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Tips on Tipping

Updated on September 18, 2016

A Real Pet Peeve of Mine

I'm not exactly sure where that expression came from, but do you know what I mean? I don't like to acknowledge that we can be so terribly inconsiderate towards each other, especially when the "other" is my beautician. Oh well, let me start from the beginning.

We could walk around looking like this without them...!!
We could walk around looking like this without them...!!

Our Beauticians are Miracle Workers

In over 30 years, this satisfied marcoujor has frequented the same beauty salon and gone to a total of three beauticians. My first, named "J", left, moving to Florida with a career change as the chemicals were so harsh on her hands. My friend "E" still works there but had to streamline her caseload, as she took over as the manager of the boutique. I have been so very satisfied for the last 10 years, or so, with the ever creative and delightful "T".

This is the kind of shop that is sort of like a second home to many of us as it has seen us coming in "at our worst" and leaving "looking like movie stars". These women have prepared me for my wedding day in white and for my Mother's funeral in black. I'm not sure how much more intimate a shop can be than that. The manager drove to a city hospital in 1999 when my husband asked her to do my hair. She knew that would forever mean the world to me. Several years later, she was kind enough to travel to a local Rehab when Mom had fractured some ribs from a fall to give her the most gentle shampoo and set. These are just a couple of the many acts of kindness that all of these fine women do for all of their customers, without even blinking an eye.

So, just the other day, when I went to see "T" for my scheduled therapy (I mean, hair) session, I noticed she was looking a little more tired than usual. "T" definitely stands for trooper, and my appointment time did not suffer in any way. She did comment, in passing, that she was "looking forward to an early night". Never one to complain and, only because I asked directly, "T" went on to explain why she was so tired.

She had stayed at the shop until 11PM the night before with one customer, who had a 6PM color appointment. It usually takes me 90 minutes for a color treatment. This woman was dissatisfied three times with T's color selection, still calling her first thing in the morning at the shop to report continued dissatisfaction! With a little rest and fresh perspective, at least "T" was able to say that she had done the very best she could and that her hair needed a break at this point!

I really have to commend my beautician for her professional behavior in this situation. The customer knew that "T" had to cancel personal plans that she had made after work. The shop was scheduled to close at 7PM. Only the two of them were there until 11PM. Apparently none of this mattered to the client. It was truly "all about her hair"!

T's motto is that "your head is my billboard". She takes more pride in her work than most anyone I know. I have never been dissatisfied. In fact, strangers have stopped me after I have stepped out of the shop and asked me where and who I go to. She is "that good"! So, I know this lady got three excellent color jobs. I would have never personally subjected my hair to this harsh treatment for such a minor vanity issue. The icing on the cake, however, is that she did not leave a tip!

Are You A Big Tipper...?

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Here's the Scoop

No matter how you tend to feel on the spectrum of "to tip or not to tip", there really are suggested guidelines aplenty for those of us who choose to do this socially acceptable behavior of expressing appreciation, but may not be sure exactly how much is appropriate.

Some common tipping guidelines (although many more exist and can be found in some of the recommended readings) are:

  • 15-20% (pre-tax) WAIT STAFF
  • 10-15% (tab) BARTENDER
  • $1- $2/ item COAT CHECK
  • $3- $5/ day HOTEL HOUSEKEEPER
  • $1- $2/ bag HOTEL PORTER
  • 15-20% TAXI DRIVER
  • $1- $2/ bag AIRPORT SKYCAP

Of course, all bets are off on the "extremely rare instance" when the service has been very unprofessional or rude. I do not make a practice of faulting wait staff when there is a shortage of staff. In fact, I often feel very sorry in these instances. Nor do I fault a waiter or waitress for the quality of food. It is certainly your right to follow up politely but never to "take it out" on the server.

I suppose, the older I get, the fewer rules I appreciate "having" to follow. One rule, however, is always GOLDEN to me: and that is to TREAT OTHERS AS YOU WANT TO BE TREATED. And I love the feeling I privately get from a purely random act of kindness. I enjoy giving a few extra dollars to the stressed out waitress, that I will never see again, when I noticed she just "got stiffed" by her last customer. I find, in return, that unexpectedly sweet things seem to happen to me. It reminds me of the "Pay It Back" movie, which has me in puddles every time I watch it.

If this applies to you, you might think twice. If you know someone it applies to, please give them an "ever so gentle" nudge that it is so uncool to be non-existent or rude with your tipping etiquette. I will continue to hang onto my belief that simple reminders and and non-defensive consciousness raising will truly help in the decrease of this issue. I remain so eternally grateful to those who assist me in these activities that I cannot do for myself. I cannot, frankly, imagine not expressing my appreciation, both verbally and with an appropriate tip. And I thank each of you for listening to my pet peeve, at least my latest one!

© Maria Jordan (revised January, 2015)

She Works Hard for the Money


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    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      5 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      I think tipping is currently out of date, with our society's social distancing.

      Thanks for stopping by just the same, Robert

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      5 months ago

      Thank you for the tipping tips. I tend to be out of date on many things.

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Thanks for your visit and thoughtful comment to this old favorite post of mine, dear Mike.

      Glad to be reconnected with you thanks to Angelia.

    • molometer profile image


      4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Fascinating article and I must say it is weird; this distinction between who society deems fit to be tipped and those who are not.

      When I was driving a taxi around London during my studies as an adult. If it hadn't been for tips. It would have been a whole lot tougher.

      What I found was that the poorest people were far more generous than those who were loaded.

      Stockbrokers and bankers never tipped.

      I tip unless the service is dreadful which is not often.

      Thanks for a thoughtful and interesting article. You have started a conversation that is long over due.

      Why do we tip some and not others?

      Good question.

      Thanks for the tip btw. A lovely surprise.

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Great point - thanks for stopping by, poetryman6969.

    • poetryman6969 profile image


      6 years ago

      Interesting advice on tipping. I still find it strange that there are people who don't think twice about tipping a barista in a coffee shop but won't tip the hotel maid who did a whole lot more for you.

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Jo, You sound like my kind of lady...I like your style!

      Peg, I can picture you lip syncing to Donna Summer...and I am loving the visual. Thanks for stopping by and causing a smile reaction.

      Hoping you both have a peaceful week. Love and hugs, Maria

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      6 years ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Back once more to read this classic hub on Tipping guidelines. Loved the video by Donna Summer. We used to lip sync this one at the salon. It was crazy really - three of us barber stylists in the upstairs salon would use our combs as microphones and wail. Ah, the seventies ...

    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image


      6 years ago

      What a great article! I know when ever I am lucky to pamper myself at the hair salon. I always leave a tip! I don't understand why some folks are just so *hung up* on themselves? It sounds like your *T* is a beauty and a classy person! I hope she never has to endure that customer again.

      Voted up, shared....(((((((( Marcoujor))))))))

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      9 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Stessily,

      Thank you for your thoughtful appreciation of this hub.

      You have described the 'T's' of the world so well, in that they are 'those who serve and who often are underpaid, yet we expect the best'.

      And, I agree, that you cannot go wrong when you use the Golden Rule.

      Hugs to you, mar.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      mar, T's motto of "Your head is my billboard" reveals the pride which she takes in her work. It seems that from time to time someone who can never be satisfied crosses our paths and leaves us wondering about the motives and sources for their determined dissatisfaction.

      The Golden Rule is a wise rule and clearly one which you practice.

      Well presented! Thoughtful recognition of those who serve and who often are underpaid, yet we expect the best. Yes, your tip about leaving a good tip is a good tip!

      Kind regards, Stessily

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      9 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Rosemay,

      Thank you so much for visiting this hub.

      I wish you success in finding the perfect beautician. I know that can be challenging, especially when you have been so pleased.

      I can get so furious hearing such a story!! But BRAVO to you for handling the situation as you did! No one has the right to treat anyone with such disrespect and unprofessional behavior, all the worse in public. I cannot imagine what makes people feel this is remotely OK, or how they would feel if the same treatment were done to them. I understand the 'small town/ wild fire mentality' and I love it! Our reputation is one of our most important possessions, especially when one is a business owner. That young waitress knows she is OK because of YOU...! I am so proud to be your friend!

      Hoping all is well in your world this week. Hugs, Maria

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 

      9 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      Found this via the cafe.

      I had a wonderful male hair stylist who knew my hair perfectly, I left him to the styling, he knew what would suit me and the colour that would suit me and I was always happy with the results. Unfortunately since moving away I cannot find anyone to come up to his standards.

      As for waiters, we once had dinner in an up market restaurant, our waitress was on her first night and was obviously nervous but never the less did a good job. As we got up to leave the arrogant manager called the waitress and fired her on the spot telling her she was useless right in front of all the diners. You could tell the poor girl was wishing the ground would swallow her up. We would normally add a tip to our payment for the meal but this time we paid for the meal and then gave the girl double the usual tip personally and told her as she had been fired so she need not put it in the kitty to be shared. 4 other couples got up and did the same thing. We told the manager that we would make sure that all our friends avoided this restaurant because of his arrogant and cruel treatment of this young girl. Word spreads like wild fire in a small town.

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      9 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Peg,

      Wow, to me your remarks are so meaningful, with having literally been on "both sides of the clippers". I agree the 10% minimum is shabby and always go much higher with my beautician. I think you can tell so much about a person's character from this practice alone, just my opinion!

      I am grateful for your comments, your visit and our new friendship. Have a great evening, mar.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      9 years ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      You reached right into my heart to find this hub, Mar. I have lived on both sides of this fence as the recipient of salon services and as the giver. Looking back on myself as a hair stylist makes me cringe. I was blunt and honest with customers and often told it like it was. I'm sure that affected my tips and my salon's success.

      Ah, knowing now, what I didn't know then, has literally changed my life. And about tipping, which Jim Rohn says it stands for "To Insure Promptness" and should be given in advance.

      When you think about it, the hair stylist is responsible for your feelings of confidence or "bag on the head" syndrome" long after your appointment with them, as to whether you feel beautiful and love your hair, or whether you leave the salon in tears. I have witnessed both outcomes, which your story about the 11 pm hair coloring fiasco brings back like a vivid nightmare. Fodder for its own hub, like this rambling comment isn't? Sorry.

      Which makes me wonder why a waiter would get no less than 15% and he brings you one meal. But your hairdresser shapes your self image until the color fades or the haircut grows out. You only visit them once every six weeks but the style you get lasts so much longer than one meal. So why a 10% minimum? I'm just sayin'. Your stylist makes a point to remember your name, your family's names, even your dog's name.

      To me, a tip is not expected if the salon service I give lacks the customer's enthusiastic satisfaction. I would rather comp the service and hope this will encourage the customer's return to give me another chance.

      Sorry for blabbering on. You found my button for sure. Loved loved LOVED your insightful and thought provoking hub as you can tell.


    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      9 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dearest Alastar,

      I love spreading my therapy wherever I go! You can never take the nurse out of me...

      I think my Mamma would have welcomed you as a son! She loved her books, especially history, always spent time reading with us, taught us to be as generous to others as we could afford and she was even a tomboy!

      Thanks for your great comment, mar.

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Ah the things folk in the service industry have to put up with. Admit it mar, it is therapy for you ladies and you deserve it. T's selfish and thankless customer, lets hope does the same thing in any restaurant she frequents...if you know what I mean. Your tip % are right on and cheers to all those pro people in the serves-es industry!

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      9 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Paul,

      I appreciate you even admitting this. It is understandable for there to be cultural differences. We try to read up before going on vacation, if it is a new destination. However, I have observed "quite" a few instances in my life of no tipping from Americans, when the service has been outstanding.

      I think you're cool, and have a great day, mar!

    • PaulGoodman67 profile image

      Paul Goodman 

      9 years ago from Florida USA

      I am still getting to grips with the tipping culture in the US. Tipping is not so generous in the UK. It's not easy getting used to another culture and people can feel snubbed if you don't tip or under tip! :-)

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      9 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      I should have known when I saw you in that gorgeous portrait/ hat shot, young lady!! I am never amazed but always saddened at how we can treat each other. I have seen my share of examples in the health care setting, I guess everywhere, of a lack of consideration towards others.

      Thank you for your kind comments and for checking in! Take care, mar.

    • Mrs. J. B. profile image

      Mrs. J. B. 

      9 years ago from Southern California

      Hey Girlie Girl: I was a cosmotologist for years in Boston. You would be amazed at how some people treat others. I loved this hub and I like the fact that your are "loyal" to your hair stylist!!



      Oh I read a comment you left for someone... "WE are the OLD souls"!!!

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      9 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      I could not agree with you more, Becky~~ and I thank you so much for reading this, as well as your votes.

      Take care & have a nice day.

    • Becky Puetz profile image


      9 years ago from Oklahoma

      It's great that you wrote about this. Many people either don't know and some don't even think about tipping, especially since the economy is so bad and prices for everything has sky-rocketed. I feel this way; if I can afford to go to a salon or eat out, then I can afford 10% more than the actual cost for a tip. In some cases, where the service is excellent, it may merit a 20% tip. Leaving a tip is just good manners and many workers depend on them. Thanks for talking about this subject. Voted up, useful and awesome.

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      9 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      James~~ I appreciate and agree with your comment.

      I like to have the tipping info handy for things I don't do as frequently... Take it easy!

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      9 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Oh Dear Sharyn~~ I simply cringe at what hotel housekeepers must have to deal with... we are always nice to them/ my husband chides me for tidying up before we leave...

      I appreciate your sensitive comments that show you indeed understand/ have your own experiences with this issue.

      Thank you for stopping by and please take good care of yourself...

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      Thank you for the useful guidelines on tipping. Many people simply don't know the proper etiquette in some situations or services and you have cleared it up nicely. Well done!

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 

      9 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hi Mar,

      This was a great read. I appreciate what you have said here. I was actually thinking about tipping recently. After all the years of working in the "corporate world," I found myself unemployed and willing to do whatever it took to try to make ends meet. One of my many more recent p/t jobs is a hotel house keeper. I "fill in" during the busy seasons. It always amazes me that the people who leave their room totally trashed don't even think about leaving a tip. Until you actually do this work, you can't appreciate this act of kindness, even if its just $1. Thank you for putting this important information out there :)


    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      9 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      I agree with you, bluestar and thank you so much for your thoughtful and insightful remarks~~ take it easy!

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      9 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      "a"~~ From one punster to another... you can leave some more of your insightful TIPS anytime you desire on my writings...

      I appreciate you taking the time to read this and your kind votes. Have a nice day!

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      9 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Good Morning, Ashantina... I am so glad to hear that Americans are, by and large, good tippers... and I do agree that tips should be based on levels of service, when warranted.

      Hope you are well and please take good care. Thank you for stopping by.

    • thebluestar profile image

      Annette Donaldson 

      9 years ago from Northern Ireland

      We would almost certainly tip. I think that it is nice to be appreciated and if I can make someone smile, if only once a day that is the gratitude I need. Even rudeness although not ideal, usually has it's reasons, and I am no judge of the what ifs!

    • profile image

      9 years ago

      Good useful tips(no pun intend)am more enlightened now. Good one marcoujor. Up n use

    • Ashantina profile image


      9 years ago

      I used to work as a therapist many years ago and many of the clients were Americans, and they ALL used to tip!! I think it is often a cultural etiquette thing...

      I tip, but not always. Depends on the level of service.......

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      9 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      It is both amazing and sad, dearabbysmom... I am so gratified for kind comments such as yours...thank you ever so much and have a great Easter with your family.

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      9 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      creativeone59~~ It does not surprise me where you stand on this issue because you are such a beautiful person... thank you for your comments and hope you & yours have a blessed Easter Sunday tomorrow.

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      9 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Thank you, stars439... I have come to cherish your feedback... have a wonderful evening.

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      9 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Pamela99~~ I tend to feel the same way... like don't go out if you cannot afford to leave a decent tip.

      Yes, my beautician is so cool... she is human, don't get me wrong but she "keeps it together" with all kinds of personalities, for sure...mine included!!

      Thank you for your grounding comments and a peaceful Easter to you and your family.

    • dearabbysmom profile image


      9 years ago from Indiana

      It's always amazing to me how some people can cop the air of superiority just because they are paying for a service. Your beautician is a professional and was treated disprespectfully. Isn't that customer fortunate she apparently has never had to count on tips for her living?

    • creativeone59 profile image

      Benny Faye Ashton Douglass 

      9 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Thank you for very good hub on tipping, ikt's a darn shame that people don't do more for each other. I believe in tipping. Thank you for sharing. Godspeed. creativeone59

    • stars439 profile image


      9 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Wonderful hub, and you have a great beautician. GBY

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      9 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I almost always leave a 20% tip for dining out and other things. If I have very poor service I would not be as generous but I think people work hard for minimum pay and because times are tight they do no always get a proper tip. I figure if I can afford to go out and eat then I can afford the tip. As for your beautician she must have the patience of Job. What an awful way to be treated. This is a very good hub as we reap what we sow. Have a wonderful Easter.

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      9 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Very true, Car51... and I appreciate you stopping by to check this HUB out... have a good Easter weekend.

    • Car51 profile image


      9 years ago

      The Golden Rule is ideal (but sometimes difficult) to live by in all areas of life. Thanks for raising awareness on tipping etiquette.

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      9 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Barbara Kay~~ I agree with you 100%... there is NO excuse for rudeness on either side of the table...

      This is why I was so proud of my beautician... despite the CUSTOMER's behavior AND NO TIP, she still maintained a polite and professional demeanor...

      I really appreciate you being my first comment and taking the quiz~~ thank you...and Happy Easter.

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 

      9 years ago from USA

      I chose the middle choice because I have gotten rude service from young waitresses. Not often, but a couple of times and I don't think they deserve one if this happens.


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