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A Healthy Discussion About Who We Tip, Why We Tip, And Who We Are OUT On Tipping

Yesterday as I was checking out of my room at the MGM National Harbor, I did my customary ritual of leaving a $5 bill for the housekeepers who tidy up the rooms. It’s not because I am a messy hotel patron, the opposite in fact. You can barely tell I used the room, especially when I’m at a casino. I feel I’m more tipping them for cleaning it for me, because god knows the mess that might have been in the room before I checked in.

So as I went downstairs to the hotel lobby, I fired off the above tweet. The day before, I had my bags held, and I tipped the guy for walking 3 steps to the closet to get my backpack. It was out of habit, and didn’t think twice about it until I was like “wait, did I really just tip a guy for a closet holding my bag? That’s so weird”.

Who we tip, and don’t tip, is so bizarre. So many people have never thought of tipping the maids at hotels who keep your bed made, floor vacuumed, toilet paper stocked, and towels fluffy and folded.

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But on the other hand we will tip a guy for pushing a cart with 3 suitcases on it down the hallway. I’m not saying don’t tip that guy, because I’m sure his livelihood depends on it, but it’s just weird who we do and do not give extra money to for simply doing their jobs.

And so the replies started rolling in about who we tip, who we don’t tip, and who we are confused about tipping. It was actually a very enlightening conversation where I think everyone learned a lot. The number one thing people agreed on though: FUCK bathroom attendants.

No offense to bathroom attendants, but you are OUT. Do not try to sucker me out of money for handing me a paper towel. And no, I don’t want a lollipop. I want to get in, use the bathroom, pretend to wash my hands, and get out. I don’t need to bring a 3rd party into that.

So the question was asked:

And here are some of the better questions/discussions:

YES. 10000% YES. Delivery fees exist for 2 reasons: 1) to fuck you over, and 2) to fuck over the delivery driver. So, so, so, so many people think the delivery fee goes to the driver, when in reality, it is just like a Ticketmaster “convenience fee” and goes to the restaurant. I can’t imagine how many delivery drivers have been fucked over by bullshit delivery fees. For example, ever wonder how a Dominos pizza is so cheap? Well, they tack on a $4.99 delivery fee, and it DOES NOT go to to the driver, at all. It keeps the price of pizza down though, and encourages people to do pick-up so they don’t have to employ as many drivers. It’s shitty. So yes, always tip your delivery guy.

And say you do pick it up.

This was the biggest question people had yesterday- do you tip when you pick up food? I always do, for a couple of reasons. The main reason is if I’m picking up my own food, it is likely a bar very close to my apartment. And if there is a bar very close to my apartment, I am probably going to be there multiple times a week. So not tipping on pick up would make me the “cheap guy”, and you never want to be known as that. Furthermore, someone has to put together the order. I know it’s not much, but it’s usually the bartender who makes under minimum wage who has to do pick up orders. Leaving 10% goes a long way with them since they depend on tips to survive. Leaving 2 bucks on a $20 order is a nice thing to do, and if you’re doing pick up from that place often, they’ll remember you tip and probably give you free chips and guac down the road.

Pivoting away from food, here is an interesting one:

This is a weird one. It is very, very easy to find your seat at a sporting events. Heck, they number the rows and the seats for that exact reason! I will tip though if I’m sitting in fancy seats, or a suite that requires an usher to unlock the door. Usually the same usher is at those seats/suites every time, so if you tip them, they will let you back when you don’t have those tickets. Being in good with the fancy seat ushers is a strong move to have in your back pocket.

I liked this response:

Garbage men have it so unlucky that they can’t carry around a tip jar. They would for sure get tipped if there was an easy way to do it. Out of all the professions we tip, the dude who wakes up at 4am and rides on the garbage truck and deals with trash in all sorts of blistering heat and rain and terrible conditions should get a tip. And yes, I’ve heard of giving the mail man a holiday bonus. Ever stop and think about how wild it is that someone goes door to door delivering mail?

This one is bad:

Oh no. No, no, no. Bartenders have all the power. All of it. You tip them on your bottle of Bud Lite so you get another bottle of Bud Lite. I didn’t learn this trick until much too late- but at a packed bar, particularly you college kids, tip heavily on your first drink of the night, so when it’s packed the bartender hooks you up and not the other people dying to get a drink. A few bucks will go a long, longgggg way.

This one I disagree with:

I have a feeling moving companies are mostly scummy. I have nothing to back that up with, but it’s a gut feeling. I’ve moved 5 times in 5 years. We’re talking couches, tables, beds, boxes full of stuff, all of it. I’ve lived in two walk-ups. For those who don’t know what that means, it means an apartment building without an elevator, AKA you need to carry all those said couches and tables and beds and boxes up the stairs. I hella tip the movers. They just moved all that stuff out of one place and into another place without breaking anything. That is hard as hell to do. And while moving is super expensive, I have a feeling the moving guys themselves are not seeing a whole lot of that money. Again, I could be very wrong, but at the same time, every FAQ section on moving companies websites always talks about tipping 20%, so I am probably not far off in my hunch.

And some people just have no idea how to tip at all:

Noooooo! Pete!!!! Noooooooo! I feel this is one of those things Pete just never learned. Somehow went all through life thinking it was the Great Depression and you just pulled a button, 3 nickels, and a paperclip out of his pocket and that’s how he tipped. Or he’s trolling because that is a preposterous way to think you are supposed to tip, but I don’t think he’s trolling at all. Some people just don’t know things.

And one last one:

Yeah, I’m positive there are things rich people tip that I don’t even know exist. Like, people Francis tips when he goes on his family yacht to the French Polynesian or people Dave tips when he gets custom made suits before he buys a race horse.

The people I’m most IN on tipping right now though? My wash and fold asian ladies. I tweeted that last night, and apparently people who don’t live in NYC don’t realize nobody in NYC does their own laundry. You send it out or take it to a wash and fold place where they do it for you. You take good care of them, they take good care of your clothes. I see them weekly, and I don’t even have nice clothes, but they do great work and I don’t want them to put a red shirt in with my whites.

So I mean, yeah. I think everyone learned a lot about tipping, who we like tipping, who we don’t like tipping, and who has no idea how to tip at all. I think the lesson we learned is most people are underpaid, so if you can give a couple bucks to the severely underpaid, it goes a long way. And most of all, fuck bathroom attendants and always tip your urologist.

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