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’tis the season for tipping, apparently. i was listening to talk radio the other morning on my drive to work, and they started discussing tipping practices during the holidays.

first off, i’m putting this concept in the category of “nobody tells you this.” i’m actually creating a new blog tag for that very concept, all the things you’re just supposed to know but that nobody ever tells you. you know, the proverbial nobody.


so the idea that during the holidays, you are meant to increase your tip amount for all types of services. now, this i get. i get that you would want to be more generous to others during the holidays. if you normally tip 15% to your waiter, you might find yourself upping that to 20 or even 25% for great service. i do this, and it makes sense to me.

what i don’t understand is the idea that during the holidays, you are now supposed to give tips to people you never tip normally. seemingly random positions that really have nothing else in common other than they do something for you. your mailman. your doorman. your newspaper deliverer. your personal trainer.

can postal workers even accept tips? as public employees, i’m pretty sure they aren’t allowed to take money. newspaper carriers and doormen? they’re doing the same thing they do every day that you already pay for.

but wait, now that i’m thinking about it, this sort of calls into question the whole tipping system. why do some positions get tips and others don’t? why do we tip waiters and cab drivers, but not newspaper carriers or doormen?

dwight schrute would tell us to only tip people who perform jobs that we ourselves are incabable of performing. dwight can deliver food, so waiters don’t get tips. he can cut his own hair, so no tip for the stylists. he does, however, tip his urologist, as he is unable to pulverize his own kidney stones.


i guess the part that irks me is the arbitrary nature of it, and how you’re supposed to know who to tip and who not to tip.

the other piece is that while some people get christmas bonuses, i don’t. as a public employee myself, my holiday pay looks exactly like any other time of year. we don’t even get cost of living adjustments these days. so the holidays find me spending lots of money on gifts for friends and family, but i’m not seeing any extra income during that time of year. the idea of adding on tips for everyone is overwhelming. i think i’ll stick to what i know and where i already tip. everyone else? that’s what christmas cookies are for.