us.
    We've also had trips where they had those little coffee machines in the room (not Vegas, they want you to pay for Starbux) and we always ask for extra coffee packets. Almost every time after we asked the first day, they would automatically leave us extra each day after that. That's nice of them to remember. Or make note, or whatever they do. We tip well every day, and make sure we have cash for that.

    p.s. I love the word "Chaimbermaid" it's mayhaps one of my favorite words :)

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