Tuesday, May 10, 2011

N.E.W. Day 2: Tip 'Em Tuesday!

Today is Day 2 of National Etiquette Week. We call it…


Have you ever heard the story of "T.I.P."? There is more than one, including a little controversy.

The story goes that it stands for "To Insure Promptness," and that once upon a time, customers would put money on the table before the service to ensure that it was good.

There’s another story about T.I.P. By the early 1700s, coffeehouses were flourishing in London, according to "The Art of the Table." At establishments called “penny universities,” customers could get a cup of coffee for a penny, according to the book; for two pence, customers could get a newspaper, candle and bowl of coffee.

"Payment for coffee was collected in a brass-bound box inscribed with the words 'to insure promptness' — hence the expression ‘tip,’ today a remuneration given in appreciation of service," reads the book.

But is that true? Snopes says no.

"Although handing over a gratuity prior to the act might inspire the one receiving the largess to provide a higher level of service, there is nothing 'insured' about the transaction," says Snopes.

People first used word "tip" to describe the act of giving something to someone as early as 1610, continues Snopes. "Tip" became a slang word (not an abbreviation) and was first common in the crime world before becoming respectable.

What do we say?

We say that the origin of the word "tip" doesn’t matter as much as actually remembering to tip your server!

Today, put yourself in the shoes of your waiter or cab driver or hair stylist — and tip ‘em! If you aren’t sure about standard tipping these days, use our guide!

Restaurant servers: 15—20 percent
Room service: 15—20 percent
Food delivery person: 15 percent
Pool attendant: nothing for a towel; for a lounge chair, $1—2
Hotel housekeeper: $1—2 per day
Golf course attendant: $2—3 per bag
Caddy: $25—50 per bag
Skycap: $1—2 per bag; extra if he secures your airline seat for you
Tour guide: $1—5 per person
Hotel doorman: for hailing a taxi, $1
Emergency roadside service: $5—20, depending on the service
Hairdresser: 15—20 percent (but do not tip the salon’s owner)
Shampooer: $2—5
Spa assistants: 15 percent

Come back tomorrow for Day 3 of National Etiquette Week!

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