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Hotels - Not Tipping the Maid - Because You Were Not Trained?
For our economy to operate efficiently, and to be a savvy traveler, we must understand the rules of tipping. Unlike any industry, the travel industry, the hospitality industry is built around tipping. Why might you ask? Because it is an industry built upon service. The wheels of efficiency do not work with corporate bonuses quarterly or annually, the wheels of hospitality work one customer at a time. The hospitality industry is structured in it's pay scale expecting a good job to be rewarded. If we are to travel in comfort and receive the service levels we expect and want, we must be able to know the proper tipping rules. Sadly, tipping the maid is a forgotten grace. And those who do tip the maid, often do so only at the very end. We must recognize that there are shift changes and we must leave a few dollars each morning.
Not Tipping - My Lack of Training
Perhaps it was because I was raised by my grandparents and my mother had no funds for vacationing. Perhaps it was because I am female. Whatever the case, I was never instructed that when staying at a hotel, you need to tip the maid. When you analyze the industry here in the United States, it only makes sense.
When I traveled overseas, we were coached and specifically instructed what the local customs were. One of our nightly duties between the three of us American females was to figure out the appropriate tips and divide by three and prepare one envelope.
It was on those trips that I learned that service personnel live and depend upon their tips. I felt so ignorant. My Grandmother IF she were alive prided herself on being proper. My Mother prided upon herself being savvy. And my Grandfather was always the consummate gentleman. I know they would be disappointed in my lack of travel savvy.
Yet, today many in America don't consider it necessary to tip the maid. Why? I think they were raised like me with a family that didn't travel. No one informed them. And connecting the dots between the wait staff and the norm of tipping for service and tipping a maid was never considered.
Tipping is a Valuable Part of the Hospitality Industry
Tipping is a valuable part of the service industry. It provides the merit system that Americans believe in - a job well done deserves a financial reward. It ensures that poor service will be immediately recognized. It provides both the business owner and the wait staff or maid staff with an incentive to do the job to the best standards possible.
Tipping the Maid - The Lost Art of the Savvy Traveler
The Most Famous Hotel Maid
Traveling is a Luxury
In today's new austerity across the world and particularly the United States, do we have a new appreciation for our service industry staff? Do we look at the maid as a real human whom we can relate to? Did the movie Maid in Manhattan open our eyes and our humanity to recognize that maids are just like our neighbors, trying to earn a living to support their family?
As we detailed, the travel industry in the United States employs roughly 25% of our population. It is important as citizens to understand this industry and fund it properly so that the maids of the world can have a reasonable wage and that they can feed and cloth their families.
Traveling is a luxury. If we cannot afford it, we shouldn't be in the hotel room. If we are there anyway, the place to save is not upon the livelihood of the chambermaids.
Beautiful Jennifer Lopez in the Famous Pink Chiffon Evening Gown from the Movie Maid in Manhattan
Buy Mad in Manhattan Online at Amazon
Funny Tip Jar
Job Titles - The Various Names of Hotel Staff
Glassdoor labels this job simply "housekeeper", the word I always think of is "maid", but in olden days the term was "chambermaid".
Chambermaid is derived from the 1580's when "maid" referred to graciously as a servant and chamber denoted a specific area for their job functions.
Today we have a broader term and often refer to term "housekeeper" even for the hotel. The hotel industry often refers to itself as the house and a common term you will hear referenced to is the back of the house. Like Disney the front of the house must remain pristine and storybook at all times for its customers.
Bellhop and the Chambermaid Tipping
What I find interesting is we remember to tip our waiters and waitresses and in the hospitality industry we would never expect service from the bellhop to be free but for the maids, we "forget" or is it simply we were not trained?
What Are Your Thoughts?
Why don't we tip the maid?
Antique Bellhop - Bell Hops Are Always Tipped - Gratuities for the Chambermaids Are Often Left Out
Gratuity on Amazon
If we look at Glassdoor, the website for reporting average salaries, the listing for the housekeeper, ranges like all jobs but on the average the hourly wage is listed between $7 and $10 per hour. Obviously, larger cities will be paying more, and perhaps larger hotels with better resources will also pay better.
Great College Job
When I worked in the hotel industry, I overheard a young gal state that she loved her housekeeping job because it helped her through college. It turned out she was a beauty pageant winner. So while the movie with Jennifer Lopez may seem unlikely, the beautiful Maid in Manhattan can be a real story.
Our Economy Needs Gratuities
Long story short, our economy needs us to graciously and consistently offer tips to our service staff. Whether the staff member is feeding a family or is a beautiful college student, all are performing an important job for our travel industry. It is our job as a savvy traveler to know when to tip. If we tip consistently and leave a few dollars each morning for our maid, we are assured of better service and an industry that works efficiently.
Tip - To Insure Promptness
The etymology of the word tip supposedly comes from an acronym to insure promptness. The story seems to relate to sometime in New York when "Life" magazine detailed a restaurant server at a coffeehouse shortened the common phrase.
The item we must remember, is a gratuity is graciousness and our service staff deserve a working wage. Part of that wage is the tips from a job well done. Full and equal pay is needed for our economy to work.
As we travel, I challenge you to learn the tipping rules of each country and each service rendered. In my opinion, we must not forget the chambermaid.
Please share your experiences and thoughts on the subject. Learning from each other, learning what each country's customs are is the reason we are here. Please share in the comment section below:
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© 2010 Ken Kline