Dear Nelly,
What are the etiquette rules reguarding tipping? I always tip my waitress 15-20% but I’ve heard people talking about tipping their hairstylist, massage theripist, etc. Haircuts and pedicures generally cost me $25 for half an hour of work and massages are much more. Aren’t they making enough money per hour from me? -In Need Of A Pedi
Dear Pedi,
Tipping can be a very troublesome task! Over the years, I have met many kinds of tippers:
The Jerk: Gives you a smartalek verbal tip. “Don’t eat yellow snow.”
The Highroller: Leaves you so much you feel like they might be trying to buy you and you instantly feel creeped out or guilty.
The Highroller Poser: Lays a great big tip down in front of their friends, but snatch it back when no one is looking.
The Well Meaning Citizen: Takes out a cell phone and uses a tip calculator to give precicely the “correct” amount.
And the list goes on…
I am not a rich woman, despite my well coiffed appearance. That being said, I firmly believe in compensating people for a job well done. Therefore, I am less concerned with percentages than I am with the service I receive. I will not leave a tip at all if the person serving me has been rude, disrespectful, or has a poor attitude. If the person has made a mistake and tried in good faith to correct it, they will be tipped. My main focus in the tipping arena is the PERSON who is serving me, and how they perform their services, not the cost of the service.  Most people in service professions do not get to keep all the money you are paying for the service.
Here’s my advice: If you only have $25, and you NEED that pedi, why not bring your own coffee to work, and save that $4 you’d spend on a latte in case you receive an exceptional service? If the service is bad, you keep the dough. Don’t have ANY extra wiggle room in the budget? Then go for a lesser service, like a polish change to freshen up your look, but still leaving room to reward a job well done. The bottom line is, if a service professional does a great job, and it makes you happy, it’s a great idea to make them happy with a little extra cash!
For an exhaustive and utterly complete list of tipping ettiquite, with customary amounts to use as a guide for almost ANY service, check out this site:
Till next time, my dears!
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