Tipping Bag Boys (And In General)
By Kickntrue on 9/23/09
The act of tipping is interesting to me- in that it seems to be a general rule to tip based on the price/value of an item, not on actual service. For instance- you can go get breakfast at an old-school diner with a total bill of $8. You drop a $10 and you're giving a "big" tip- regardless of how many times they've refreshed your coffee. Really they do the same amount of work of someone at a nice restaurant that may cost $30 a plate, but that person you'll tip $6/person just because the meal cost more. Someone can refill your Coke 5 times and that's "worth" $.50 while someone getting you 5 beers is worth $4.00?

Why?

To bring this to golf- some courses have guys to load and clean your clubs at the end of the round. You're generally expected to either tip these people or sound like a douche by telling them, "I'm good" and rushing them away. The thing is- the service itself is not worth more than $1 or $2, but if the course is more high end- don't you find yourself pulling out a $5, especially if that is all you have?

Are you really given better service at a high end club or restaurant or are you just following archaic principles set forth by someone else? I think I'm going to make an effort to start doing the opposite. I'm going to leave a $10 tip at IHOP and a $4 tip at Ruths Chris... unless someone can give me a reason not to.


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[ comments ]
dooboo says:
Wow, this question is like "8th wonder"...I would like to know as well.
9/23/09
 
activesense says:
Tipping is supposed to be a reflection of the service you recieve. We have become accustomed to tipping in restaurants with a typical amount for good service being 15%. If service is slightly below par then I pay 10% and if the server truly impresses then they may find 20% coming their way.
Having never been to a high end club with bag boys and ball polishers and people in the restrooms to zip you up when your done peeing, I cannot comment on how much to tip them. But if I can afford $100k annualy for a membership at a top class club then I wouldn't begrudge giving the 'chauffeur' who collects me and my bag from the car a nice crisp $20.
9/23/09
 
activesense says:
When it comes to exploiting the tipping mentality, there is nothing worse than seeing a 'take-out' tip jar. My local chinese restaurant has a blatant, highly noticeable and colorful tip jar at the take-out counter. It's not enough that I pay you for cooking my food but you expect me to tip you for putting the food in a brown bag and carrying it from the serving hatch to the counter. A complex maneuver that involves turning around and walking 2 steps then repeat. Guess again. At least McDonalds haven't jumped on this bandwagon....yet.
9/23/09
 
Kickntrue says:
There is actually a great story to "TIPS" (which isn't true, but should be) that says the name is from the idea of "To Insure Prompt Service." The idea was you go to an establishment and lay out 10 $1 bills (or whatever is appropriate). That is the stating tip. Each moment you feel like the server has let you down- you pull a dollar away until you have their final tip. It may not be really how the system started, but it seems like a good strategy to me.
9/23/09
 
TWUES17 says:
I'll give you a reason not to leave a shitty tip at Ruth's Chris - they butter their fucking steaks. It's fucking marvelous.
9/23/09
 
C-4 says:
Good service..good tip..bad service..bad tip, no matter where you are. I start with a very generous amount and for each agravation depending on the severity, i take money away. what they are left with is what they get. this is done in the open for the server to see. it makes them say hmmmm why is that money on the table, and why is the pile of lute getting smaller
9/23/09
 
C-4 says:
kick..i do it...it works
9/23/09
 
gw60199 says:
I thank God I've never been wait staff. Talking those unfortunates waiting tables I've learned their wages are reduced by their "average" tips per shift from a base amount. To make ANY money they have to hustle. Please remember they are handling your food back in the kitchen. Smile, say please and thank you, and use their name or you may find GÇ£stuffGÇ¥ in your food.
9/23/09
 
scottland says:
I feel the same way. First:

Bag boys: I don't like how they basically force their way over to clean your clubs. I hate being that douche who has to say "No, I'm good" about three times, but why in hell would I want to tip someone for a service I never wanted in the first place. It's like when a homeless person runs over and tries to clean your windshield. Please don't make me feel bad because I don't want my clubs cleaned.
9/23/09
 
scottland says:
Secondly, tipping in general:

I've tipped $30 on a $30 meal before. The waiter was unbelievable, and I still remember it as the best service I've ever had. I'll regularly leave 30-50% tip if the waiter/waitress was really really great.

I've also had a waitress forget to put my meal in, lie to me about it, finally bring my food out 30min after my girlfriend's.When the check comes, my dish isn't covered, I give her my card, and she disappears for 30 min(no joke). I had to have the manager track her down,20min later I get my card back (It's been an hour since I gave it to her), and after a 2hr dinner where 1.5hr were wasted by this girl, I sure as hell wasn't paying for her service; if anything she owed me money for my time. I firmly believe that standing around in a place of business does not warrant a tip.

But if someone does their job, neither good or bad, I'll tip around 15-20%.
9/23/09
 
jimithen says:
My wife has worked on a golf course beverage cart before. What we feel most people fail to remember about both her and the bag boys is that they make 4-5 dollars an hour. They are dependent on your tips for a decent wage. Now they get 5 $1 tips an hour and all of a sudden they are up to par (bad golf pun) at 8 to 9 dollars an hour. They see around 15-30 groups an hour, it doesn't take much per person to help them out. A dollar may seem like a slap in the face "only a dollar" cheap. But if 10 people tip a dollar they make out alright.
9/24/09
 
nolongerhere says:
Germany: 'Sis does not apply.
9/24/09
 
whomsley says:
Once a year, tops, I play at a course that has people that race over after your round and start cleaning my clubs without ever asking if this is necessary. As a tried and true daily fee duffer I clean my clubs, pretty much, after each shot. It is just a habit I got into. So at the end of the round I don't need my clubs cleaned and don't feel bad saying "No Thanks". I don't know if this would change if I played at a members only club where they cleaned the clubs, stored the bag, shined my shoes, changed my cleats and I had a locker with my name on it. If I could afford to be a member at one of those private clubs, dropping the kid who cleans my clubs a 5 spot would be a no brainer.
9/24/09
 
scottland says:
I understand bag boys and cart girls only make minimum wage, but that still doesn't change the fact that I don't want my clubs cleaned, so why tip for a service I don't want. Bag boys are usually there because they need a summer job, they are getting discounted golf, and they love the game.
9/24/09
 
ipv6freely says:
@jimithen: "What we feel most people fail to remember about both her and the bag boys is that they make 4-5 dollars an hour." ... I don't care. I should tip them because their salary sucks? I don't think so.
9/24/09
 
ibashdaily says:
@ipv6freely: You should tip them because they are providing a service. Not because their salary sucks. You are obviously someone who has never worked in the service industry before, and depended on people's generosity for your livelyhood. There are too many people out there who don't tip at all for you to get an attitude about shelling out a couple bucks. It won't kill your pocket, but it certainly makes a difference to those individuals.
9/24/09
 
Kickntrue says:
@ipv6freely- I think the point @jimithen was actually trying to make was that a dollar is a good tip.
9/24/09
 
TheBrownCrayon says:
@ipv6freely: Their salary sucks because they receive tips. It is the same thing at a restaurants and bars, those servers make 2.13 an hour (at least in Texas) and they make money through your tips. You aren't taking pity on them because their salary sucks.

And the tip on the table thing, that is just mean. It's the equivalent of teasing a puppy with a treat. There is a reason it was made a joke of on Seinfeld.

In general, the amount of your tip should be appropriate to the amount of work done. There is a definite gray area when it comes to things like bottles of wine (the service is the same whether it is a $100 dollar bottle or a $20 dollar bottle) or bag boys, club cleaners, etc. But you should always remember that the tip you are giving is the way they pay their bills. So while saying thank you and giving compliments is nice, and much appreciated, it also won't pay their electric bill.
9/24/09
 
wrhall02 says:
The common gripe is feeling obligated to tip for a service that you did not request. Bag boys and club cleaners seem to fall in this category most.
I think most people feel it is appropriate to tip the food and beverage staff at the course.
9/24/09
 
sigmapete1 says:
I usually give the bag boys a couple bucks but tell them I don't need the clubs cleaned. Last thing I want is a sandy dirty rag scraping the crown of my driver (yes that happens). Understanding that they are just doing their job and I don't know for sure what they are going to do with my clubs ahead of time, I give them $2-3 anyway, for their trouble. I just don't like other people touching my clubs.
9/24/09
 
Banker85 says:
@sigmapete1: i feel the same way, i dont want them messing up my clubs. But if i did let them clean my clubs i would def tip a couple bucks. I clean them after each shot so they usually dont need much plus i like cleaning them myself. But why feel bad for saying no thats silly.
9/25/09
 
whoyawhit says:
Yes, some of the outside staff at courses are there for the discount or the summer job. However I bet if you ask them they want to get in to the industry. In order to even start in the PGA promgram you need to be employed in the golf shop for a minimum of 6 months. Most of these guys start out in the bag room. Don't feel bad about telling them you don't want your clubs cleaned, feel bad you just paid $50 or more to play around of golf on Saturday and cant give a couple more for someone who is trying to provide a service.

"scottland says:
I understand bag boys and cart girls only make minimum wage, but that still doesn't change the fact that I don't want my clubs cleaned, so why tip for a service I don't want. Bag boys are usually there because they need a summer job, they are getting discounted golf, and they love the game."
9/25/09
 
duffer424 says:
Tips should be given when the service is as goodas or better than expected. The cart boys get minimum wage, at most courses they aren't required to get your bags out of the car and load them for you. At most courses you're paying $35 and up to play, one or two dollars to the cart boy for doing something extra for you is not a lot. ( Unless you'r a cheap son-of-a-gun.)
9/30/09
 
ipv6freely says:
I think you guys missed my point. Your salary sucks because you depend on tips. Try finding a new job, then? I tip somebody because they do a good job, not because their salary sucks. I couldn't care less what they make, aside from the money I give them.

There are a few good reasons to tip. The job they did was exceptional, or at least acceptable. They were friendly. They made a bright spot in my day. Anything like that. But their low salary is not a reason for me to tip.

I tip when it is deserved, and sometimes when it is not. I don't want people to get the wrong impression, and think that I don't tip - because I do. I'm simply saying that "What we feel most people fail to remember about both her and the bag boys is that they make 4-5 dollars an hour." is completely irrelevant towards my decision to tip or not.
10/1/09
 
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