Holiday bonus for the staff

nutellaNovember 2, 2006

I'm curious to hear what other apartment dwellers pay as far as bonuses for the building staff.

In my condo, we just got a notice under our doors that the suggested donation per unit is $125.

Where I used to live, the suggested amount was a sliding scale based on the size of your unit - a 1 BR was around $45.

How bout if I bake cookies :)

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tishanyc

I guess it depends on the custom in whatever area you are in. Here in New York City, there is a large building staff of over 30 people. Building management distributes a list of names and positions to the tenants just after Thanksgiving and we are free to give whatever we wish. Of course, there are sort of unwritten established guidelines of which position gets how much. Last Christmas my total came to $850!! Yikes!
I don't think that anyone should give more than they could afford. If someone finds themselves in that situation, a token dollar amount should be given and maybe a tray of cookies or fruits that the staff could share.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2006 at 6:32PM
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soggynacho

Wow, I've never heard of that before, although I've never lived (owned) in a condo.. just rented apts. My thinking would be- I pay rent (or condo fees) you pay the employees a bonus if you value them. :/
Ah, heck... brownies are good too ;)

    Bookmark   November 4, 2006 at 7:56PM
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krustytopp

We give $120. This is just a figure we thought sounded reasonable, maybe even a bit cheap. Consider: $100 x 100 units, divided by 15 staff. I get a few thousand dollars bonus each year from my workplace; I doubt that each employee in my residence gets anywhere near that amount. A small gift such as food or movie tickets might be appreciated if money is an issue.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2006 at 9:31PM
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over_n_under

A couple of things come to mind.

1. Who solicited the donation and made the suggestion? If it is the staff, then making such a suggestion is a bit over the top.

2. Why should you tip them for doing their job? The restaurant business has been quite successful at managing the expectation of tips. Why does this group deserve a tip? Do they go above and beyond? Or is it that if you don't you expect that they won't do their job properly or expeditiously?

And now for a little rant - Have you noticed that today, very few things cost as they are advertised unless you are buying from a retail store? If you go to get your car repaired, there is always some sort of a 'fee' attached that you probably were not told about (usually an 'environmental service' fee). If someone comes to your home to work on your furnace, there will almost always be some sort of 'fee' attached. When you go to a restaurant there is almost always the additional tip (unless you go to McDonalds). It seems that there are less and less situations where you are able to get something for the advertised price. I can live with justifiable fees, but I just wish they were included and advertised (at a higher price) instead of being a surprise at the time I go to pay.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2006 at 1:11PM
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patti43

Well, personally, I've never heard of a Christmas bonus for the staff, but I'm glad I read this as we just moved into this apartment and maybe I should look into it. It sure won't be $125. We pay a lot for rent because this is a college town and the rent keeps the party people out. I would tend to go with either homemade goodies, a flower arrangement or a fruit basket that could be enjoyed by all the staff. Hopefully, the staff will give a bonus to the two maintenence guys. But I really don't feel that's my job.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2006 at 10:10PM
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bonelady

When I lived in an apartment about 8 years ago there was a staff of 5 maintaince people. I always gave them each a card with $25. I did not gift the office staff.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2006 at 9:03AM
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inbalance1

These guys perform a service and as such, can be very helpful. If they are, then they DESERVE a holiday Thank you, and nothing says thank you like cash.
Cookees get dumped in the trash or go stale, cash never does.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 10:34PM
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nutella

Thanks for all the responses and different points of view. After thinking this over, I'll likely scrape up the cash, but maybe a little lower amt as I'm just a single person and rarely use the building services, and I think large families should be paying more. While there are a small handful of workers I would like to personally thank, I'm sure there are the behind the scenes cleaning people who shouldn't be left out, so the lump sum makes sense. BTW, the request and suggested amount came from the bldg manager, whom I'm guessing will share in the money. I think it would have been much more appropriate coming from the condo board, consisting of fellow residents.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 11:13AM
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alison

Have you talked to the other residents? Or with other people in similar condos?

I know holiday tipping is customary in New York, and so not doing it there stands out, but it's always struck me as a strange custom. I could see giving a little holiday gift to a staff person that's been particularly helpful to you, to thank them for going out of their way for you. But to tip everyone on the staff, regardless, seems excessive. If you're expected to tip in exchange for good service in the future that seems like extortion. And if the management is asking you to provide the staff's holiday bonus it sounds like they're passing the buck and asking you to do what they should be doing to reward their employees.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 3:12PM
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