Okay. I have an issue I would like to discuss and I'd love your thoughts and comments, even though I haven't posted in so long that probably no one is reading anymore.
Today at a girls' brunch, someone mentioned that she was talking to a photographer recently who, in a round about way, complained about not receiving tips. Now, at the risk of sounding like an ignoramus I will state clearly here that it never occurred to me to tip a photographer. A poll of the women in the room indicated that none of us would think to tip a photographer (right?). So I emailed two photographer friends to ask them what they think. Both indicated that it happens outside of Utah (but pretty much never in Utah) and that while it isn't expected, it is appreciated, and wouldn't be refused if offered.
Who do you tip? I tip waiters in restaurants and I tip my hair dresser (one of the brunch girls said that her hair dresser said if you're going to leave five dollars, you may as well not leave anything). And I'm not trying to be boastful here, just honest---I rarely tip under 20 percent. I think that's fair. Oh, and on the rare occasion that I get a manicure or pedicure, I tip then, too. I also tip house keeping in hotels because going back to a clean room really makes me happy, and I tip sky cap at the airport. I think that's about it. Oh, and I always feel guilty for not tipping when I pick up an order from a restaurant. You're not supposed to tip then, are you?
Anyway, going back to the photographers... I guess I just don't see why a tip should even be in question. Do you tip your auto mechanic? Your plumber? Do you tip your doctor? (That pap smear was excellently executed!)
I feel like my field of work is similar to photography. Should I expect tips? Most of my clients are outside of Utah. But I don't expect tips. I charge what the job is worth for me to do. And then I'm really happy when it's paid on time. That's about all I ask or expect.
I think that tipping is certainly appropriate when someone has gone above and beyond, but employed by someone else. Meaning, I know that the extra money I am giving is not going to the company, but is compensation above the worker's normal wages that they get to take home and enjoy. If I'm hiring an individual for creative services or the like, I would expect them to quote me their rate and then I would pay their rate. (But come to think of it, if I felt like the quality of their work was worth more than their quoted rate, and if I could afford to, I'd probably pay extra IF I feel like I'm getting a steal or bargain.)
Anyway, I'd love to hear your thoughts on tipping. Who do you tip? How do you decide?
-- Post From My iPad, with apologies for the typos and for the self righteousness of admitting I have an iPad.