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MrSpice
December 6th, 2006, 02:26 PM
I am sure this question has been asked so many times that you guys are tired of answering. But here it is again:

For the first time in my life, I am approaching holidays living in a full-service doorman building. I just got a Christman card from the staff. My building has over 270 apartments. We have a total of 19 employees to thank, including 7 porters.

I don't even know what some of them do, but I want to give a decent/average tip to most, and give more than average to some people that were really helpful throughout the year. I read some guidelines in NY Magazine and NY Times, but would appreciate an advice from people who actually live in this kind of building and can share their experience. Here are the questions I have:

1) How do you give those tips? Do you buy a bunch of envelopes (one per employee), write his and your name on it and give it to the person? I don't even know if if I can match some of the names to the faces.
2) When do you give the tips? Do you give them right before Christmas or now or next week?
3) How much do you normally tip the super/asst super/handyman/doormen/concierges/porters?
4) Do you tip car parking attendants? I have 5-6 people working in a garage. Should I tip all of them?

Thanks.

media35
December 6th, 2006, 05:11 PM
I put cash in Christmas cards. Wrote each person's name on the front of the card. I live in a 250 unit apt. building UWS that is well run and has great service staff. I was thinking I was going to move so I wasn't as generous as some. Next year I am moving so I am keeping the amounts the same.

Superintendent, On-site manager, 4 doormen, and 3 service entrance doormen, $50 each.

2 handymen, 7 porters $10 each

2 escorts $20 each

Guy who delivers my dry cleaning $20

I am giving out the cards next week, if I see the person when I go to work I'll hand it to them, otherwise I will drop them off at the on-site managers office (I trust her) to give out.

I would like to know too, what other people give.

Edward
December 6th, 2006, 05:23 PM
http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4835

Parking attendants would like their tips too. It's OK if you do not give each envelope personally.

MrSpice
December 6th, 2006, 06:01 PM
I put cash in Christmas cards. Wrote each person's name on the front of the card. I live in a 250 unit apt. building UWS that is well run and has great service staff. I was thinking I was going to move so I wasn't as generous as some. Next year I am moving so I am keeping the amounts the same.

Superintendent, On-site manager, 4 doormen, and 3 service entrance doormen, $50 each.

2 handymen, 7 porters $10 each

2 escorts $20 each

Guy who delivers my dry cleaning $20

I am giving out the cards next week, if I see the person when I go to work I'll hand it to them, otherwise I will drop them off at the on-site managers office (I trust her) to give out.

I would like to know too, what other people give.

Based on what I read in all the articles I saw, $10 holiday tip is way low for a doorman or a porter. I cannot imagine they will be very happy to get this kind of tip. I plan to live here for several more years, and don't want to appear very stingy.

ThisIsntMyRealName
December 7th, 2006, 10:14 AM
I have heard of a doorman getting $20,000 for Christmas.


I am sure this question has been asked so many times that you guys are tired of answering. But here it is again:

For the first time in my life, I am approaching holidays living in a full-service doorman building. I just got a Christman card from the staff. My building has over 270 apartments. We have a total of 19 employees to thank, including 7 porters.

I don't even know what some of them do, but I want to give a decent/average tip to most, and give more than average to some people that were really helpful throughout the year. I read some guidelines in NY Magazine and NY Times, but would appreciate an advice from people who actually live in this kind of building and can share their experience. Here are the questions I have:

1) How do you give those tips? Do you buy a bunch of envelopes (one per employee), write his and your name on it and give it to the person? I don't even know if if I can match some of the names to the faces.
2) When do you give the tips? Do you give them right before Christmas or now or next week?
3) How much do you normally tip the super/asst super/handyman/doormen/concierges/porters?
4) Do you tip car parking attendants? I have 5-6 people working in a garage. Should I tip all of them?

Thanks.

lofter1
December 7th, 2006, 10:26 AM
$10 holiday tip is way low for a doorman or a porter.

You say you live in a 250-unit building. At $10 / unit = $2,500. Not a bad X-Mas gift.

daver
December 7th, 2006, 11:12 AM
Tips of Today

Free piano lessons? Knicks floor seats? Twenty bucks and a Christmas card don’t cut it anymore.

By S.Jhoanna Robledo (http://newyorkmetro.com/nymag/author_robledo)http://newyorkmetro.com/nymetro/realestate/columns/realestate/realestate051212_400.jpg
(Photo: James Leynse/Corbis for New York Magazine)


Sidney Bueno’s eyes well up when he talks about what may be his best holiday tip ever. No, says the Upper West Side doorman, it wasn’t the pair of main-floor Knicks tickets he once got—he ended up stuck at work and had to send his family without him. It’s the free piano lessons for his son that came from a renowned musician in the building. “To give up an hour each week,” Bueno says, still touched by the gesture. “That means a lot.”

A surprising number of doormen and supers have similar stories, enough to make the rest of us examine our own approach to the semi-obligatory holiday gift to the building staff, a New York ritual that’s already fraught with insecurities. “We’re never certain how much to give,” admits Nina Sonenberg, an Upper West Side editor who plans to distribute a total of $500 among her building’s dozen employees. “I don’t know anyone who’s confident about what they give.” (For the record, tips in decent–but–not–Park Avenue–class buildings run between $20 and $300, and superintendents usually accumulate well into the five figures. Porters and doormen see anywhere between $2,000 and $10,000, depending on the size of the building.) Tipping’s not a must, says broker Barbara Fox, despite the urban myth that skipping the holiday baksheesh leads to eleven months of quiet retribution. Fox, who’s often asked to advise clients on the subject, is quick to add that it’s worth upping the ante “when anyone has gone out of his way to make life easier.”

An envelope of cash isn’t the only thank-you out there, however. One (almost certainly apocryphal) story has a super heading off to the Bahamas on a grateful millionaire’s jet. The more realistic examples are still pretty impressive: A busy resident in Xavier Trevino’s West Side building bakes a cake for each of the workers. Aljady Arroyo (pictured, with colleagues), a concierge at the Atlas on West 38th Street, got a home entertainment system two weeks ago; last year, he took home a restaurant-grade cappuccino maker. H.N., who works off West End Avenue and asked that his full name not be used, reports getting a $2,000 suit from a resident who works in the fashion industry. While working in the East Fifties, doorman Radames Pagan was tossed the keys to a Mercedes CL55 to use when its owner went on vacation. “That was more than a tip,” he remembers. “That was life-changing.”

http://nymag.com/nymetro/realestate/columns/realestate/15285/

MrSpice
December 7th, 2006, 11:57 AM
You say you live in a 250-unit building. At $10 / unit = $2,500. Not a bad X-Mas gift.

It's not the question of good vs. bad. It's all relative. If I give $10, and most other residents give $100, I will look bad. That's what I am trying to avoid. Most sites I see recommend giving superintendent $50-200 depending on his level of service. I have not see a $10 recommendation anywhere. I am just trying to find out how much people give. I have no doubts that my super is getting a very good deal.

ZippyTheChimp
December 7th, 2006, 12:23 PM
Give the doormen $50 minimum, and you won't have a problem. They are the people you see every day. Any more is up to you.

As for maintenance staff: that depends on the building, the size of the staff, and the level of service.

lofter1
December 7th, 2006, 01:16 PM
H.N., who works off West End Avenue and asked that his full name not be used, reports getting a $2,000 suit from a resident who works in the fashion industry.

Smart man, as the IRS would view any and all of these gifts as taxable income, and expect them to be listed on the worker's tax returns.

Punzie
December 7th, 2006, 01:35 PM
After you have determined the final amounts you are giving, increase each amount by 10%. They do take note of generous people, they do keep track.

If it annoys you that you have to put out so much loot, just think of the money you spent this past year on less important things.

http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i130/Rapunzel61/Snow/Happy-New-Year/happyholidays.gif

antinimby
December 7th, 2006, 09:28 PM
TIME TO GET TIPSY


By JANE REILLY MOUNT

December 7, 2006 (http://www.nypost.com/seven/12072006/realestate/time_to_get_tipsy_realestate_jane_reilly_mount.htm ) -- Q: I live in a doorman building. How much should I tip the staff?

This question comes up every year and seems to upset everyone. The issue at hand is that most residents are perplexed, and no one is willing to offer reasonable suggestions. It strikes me as odd that a standard has never been established by co-ops, condos or rentals as to how much cash will bring a jolly smile to well-deserving building employees in the holiday season.

The facts are that doormen know a good tip from a bad one, even if you don't. And they remember who gives the best tips. Secondly, tipping "well" makes a bigger dent in your wallet than you probably planned for.

Even if you dare to ask a beloved superintendent, it's unlikely you'll get a straight answer - or even a number anywhere in his response. Whether this reflects union rules, general courtesy, awkwardness or a simple breach in etiquette is something I've yet to uncover.

It's worth noting that the word "tips" is an acronym (T.I.P.S.) meaning "To Insure Proper Service." In other words, the concept of tipping isn't so much a "thank you" but an investment for the future.

My independent, unscientific research suggests that $50 is a minimum baseline figure for full-time doormen in Manhattan; if your digs are "white-glove," you'll want to start at $100.

If your doorman regularly goes beyond the expected, you should increase the figure, just as the doorman perched comfortably on his rump should see that number decline. I'm told that great doormen in well-run, super-high-end buildings can see tips as high as $250.

There are some factors that you should consider when raising or lowering your baseline gratuity.

One factor is seniority. In some buildings you'll get a memo from management that lists the length of service of each employee - that's a hint that tips should follow accordingly.

Another issue is legality. If you're living in an illegal sublet, for instance, you'd be a fool to stiff the doorman. (You might want to bake him some chocolate chip cookies, while you're at it.)

Any doorman who goes out of the way to make your life more pleasant deserves a thank-you in cash, even if that "out of the way" simply means a super-friendly attitude.

If these numbers are well beyond your budget, be generous without going bankrupt. After all, doormen know more about you -your habits, problems and financial woes - than you probably realize.

Finally, put the tips in an envelope for each employee and give the bundle to the super to distribute for you. Don't forget to write down who got each tip, so you don't have to ask this question again.

Copyright 2006NYP Holdings, Inc.

Punzie
December 8th, 2006, 04:42 AM
Sometimes a professional writer is so puerile and gives so much silly advice that she's not even worth rebutting. Such is the advice columnist in the previous post, Jane Reilly Mount. Thus, I will only correct a factual inaccuracy. She writes:

"It's worth noting that the word "tips" is an acronym (T.I.P.S.) meaning "To Insure Proper Service." In other words, the concept of tipping isn't so much a "thank you" but an investment for the future."

She is repeating a cliched urban legend. The many different meanings of "tips" is here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tip

"An urban legend (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_legend) states that the word "tip" is an acronym for terms such as "to insure prompt service", "to insure proper service", "to improve performance", and "to insure promptness". However, this etymology contradicts the Oxford English Dictionary and is probably an example of a backronym (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backronym) or apronym (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apronym)." - Wikipedia


Oh wait, let me indulge! She writes:

"Finally, put the tips in an envelope for each employee and give the bundle to the super to distribute for you."

Yep, there's nothing like a super who will take your cash and make sure it gets where it's going...

ZippyTheChimp
December 8th, 2006, 07:07 AM
Oh wait, let me indulge! She writes:

"Finally, put the tips in an envelope for each employee and give the bundle to the super to distribute for you."

Yep, there's nothing like a super who will take your cash and make sure it gets where it's going...

Write checks.

Mr Spice: Listen to Zippy. $50 rock bottom for the doormen; ask some of your neighbors to get a general idea for your building.

Punzie
December 8th, 2006, 07:33 AM
Mr Spice: Listen to Zippy. $50 rock bottom for the doormen; ask some of your neighbors to get a general idea for your building.

I second this all the way!!

media35
December 8th, 2006, 08:32 AM
Am I the only one willing to expose exactly how much I tipped last year? Everyone has an opinion and no one is stating how much they tipped? Are you all living in NY? By the way I didn't add in how much I tip ---the hair stylist, the hair colorist, the trainer--the list is endless

ZippyTheChimp
December 8th, 2006, 08:58 AM
One of my doormen gets $100, but that's because I've known him for a long time. That number would only distort the information sought.

What is being asked is a number to avoid embarrassment, and avoid the expense of $500 tips to the doormen (unless you are so inclined). If you reference $50 for doormen, you can scale tip amounts to others.

In the end, it's your gift.

Punzie
December 9th, 2006, 11:43 AM
By the way I didn't add in how much I tip ---the hair stylist, the hair colorist, the trainer--the list is endless
This is off-topic, but you can save a fortune by coloring your own hair. Some products at the drugstore these days do as good a job as (or better than) a salon. Please feel free to PM me or start a topic on this in "Anything Goes" if you want all the info.:)

akd
December 13th, 2008, 01:41 PM
The amount in total combined tips I give to building staff is equal to one month's co-op maintenance ($1200.) My building distributes a memo with the number of years of service, so I considered this an important factor. My building has 53 units and a staff of 7.

I added up the total number of years of service and divided each staff member's years of service by the total number of years of service for all. I multiplied my monthly maintenance times this percentage for each person. I rounded this off to the nearest $50 (with a $100 minimum.)

According to this formula, my super will get $300. The three more senior doormen and porters recv $200 each and the three more junior door men will receive $100 each.

I have been using this formula for 7 years and since my maintenance goes up approx 4.5% each year, my holiday giving will (over many years) keep up with inflation. Although my income is down this year, I think that this is no reason to cut back on my holiday tips. Instead, I have cut back in other areas such as personal vacations and indulgences such as personal training, catered lunches and massages.


Happy Holidays.

Front_Porch
December 13th, 2008, 02:31 PM
I love this formula. Mr Front_porch and I do the divvy a little differently, but we also attempt to have the total tip pool equal one month's maintenance.

ali r.
{downtown broker}

nycbra
December 16th, 2008, 05:12 PM
Economy is bad, I am unemployed for the last 4 months and we are surviving on my husband's income.
We moved in to this high-rise building in August 2008 and we are renting it. We are low key residents, don't have dry cleaning delivered and we don't have many packages arriving, only 2 so far. We rent the apt and will probably stay here only for one more year. We just received the "card" from the building with the 20+ names of building staff on it. Not sure if we can and if we should tip all of them.
Would it be ok if we only tip a few such as the handyman who came twice to fix our AC and then heating?
This is our first time in a doormen (4) building and not sure how to proceed. The fact that we are giving very modest gifts to family members (around $30 each) makes me rethink this "obligation" to tip building staff.

$50 each is definitely too high. But $20 each for 20+ is also a lot for our budget. Should we just skip all or just tip few?

lofter1
December 16th, 2008, 06:07 PM
I'd say tip the few who you deal directly with.

But that's easy for me to say as my place has only two who are even eligible for tips.

Bottom line: Not wise to spend money that's not spendable.

stache
December 16th, 2008, 08:42 PM
Maybe I'm repeating myself, I tend to tip people when they do things for me throughout the year, $5, 10 or 20 depending just about every time. I don't have a lot of stuff delivered and I change my own light bulbs etc. So at Xmas I tip the mgr. and the regular daytime doormen.

Brianna827
December 18th, 2008, 02:32 PM
oh boy...I never tip =(

shocka
December 18th, 2008, 03:35 PM
nycbra.... economy is tough so tip what is comfortable for you. I dont believe in tipping because u have too. Your company doesnt give you a bonus because they have to! Tipping IS A BONUS, not a requirement. It is a great gesture though.

I will say this year with things a little tough, I decided since i know the night staff.. and never see the day staff (as i am not in town during the week) to get the night staff food couple of nights and they appreciated it. It was affordable for me, and was greatly recieved.